How to use cell phone and electronic data in a truck accident case
By now, most people know that using their cell phone while at the wheel is dangerous. When the driver is at the helm of an 80,000 pound truck, the consequences can be even more catastrophic than they are when a passenger car is involved. Recognizing this, the federal government outlawed the use of these devices by truckers while on the job several years ago. Despite this, their use by commercial drivers continues, and so do crashes caused by the lack of attention it engenders.
Below, we'll talk about how so many accidents are happening as a result of cell phone use, and what we can do about it. Unfamiliar with truck accident law? Click over to our Guide To Truck Accident Basics for all you'll need to know.
Questions this article will answer:
- Can cell phone data be used as evidence in a truck accident case?
- Is it legal for truck drivers to use cell phones when driving?
- Is it legal for truck drivers to text on a cell phone when driving?
- What cell phone data can be used as evidence in an 18-wheeler accident lawsuit?
Cell phone use, data, and negligence.
Cell phone calls and text messages that are both received from and sent to other people can provide a wealth of evidence to support any truck accident litigation. In recent years, cell phone usage has been one of the most likely distractions for drivers, so it makes sense for them to also be a central factor in many crashes involving tractor-trailers.
Many drivers, including truckers, overestimate their ability to multitask while driving: they think that they can manage a fast-moving automobile while simultaneously moving at top speeds, eating French fries, and having a conversation on the phone. The truth is, no one can multitask safely if one of those tasks is operating a thirteen-ton vehicle.
However, the greatest threat to you may not be a trucker talking on their cell phone. Instead, another phone-related distraction, like texting, could be involved. While it's possible for a trucker to reduce the risk of in-cab phone conversations by using a hands-free system, no one can do anything that even resembles "safe" texting while driving, nor can they take pictures, surf the internet, or download music without seriously distracting themselves from the task at hand.
Granted, text messaging data can be harder to collect and secure than cell phone records, but when available, it is arguably much more useful in proving a driver's negligence. Anyone who has ever texted using any device, be it a standard phone of virtual keyboard, is aware of the effort involved - effort that ought to be spent paying attention to the road.
Use of this information is pivotal in many cases, but know that actually proving negligence requires significant legal efforts and resources. At Grossman Law Offices, we know both the legal work required to obtain this data and how to effectively deploy it in litigation. If a call was made mere seconds before the driver became involved in a wreck, then it naturally assists a contention of distracted driving; and if a draft of a sent text was saved minutes before the incident, we can make a very compelling case that the trucker's focus was somewhere other than the road. What's more, we can hire distracted-driving experts to explain to the jury just how dangerous it can be to mix other tasks with driving a commercial vehicle. The burden of proof may be on us, but we have the legal acumen to use the mistakes of the truck driver to hold them and their employer accountable.
Using cell phone data to contradict a truck driver's claims.
Like many pieces of evidence, we can take advantage of cell phone data when refuting any statements or arguments made by the defense. All too often, claims made by truckers, trucking companies, and even defense attorneys are just flat-out untrue, so you need someone holding their feet to the fire with irrefutable data.
Additionally, cell phone information has the unique value of identifying witnesses for your claim, who could prove useful in tearing apart a trucking company's allegations. If the person or company found in the records turns out to be a neutral party (someone with no financial or other interest in the outcome of the case), they may become another witness able to attest to the accuracy of our presentation, especially if whoever was on the other side of the line with the trucker heard loud crunching sounds or expletives uttered.
Should the witness actually have a vested interest in the trucker or trucking company prevailing in the suit, we could still use this person's statements to your advantage, displaying clear contradictions in his or her testimony when compared with the defendant's statements in deposition, or making it clear to the jury that the defense is trying to pull a fast one on them.
As technology marches on, smart phones are receiving more and more applications, many of which could blow your opponent's argument completely out of the water. For instance, let's say that an accident happened at 8:30 PM. Of course, the trucker will likely claim that he or she was not speeding; however, if a trip-routing application suggests that legal driving conditions would place him several miles behind where he actually was, it would be apparent that there was at least some inconsistency in the driver's statement. There are even global positioning system (GPS) devices available for smart phones nowadays, meaning that there could be verifiable proof of how fast the driver was going in a certain area.
However damning the evidence may be, you still need someone capable of explaining all of this to a jury in a clear, concise manner in order to succeed. Our attorneys at Grossman Law Offices are capable of doing just that for your 18-wheeler accident lawsuit. We can not only take the proper action to obtain needed evidence and have it introduced at trial, but show how it vindicates our allegations against the driver and their employer. We have been winning trucking accident personal injury and wrongful death claims for 25 years. While technological advances may have increased the amount of evidence available for your case, it is ultimately just another way for us to continue doing what we've always done: securing fair compensation for our clients.
Call Grossman Law Offices now.
Everywhere you look, technology is becoming faster, stronger, sleeker, and smarter. The phone is not immune to this, and is becoming a rapidly more useful device when it comes to countering a trucking company's arguments. In other words, the irrefutable evidence offered up by these devices helps the truth of what happened to come out.
Let the truth of your personal injury claim come out, and employ the services of Grossman Law Offices. On top of our two decades of experience, we have won hundreds of 18-wheeler trucking accident lawsuits just like this, earning our clients serious compensation as a result. So call us today at our toll-free line: (855) 326-0000. Your call will be kept completely private, and without cost.
Other Articles You May Want To Read:
- Common Trucking Company Defenses
- What You Should Expect if Your Truck Accident Case Goes to Trial
- Do Trucking Companies Have to Compensate the Families of Truck Accident Victims?