Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car crashes in Nevada and across the country. Most people think of texting and driving when they hear about this phenomenon, but this is not the only distracted driving behavior that can lead to a collision.
If you suspect that the negligence of a distracted driver caused your crash, how do you prove it? Hiring a qualified attorney can help, along with gathering specific evidence to strengthen your claim for damages.
Our Las Vegas-based vehicle crash lawyers at Bernstein & Poisson discuss distracted driving and the evidence that can help prove liability for this type of crash.
Distracted Driving Laws in Nevada
Drivers can be distracted by many behaviors; however, texting and driving is the deadliest. That is why Nevada state law prohibits the use of handheld cellphones or any other wireless communications devices while driving.
Penalties for Breaking the Law
If you are pulled over for texting and driving, you could be ticketed. The penalty you receive will vary, depending on whether it is your first violation:
- First offense: No moving violation, but offenders will receive a ticket for a $50 fine.
- Second offense: If you get a second ticket within seven years it will be a moving violation and cost you $100.
- Third offense: This is also a moving violation. This ticket will cost you $250.
Along with the cost of the ticket, a second or third-time offender will receive four points on his or her license and be responsible for paying court costs.
When Criminal Charges May Apply for Distracted Driving
Drivers who text and drive and cause the death of another person can expect to face vehicular manslaughter among other charges.
Drivers who cause a serious crash or any crash should never flee the scene. In Nevada, even if the crash only causes property damage, drivers who leave the scene of a crash can be sentenced to up to six months in jail and receive $1,000 in fines. If the crash causes death or injury, the penalties are harsher.
For a free legal consultation, call (855) 605-2959
Evidence to Help Prove Distracted Driving Caused Your Crash
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are approximately 660,000 drivers texting and driving on the road at any point during the day. This is likely why the number of traffic fatalities involving distracted drivers is on the rise. Even if you feel sure your crash was caused by a distracted driver, it can be difficult to prove without strong evidence. That said, there are ways to help prove your claim.
Crash Scene Evidence
Photos or camera footage of the crash scene may support your statement that the other driver was inattentive. If the driver was distracted by something else, such as texting, it is likely he or she made no effort to stop. Evidence may support this if there are no fresh tire marks. Examining vehicle damage is another way that crash scene investigators may determine whether a driver attempted to avoid a crash.
When the police arrive they will examine and document the weather, road conditions, vehicle damage, road debris and more. Officers take statements from all involved drivers and any witnesses to the crash. All the information gathered by the officer is included in a police report. Be sure to get a copy of this report for your records and as evidence for your claim.
Electronic Data from the Vehicle
Most newer vehicles have a “black box” recorder installed. This device is also called an event data recorder (EDR). This device tracks driver activity behind the wheel. For example, EDR data could show that a driver did not hit the brake before the crash.
Statements can be helpful if the witnesses are credible. For instance, if someone saw the other driver using his or her phone as the car passed, this person may be able to help strengthen your claim. If your witness is both a passenger and a family member, however, his or her statement may carry less weight than a neutral third party.
It may be possible for the lawyer to subpoena the cellphone company for the driver’s usage reports. If available, these records may show the driver had been texting, checking emails or other cellphone activities right before the crash.
Social Media Activity
Social media activity provides an additional electronic trail that may show the other driver was using his or her cellphone at the time of impact. While this information will not show up on cellphone records, social media posts have individual time and date stamps.
Injured in a Distracted Driving Crash? Call Bernstein & Poisson Today
Being injured in any kind of car crash can be overwhelming, especially when victims have serious injuries to deal with. Medical costs can quickly create a stressful financial burden, both for victims and their families.
At Bernstein & Poisson, we are here to help. Not only do we have extensive experience helping crash victims, but we also have a proven track record. We have spent decades representing injured victims and recovered millions on behalf of our clients.
If you have been injured in a crash caused by another’s negligence, call our law firm today. There is no cost to meet with us and learn about your legal options. If we represent you, there is nothing to pay us up front or while we handle your case. We do not get paid unless you do.