NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana. How many times have you watched a crime show and marveled as the clever detective used phone records to place the killer at the scene of the crime? Cell phone towers and cell phone companies log our calls and their duration, allowing detectives to not only determine a person’s precise location at a given time, but also determine whether the person was on the phone. If you’ve been in an accident where another driver was suspected of texting and driving or talking on the phone while driving, you may wonder whether your lawyer can do similar sleuthing using phone records. After all, distracted driving cases can be hard to prove because witnesses or police may not have seen the other driver using his or her phone before your crash.
Yet, getting phone records in a civil case can be difficult. The New York Law Journal notes that cell phone records can prove useful in establishing negligence in civil cases. Yet, obtaining cell phone records can be quite difficult in practice. The party seeking the records must show that there is good reason to believe that the other person was using his or her phone at the time. The courts tend to favor the privacy of defendants. This means that lawyers may only have limited access to cell phone records or may only be able to access video of the roadway where the accident took place. Court precedent has shown that judges are wary to grant lawyers unfettered access to a defendant’s cell phone records. However, if you can show good reasons to suspect that the person may have been on their phone, the courts may permit you to acquire the records.
Cell phone records may also be acquired during the discovery process should the case proceed that far. Smith Stag are New Orleans, Louisiana car wreck lawyers who litigate cases, but who also can work with both parties to seek a settlement outside of court if this is appropriate. Each case is unique and our firm works to gather as much evidence as possible to support your case.
There are other ways your lawyer can investigate a distracted driving case, though. A savvy lawyer can scroll through a defendant’s public social media profiles to see if any new posts or likes coincide with the time of your accident. However, individuals who are seeking damages for pain and suffering and other injuries should note that this can go both ways. According to Forbes, lawyers on the other side may likewise be scrolling through your social media feeds to see if you are as injured as you say you are. As a general rule, it is a good idea to avoid social media if you have been involved in an accident and are seeking damages.
If you’ve been in a car accident, you may only have a limited amount of time to seek damages or a recovery for your accident. Visit https://www.smithstag.com/ to learn more about your legal options and rights.