Smart Phone Data: Finding Who is Really at Fault in a Car Crash.

Posted by Tab Lawhorn | Oct 25, 2021 | 0 Comments

I'm not going to write the 1 millionth blog post about how a cell phones are mini computers that store all your information and blah de blah dblah.  Most of you know that your phone is basically your DNA at this point.  It has your face stored in it.  It has your DNA on it, literally.  Gross but lets move on.  It also has your personality inside, your habits, and your deepest, darkest, secrets.  No, I'm not talking about your search history, although yes, I think that search history has even solved some murder cases if I recall.  I am referring to your physical movements, the places you go and when you got there, and when you left.  

So yes, if I took your phone and dumped it's data, I would see that on Thursday of last week, you went to Orange Theory for a work out and then, about two hours later, were at Baskin Robbins.  It is probably not ground breaking to you that type of information would be gathered from your phone.  But, lets say, you were in a car wreck.  And lets say, this wreck wasn't at a place where cameras were around and there were no eye witnesses to it, or if there were other drivers around, they were all on their phones and didn't see the crash.  That's likely.

If you claim that it wasn't your fault, your phone data could be very helpful in proving that you were in the right.  Does that mean that I am going to download your whole phone, pictures, text messages and all?  Of course not.  But a very specific download of the right data would tell us all we need to know to prove that you didn't cause the accident.  Some of the information we can get includes:

1.  Geolocation services.  This lets us know where you were at the time of the crash of course.  But it can also show us where you were coming from just before the collision.  Better yet, because over time your data has been collected, it is now being run through an AI that will predict where you were likely headed based on your driving patterns at that particular time of day.  This is incredibly helpful information if you are involved in a crash.

2.   Communication patterns.  In the old days, we would have to get your cell phone records and then look through all of your paper entries for phone calls or texts and the time they were sent.  Not really accurate but we could get close.  Now, in a few seconds, we can determine and prove that you were not texting at the time of the collision.

3.   Facial Recognition Data:   Here is something you may not know.  Even if we can prove you weren't texting at the time of the crash, how can we tell if you weren't looking at your phone or reading a text at the time of the collision?  Easy.  Depending on your settings, we can analyze your facial recognition data and can determine if you were looking at your phone at the time of the crash.  Most people don't know that is possible, but it is.

4.   Speed data:  Although not precise, the gps services on your phone will get us close to your speed at the time of the crash.  Your phone was traveling at a speed certain and it tracks that.  Then it stopped at the time of the crash.  We can determine, pretty accurately, the exact time of the point of impact and how fast the phone was traveling before it stopped.  

Obviously, all of this type of information is likely stored on the smart phone of the other driver.  Is it possible to get their phone data as well?  It is, but it isn't as easy as you would think.  There are some major fights had in courtrooms when someone wants access to a phone's data that isn't their own.  But it is possible.

And it might just be the key to you winning your case.

About the Author

Tab Lawhorn

Attorney, Tyler Office Tab E. Lawhorn is a principal partner at Lawhorn & Malouf, PLLC in Tyler, Texas. Mr. Lawhorn represents clients in Tyler and throughout Smith County who are victims of a personal injury caused by negligence. He regularly handles matters involving car wrecks, trucking accidents, wrongful death and premises liability.


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