Distracted driving continues to plague our country’s roads. It is currently the leading cause of traffic accidents in the United States, surpassing speeding, drunk driving, and other major causes of accidents. Distracted driving accidents lead to injuries, loss of life, and loss of property. Texting while driving, which is one of the most common forms of distracted driving, is against the law in Georgia.
If you were injured, lost a loved one, or suffered property damage or loss of property in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver, talk to the Decatur distracted driving lawyers at SHElaw firm® since you could be entitled to financial damages.
We can investigate your case, gather evidence to prove the other driver was at fault, negotiate with the insurance company for a favorable settlement, and take your case to court if necessary.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving refers to any action that results in the driver losing focus on the road while driving. When most people think of distracted driving, texting is usually what comes to mind. However, distracted driving is of several different types and covers a wide range of actions.
Types of Distracted Driving
There are three main types of distracted driving.
Visual distractions cause drivers to take their eyes off the road. Examples of visual distractions include:
- Reading text messages or any other type of content on your cell phone
- Focusing on a passenger while talking to them
- Looking in the mirror to check your appearance
- Looking at video from an electronic device, including your cellphone or car’s entertainment system
- Looking at a GPS device or map
Manual distractions refer to when the driver is distracted by something that involves the hands, which means they are unable to fully control the vehicle. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Eating and/or drinking
- Taking a call
- Adjusting the stereo
- Personal grooming (applying makeup, combing hair, putting on clothes, etc.)
Cognitive distractions are those that take the driver’s mind off the road for extended periods of time. They don’t just distract visually and physically, but also mentally. Examples include but aren’t limited to:
- Focusing on stressful situations unrelated to the drive
- Disciplining or caring for children
- Focusing on a phone call or conversation with a passenger
It is your legal responsibility to exercise care when using the road as a motorist. The best way to fulfill this obligation is by having all your focus on the road without getting distracted. Distracted driving can and often results in serious accidents that cause injuries, property damage, and death.
Laws Regarding Distracted Driving in Georgia
Georgia enacted the Hands-Free Law on July 1, 2018, which was intended to curb distracted driving in the state. The law allows for the usage of hands-free technology when operating phones and other wireless communication devices while driving.
Here are some of the things you should know regarding the Hands-Free Law in Georgia:
- You are prohibited from watching videos and movies while driving. However, this excludes GPS that helps with navigation.
- You are prohibited from sending, reading, or texting any message on your mobile device while driving.
- You are prohibited from physically holding or supporting any electronic gadget with your budget except for emergencies such as calling an ambulance or 911.
- You are barred from recording or broadcasting anything while driving. However, this excludes devices designed to continually record or broadcast pictures and/or videos inside or outside the vehicle.
What Damages Can Victims Get from a Distracted Driving Accident Claim in Georgia?
If you were the unfortunate victim of an auto accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to economic damages, non-economic damages, and perhaps even punitive damages depending on the circumstances.
Economic damages compensate you for financial losses that can be calculated, such as lost wages, medical bills, and other out-of-pocket expenses. Non-economic damages compensate you for losses that are not easy to measure, such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement, etc.
Punitive damages are intended to punish the at-fault party and deter others. To receive punitive damages, you must prove that the at-fault driver was guilty of extreme recklessness or engaged in willful misconduct.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim in Georgia?
States typically have a fixed time period within which one is required to file a lawsuit, which is referred to as the statute of limitations. If you have been the victim of a distracted driving accident in Georgia, you have 2 years from the accident date to file a personal injury claim. If you don’t file the claim within this period, you may be unable to ever do so in the future.
Why Do I Need a Decatur Distracted Driving Lawyer?
If you are the unfortunate victim of a Decatur auto accident involving distracted driving, it is important to hire and retain a lawyer such as those at SHElaw firm® who can help with the following:
- Conducting an independent investigation into the accident
- Gathering all available evidence to prove that the other driver was distracted
- Offering sound legal advice as required throughout your case
- Helping you understand the legal options available to you
- Communicating with the other party and their legal team on your behalf
- Reviewing the details of the accident and assessing your damages
- Answering all your questions about the claims process
- Filling out your legal paperwork and filing it with the court
- Pursuing a full and fair settlement with the insurance companies
- Taking your case to trial if necessary.
Have You Been Injured in a Decatur Distracted Driving Accident? We Can Help!
The distracted driving lawyers at the SHElaw firm® in Decatur, GA routinely represent clients who sustained injuries in accidents with distracted drivers. We are ready to assist you with your situation. Call us today at 470-378-1162 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible case.