Florida drivers who text on their phones while behind the wheel aren’t just breaking the law. They’re endangering themselves and others on the road. If you’re involved in a crash with a driver whom you believe was texting, is there any way to prove it?
There are more traffic cameras on our roads and highways than ever. It’s possible for a driver to get caught on camera texting just prior to the crash.
Others on the road may also have seen the driver texting with their phone against the steering wheel or even on their lap. Witnesses to the crash may be able to provide eyewitness testimony that a person was texting just prior to the crash.
Can police look through a person’s phone after a crash?
Checking a person’s phone would be the obvious way to find out. However, police can’t just demand that someone hand over their phone. They can (and often do) ask. Sometimes, a driver is so shaken up that they comply without thinking, providing their own self-incriminating evidence.
Under Florida law, however, an officer “must inform the motor vehicle operator of his or her right to decline a search of his or her wireless communications device.” They’re not allowed to access it without permission or a warrant, and they can’t take it while waiting for a warrant. The law also states that “in the event of a crash resulting in death or personal injury, a user’s billing records for a wireless communications device…may be admissible as evidence….”
You can hold an at-fault driver liable even if you can’t prove they were texting
While a driver who causes a crash can face additional penalties for texting while driving, it may not be relevant to your ability to hold their insurance company (and potentially them personally) responsible for covering your expenses and damages. If they ran a red light, for example, before hitting you, they’re just as responsible if they did it because they were busy texting as if they simply tried to beat the light and failed.
If you’re going to be dealing with medical bills and financial losses like lost wages because of a negligent or reckless driver, don’t settle for less than the maximum compensation you’re due. Having legal guidance can help.