Although Elgin, South Carolina is the scene of fewer car accidents than the nearby city of Columbia, collisions still occur on Interstate 20, SC Highway 12, or US Route 1. Most of them have distracted driving as the main cause, especially texting and driving. Unfortunately, liability for texting and driving car accidents is quite difficult to prove under South Carolina laws.
Distracted Driving under SC Laws: The Challenges of Proving Texting and Driving in Elgin
Although the South Carolina Department of Insurance warns drivers that all activities that could distract their attention from the road while driving are dangerous, at the moment, the laws in force throughout the state only sanction texting and driving.
Not only is the $25 fine per offense too low to actually discourage the habit, but the offense is also difficult to prove. Drivers can always claim that they were using their phone for something else, so anyone accusing them of texting will need concrete evidence.
State Republican Bill Taylor acknowledged this and took action. If approved, the bill proposal he issued at the end of January could prohibit drivers from using holding their phones and driving. Unfortunately, until that happens, only texting and driving remains prohibited.
This makes things quite difficult for the victims of texting and driving car accidents in Elgin, SC. If you are one of them, your best bet is to consult an auto accident lawyer as soon as possible. Proving liability will not be easy, but experienced lawyers have their own strategies and resources.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Prove Texting and Driving in Elgin, SC
After being involved in a car accident, you are probably in pain, stressed about having to manage without your car until it gets out of the repair shop, and worried that your budget won’t be able to cope with the unforeseen expenses.
Between that and your already hectic daily routine, it is possible that you don’t even know where to begin when it comes to gathering evidence that the driver at fault for the accident was texting and driving. If you hire an Elgin car accident lawyer, they can take over this burden, and they may do a better job than you ever could. Here are some of the strategies experienced attorneys use in order to prove texting and driving:
- Issue Subpoenas under Rule 45 from South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedures: Subpoenas are procedures that allow lawyers to obtain information from parties that are not directly involved in a trial. For example, they may subpoena the driver’s mobile carrier to provide their phone records, to see if they sent any text messages. They can also subpoena any witnesses to testify regarding the circumstances in which the accident took place and what the driver was doing.
- Monitor the driver’s social media accounts: Sometimes, drivers do not send text messages, but communicate through instant messages with their social media contacts, comment on social media posts or update their own profile. They may also post about the accident or talk about it with their friends, and confess that they were not paying attention to the road when the accident occurred.
- Send Requests for Production under Rule 34 from South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure: Your attorney may request access to the other driver’s email account to check if the driver sent any emails around the time of the accident, or have an expert check the driver’s phone looking for deleted or draft messages or some other proof that the driver was texting behind the wheel.
- Obtain any video recordings from the area in which the accident took place: If there are any public institutions, stores, banks, or gas stations in the area where the accident took place, their video surveillance systems may have recorded the accident or the seconds preceding it, and the driver at fault holding their phone or looking down at it.
- Analyze the police report or the Traffic Collision Report: Accidents that result in damages of minimum $1,000 or injuries require reporting to the police. Most of the times, a police officer comes to the scene to investigate and files an accident report detailing their findings. When the police do not come to the scene, the drivers have an obligation to file the Traffic Collision Report. An experienced lawyer may be able to find details that will help them prove texting and driving in any of these reports.
There are many other strategies a lawyer can use to pursue their clients’ interests following texting and driving car accidents in Elgin, SC. To find out what these strategies are and identify the best ones for your particular case, you should consult a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Schedule a Consultation with an Elgin Auto Accident Attorney Now!
At Connell Law Firm, we have been helping numerous car accident victims prove distracted driving and obtain the compensation they deserve. We will gladly help you prove the other driver was texting and driving before your accident in Elgin, South Carolina if you give us a chance. Call our office now at (803) 310-5700 or use the online contact form and schedule a consultation.