A car accident lawyer, also referred to as a personal injury lawyer, has several roles when involved in an automobile accident case. When a car accident happens, it must be determined who was at fault, who will pay for any damages to the vehicles involved and who pays for any medical expenses in
curred. When an attorney is retained to represent one of the driver’s, he is tasked with obtaining evidence, negotiating with the prosecution, attending court proceedings, and advising his client.
“Car accidents can be caused by any number of hazards from people on their phones to drunk drivers or folks who just aren’t paying attention. Even a minor car wreck or truck collision can mean property damage to your car, personal injury or injury to family members in addition to lost wages and medical bills. Insurance companies are often quick to offer settlement amounts on behalf of their at fault drivers and those settlements are extended with the intent to resolve the claim for an amount favorable to the insurance company. If you are hurt never sign anything presented to you by the other guy’s insurance company until you have talked to an attorney.” – Craig Divine
With the prolific use of cell phones, particularly smartphones, an important way to prove or disprove who was at fault in a car accident is to access the drivers’ cell phone records. Accessing the location records can reveal whether the person was or was not at the scene of the accident.
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), hundreds of people die each year as the result of distracted drivers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claim that every day 8 people die and 1,161 are injured in distracted driver accidents. Use of a cell phone is one of the most frequent causes – talking on a cell phone, taking the driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off driving.
When an accident happens, it must be determined who was at fault. The insurance company’s claims adjuster usually accomplishes this by reviewing all available evidence – from police reports and witness testimonies to medical records and photos of the accident scene.
Obtaining cell phone records is complicated, but with a court-ordered subpoena a car accident lawyer can obtain the records of an at-fault driver by filing a lawsuit on behalf of a client, but it must be done quickly as cell phone logs are only available from most carriers for a limited time. [See Carpenter v. United States, No. 16-402, 585 U.S. ____ 2018] Law-enforcement officials may use cell-site records from someone’s cellphone provider to place them in the vicinity of a crime, or in this case, the car accident.
If you contend that the other driver was using his cell phone when the accident occurred, causing the accident, you need to contact an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. The attorney will file a lawsuit and obtain cell phone records through a subpoena. The attorney can argue that the accident was in fact caused by the at-fault distracted driver by showing the correlation between the time and location of the accident and location of the cell tower when the call was made.
Time of accident – If you suspect the at-fault driver was using his cell phone, it’s important to log the time of the accident, report it to the responding police officer, and ask that they include that time in the police report, so your lawyer can use it in court.
GPS Location – Cell phone records provided by the at-fault driver’s carrier can show times and durations of incoming and outgoing calls, timestamps on text messages, and data communications with satellites used in GPS features.
An experienced car accident lawyer will negotiate claims and settlements for the involved parties with the insurance company. Proving negligence is at the crux of figuring out who was at fault for the accident. The lawyer will advise that you NOT admit fault for the accident, even if you think you were. Do not apologize to the other party as this can be interpreted to be an admission of your guilt.
When personal injury has occurred, compensation to injured parties must be determined. The insurance adjuster must prove negligence in order to determine who was at fault; the adjuster and the car accident lawyer both know the state’s laws for proving negligence and while most state’s traffic laws are fairly uniform, when it comes to negligence the interpretation may be a bit more complicated. It’s important to your defense to have an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable to represent you if you are charged.
Craig Divine is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Kansas City. If you have been charged with being at fault in an accident, don’t hesitate to call today for a consultation to discuss your best options for defense. 816-474-2240. Visit our website here for more information about a car accident lawyer.
Divine Law Office LLC – Kansas City, MO – 104 W 9th St., Suite 404, Kansas City, MO 64105