If you were injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you are not alone. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are close to 400,000 distracted driving accidents in the United States each year.
One of the most prevalent – and the most dangerous – forms of distracted driving is using a handheld cell phone. This includes not only talking and texting but also using social media. Last year, a car accident made national headlines when it was discovered that the teen driver at fault in the crash was using a “speed filter” on Snapchat to post that she was driving at more than 100 miles per hour. Sadly, this is just one of the countless examples of drivers making poor decisions to use social media behind the wheel.
It is important for victims of distracted driving accidents to stand up for their legal rights. The physical, financial and emotional costs of accident-related injuries can be devastating, and holding negligent drivers accountable is one of the best ways to help in the fight against distracted driving. If you suspect that social media use may be to blame for your injuries, here are some highlights of what you need to know:
If the driver who hit you was using social media at the time of the crash, his or her social media posts may be admissible evidence in your case. If it turns out that the at-fault driver was doing something else (such as texting, looking up directions, or finding a playlist), your attorney can still examine the driver’s social media feeds to see if he or she has posted anything about the accident.
For accident victims, it is generally best to avoid posting photos or comments about the crash on social media. While a photo or comment may seem harmless, the other driver’s insurance company will be looking for any possible evidence to use against you. You do not want your social media posts to be misconstrued and create issues for your compensation claim.
Along with evidence of fault, the other key form of evidence in auto accident cases is proof of the cause and extent of your injuries. As a result, to protect your rights after an accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Along with another driver’s social media use, it is important to identify any additional potential factors in the accident as well. This means conducting a prompt investigation and collecting any available physical evidence before it disappears.
For more information about protecting your rights after an auto accident, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation. To speak with one of our experienced injury attorneys in confidence, please call (904) 737-4700 or send us your information online today.