Driving is a critical activity in today’s modern world that requires one’s undivided attention. Unfortunately, distractions are seemingly everywhere on today’s roads. From passengers to billboards, to the impressive variety of in-car entertainment options, it is nearly impossible to maintain one’s focus on the road while driving. However, cell phones are perhaps the greatest distraction while driving.
Distracted driving, unfortunately, is a common component in auto accidents in Atlanta and in many other cities throughout the United States. A distracted driver is a danger to the rest of the road users since he/she doesn’t dedicate his/her full attention to driving. If you have been injured because of an inattentive driver, don’t hesitate to contact the Atlanta distracted driving accident lawyers of Ted A. Greve & Associates.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is the umbrella term that covers several different actions that a driver can make when he/she should be putting his/her undivided attention on the road. Simply put, it involves any other activity likely to diver the driver’s attention from the main task of driving. Distractions endanger the lives and safety of drivers, passengers, bystanders, as well as other road users.
Here are some of the most common distractions while driving:
- Using a smartphone or cell phone
- Talking on a cell phone
- Adjusting the stereo, CD player, or MP3 player
- Using a map or navigation system
- Having a conversation with passengers
- Applying makeup
- Drinking or eating
The list is virtually limitless. The important thing to keep in mind is that anything that diverts your attention and distracts you from driving could be the cause of an accident.
Types of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving can take many forms, including:
Manual distractions refer to when the driver is distracted by something that involves their hands, which makes them unable to be fully in control of the vehicle. Manual distractions are the ones commonly known to lead to accidents. Examples include:
- Adjusting the stereo, MP3 player, or CD player
- Personal grooming (i.e. applying makeup, combing/brushing hair, putting on clothes, etc.)
- Eating and drinking
- Taking a call
Manual distractions may cause a driver to take their hands off the steering wheel, but visual distractions cause them to take their eyes off the road. The two types of distractions sometimes overlap. For instance, texting while driving means being distracted both visually and manually. Other examples include:
- Looking at a GPS or map
- Focusing on a passenger to have a conversation with them
- Looking in the mirror to check one’s appearance
- Reading the content of any type on a cellphone
- Reading text messages
- Looking at video from an electronic device such as a cellphone or a car’s entertainment system
Cognitive distractions are those that take the mind of the driver off the road for an extended period of time. Such distractions not only distract the driver both physically and visually but also mentally. Here are excellent examples of cognitive distractions:
- Focusing on stressful situations not related to the drive
- Disciplining or caring for children
- Focusing on a conversation with a passenger or phone call
What Damages Can Victims Get From a Head-On Collision Claim in Atlanta?
Under Georgia law, victims of head-on collisions among other types of personal injuries can be compensated for losses suffered due to another party’s negligence. The losses, which are also referred to as damages fall under the following categories:
Economic damages are the tangible, money-related damages and cover both present and reasonably foreseeable expenses. Excellent examples of economic damages include lost wages, medical expenses, property damage, and loss of earnings, among many other types of damages.
The non-economic damages refer to the things that have a detrimental impact on your quality of life, which are not easy to express in monetary terms. Examples include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, mental anguish, etc.
If the negligent act exhibited a reckless disregard for other people’s safety, a jury may award punitive damages. A good example of this is texting while driving. Under Georgia law, such damages have a maximum cap of $250,000 unless the responsible party acted with intent to cause harm.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
The statute of limitations for personal injury in Georgia is 2 years, which means that just about everyone that sustains injuries in a distracted driving accident in Atlanta is required to file a suit against the responsible party within 2 years. The only 2 notable exceptions to this rule are suits against the government that must be filed no later than 6 to 12 months after the accident and accidents involving children under 18 whose timeline starts on their 18th birthday.
Proving Fault in a Distracted Driving Accident
In Georgia, you can obtain compensation for a distracted driving accident after proving fault on the other driver’s part. You must present proof that the other driver was distracted and this is what caused the accident.
Car accident claims require 4 main elements of proof from your side of the case:
Duty of Care
Your attorney must demonstrate that the other driver owed you a duty of care at the time of the accident. For instance, the other driver has a duty to pay attention to the road while driving and obey the traffic laws.
Breach of the Duty of Care
Distracted driving is a breach of the driver’s duty of care. The driver is aware that their actions may put the lives of others in danger, but negligently or recklessly engages in the dangerous activity anyway.
The Breach of Duty Is the Proximate Cause of Your Injuries
Your lawyer will also need to prove that the driver’s distraction or another form of negligence is what actually caused your accident. The other driver might not be liable for your damages if an unrelated factor caused the accident.
The Resultant Injury Led to a Demonstrable Loss
Your lawyer will also need to prove that you suffered specific damages in the distracted driving accident such as property damage, lost income, medical expenses, etc.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
Navigating the different elements of a distracted driving accident claim is much easier with the help of a lawyer. The distracted driving attorneys at Ted A. Greve & Associates will do the following to ensure that you are duly compensated for your distracted driving accident claim:
Case Preparation/Filing a Lawsuit
Developing a distracted driver personal injury lawsuit following an accident involves investigating multiple aspects to obtain evidence to support the claim. In most instances, gathering evidence requires a court order and this is why you need a competent lawyer representing you.
You need to engage a lawyer quickly after the accident to ensure that crucial evidence isn’t lost or destroyed before it can be used in supporting your case. The lawyer will also play a pivotal role in helping you file the lawsuit.
The vast majority of distracted driver personal injury lawsuits in Georgia never actually make it to trial. Instead, they are usually resolved once the at-fault driver’s insurance provider agrees to a settlement deal with the plaintiff.
The lawyers at Ted A. Greve & Associates have been negotiating deals with insurance adjusters for many years. We thus have a great deal of experience with convincing them to offer reasonable settlements. With our legal team on your side, you can be sure of your best interests being adequately represented always.
Trial Preparation and Representation
Distracted driving personal injury cases typically end without the need to go to trial. Ideally, your lawyer and the other driver’s insurance provider will reach a settlement that’s fair to you and covers all your losses. Still, negotiations are unsuccessful sometimes.
If the insurance company won’t budge, your lawyer may recommend taking the case to court. Your lawyer will present your case during the trial. A judge or jury will then use the evidence and testimony presented to determine whether you are entitled to financial recovery, and how much.
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
Hiring a distracted driving attorney doesn’t need to put your family under financial pressure. At Ted A. Greve & Associates we take distracted driving accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This eliminates the need for you to pay a lawyer out of pocket after the accident. You will only have to pay legal fees if we secure a settlement or verdict that favors you. We will then take out fees directly from your award based on a pre-arranged fee agreement.
Contact Our Atlanta Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a distracted driving accident, you should consider speaking to one of our personal injury lawyers at Ted A. Greve & Associates as soon as possible. We will investigate the accident, help you file a claim, and advocate aggressively for your right to compensation. Contact us today for your free no-obligation consultation.