Texting While Driving Accidents
Texting while driving is dangerous. While texting, a driver's eyes are off the road. He may be unaware of any potential dangers, placing himself and others at risk of injury or even death. A driver who fails to be attentive to changing road conditions may cause catastrophic or even fatal injuries. If you were a victim of a texting while driving accident, you should discuss the viability of a personal injury claim with the Atlanta car accident lawyers at Van Sant Law. We can sign up your case electronically if you are concerned about your safety, but we are also happy to visit you at your home if that is your preference.Texting While Driving Accidents
Texting requires visual and cognitive attention, as well as physical attention. A driver who texts while driving at 55 mph may travel the distance of a football field while performing an act that is equivalent to driving blindfolded. A driver's ability to react to changing road conditions may result in braking too slowly to avoid an accident. For example, if a driver is unexpectedly cut off by another driver while texting and driving, he may rear-end the other driver.
It is illegal to hold a cell phone in your hand while driving in Georgia. While voice-to-text is allowed, drivers are not allowed to write, read, or send text messages or social media posts even if they have hands-free technology. Under O.C.G.A. 40-6-241.2, nobody who is 18 or older or who has a class C license is permitted to drive on any highway or public road of Georgia while using a wireless telecommunications device to read, write, or send any text-based communication. The law does not apply to reporting a traffic accident or another emergency circumstance.
If you were injured by a driver who was texting, you may be able to recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit. Usually, these lawsuits are pursued under a theory of negligence. To establish liability, your attorney would need to show that the other driver breached the duty to use reasonable care by texting, and thereby caused your injuries. However, you may be able to establish negligence per se when there is a violation of a statute. An act may be negligent “per se" when it violates a law that was designed to protect you. Georgia courts apportion an award of damages among everyone who is liable, according to each party’s percentage of fault. This makes it very important to bring into a lawsuit all the potentially responsible parties.
There are several ways to prove that someone else was texting while driving. Cell phone records may be subpoenaed. There may be witnesses to the other driver texting while driving. In some cases, there may be evidence stored on a police dashboard camera, another driver’s cell phone, or a security surveillance camera. It may be appropriate to retain an accident reconstruction expert when an accident was complex and there is a possibility that one or more drivers were using their cell phones before the collision.
You should be aware that a defendant's insurer may try to pin the blame on you if there is any indication that you were negligent. Georgia follows a rule of modified comparative negligence. You can be barred from recovering damages if you were 50% or more responsible for the accident. It is important to talk to an attorney before you speak to an insurance adjuster for another party in the accident.Damages
Once liability is established, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries. Texting while driving can result in catastrophic injuries or even death. Damages may include past and future losses, both economic and non-economic.Contact an Atlanta Attorney After a Serious Crash
If you sustained injuries due to a texting while driving accident in Georgia, you should consult the seasoned personal injury attorneys at Van Sant Law. Our firm understands how devastating the aftermath of an accident can be. We represent people throughout Georgia from offices in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Athens, Cumming, Duluth, Lawrenceville, and Gainesville. Call us at 855-GA-INJURY or complete our online form.