Distracted Driving as Evidence

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A Jacksonville jury awarded $1 billion (yes BILLION) verdict against two trucking companies where a 17-year-old was killed during a traffic accident. The importance of this verdict is direct evidence of mobile phone usage or distracted driving at the time of the accident. The jurors sent a message to the trucking companies with the verdict amount. While certainly the verdict will be appealed to reduce damages, mobile phone data is extremely vital in today’s personal injury litigation. It is imperative attorneys secure mobile device data as early as possible. For defendants, having the key evidence may help in defending and resolving the case early on, and for the plaintiff’s bar, mobile phone data may reveal usage at or around the time of the accident supporting negligence.

According to the South Carolina Department of Insurance, South Carolina averages two crashes every hour involving a distracted drive and in 2019, South Carolina reported 18,936 collisions where distracted driving contributed to the accident.

Legal Eagle utilizes Cellebrite for digital forensic collections. Tim Thames is licensed in South Carolina (SLED) to collect and analyze mobile device data. Every project includes a full Cellebrite report for counsel to review. What is imperative is capturing the data as early as possible. If there is a death from an automobile collision, a full investigation normally takes place by highway patrol. Mobile phone data may be a part of the investigation. If not, attorneys should attempt to collect the evidence as soon as possible. Preserving data may avoid spoliation issues down the road. At the end of the day – everything a person posts, likes, chats, texts is potential evidence in a litigation case. Data extracted from a mobile device may contain evidence as to texting, messaging, posts to social media and other interactive actions with the mobile device. Records maintained by the device phone carrier, such as Verizon, AT&T, etc. may only have basic information of activity on the phone versus having all the evidence from a mobile phone extraction.

Contact Tim Thames tthames@legaleagleinc.com to learn more about mobile device forensics and information about preservation and collection of mobile device data.

By | October 06th, 2021 | eDiscovery, Forensics, south carolina | Comments Off

About the Author:

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Tim is a veteran of providing legal services and brings more than 28 years of hands-on litigation experience to the table, along with 14 years of concentrated eDiscovery knowledge.

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