Distracted driving is a leading cause of traffic crashes in the state of Georgia. According to the Department of Transportation in Georgia, the number of distracted driving accidents has increased 400% in the past 10 years. Research has shown that drivers who operate their vehicles while texting are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also adds that it typically takes a driver 4.6 seconds to read and reply to a text, which is enough time to travel the distance of a football field if traveling at 55 mph. Keep in mind that taking your eyes off the road for only 2 seconds significantly increases your risk of causing an accident.
Driving while distracted is negligent behavior. While distracted driving is commonly associated with texting while driving, there are many forms of distracted driving. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving a distracted driver, you have the legal right to pursue compensation from the responsible party.
An experienced Fayetteville distracted driving accident lawyer at Wade Law can help you get the justice and financial compensation that you and your family deserve. Contact our car accident attorneys today at 770-282-1188 to schedule your first free initial consultation.
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What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving refers to the act of driving while engaging in other activities that divert your attention from the primary task of driving. When a driver isn’t fully focused on their driving and on the road, they put their safety and that of other road users at great risk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three main types of distracted driving:
These are distractions that take the driver’s eyes off the road. These include activities such as observing billboards, checking the infotainment system, looking at an accident or event at the side of the road, etc.
These are distractions that cause the driver to take their hands off the wheel. Keep in mind that taking even one hand off the wheel significantly increases the risk of an accident as the driver is not able to properly control their vehicle in case of an emergency. Manual distractions include fiddling with the radio, eating, smoking, etc.
This refers to any activity that takes the driver’s mind off the task of driving. Even if a driver has their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, if their minds aren’t focused on their driving, they can cause an accident. Types of cognitive distractions include daydreaming, worrying about something, planning for a future task or even, engaging with a passenger or another driver, etc.
If you’ve noticed, texting while driving hasn’t been listed in any of the above categories. This is because it doesn’t fit into one specific category as it encompasses aspects of all three categories. This is what makes it one of the most serious examples of distracted driving.
Laws Regarding Distracted Driving in Georgia
Georgia has introduced various laws in a bid to curb the increased number of accidents caused by distracted driving. While Georgia State Law mainly focuses on texting and driving, a driver can be potentially cited for any distracted driving behavior while driving.
The passage of Georgia’s Hands-Free Law in July 2018 made it illegal for any driver to have their phones in their hands or touching any part of their body while talking on it.
It also prohibits writing, sending, or reading text messages, social media content, and emails while driving even with voice-to-text technology.
It is illegal to take pictures or watch/record videos while driving.
School drivers are prohibited from the use of any cell phone, even hands-free.
The state of Georgia prohibits distracted driving in general.
However, the state creates exceptions for:
- Drivers reporting an emergency
- First responders performing their official duties
- Employees of a utility service provider
- Motorists who are legally parked
What Kinds of Damages Can Victims Recover in a Distracted Driving Accident Claim in Georgia?
Victims harmed in a Georgia distracted driving accident can recover the following types of damages:
These are meant to compensate the victim for monetary losses caused as a result of their injuries. These include past, current, and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, rehabilitation costs, and more.
Non-economic damages are designed to compensate the victim for subjective and non-monetary losses suffered by the victim as a result of their injuries. These include, but are not limited to, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of limb function, disfigurement, and loss of companionship.
These types of damages aren’t always awarded in distracted driving accident cases since they are meant to punish the at-fault driver for grossly negligent, malicious, or intentional acts that cause harm.
If awarded, the state of Georgia limits the amount awardable to $250,000.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim in Georgia?
The statute of limitations for distracted driving accident claims in Georgia, as with other personal injury cases, is two years from the date of the accident.
Why Do I Need a Fayetteville Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer?
Providing sufficient proof that the other driver was distracted at the time of the accident is never easy. However, distracted driving attorneys have extensive experience dealing with such cases and know exactly what to look for.
At Wade Law, we will get started investigating your case and collecting all the necessary evidence to prove your claim. This includes gathering phone records, dashcam footage, video surveillance, police reports, witness reports, and any other relevant pieces of evidence. We will also review your medical records to determine the extent of your injuries and how they will impact you and your finances.
We will also handle settlement negotiations on your behalf and fight for a favorable settlement deal.
If necessary we will prepare your case for trial and fight aggressively for your rights before a court.
Get Professional Legal Help Today!
At Wade Law, we are committed to helping victims of distracted driving accidents get the justice and financial compensation rightfully owed to them. Motorists are required to have their full attention on their driving at all times to ensure safety on the road. However, when this doesn’t happen, they put themselves and others at risk and should be held accountable for any harm caused by their negligent behavior.
Our experienced attorneys are prepared to offer you the necessary legal assistance from the beginning to the end of the process. Call us today at 770-282-1188 to schedule your free consultation with a Fayetteville distracted driving accident lawyer.