As a private citizen, am I allowed to request texting records of the person who hit me?

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As a private citizen, am I allowed to request texting records of the person who hit me?

I was in a car accident where I was stopped at a red light and someone rear-ended me. I suspect that the person who hit me was texting because my car was stopped and the light just turned green when he hit me. I went to an urgent care clinic for shoulder and neck pain left side. I was given a shot of muscle relaxers and a prescription for muscle relaxers as well. I was unable to take the prescription and function at work because they made me too sleepy so I just had to work through the pain. I had to take off time for work to take my car in for repairs as well. The insurance company is offering me $700 for pain and suffering and $244 for lost wages. I don’t think this is a fair amount because I am now anxious at stop lights and I was in pain for 2- 3 weeks after the accident. I also had to uber to the car repair place and that’s not cheap. Can I view his texting records at the time of the accident to see if he was texting. I didn’t call the cops after the accident

which was a mistake.

Asked on May 8, 2017 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The *only* way you could access his records would be to file a lawsuit against him in "regular" county court (e.g. not small claims) for his negligence (careless driving) and, in the course of that lawsuit, use the legal processes of "discovery" (e.g. document production requests; written interrogatories or questions; subpoenas) to get the records from him and/or his service provider. Only a lawsuit gives you access to the legal tools or processes you need; therefore, you'd have to sue first, before knowing if you have any grounds to sue; and as stated, you have to file in regular, not small claims court to use discovery, which will increase the cost and complexity of the suit.


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