Athens Lawyer for Texting and Driving Car Accidents

Distracted Driving Accident Texting and Driving

Like speeding and drunk driving, texting while driving, is cited as being one of the top reasons for car accidents in Athens Georgia. Attorneys handling distracted driving and texting related car accidents will attest that texting and driving can impair your driving skills to the same degree as if you were drunk? Lawyers that handle distracted driving accident cases all say “STOP TEXTING AND DRIVING!”

Many studies now show that texting while driving can impair the driving skills of the driver to the same extent as a person who has a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent. 0.08 percent alcohol in the blood is the minimum level required to establish drunken driving in most US states. It is thus easy to understand why texting while driving can be so risky and can play a major role in causing accidents. If you have been injured in an accident and the driver who hit your vehicle was texting while driving, you need to speak to a texting and driving accident lawyer as soon as possible.

There are many other factors that can cause drivers to get distracted. These include adjusting the volume of the radio or music, engaging in conversations with fellow passengers or on the cell phone, looking in the mirror to check hair or make up, looking at a paper map or GPS device, watching videos on a hand help device or inbuilt video streaming systems, eating or balancing coffee or other drinks. If you are a victim of distracted driving, you need to speak to a texting and driving accident lawyer.

Texting and driving increases the risk of car accidents

Texting and driving pose a special danger. Reading or responding to a text requires a minimum of five seconds. At 55 mph, this is the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. If you get hit by a driver who is this distracted, there is a risk you could suffer serious injuries. If you are a victim of such an accident, talk to a texting while driving accident lawyer.

According to traffic safety experts, driving can be impaired if you are distracted visually, manually or cognitively. Visual impairment occurs when your eyes are away from the road and your surroundings. Manual distraction is when your hands are not on the wheel. Cognitive impairment means when you are not fully attentive to the main task of driving. Discuss these different types of impairment with your distracted driving accident attorney and how they contributed towards your accident.

Studies also show that texting while driving can increase the risk of accidents by a factor of 23. According to National Safety Council (NSC), incidents of car crashes due to distracted driving are under-reported.  NSC’s statistics show that

  • Cell phone related crashes alone accounted for one-third of all accidents in 2015.
  • 3477 deaths and close to four hundred thousand people sustained injuries caused by distracted driving.
  • Teenage drivers, who are also the group with the highest use of cell phone use, are three times more likely to die in car crashes compared to drivers age 20 or older.
  • Among teenaged drivers, accidents caused by distraction accounted for 58% of all crashes.

This indicates the magnitude of risk texting while driving presents to the drivers who demonstrate this behavior and to people around them. Talk to a texting while driving accident lawyer about this if you were a victim of such an accident.

Georgia Laws on Distracted Driving

Georgia’s law on texting while driving is very straightforward. It prohibits all drivers regardless of age and type of vehicle to read or write a text message while driving. Your distracted driving accident attorney can provide you more details if you need more information.

Distracted Driving Accidents – Under the Age of 18

It is illegal for drivers under the age of 18 to engage in any kind of wireless communication while driving. This applies to drivers carrying a class D license or Instruction Permit. The law applies to all devices that are similar to cell phones such as tablets, phablets, laptops or any other device that can function in similar ways. This includes talking on the phone as well as texting. If you have any questions in this regard, you need to speak to a texting and driving accident lawyer.

Situations Where Exceptions Can Apply for Car Accidents

There might arise some situations that will allow the driver to make an exception. You can ask your texting while driving accident lawyer about these exceptions. Generally speaking, an underage driver may use his cell phone or a similar device when legally parked and to contact police or emergency services if

  • There has been an accident,
  • There is a seriously hazardous road condition,
  • There is a criminal activity that must be reported to the authorities
  • The person’s safety or life in danger

Penalty for Texting and Driving

  • An underaged driver caught while texting will get a ticket of $ 150
  • An underaged driver texting and causing an accident will get a double ticket of $300
  • One demerit point will be added to the person’s driving record

If you need more information regarding the penalty for texting and driving, speak to a texting while driving accident lawyer.

Texting and Driving – More Experienced Drivers at Risk Too

For adult drivers in Georgia, the laws are slightly different.

  • Adult drivers can talk on phone while driving.
  • Adult drivers driving commercial vehicles are still prohibited from talking, unless they are using hands-free technology such as speakers or blue tooth headsets.
  • Texting while driving is prohibited for all adult drivers.

Adult drivers can use a cell phone or a similar device while legally parked and to report if

  • There has been an accident,
  • There is a seriously hazardous road condition,
  • There is a criminal activity that must be reported to the authorities
  • The person’s safety or life in danger

Other adult drivers may use a cell phone in the line of duty to respond to emergencies or other official duties. These include personnel such as those working in law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, first responders or other contractors.  Speak to a distracted driving accident attorney if you need more information in this regard.

Penalty for Texting and Driving

  • Adult drivers caught while texting will get a ticket of $ 150
  • One demerit point will be added to the person’s driving record.
  • An adult may end up with a reckless driving
  • In case of a fatal crash, charges can include vehicular homicide.

For more information regarding penalties, talk to a texting and driving accident lawyer.

Statistics – Types of Car Accident Injuries/Damages Related to Distracted Drivers Texting and Driving

Injuries include but are not limited to bone fractures, burns, head injuries and even death. You can also claim loss of wages resulting from injuries sustained. Similarly, depending on the type of crash, you can have minor dents to having your car completely wrecked. In some situations, the distracted driver can cause property damage by crashing into people’s driveways, garages or even homes. If you want more information as to how you can get compensation for the injuries that you have sustained, you need to discuss your injuries and any other damage that you have sustained with your texting while driving accident lawyer.

Can I claim damages for Injuries or Damage Caused by a Distracted Driver?

In Athens, Georgia, people affected by distracted driving can claim compensation for injuries, medical expenses and/or property damage. Offenders can risk civil liability for injuries/damages they cause and be prepared to compensate the victims in ways applicable to the situation. Talk to your distracted driving accident attorney about this sort of compensation.

Under the law, all residents of Georgia need to have liability insurance to get their car registered. The minimum coverage amounts include

  • Bodily injury liability:
    • $25,000 per person.
    • $50,000 for multiple people in an accident.
  • Property damage liability:
    • $25,000 for one incident.

 

While having insurance gives a sense of relief, having your medical bills and damages paid through insurance is a different ball game altogether. Insurance companies try their level best to minimize the payouts. In addition to taking care of details at the scene of an accident, try to hire a texting and driving accident lawyer to make the most of the liability insurance and to minimize your direct dealings with insurance companies.

What to Do at the Scene of a Car Accident?

If you find yourself at the scene of an accident, there are certain things you should do regardless of whether you are a victim or an offender. The following suggestions will maximize your chances of having a favorable outcome for your claims.

  1. Do not leave the scene of the accident. Be prepared to provide help to get injured people to medical aid. Have your own identity information ready to provide when required.
  2. Do not move vehicles involved in the accident from the scene of the accident if it cannot normally be driven and needs towing. Let the concerned authorities complete the legal formalities before attempting to do so. However, if the vehicles can normally be operated and will not cause any injury to you, another person(s) or to the road, you may move it. Make sure you take pictures or make a video of the scene.
  3. Report any accident resulting in a damage of 500 US dollar or more, personal injury or death.
  4. Provide all insurance related information such as name, address, license number, the name of the insurance company to law enforcement officers.
  5. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Make sure you know the terms of your policy and adhere to any contractual requirements during accidents. Help your insurance company handle your case and compensation by getting as much detail as possible through photographs and videos of damages to the vehicle as well as personal injuries. Keep a good record of contact information of witnesses and all your correspondence with the company.
  6. Make sure what you say immediately after the accident as that can be used against you in the court of law. Prepare personal notes of the scene of the accident and record your own observations.
  7. Obtain your accident report number and get a copy of the accident report usually available a few days from the law enforcement office file. Review for accuracy and report any concerns.

Talk to an Attorney Experienced in Texting and Driving Auto Accident Cases

While it may seem more cost efficient to settle your case with the help of your insurance agent, most often the fine print of your policy or nature of claims may not be possible without any professional help. Our texting while driving accident lawyers provide free consultation for a case evaluation. It is best to use your judgment to assess the situation and depending on the complexity of the situation get in touch with a distracted driving accident attorney to settle your case for you.

Keep in mind that insurance companies can make your life very difficult. This is true even if you are not at fault. That is why it is advisable that you let a texting while driving accident lawyer to negotiate with them on your behalf. Your first priority after an accident is to recover as fast as you can. You don’t want to take on the added tension of negotiating with them, evaluating their offers and wondering if you should sign on the dotted line. You should not do anything or agree to any offers made by an insurance agent unless and until you run that by your texting while driving accident lawyer.

Victims of Distracted Drivers Texting While Driving

Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Athens, GA Today

Distracted driving is a problem that is getting worse day by day. There have been calls for strict legislation to discourage this type of behavior, especially texting and driving. Georgia has already tried to implement these laws, but some drivers never learn.

People who get behind the wheel when they are drunk are risking getting into a car accident. No less risky are the distracted drivers who text while they drive. Both are risky and foolish.

If you are the victim of a car accident caused by a distracted driver texting while driving, contact an experienced accident lawyer that is familiar with texting and driving accident cases, at Athens Car Accident Lawyers, to find out how you can get compensation after such an accident.

 

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