Distracted driving is illegal. Our accident attorneys will hold the negligent drivers accountable for your injury.
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What to do after a distracted driving car accident
Pursuing a distracted driving lawsuit can take a huge amount of time and effort, especially if the other driver won’t admit their fault. Many car accident settlements can be negotiated out of court with the right counsel. Every case is different.
If you were seriously injured or lost a loved one, we can answer your questions about how to prove liability and who will pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. Let us help you.
When was the last time you looked over and saw a driver who was texting, using their phone, eating, drinking, talking to another passenger or even putting on makeup?
You probably see this kind of behavior regularly while driving around Atlanta. Like drunk driving, distracted driving is a serious danger and problem in Georgia. It’s also illegal.
In work and life, we’re often encouraged to multitask to try to accomplish more in less time. But multitasking and driving are a dangerous combination. And yet, despite the disturbingly high number of distracted driving crashes, people continue to make the wrong decision when behind the wheel.
If you were involved in a distracted driving accident (as a motorist, pedestrian, bicyclist or motorcyclist) and seriously injured as a result, then it’s time to consult a knowledgeable Atlanta car accident lawyer near you. Contact Scholle Law to schedule your FREE consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. We’ve helped countless crash victims like you get through this difficult period and secure the financial compensation they deserve. We want to help you, too.
When it comes to serious auto accidents, navigating insurance and the legal process — including all of the paperwork and important deadlines — is often more than most people can handle. Let us do the heavy lifting for you so that you can focus on what’s important: your family, your health and your recovery.
When to contact a top-rated Atlanta injury lawyer
Distracted driving cases require a particular set of skills and in-depth knowledge of the law, which is why it’s important to talk to an attorney who specializes in these claims. Few attorneys in Atlanta have the experience, skill and passion needed to properly represent car accident victims as attorney Charles Scholle.
Take this example:
Charles and his team were able to secure a $260,000 auto accident settlement for a Gwinnett County man who suffered a serious neck injury resulting in surgery following a collision with a teen driver who was texting behind the wheel.
If you were in a car or truck accident, contact us immediately so that we can begin investigating your case and advise you of your legal options before the statute of limitations expires on your case. Following the free initial consultation, we’ll take aggressive and vital legal action by:
- Investigating and documenting the accident scene, then gathering evidence to prove fault
- Calculating the full extent of your damages — including economic losses (medical bills, lost wages, loss of income, etc.) and non-economic losses (pain and suffering, loss of consortium, etc.)
- Filing the necessary paperwork and meeting deadlines to ensure you get compensation sooner
- Negotiating on your behalf with the other party and insurers to make sure you receive a full and fair settlement
- Skillfully representing your case in court (if necessary)
At Scholle Law, your initial consultation is 100% free — no cost, no commitment. During this meeting, we’ll carefully listen to your story, answer your most pressing questions and evaluate your claim to determine your best next steps. If we think we can assist you and you decide to hire us to represent you, then we’ll get started right away. We operate under a contingency fee arrangement, which means you only pay for our expert legal services when we win your case. If we don’t win, you don’t owe us a penny. It’s that simple.
What is distracted driving?
Texting and driving might be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the phrase “distracted driving,” but the truth is that any activity or behavior that takes your attention away from the act of driving is a distraction.
Common types and examples of driver distractions
Taking your hands off the wheel
- Changing the radio
- Adjusting the volume
- Reaching for a fallen item
- Eating and drinking
Taking your eyes off the road
- Checking on your kids in the back seat
- Looking at your phone
- Using GPS devices or a map
- Reading a book
Taking your mind off of driving
- Talking to another passenger
- Listening to a podcast or audiobook
- Talking on the phone
- Getting lost in thought
Texting and driving is particularly dangerous because it involves all 3 types of distractions. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention:
Georgia: Texting and driving is illegal (primary); school bus drivers and drivers under 18 cannot use cell phones while operating a vehicle (primary)
- Primary law: Officers can pull over and ticket without seeing another violation.
- Secondary law: Officers must witness a primary violation and then ticket for secondary.
Georgia distracted driving law
In July 2018, Georgia lawmakers enacted the Hands Free Georgia Law (HB673), which bans all drivers from handling or holding their cellphones while driving. This law clearly states:
Effective July 1, 2018, pursuant to 40-6-241(c), all drivers operating a motor vehicle on any highway of this state are prohibited from:
- Holding or supporting, with any part of the body, a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device.
- Writing, sending or reading any text-based communication, including a text message, instant message, e-mail or internet data.
- Watching, recording, or broadcasting a video or movie.
A stand-alone electronic device is “a device other than a wireless telecommunications device which stores audio or video data files to be retrieved on demand by a user.” Georgia defines a wireless telecommunications device as a “cellular telephone, a portable telephone, a text-messaging device, a personal digital assistant, a stand-alone computer, a global positioning system receiver, or substantially similar portable wireless device that is used to initiate or receive communication, information or data.”
Under this law, Georgia drivers may no longer hold their cell phone or smartphone in their hand or use any part of their body to support their mobile phone.
It’s against the law to text, email, browse the internet, use social media, watch/record video, choose music, or use apps via your phone when driving. In addition, a driver may not send or read any text-based communication (text messages) unless using voice-based communication that automatically converts a message to a written text or is being used for navigation or GPS.
GPS navigation devices are still permitted. You can also still use your phone to make or receive phone calls as long as you use a speakerphone, earpiece or wireless headphone, or if your phone is connected to the vehicle or an electronic watch. Headsets and earpieces can only be worn for communication purposes and not for listening to music or other entertainment. Drivers can only use and program music streaming apps that are connected to and controlled through their vehicle’s radio controls.
Exceptions to GA distracted driving laws
Most drivers in Atlanta and Georgia must obey these restrictions or else they can be cited for a distracted driving violation. However, there are a few exceptions. Distracted driving laws may not apply in the following scenarios:
- When a driver is reporting an accident, medical emergency, fire, criminal activity or serious road hazard.
- When a public utility worker or contractor is working within the scope of their job duties while responding to an emergency
- When law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics or other first responders are performing their jobs
- When a vehicle is lawfully parked (doesn’t include vehicles stopped at traffic lights or stop signs)
How much does a distracted driving ticket cost in Georgia?
Traffic violations for distracted driving are considered misdemeanors in Georgia, and the penalties vary depending on how many prior distracted driving convictions the person has had in the last 2 years. Here’s how the penalties for distracted driving break down:
- First offense. If a driver has never been ticketed for distracted driving or hasn’t received a violation in the last 24 months, they will face a maximum fine of $50 and 1 demerit point on their driver record.
- Second offense. A second distracted driving violation in 24 months will result in a fine of up to $100 and 2 demerit points.
- Third offense. A third distracted driving violation in 24 months will result in a fine of up to $150 and 3 demerit points.
- Commercial offense. Commercial drivers who get a distracted driving violation are subject to a civil penalty of up to $2,750 in addition to the penalties listed above.
In certain circumstances, a traffic violation for distracted driving can also result in a reckless driving conviction in the event of a catastrophic injury or gross negligence. If the violation led to the death of another person, the at-fault driver may be criminally charged with vehicular homicide.
How distracted driving affects your Georgia car accident claim
Whether you were hit by a distracted driver or caused a car accident because of being distracted, it’s important for you to understand how such an allegation might impact your car accident injury claim in Georgia.
For starters, Georgia follows a modified comparative fault standard. This means that crash victims must first prove fault (or “liability”) in order to receive compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages resulting from a collision. A determination of negligence in a Georgia car accident case depends on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the crash.
In addition, there is 1 important caveat in Georgia negligence law:
If you believe the other driver was distracted, then be sure to tell the responding police officers and your attorney. If the other driver admits to driving distracted — or if we can uncover evidence that they were distracted at the time of the crash — this can be a great boost to your injury claim by clearly establishing the other driver’s negligence.
Even if the other driver won’t admit to being distracted, there are ways to get the truth. One such tactic we can employ is by subpoenaing the driver’s cell phone records and comparing their usage to the exact time of the crash. Beyond that, we can talk to witnesses and even check videos from nearby businesses or homes to find out what the driver was doing in the moments leading up to the collision.
Tell an experienced lawyer about your loss to learn about your options.We’re available 24/7 and your first consultation is free.
Call 866-972-5287 or send us a message online
Why contact an accident attorney near you?
Some minor car accidents and fender benders can be resolved by the drivers and their insurance companies, especially if nobody was injured and there was little to no property damage. However, if you were seriously injured and/or experienced significant financial losses, it’s essential that you talk with a lawyer who specializes in car accident cases to ensure you get a fair settlement.
Don’t make the common mistake of trusting that an insurance company (even your insurance company) is looking after your best interests. The only thing insurers care about is their bottom line. If they can find a way to limit or deny your benefits, or convince you to take a low settlement offer, they will. Before you sign on the dotted line and accept a settlement offer, consult with our expert attorneys first.
We invite you to get free legal advice from our Atlanta offices to find out how we can get you compensation for ALL of your damages, including:
- Medical bills, prescriptions and treatments
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses (in the event of a fatal car accident)
- And more…