Using Phone Records in an Auto Accident Case

Phone records can help your auto accident attorney prove that the other driver was using their cell phone at the time of your car accident.

The most dreaded result for you and your St. Louis auto accident attorney is to be locked in a “he said, she said” personal injury case. The reason is that these situations rarely yield favorable results unless new evidence comes to light. One example of further proof is cell phone records, which can indicate driver distraction at the time of the accident. This new information can turn the tides of your claim, so pursuing it is worth your consideration.


The critical factor in personal injury cases is fault. As a result, what you need to do is assess the conditions surrounding your accident. That can mean liability for you, the other driver, a third party, or a combination of the three. Once you calculate rough percentages for each party’s fault, you can craft a strategy for obtaining compensation. The reason that this concept is relevant to the current discussion is that you can argue that texting or talking on the phone is a negligent behavior and that one party could be liable for engaging in it.

Dangerous Phone Use Behaviors

The three most dangerous behaviors people engage in with their phones are talking, texting, and internet browsing. Each of them generally takes people’s attention off the road and their hands off the wheel. The results can be disastrous, as distracted driving is one of the top causes of accidents and fatalities across the country.

Your Word Against Theirs

If another driver is using their phone when they hit you, you may have a case against them. Unfortunately, they might deny their usage despite you clearly seeing that they were. The result will be a “your word against theirs” situation, which rarely gets resolved. You do have one option that can prove the legitimacy of your claim, though.

Using Cell Phone Records

The best way to prove phone use is through company records. If you can get access to them, you can show that the other party was using their phone at the time of the accident, or at least just before it. This will strengthen your case and lead to a more favorable settlement. In the context of a negotiation outside of court, your lawyer will use the records as leverage to sweeten your deal. If you end up at a trial, the judge will take the data into account.

How to Obtain Them

As you might imagine, you can’t just find somebody else’s private information online. What you can do, though, is ask your lawyer to draft a subpoena. This is a legal document that is essentially a request for the data to be released. Your attorney will argue to the cell phone company that the information is needed for your case, and they will often comply.

If your request is denied or the records do not indicate wrongdoing, then you can simply move on. On the other hand, if you prove that another party was using their cell phone, that could be the break you need to shift the case in your favor.

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