Proving the Other Driver Was Texting in Your Virginia Accident Claim
Recently, we have seen that texting while driving is a devastating and widespread problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that texting and other distracted driving activities kill more than 3,000 people each year. If you were injured in an accident in Virginia, how do you prove the other driver was texting?
Proving the Other Driver was Texting: Gather Information
If you’ve been injured by a driver who was texting, gathering the following information is very important to proving the other driver’s fault:
- The other driver’s cell phone number — VERY IMPORTANT!
- Phone numbers and statements from eyewitnesses
- Photos taken at the accident scene
- Video footage
- The police accident report
- The other driver’s phone records
Proving the Other Driver was Texting: How to Get Phone Records
If you are represented by a personal injury lawyer for your injury case, your attorney can subpoena the other driver’s phone records. The subpoenaed phone records can help your lawyer prove that the other driver was texting. If you aren’t represented by a lawyer, it is more difficult but possible to subpoena phone records on your own.
Subpoenaing Phone Records on Your Own
If you’re not represented by a personal injury lawyer, it is difficult but it may be possible for you to subpoena the other driver’s phone records on your own. To do this, follow these steps:
- First, you’ll need to research the other driver’s cell phone number to determine which cell phone company or carrier they have.
- Next, you’ll need to file a lawsuit against the other driver. This is often done in a small claims court, such as a local General District court in Virginia. Be cautious here, though, and make sure the value of your case doesn’t exceed the jurisdictional limit of the small claims court. If you have a large case, you may need to file in a different court.
- After you file the lawsuit (often called a Warrant in Debt in General District courts), you’ll need to ask the clerk or deputy clerk of the court to help you file and serve a subpoena requesting the records from the cell phone company.
- As you are filing the lawsuit and subpoena, be especially aware of any filing deadlines such as statutes of limitation that may bar the filing of your lawsuit.
While it’s possible to obtain the other driver’s phone records on your own if you suspect they were texting, it is often a difficult process filled with many traps. Obtaining this type of evidence can be challenging, especially when you are trying to recover from your injuries. Many times, it’s best to hire a personal injury attorney to handle your case and prove the other driver was texting, so you can spend your time recuperating.
Texting and Driving is Illegal in Virginia
In 2007, Virginia banned texting while driving. But, even with the ban, public safety officials felt that the ban was not sufficient to prevent distracted driving. According to DRIVE SMART Virginia, distracted driving is still one of the primary causes of serious car accidents in Virginia.
Due to continued distracted driving accidents, in July 2020 Virginia banned the use of handheld cell phones while driving. As of January 1, 2021, this banned began to be enforced.
Virginia Code § 46.2-818.2 states that it is “unlawful for any person, while driving a moving motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth, to hold a handheld personal communications device.”
Talk with a Virginia Car Accident Lawyer
When a distracted driver is responsible for causing your injuries in a car crash, the Ritchie Law Firm is here to help. The experienced, certified attorneys at the Ritchie Law Firm will help you prove the other driver was texting. DON’T GET HURT TWICE!! The Ritchie Law Firm will make them pay for their recklessness. We have helped thousands of injured people get the money they deserve
Contact us by phone at 800-277-6124 or by using our online contact form.
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Ritchie Law Firm is a personal injury law firm devoted to helping individuals who have suffered serious and catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence. Ritchie Law Firm serves all of Virginia, while helping clients in cities and surrounding areas of Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Staunton, and Winchester also serves clients in West Virginia, including Martinsburg, WV.