Q: Are text messages allowed as evidence in a truck accident case?
Text messages are generally allowed as evidence in a truck accident case. While the negligent operator is unlikely to admit to texting while driving, your attorney can request and review telecommunication evidence that proves otherwise.
Text Messages as Evidence
Smartphones make communication by text effortless. They also provide message histories that are often useful in legal proceedings. Even if a phone user deletes his messages, his mobile carrier can provide evidence that shows texting activity at the time of the accident. A vehicle accident attorney can submit these messages to the court under the rules of evidence, provided that:
- They're relevant to the case. This is typically an easy requirement for an attorney to meet, since texting behavior that may have caused or contributed to the truck accident is certainly relevant.
- They're authentic. In order for text messages to be admissible, the identity of the sender must be established. Merely proving the messages in question originated from the trucker’s smartphone isn’t sufficient, since phones are often shared by multiple people. However, circumstantial evidence, such as the content of the messages that were sent, may be used to establish the sender’s identity.
Obtaining Phone Records
If you’ve been injured in a truck collision, your attorney can obtain the trucker’s phone records to determine if he was texting at the time of the accident. During the discovery process, he may formally request these records. If his request is refused, he can file a subpoena to compel the phone company to release the driver’s account records. These records may then be examined to determine if any text messages were sent or received during the moments before the collision.
Your attorney may use this information to support your claim, and help you receive compensation for your medical bills and loss of income. To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.