The process of establishing who is at fault for a crash is one of the most important early steps taken after a collision. The party responsible will typically provide insurance coverage and they could be at risk of a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit if their negligence or recklessness caused the collision. In some cases, they may even face arrest and prosecution for their actions.
Most of the time, drivers involved in a wreck feel confident about assigning blame. They know that someone else didn’t stop as they should have at the intersection or that another driver merged into the side of their vehicle on the highway. However, some circumstances, like believing that the other driver was on their phone, might seem less clear. Is a driver who is distracted at the wheel automatically at fault for a crash?
Distracted driving is a citable offense
Oklahoma is one of the majority of states that have implemented laws against digital distraction while driving. It is a traffic violation to manually text or otherwise use a phone while in control of a motor vehicle. Police could ticket the driver who caused the crash for using their phone.
If there is clear evidence that one of the drivers involved in the crash used their phone right before the collision, the other people involved in the wreck may have an easier time establishing that the distracted driver was to blame for the wreck.
How does one prove phone use?
There are multiple ways for someone accusing another driver of texting at the wheel to prove what actually happened. There could be camera footage or witnesses that can affirm someone’s version of events. The police could also potentially obtain data from the cell phone company to validate the allegation that someone used their phone immediately prior to the crash.
Provided that there is evidence affirming one motorist’s accusation that the other was distracted at the time of a wreck, it may be possible for the parties affected to make a claim against the at-fault motorist’s insurance or take them to civil court. Learning more about the rules that govern insurance claims and lawsuits after a car crash can help those affected by a recent Oklahoma wreck.