Can Smartphones Be Used in Personal Injury Lawsuits?

Distracted driving has injured or killed thousands of Americans over the last decade. Instead of keeping their eyes on the road, distracted drivers are discussing the new Daredevil on Facebook, taking selfies or trying to beat high scores in Candy Crush. Distracted drivers might be unaware that if they were to cause an accident, their smartphone activity may be used in court.

Let’s say hypothetically a distracted driver taking selfies hit a cyclist and caused a traumatic brain injury. The injured cyclist’s family files a personal injury lawsuit because he is now paralyzed on the left side of his body, has incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and will be unable to ever work again.

Could this distracted driver’s phone records show he or she was at fault? Most smartphone apps and social media platforms timestamp activities, such as text messages, selfies or Facebook posts. If the records could be obtained, it would become easier to prove this driver was at fault for the accident.

Mobile phone records have other detailed information that personal injury attorneys may attempt to use. Let’s say for example an employer calls a worker while they are driving, and that driver hits a pedestrian. Incoming calls would be timestamped on the worker’s phone records, and both the worker and employer could share liability.

Additional records may show the location of the distracted driver. Combine all of this information with witness and police statements, and distracted drivers can quickly find themselves in hot water.

Technology’s Role in the Future of Personal Injury Lawsuits

Technology will continue to play an important role in personal injury lawsuits. Vehicle features and other devices can provide highly valuable usage data that shows who is at-fault for an accident. Distracted driving is inexcusable, and motorists who continue to use smartphones will be held accountable when they injure innocent people.

There are other reasons why technology can be helpful during litigation that we will discuss for future blogs.

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