In the course of filing an insurance claim, car insurance companies may ask for a wide range of information. Insurers often request your cell phone records as a way to investigate your actions during the accident and determine whether to deny or delay your claim. As such, you must have a clear understanding of what information you need to provide or when you might need to take legal action against your insurance company. Here, we cover everything you should know about cell phone records and car insurance claims.
Why Do Car Insurance Companies Ask to See Phone Records?
A car insurance company usually requests your phone records after you file a claim because they believe you are responsible for some sort of wrongdoing. Depending on the circumstances, insurers may suspect fraud or believe that your actions caused the accident in some way.
Additionally, a third party may sue you if you are at fault for an accident. In some cases, the court may order or issue a subpoena to obtain your cell phone records from the phone company if they believe you were driving distracted just prior to or during an accident. By looking at your phone records, they will be able to determine where you were and what you were doing around the time of the accident.
When Is It Necessary to Provide Phone Records?
It is not always possible to avoid giving your car insurance company your phone records. You or your insurance company may have your phone records subpoenaed if a lawsuit is being filed against you. This process involves a lawyer going to a judge and asking for the court to order you to turn over your phone records from the time and date specified. It is your obligation to provide your phone records should this warrant be granted.
Furthermore, your insurance policy may contain contractual provisions requiring that you disclose cell phone records to your insurer. By withholding your records, you risk having any claims you file denied by your insurer. Nevertheless, you must be careful when answering questions from your insurance company. Besides your conversations, your cell phone contains data that could map out your driving habits, obtained through mapping apps and GPS software. After an accident, you should always check with an experienced personal injury lawyer before sharing your cell phone records with anyone to be sure you are not revealing more information than is necessary.
Keep in mind that you do not have any legal responsibility to give another driver’s auto insurance company your cell phone records. After an accident, you may receive a phone call from the other driver’s insurer asking you for details about the accident and requesting your phone records. These records do not have to be given to them, nor do you have to contact or converse with them. Any statement you make can be interpreted as an indication that you caused the accident.
The Use of Cell Phone Records to Determine Fault
In Pennsylvania, the standard of modified comparative negligence governs the analysis of liability in auto accidents. As such, if the injured party is less than 51 percent at fault, their negligence or contribution to the accident will not prevent them from recovering damages and the damages will be reduced accordingly.
Consequently, if you were injured in a car accident, your insurer can use your cell phone records as evidence that you were distracted by a call or text right before the accident. The information from your mapping and GPS apps may also show that you were speeding or that you did not take adequate precautions to avoid an accident.
Car accident victims can benefit significantly from information collected on their cell phones. It is possible, though, that these records can be harmful if you were partially at fault. A car accident lawyer should understand how to make use of this data and protect your rights in order to recover as much compensation as you deserve.
We Can Help You if You Have Been in an Accident in Southeastern Pennsylvania
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford assist car accident victims throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania in recovering the maximum amount of damages possible to compensate them for their harm and damages. Using the cell phone records of third parties to demonstrate their negligence in the accident, as well as appropriately responding to other requests for information that may harm your claim or violate your rights, are some of the many ways in which our lawyers can help.
Schedule a free, confidential consultation with our legal team by filling out our online contact form or calling 215-822-7575 today.