Texting While Driving Accident Lawyer in Georgia
Texting While Driving Accident Lawyer in Georgia

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Texting While Driving Accident Lawyer in Georgia

Call Ben F. Windham, P.C. for aggressive legal representation

Navigating the aftermath of car accidents caused by texting while driving is a concern that hits close to home for many. At Ben F. Windham P.C., we understand the unique challenges these situations bring, especially considering that texting behind the wheel, cell phone use, contributes to nearly 25% of all traffic fatalities across the U.S. Our commitment lies in supporting victims of such accidents here in Georgia, providing guidance and assistance when it’s needed most.

Stay informed, stay safe on the road, and remember, we’re here to help navigate this journey with you against traffic fatalities.

Understanding the Dangers of Texting While Driving

A crashed car with a phone on the driver's seat surrounded by traffic signs.

Texting while driving takes your eyes off the road. It makes it hard to see dangers ahead. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says doing this can make you 23 times more likely to crash.

We all know how quickly cars move and how sudden stops are common. Looking away for just a second to text increases your risk a lot.

Texting while driving is like driving with your eyes closed.

Every year, around 1.6 million crashes happen because of texting behind the wheel, according to the National Safety Council. This means that nearly one-fourth of all car accidents involve cell phones.

Such distractions not only put drivers at risk but also passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians nearby. Understanding these facts helps us realize the serious consequences of distracted driving on traffic safety in places like Atlanta, Johns Creek, Cobb County, and Mableton.

Laws Against Texting While Driving in Georgia

A car dashboard with a phone notification and cityscape photography.

In Georgia, the law says you can’t text while driving. This rule helps keep everyone on the road safe.

Georgia HOUSE BILL 673– “HANDS FREE LAW

Georgia HOUSE BILL 673, known as the “HANDS FREE LAW,” sets clear rules about using electronic devices while driving. It makes it illegal to hold or use your phone and other electronics for texting, calling without hands-free devices, reading emails, or watching videos on the road.

We’ve seen too many accidents where drivers got distracted by their phones. This law aims to make roads safer by cutting down distractions.

The “HANDS FREE LAW” also means no recording videos or streaming while you’re driving. But there are exceptions. You can use GPS and voice-to-text features as long as you don’t physically hold your phone.

From our experience handling car accident cases, we know following these laws not only keeps you on the right side of the law but significantly reduces your risk of causing a tragic accident because of a distraction.

Exceptions to the Hands-free law

We know the dangers of texting while driving, leading Georgia to put the Hands-Free Law in place. But there are exceptions to this rule that we need to understand.

  1. Emergency Responders – Police, firefighters, and emergency vehicle drivers are allowed to use their phones if they’re responding to an emergency. They often need quick communication to do their jobs well.

  2. Calls for Help – If you’re reporting a traffic accident, medical emergency, fire, a crime in progress, or a dangerous road condition, you can legally use your phone while driving. We’ve found ourselves calling for help when witnessing a crash on the highway.

  3. Parked Vehicles – If you’re legally parked, not at a stoplight or in traffic, you can use your phone. This doesn’t mean pulling over on the highway shoulder but having your car fully parked.

  4. Utility Workers – Those working for utility services managing emergencies or outages might need to communicate on their phones while driving.

  5. Commercial Trucking – Truck drivers using radios and communication devices tied into dispatching methods are exempt during certain operations. But they adhere strictly to regulations set by federal laws about how long and when they can use these devices.

  6. Radio Use in Vehicles – Using CB radios or amateur radio equipment is allowed under the law since it’s crucial for some job roles and community service activities.

Understanding these exemptions helps us see that the law focuses on safety while allowing necessary communications for specific individuals and situations.

Enforcement

Enforcement of the Hands-Free Law in Georgia is strict. Police officers can stop drivers they see texting while operating a vehicle. There’s no need for another traffic violation to occur first.

This means if an officer sees you with a phone in your hand, they have grounds to pull you over and issue a ticket. The goal here is clear: keep roads safe by reducing distractions.

Fines for breaking this law start small but can grow with more violations. Also, points get added to the violator’s driving record, which can lead to higher insurance rates and even license suspension after accumulating enough points.

Our legal team understands how these penalties work and advises clients accordingly during their personal injury claim process.

Now, let’s discuss how texting influences driving behavior and leads to accidents.

How Texting Affects Driving and Causes Accidents

A crumpled car surrounded by traffic with a phone on the driver's seat.

Texting while driving pulls your focus away from the road. It makes you take your hands off the wheel and your eyes away from what’s happening in front of you. This split-second distraction can lead to severe accidents because a car moving at high speeds covers a lot of ground in very little time.

If a driver looks down for just five seconds while driving at 55 miles per hour, they will have traveled the length of a football field without seeing where they are going.

Texting while driving increases the likelihood of being involved in an accident by 23 times.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has shown that texting drivers are much more likely to get into crashes than those paying full attention to the road. With nearly 25 percent of all car accidents caused by this distraction, it’s clear that sending or reading text messages behind the wheel is not just dangerous; it’s potentially deadly.

The higher cognitive distraction from texting means drivers react slower to traffic signals, other cars, and unexpected obstacles on the road.

Legal Options for Victims of Texting While Driving Accidents

An image of a car accident scene surrounded by legal documents.

Victims of texting while driving accidents have rights to seek justice and compensation. They can file lawsuits for injuries and losses, guided by skilled attorneys who understand negligence and damage laws in Georgia.

Negligence Lawsuits

Injured people can sue a driver who was texting for negligence. This means they must show the driver had a duty to drive safely, broke that duty by texting, and caused an accident.

The law requires proof of these steps to win the case.

They can ask for money to cover hospital bills, lost earnings, car repairs, emotional stress, and physical pain. In some cases, they might get more money as punishment for the careless driver’s actions.

This helps pay for their losses and teaches a lesson about safe driving.

Damages Victims Can Collect

Victims of texting while driving accidents in Georgia have rights to collect various compensatory damages. These help cover the financial and emotional impact of the accident.

  1. Hospital Bills: Cover all medical expenses from emergency care to ongoing treatments.

  2. Lost Wages: Compensate for money you missed earning because you couldn’t work due to injuries.

  3. Property Damage: Pay for repairs or replacement of your vehicle and any other personal belongings damaged in the crash.

  4. Emotional Distress: Address mental suffering caused by the accident, including anxiety and depression.

  5. Pain and Suffering: Compensate for physical pain and discomfort experienced both immediately and long-term after the incident.

  6. Punitive Damages: In some cases, extra money may be awarded as a punishment to the distracted driver, encouraging them not to repeat their actions.

Each victim has a two-year window from the accident date to file a claim in Georgia. Let’s explore how a texting while driving accident lawyer can guide victims through this process.

Time Limit for Filing a Claim in Georgia

Injured people in Georgia must act quickly after a texting while driving accident. They have only two years from the accident date to file a legal case. This time limit helps manage cases efficiently and ensures fresh evidence is available for both sides.

Our team guides clients through each step, respecting these deadlines. We handle all the paperwork and make sure your claim meets all legal requirements. With this strict timeframe, we aim to secure compensation for hospital expenses, lost income, and emotional distress you’ve faced due to the crash.

Now let’s explore how an attorney specializing in texting while driving accidents can support your case further.

Role of a Texting While Driving Accident Lawyer

A lawyer helps prove another driver was careless if they were texting and caused a crash. They also guide you through the process, showing how hiring them can help win your case.

Proving the Other Driver’s Negligence

We gather strong evidence to show the other driver was texting during the accident. This includes getting cell phone records and using police reports. Our job is to connect their texting to the crash, proving they were not paying attention.

Texting while driving increases your risk of a crash by 23 times.

We also bring in experts for more support if we need it. These could be professionals who know a lot about car crashes or how phones work. They help us make our case stronger against the person who caused your injury by being careless with their phone while driving.

Cost and Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer

Hiring a lawyer after a texting while driving accident offers many benefits and involves certain costs. We outline these in a simple table below:

BenefitsCosts
Expert guidance through legal proceedingsVaries based on case complexity, usually on a contingency fee basis
Help in gathering evidence and proving negligenceOut-of-pocket expenses for gathering evidence may apply
Negotiation with insurance companies for better settlementsPotential costs for expert witnesses if the case goes to trial
No upfront payment; lawyer fees are a percentage of the settlementRisk of paying court costs if the case is lost, depending on the agreement
Increased chance of receiving higher compensation

We have firsthand seen clients benefit greatly from legal expertise. Clients often recover more compensation, even after legal fees, than they would without a lawyer. Our experienced lawyers at Ben F. Windham, P.C. understand how to prove the other driver was texting and driving, which is not easy. We know what evidence strengthens a case, like phone records and witness statements. Our lawyers also handle negotiations, which can be stressful and complicated. Our experience with similar cases offers a significant advantage.

On the cost side, many worry about expenses. The good news is, our personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means we only get paid if you win your case. This arrangement aligns our interests with yours.

In summary, the benefits of hiring a lawyer greatly outweigh the costs, especially in complex texting while driving accident cases. With our help, you can navigate the legal system more effectively and increase your chances of a favorable outcome.

Conclusion

Texting while driving is dangerous and against the law in Georgia. If you get hurt because someone was texting and driving, a lawyer can help you. They know how to show that the other driver was at fault.

You have two years to ask for money for your injuries. A good lawyer will fight for what you deserve without charging you until they win your case. Don’t wait too long to find someone who can stand up for you in court.

FAQs

1. What does a texting while driving accident lawyer do in Georgia?

A texting while driving accident lawyer helps victims of car accidents caused by distracted drivers using smartphones or other wireless telecommunications devices to seek compensation.

2. Can school bus drivers be held liable for texting and driving in Georgia?

Yes, school bus drivers can be held liable if they cause an accident while using a cellular telephone or text-messaging device, as it’s against the law for them to use these devices when driving.

3. How can an attorney prove someone was texting and driving during an auto accident?

Attorneys can use evidence such as traffic citations, surveillance footage, cell phone records, and accident reconstruction reports to show that the driver was distracted by their smartphone at the time of the crash.

4. What is comparative negligence and how does it affect my car accident case in Georgia?

Comparative negligence means both parties involved in an auto accident could share fault. If you’re found partially responsible, it may reduce the amount of compensation you can receive from another party.

5. Do lawyers who handle truck accidents involving texting and driving work on a contingency basis?

Many lawyers handling cases related to truck accidents caused by distracted drivers often work on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case.

6. Is wearing headsets while driving considered negligent behavior in Georgia?

Yes, using headsets or any hands-free device improperly while operating a vehicle might contribute to negligence per se if it leads to an auto accident due to inattention or distraction.

P.S.

You see it everyday. Usually the driver in front of you is weaving and travelling a speed under the limit. You pass the person in the other lane after you witness them drift into the oncoming traffic and almost cause a horrific accident and they are, you guessed it, texting while driving. There is even a new pledge not to text and drive campaign from the PGA on the television featuring a commercial with famous golfer Zach Johnson pledging not to text and drive. But, every day you witness other drivers around you texting and driving which is why you need an experience Georgia texting and driving attorney on your side.

You are fortunate the driver on this day did not cause a major and catastrophic car accident while texting behind the wheel. I have seen clients with life altering injuries caused by the negligence of texting drivers. Those clients are not so lucky. Although many state legislatures, including the Georgia General Assembly have passed laws making it a misdemeanor crime to text and drive, thousands of negligent drivers have not gotten the message. The statistics show that a driver who is texting at the wheel of an automobile if five times more likely to cause an accident than a drunk driver.

If you text and drive, please don’t do it. If you or a loved one have been injured in an automobile accident where the offending driver was texting, call Ben F. Windham, P.C. for aggressive legal representation in pursuing the full value of your claim. In litigation involving a negligent driver who caused an accident while texting behind the wheel, the attorneys at Ben F. Windham, P.C. are able to use the discovery process to prove a driver was texting at or near the time of the accident. If the negligent driver was performing a job task in the text, their employer can be shown to be liable for the accident.

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