After a car accident that someone else caused, it can be frightening to know that the insurance company is trying to pinpoint the fault on you. Many factors can cause a car accident, and often, car insurance companies will look at a wide range of details to determine if they can shift the blame to the victim. They will try to gather evidence in many ways.
Can a car insurance company request my phone records? What about other data about what was happening in the car, such as conversations with passengers or whether the GPS navigation was on?
At John Foy & Associates, we work to protect any sensitive information and prevent insurance companies from gathering information they do not need. If you are faced with situations like this, protect yourself with the help of our Atlanta car accident attorney. Get a free case evaluation now.
Does a Car Insurance Company Have the Right to Request My Phone Records?
It is possible for insurance companies to pursue this type of evidence. In nearly all situations, they will do so if they believe you could have been distracted while driving and that distraction is what caused or contributed to the accident.
To obtain your phone records, the insurance company must take legal action to do so. That is, while you can certainly provide that information if you would like to, especially if it shows you were not using your phone or otherwise distracted, you may be able to refuse this information initially.
To obtain it, the insurance company could request that a judge release the information. They may request this information through a court order, for example.
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Is a Car Insurance Company Likely to Ask for My Phone Records?
Generally speaking, they have the right to obtain all evidence related to the case, and that often includes any phone records related to the incident. It is quite common for insurance companies to request this information, and you can expect that they will actually look through it as well, which is why it is critical to have an attorney who can help you limit access to sensitive information and help you defend against any claims of responsibility after the car accident occurs.
What Type of Information Could the Insurance Want from Your Driving Records?
With phone records, the insurance company can do a great deal to gather information to prove you are at fault in an accident. Here are some of the ways they may be able to do that:
- They will use your phone information to determine if you were on the phone while the accident occurred. If so, that could prove you were distracted.
- The insurance company may determine if you were texting at the same time or just before the accident, also to prove that you were distracted.
- GPS navigation systems can provide valuable information, too, such as if you were punching in a new address while driving or even what speed you were traveling at during the accident (depending on the logs these systems keep).
- Were you playing a game on your phone while the accident was occurring, or perhaps using an app? That also proves a distraction.
- In some situations, phones will have a timestamp on videos and phones. The insurance company may gather information to prove that you were at fault because you were recording yourself, talking on a video phone, or otherwise using your camera while driving.
For all of these reasons, it is critical that you have a strategy in place to mitigate your risks. Working with a car accident legal team with ample experience is one of the best ways to ensure you do not end up a victim for a second time.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Right to Compensation?
When you are faced with a request like this, you may be unsure what to do. Here are several steps to consider:
- If you know you were not on or using your phone in any way at the time of the accident or right before, then you may be able to just provide the information they request. However, you have to feel comfortable doing that.
- You could wait for the insurance company to request that the court release the records. This would be done during the discovery phase of a claim or a lawsuit.
- If you are required by the court to provide this information, and you fail to do so, the court will hold you in contempt of court. At that point, you are likely to owe fines, and the judge will subpoena the records from the cell phone company anyway.
There are situations where your records could put you at risk. For example, if the time on the police report of when the accident occurred is not very accurate, you may have phone records that show you were using your phone when the incident occurred even when you know you were not. This is why ensuring you have all of the evidence you need to back up any claim is critical.
Keep in mind that your case may have other factors that play a role in your outcome. Before you simply hand over your records to the insurance company, speak to a car accident attorney to discuss your case fully. Our team at John Foy & Associates has the tools and resources to guide you, along with the dedication to help you fight back against claims.
Set Up a Free Consultation with Our Attorneys Now
Could a car insurance company request your phone records and put your case at risk? Let us help you find out what to do next. Contact John Foy & Associates now to request a free case review.
There is nothing for you to pay, but you will learn from our decades of experience what legal strategies you can take to protect your privacy and ensure you have ample protection for your claim. Contact us now to get the legal guidance you need.