Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers, GA
Providing Legal Advice and Representation for Injured Clients
The number of deadly car crashes has been reported to have doubled over the past decade, and distracted drivers appear to be the leading cause of the increase in fatal car accidents. Texting while driving and other forms of distracted driving are said to cause the death of over 3,000 teenagers every year in the United States.
So, what happens if you are hurt in a car crash caused by a distracted driver? The car accident lawyers at The Scott Pryor Law Group explain how distracted driving accident claims work in Georgia and what an attorney can do to help. Remember – if you were injured by a distracted driver, call The Scott Pryor Law Group at 678-325-3434.
What Is Considered Distracted Driving in Georgia?
When discussing the topic of distracted driving, the first image that comes to mind for many people is a driver texting while driving or talking on the phone. While using mobile devices is a form of distraction, anything that takes your attention away from the task of driving and focusing on the road ahead can be considered distracted driving.
Laws in Georgia mention three forms of distractions: (1) visual distractions that cause you to look away from the road or block your line of sight, (2) manual distractions that cause you to shift your focus to something you are doing with your hands and (3) cognitive distractions, which take your mind away from the road even if you are still physically looking at it. Watching a video or reading a text on a mobile device are examples of visual distractions. Looking for something in your car, eating, or adjusting the radio are examples of manual distractions (but can also be visual distractions). Talking on the phone is an example of a cognitive distraction, even when using a hands-free device.
Does Georgia Have Any Distracted Driving Laws?
The Georgia Hands-Free Law was signed by Governor Nathan Deal in 2018 and took effect that same year. The law is meant to address one of the main causes of distracted driving – the use of various electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle.
The law prohibits Georgia drivers from having a phone in their hands or touching any part of their bodies while driving and having a phone conversation. The law also makes it illegal for drivers to use their cell phones for texting, writing, reading messages, or using email, social media, and accessing any type of content using data while driving. Watching videos or recording videos while driving is not permitted. Drivers may use streaming apps to listen to music but cannot touch their devices to activate or adjust the streaming app while driving. Those convicted of distracted driving may be required to pay a fine and have points added to their driver’s license.
Who Is at Fault for a Distracted Driving Accident?
Distracted driving may play a crucial role in determining financial liability for an accident, but each accident is unique, and the fact that a person was engaging in distracted driving does not always mean they are 100% at fault for any damages resulting from an accident. A complete investigation of the accident scene and the circumstances surrounding the crash is needed to determine fault in a car accident.
Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which allows someone who is partially at fault for their accident to recover compensation as long as they are not more than 49% at fault. For example, if a person was found to be texting while driving and ran a stop sign, causing a serious accident, that person may be held 100% responsible for the accident and may not seek compensation for any damages. However, if the first driver was distracted and ran a stop sign, but another driver was speeding and also failed to stop at the stop sign, both drivers may share responsibility for the accident. The amount each at-fault party may be able to recover is impacted by the percentage of blame assigned to each one of them.
What Kind of Damages Can You Recover From a Distracted Driving Accident?
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be able to seek compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are tangible financial losses resulting from the crash. For example, medical care, hospital bills, lost wages, and property damage (such as your vehicle) are all examples of economic damages.
Non-economic damages include the more subjective effects of an accident. The pain associated with your injuries and recovery process, as well as emotional trauma, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life, are some examples of common non-economic damages that can be part of a distracted driving accident claim.
There is also a third category of compensatory damages called punitive damages. Punitive damages may only be available for plaintiffs in cases involving gross negligence on the part of the defendant. If a defendant caused damages to the plaintiff by acting recklessly or with extreme indifference for the safety of others, punitive damages may be awarded to the plaintiff in addition to standard damages. An attorney can advise you on the types of damages available for your specific case.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by distracted driving or have questions about a potential case, reach out to the The Scott Pryor Law Group at 678-325-3434 and request a no-commitment consultation to discuss your case with one of our distracted driving accident lawyers. Our legal team has assisted injured clients all over Georgia, and we are here to help you fight for maximum compensation for your damages.