Is it possible to obtain another driver’s cell phone records after an accident?

cell phone records

In 2014, over 400 people died as a result of cell phone-related distracted driving accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, making a case against a distracted driver can be complicated, especially when you need the cell phone records from the at-fault driver. It’s possible to obtain these records through a subpoena, but you need an attorney to first file a lawsuit on your behalf.

What Is a Subpoena?

A subpoena is a court order to appear in court or produce documents. These could include the cell phone records for a distracted driving case. When the court issues a subpoena to the at-fault driver’s cell phone carrier, the carrier must produce the cell phone records or face the following:

  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • Other penalties

When asking the court to issue a subpoena, keep in mind that most cell phone carriers only keep certain records such as cell phone logs for a limited time. Moving quickly to file a lawsuit and issue a subpoena is critical.

How Cell Phone Records Are Used

It’s important to note that the court cannot serve a subpoena until your attorney brings a lawsuit against the suspected distracted driver. Using cell phone records obtained by a subpoena, your attorney can show the following to prove the accident was caused by cell phone use:

  • The time of the accident. If you suspect the at-fault driver was using his cell phone, it’s important to log the time of the accident, report it to the responding police officer, and ask her to include that time in the police report, so your lawyer can use it in court.
  • The cell phone activity window. Cell phone records provided by the at-fault driver’s carrier can show times and durations of incoming and outgoing calls, timestamps on text messages, and data communications with satellites used in GPS features.

By showing a correlation between the time of a call or text message and the accident, your attorney can argue that the accident was in fact caused by the at-fault distracted driver.

Getting Help With Your Case

If you believe the driver who caused your accident was on his cell phone, it’s important to contact an experienced attorney to file a lawsuit and obtain cell phone records through a subpoena. The legal team at the Holton Law Firm provides excellent legal services to our clients, and we can help you, too. Contact us today by calling 888-443-4387.