How to Prove a Texting and Driving Accident in Illinois

How to Prove a Texting & Driving Accident in Illinois

Texting while driving is the most common form of distracted driving in Chicago and the United States. Distracted driving accidents have become a rampant issue, resulting in thousands of severe injuries and fatalities, according to the NHTSA. As a leading personal injury law firm based in Chicago, Curcio & Casciatio have witnessed the devastating consequences of car accidents involving texting while driving far too often.

If you or a loved one has suffered a severe bodily injury or wrongful death from a distracted driver, our car accident attorneys can help you recover compensation. Chicago personal injury lawyers at Curcio & Casciato can help in collecting evidence and proving negligence for your distracted driving personal injury case.

Call 312-321-1111 to schedule a free case review today. Our distracted driving attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so clients won’t owe any legal fees unless their legal claim is successful.

How Common Are Distracted Driving Accidents in the U.S.?

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Cell phones have become a major cause of fatal distracting driving accidents.

According to the NHTSA, in 2021, distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,522 people and caused injuries to approximately 362,415 individuals.

While Illinois law bans texting while driving, statistics emphasize the magnitude of the issue and the urgent need for stricter enforcement of laws, as well as legal action to hold those guilty of distracted driving accountable.

How Many Teen Crashes Involve Distraction?

According to the CDC, 39% of teen drivers confess to texting while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration highlights that young drivers, specifically those aged 15-17, are 21% less likely to be involved in deadly car accidents when they drive alone, without distractions from passengers.

If your teen has suffered injuries from an accident caused because the other driver was texting and driving in Chicago, seeking the expertise of a Chicago-based child injury lawyer could be a significant step in seeking compensation from the responsible party.

Common Types of Injuries From Texting and Driving Crashes

Any driver takes a risk any time they get behind the wheel, as driving poses risks inherently. A driver texting is more likely to cause injuries to the other driver than they are themselves, as tensing up before a car accident can cause additional damages. Our Chicago distracted driving car accident lawyers can help you pursue compensation for the following injuries and more:

  • Whiplash: Sudden stops or impacts caused by a distracted driver can lead to whiplash injuries, which may result in neck pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. For more information about whether you can pursue legal action, contact a Chicago whiplash lawyer today.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): Even a minor rear-end collision can lead to head injuries. These injuries can have long-term cognitive and emotional effects. A Chicago traumatic brain injury attorney can help victims obtain justice and fair compensation.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: High-impact crashes can cause damage to the spinal cord, potentially resulting in paralysis or other permanent disabilities. If you have suffered this type of injury due to a negligent driver, contact a Chicago spinal cord injury lawyer or a Chicago paralysis lawyer today.
  • Broken Bones: The force of an accident can lead to fractures in various parts of the body, including the arms, legs, and ribs.
  • Internal Injuries: Blunt force trauma in an accident can cause internal injuries, such as organ damage or internal bleeding, which may require surgery.
  • Emotional Trauma: The psychological impact of a texting and driving accident can be profound, leading to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.
  • Wrongful Death: Tragically, some texting and driving accidents result in fatalities, leaving families to cope with the grief of losing a loved one. If you’re currently enduring the aftermath of a loved one’s wrongful death, be sure to contact Chicago wrongful death attorneys at Curcio Law Offices.

Illinois Law About Cell Phone Use While Driving

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Every single state has some kind of law in place banning texting while driving, hand-held cell phone use while driving, or both. Additionally, in 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration banned commercial drivers from using handheld electronic devices while driving in any state.

To combat cell phone use behind the wheel, a major cause of fatal car accidents in Chicago, Illinois, is one of many states that has implemented strict laws and penalties to hopefully decrease the number of fatal crashes that occur every year. Illinois laws regarding texting while driving include the following key provisions:

  • Handheld Cell Phone Ban: It is illegal to use an electronic communication device while operating a motor vehicle. Electronic communication devices cannot be used to send a text message, browse the internet, or call without hands-free devices.
  • Teen Drivers: Teens under 19 cannot use any electronic communication devices.
  • School Zones and Construction Zones: In designated school crossing zones and construction zones, all drivers (including school bus drivers) are prohibited from using any electronic communication device. Hands-free devices are allowed.
  • Penalties: Violations of Illinois’ texting while driving laws can result in fines for moving violation, license suspensions on your driving record, increased car insurance premiums, and even possible vehicular homicide charges.

While these laws are in place to deter texting while driving, they are only effective if they are enforced against those who are driving distracted. Chicago personal injury attorneys like those at Curcio & Casciato work to ensure that distracted drivers are held responsible for their actions when car accidents occur.

How to Prove Distracted Driving Caused an Accident in Chicago

Proving the at-fault driver was texting while driving at the time of the car accident can be difficult, but an experienced attorney has experience proving negligence in court. Below are some of the best ways attorneys can prove texting while driving. 

Below, we break down how to prove a texting while driving accident occurred.

Cell Phone Records

Our Chicago injury attorneys will gather evidence and if necessary, will subpoena the cell phone records of the at-fault driver.

Gathering cell phone records is a critical step in collecting evidence. Subpoenaing the distracted driver’s phone records can can prove the driver was texting while driving.

Most cell phones have traceable data attached to them, and analyzing the phone records can provide a clear timeline and help correlate that the driver was distracted when the accident occurred.

How Far Back Can Text Messages Be Subpoenaed?

No law or statute sets limitations on how far back cell phone records can be subpoenaed. Most companies keep records for 1-2 years.

How Much Does it Cost to Subpoena Text Messages?

The cost to obtain cell phone records through a subpoena varies. Providers of cell phones have varying charges.

This this type of personal injury case, these records can help your Chicago car accident lawyer prove negligence per se. If you were involved in a vehicle accident, and you can prove the other driver was texting while driving when the accident occurred, this proves they are the at-fault driver since Illinois has banned it.

Witness Statements

Eyewitnesses to the accident can provide valuable eyewitness testimony regarding the at-fault driver’s behavior leading up to the crash. Witness testimony can also help establish that the driver was distracted by their phone, providing critical evidence they are a negligent driver.

Obtaining Video Evidence From Intersections or Security Cameras

Many accidents occur at intersections or near businesses with traffic cameras. Our experienced attorneys can obtain traffic camera footage from these cameras to demonstrate what the negligent driver was doing leading up to the crash.

Searching the Motor Vehicle of the Distracted Driver

In order to determine if a form of distracted driving, such as texting while driving, caused a car accident, it’s important to search the car of the at-fault driver.

Expert Testimony

Chicago injury attorneys may also enlist the expertise of accident reconstruction specialists or forensic experts to provide technical analysis of the accident. These experts can help establish the actions of the at-fault driver and the role of texting while driving in a car crash.

Our Chicago injury lawyers will gather evidence to build strong a strong legal claim, proving that texting and driving was the cause of a crash. This helps our clients recover maximum financial compensation in these cases.

Compensation for Texting and Driving Accident Victims in Illinois

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Victims of texting and driving accidents often suffer physical, emotional, and financial hardships in the months and years following a crash. Damages that may be recoverable in a texting and driving accident case can include:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Property Damage
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Wrongful Death

Punitive Damages: In cases of extreme recklessness, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the texting driver and deter any other driver who drives distracted from engaging in similar behavior.

Chicago Distracted Driving Car Accident Lawyers

Texting and driving accidents continue to plague our roads, causing immense harm to individuals and families. Proving that texting and driving was the cause of a crash involves collecting compelling evidence, such as cell records, witness testimony, police reports, and video evidence, and presenting it effectively in court. It is essential to hold distracted drivers accountable for their negligence and to send a strong message that texting and driving will not be tolerated.

If you’ve been injured in a texting and driving accident and want to recover damages, contact a Chicago car accident lawyer at Curcio & Casciato. Call 312-321-1111 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at our leading law firm.

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