How to Prove Texting While Driving in Accident Cases

Man driving with a phone on his hand

Studies show that texting drivers are more likely to cause accidents. The Kansas Department of Transportation recorded nearly 4,000 crashes involving cell phone distractions over a recent five-year period, with about a third causing injuries.

Texting while driving is illegal in Kansas and is punishable by citations and fines. If you were injured in a crash caused by a texting driver, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact Mann Wyatt Tanksley Injury Attorneys for help proving a driver was texting at the time of an accident and using it to strengthen your case for compensation.

How Can You Prove Someone Texting While Driving Caused an Accident?

To prove that texting and driving caused a crash, an attorney must gather and examine various forms of evidence to show that the driver was using their device when the accident occurred.

Gather Eyewitness Testimony

Eyewitness testimony is a key piece of evidence in many personal injury cases. Your legal team may use the accounts of bystanders who witnessed the crash and other drivers or pedestrians at the scene. Ideally, these witnesses will have given statements to responding police officers.

Phone Records

Cell phone companies keep metadata on each customer’s calls and texts, including the exact time that a message is sent and received. Your lawyer may ask the court to issue a subpoena that will force the phone company to provide relevant cell phone records.

While phone records are a powerful tool, they have their limitations. Texts from device-exclusive or third-party messengers like iMessage, Signal, Telegram, or WhatsApp will not appear on phone records. These records may also omit non-billable activity, such as texts that do not ultimately reach a recipient.

Texting and Driving Laws in Kansas

According to Kansas law, it is illegal for a motor vehicle operator to use a “wireless communications device” while driving on a public road or highway. These devices include:

  • Cell phones
  • Pagers
  • Personal digital assistant (PDA) devices
  • MP3 players and iPods
  • Laptops

The statute applies whether a driver’s vehicle is in motion or stopped at a light. However, exceptions apply in some cases, including when a driver is:

  • Legally parked on the side of the road
  • Using a speech recognition program, such as Siri, to dictate a text to their device without holding it
  • Receiving a message related to navigating or operating the vehicle
  • Dismissing an official emergency alert message
  • Reporting illegal activity to the police
  • Using the device to do their job if they are an on-duty police officer or first responder

Most instances of illegal texting and driving lead to a $60 fine. A driver who causes a texting accident may be liable to compensate anyone injured in the crash. If someone was killed in the accident, the driver might face charges of vehicular manslaughter. The victim’s family could also pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim against the texting driver.

Contact the Distracted Driving Lawyers at Mann Wyatt Tanksley Injury Attorneys to Help Prove Your Case

If you were injured by someone who was texting while driving, the legal team at Mann Wyatt Tanksley Injury Attorneys can help gather the evidence it takes to hold the at-fault driver accountable. Contact our office for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced distracted driving attorney.