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Can the Legal System Use Cell Records to Establish Fault in a Road Accident?



Traffic accidents have been on the rise in recent years. “Many factors cause these crashes, and some may be out of the driver’s control,” says Jon Ostroff of Ostroff Injury Law. However, if statistics are anything to go by, many accidents today are caused by distractions on the driver’s part.

A simple mistake can lead to a fatal crash that causes damages worth thousands of dollars and claims multiple lives. In the unfortunate situation where an accident occurs, one of the first courses of action is determining the liable party.

There has to be extensive research from experienced individuals for this to happen. It is worth noting that the US court system requires fault to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, all aspects of the crash need to be carefully analyzed, leaving no room for error. This entails investigating all factors that could have caused a distraction.

Road Distractions

Many factors could be identified as distractions while driving, including personal grooming, conversing with other occupants in the car, snacking, and texting. While many drivers are tempted to engage in any of these distractions during boring commutes, they can lead to catastrophic accidents that can take innocent lives.

Cell Phones as Distractions

It is evident that cell phone use can cause distractions that could ultimately lead to motor vehicle accidents. So, can investigators use cell phone records to find the liable driver and establish fault?

First off, you need to know that cell phone data is easily tracked as it has a straightforward path of flow from cell phone towers to relay stations to satellites and servers. Today, cell phone data generates carrier codes, indexes, and timestamps, which the providers keep in call logs for billing.

Despite the existence of this data, cell phone carriers cannot easily hand it over to investigators. This is because it would be an infringement of customer privacy and would probably cause lawsuits from customers.

Cell Phone Data Can Be Used to Establish Fault

However, in some instances, law agencies can compel cell phone carriers to hand over cell data when it is proven that this information presents quantifiable evidence that they could use to establish fault.

Therefore, attorneys have to make their case and prove that cell data can indeed be helpful to the case for the court to compel carriers to release cell data to the justice system. Therefore, the simple answer is yes; law agencies can use cell phone records to establish fault in motor vehicle accidents.

However, it is complicated since getting access to this information requires a defined set of protocols. Hence, if you are ever involved in such accidents, it would be best to seek the services of an established lawyer to help you understand the next course of action and whether cell records are applicable.


Suppose you get injured by a distracted driver. In that case, you should seek the services of an experienced attorney who will then investigate the underlying factors and determine possible areas that could point to a fault. If the driver was indeed using a cell phone at the time of the accident, the next course of action would be to determine whether you can access the cell records.


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