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Use of cellphone records in distracted driving cases

It is not news to say that distracted driving is dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is responsible for the loss of nearly 3,000 lives each year, and an estimated 400,000 injuries. Though states continue to crack down on distracted driving, there is still more to do. 

Though a driver may face several distractions, cellphones continue to be the number one disruption. Because of this, many personal injury attorneys attempt to use data from the electronic device to secure maximum compensation for their clients. 

Obtaining cellphone data

According to the report by the NHTSA, “Investigation and Prosecution of Distracted Driving Cases,” the source of distraction is almost always likely to be a cellphone or other electronic device. As a result, the plaintiff’s attorney will likely attempt to obtain the device and extract evidence from it. The NHTSA explains that if the lawyer cannot access the device, he or she may attempt to subpoena cellphone records. 

Finding expert witnesses to interpret data

Backing a claim with cellphone records is not enough, however. To make a strong case, the attorney may need to retain the expertise of a mobile device forensic examiner or analyst. This professional can interpret the data and confirm whether or not the defendant was, in fact, using his or her cellphone at the time of the crash. 

The plaintiff’s lawyer may also ask a representative of the cellphone company, or the custodian of the records, to explain the data from the device. A researcher who can explain the most common distractions related to driving may also be a valuable witness in the case.