The Snapchat app is a popular social networking and messaging tool that allows users to send or share time-sensitive photos and videos, and video chat with friends. The newest feature includes a filter where users can record their speed of travel while taking a “selfie.”
In 2016, KTLA news reported a nearly fatal car crash on a four-lane highway outside of Atlanta, where a woman, Christal McGee, struck another vehicle, sending the car careening across the left lane and into a guardrail. McGee was traveling over 100 miles per hour, and taking a selfie with her Snapchat speed filter seconds before the crash occurred. The speed limit on the highway was fifty-five.
The victim Wentworth Maynard suffers from traumatic brain injuries after being struck head-on, according to a lawsuit filed against McGee. In the lawsuit, Maynard and his wife allege that McGee’s “high-speed selfie-taking” caused the car crash and Maynard’s subsequent injuries. McGee was traveling at exactly 107 miles per hour, according to Maynard’s lawyers.
Atlanta Law on Distracted Driving
A 2006 study of real-world driver behaviors, distractions, and crash factors reveal that almost 80 percent of crashes were caused by some form of distraction such as cell phone use, fatigue, and consuming food while driving— with usage occurring within three seconds of the accident. Similar statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report—in 2013— that drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of fatal distracted driver crashes— drivers engaging in activities like texting, web surfing and taking selfies.
Luckily, Georgia’s personal injury laws protect drivers and riders after they are injured in a car accident when another person—such as a distracted driver—is at fault. Every driver has a responsibility to the road and to pedestrians to operate their motor vehicle in a safe manner. That is the law. When a driver violates the law, they can be held financially responsible for the damages to your vehicle and any injuries you sustained. A driver is considered at fault if their actions while driving were negligent, and subsequently caused your injuries or damages.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, and you believe the driver was negligent, there are steps you can take to improve the chances of your personal injury lawsuit being a slam-dunk:
- Call 911 and File a Police Report- Following a motor vehicle accident, you should immediately call 911 and report that you have been involved in an accident—regardless if the other driver offers to call themselves, or settle matters personally. Settling matters without law enforcement present will automatically bar you from seeking additional compensation, should you require it. Obtaining a police report will ensure you have all of the other driver’s personal information; it will prove that you were in an accident; it states who is at fault, and will include descriptions of the damage to your vehicle. Having this information will make it extremely easy to prove your case.
- Take Pictures of the Damage– After the police officer on site takes your statement, take clear and multiple pictures of any damage to your car or person. Having pictures of the damages that were taken at the scene of the accident will be evidence that the defendant actually damaged your vehicle. To get the maximum compensation you deserve, obtain an estimate from a nearby auto body shop. This will be the best evidence to assess your car’s damage to calculate the cost of repairs.
- Visit the Emergency Room or Your Healthcare Provider-Typically, after the police arrive to an auto accident scene, an ambulance also reports to the scene. Their purpose is to treat any injuries that you may have sustained in the accident. However, if you are not in immediate need of medical assistance and you “feel fine,” you should report to your family doctor over the course of the following days. Often, injuries sustained in a car accident may be not obvious until days later, depending on the type of injury. Here a list of injuries that can be sustained after a car accident:
- Back Strains or Sprains;
- Bruises, Lacerations, and Fractures;
- Herniated or Bulging Disks;
- Internal Bleeding;
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder;
- Traumatic Brain Injuries; and
Bringing a Lawsuit Against a Negligent Driver
Georgia’s statute of limitations dictates how long you have to file the claim with the court after you are injured. You have two years to file your personal injury claim in Georgia against a negligent driver who causes you harm. In most instances, the statute of limitations starts when you become aware of the injury (this is why a medical report is important), or should have become aware of the injury.
If you choose to bring a lawsuit against your injurer, then when choosing the best personal injury lawyer to handle your case, you should look for a firm that has experience handling cases like yours. If you are involved a motor vehicle accident, or are injured by the actions of another individual, it is important for victims to seek justice as soon as possible to protect your rights. There are time limitations for filing lawsuits in Georgia, so if you are an Atlanta resident and believe that you have a potential case, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer right away.
Finding an Experienced Lawyer in Atlanta
Georgia residents, if you are living in the Atlanta area, were involved in a motor vehicle accident, and are suffering from a serious related injury, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical bills and suffering. Under Georgia personal injury law, a negligent driver can be held liable and required to pay compensation if he or she injuries another driver.
To learn more about the compensation you deserve, contact the experienced Atlanta, GA auto accident injury lawyers at Ted A. Greve & Associates, P.A. for a free initial consultation. We care about your rights, and will fight for the justice you deserve. Call us or fill out our free online case evaluation form!