Accidents caused by distracted driving have doubled in the past decade as mobile devices have become more and more numerous, especially among teenage drivers. The state of Georgia has recently created the Hands-Free Law in order to address this growing problem. But what happens if you are found to be at fault for a distracted driving accident? Our firm discusses how distracted driving can impact liability determination in car accidents and why working with an attorney may benefit your case.
What Is Considered Distracted Driving in Georgia?
In Georgia, distracted driving is understood as anything that takes the driver’s attention away from the task of driving and keeping their focus on the road ahead. Distractions can be manual, visual, cognitive, or a combination of these three factors. Manual distractions are activities such as looking for something in the glove compartment or adjusting the radio. Visual distractions can be watching videos or reading a text message. Cognitive distractions can include having a phone conversation or arguing with someone in the car.
The problem with distractions caused by a mobile phone is that they are often cognitive, visual, and manual. Holding the device and touching the screen is a manual distraction, looking at the device screen is a visual distraction, and using it to talk to someone or do any tasks such as answering a text or checking for notifications are cognitive distractions. In Georgia, distracted driving can be considered a misdemeanor and could result in fines and points added to one’s driver’s license.
What Happens if I Am at Fault for a Distracted Driving Accident?
If you were found to be at fault for a distracted driving accident, you may still be able to recover some compensation for your damages in some cases. The state of Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence rule which allows someone who was partially responsible for their own accident to recover damages compensation. However, that person may not be 50% at fault or more, or they may be barred from seeking damages. In addition, the amount the distracted driver may receive can be reduced in proportion to their percentage of fault.
In other words, if you were engaged in an activity that is considered distracted driving at the time of the accident, your percentage of fault can directly impact your ability to recover compensation. You will need to demonstrate that the other person was also negligent and also contributed to the accident in some capacity. For these reasons, working with a skilled car accident attorney is fundamental for your case.
How Can I Get Compensation if I Was Injured by a Distracted Driver?
On the other hand, if you are a victim of an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages by filing an insurance claim or initiating a personal injury lawsuit in court. If the distracted driver has auto insurance, you may file a claim with their auto insurance carrier to recover payment for your losses.
If the other driver did not have insurance or their insurance coverage was insufficient to pay for the full extent of your damages, you should speak to a car accident attorney to learn the best options for your case. You may be able to file an UIM (uninsured motorist claim) with your own insurance carrier if your policy provides UIM coverage. If that is not an option, your attorney may then recommend taking your case to court and filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney for My Case?
Whether you are facing civil and legal consequences for distracted driving or are a victim of a distracted driver seeking justice, speaking to a skilled personal injury and car accident attorney should be your priority. Your attorney can help you by investigating the circumstances of the accident and building a strong argument in your favor.
No matter if you just need help negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company or need a strong legal ally to represent you in a personal injury trial, The Scott Pryor Law Group is here to help. Call 678-325-3434 to learn more.