Injured By a Distracted Driver? You May Be Entitled to Compensation
Over Thanksgiving weekend law enforcement agencies across Georgia made a concerted effort to crack down on drunken and distracted driving. This effort, dubbed “Operation Rolling Thunder,” was aimed not only at ticketing violators but also at educating the public about the dangers of distracted driving. Most drivers are well aware of how dangerous drunk driving is, but unfortunately, the dangers associated with distracted driving are often overlooked. These dangers are very real, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that every day in the United States eight people are killed and 1,161 are injured in car crashes that involve a distracted driver.
Distracted driving occurs under a number of different circumstances, most commonly when a driver is eating, fiddling with the GPS system, talking to passengers, or texting. Of these common distractions, texting is currently wreaking the most havoc on our roads. In fact, The National Safety Council reports that approximately 330,000 injuries occur each year from car crashes that were caused by distracted drivers who were texting. If you have been injured in Georgia by a distracted driver who was texting, have a legal right to seek compensation for your injuries.
In order to successfully pursue a personal injury claim against a distracted driver who was texting, Georgia law requires you to prove:
- That the distracted driver owed you a duty,
- That the distracted driver breached that duty, and
- That your injuries were proximately caused by the distracted driver’s actions.
In these cases, if it often easy to prove that the distracted driver owed you a duty, as drivers in Georgia owe everyone else on the road a duty to drive reasonably, given the circumstances. However, you must also be able to prove that the driver breached this duty. Courts consistently find that texting while driving does breach this duty of care, however, it can be tricky to prove that a driver was texting at the time of the collision.How to Prove that the Other Driver Was Texting
While each case is unique, the following types of evidence can help prove that the other driver was texting at the time of the collision that caused your injury.
- Witness Statements: While at the scene of the accident be sure to jot down the names and contact information of any witnesses of the crash. Witnesses can be passengers from either vehicle, other drivers, or passersby. If people witnessed the distracted driver texting right before the collision, their witness statements will be helpful when proving your case. Ideally, ask these witnesses to tell the responding police officer what they saw so that their statements can be included in the police report.
- The Police Report: If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident, be sure to call the police so that an official report can be filed. These reports can be helpful as the distracted driver may admit to the police officer that they were texting, or witnesses may tell the police that they saw the other driver texting before the crash. Be sure to tell the responding officer if you saw the other driver texting.
- Cell Phone Records: Note the precise time of the accident so that, if possible, the distracted driver’s applicable cell phone records can be analyzed. While it is not always possible to obtain these records, be sure to discuss the option of subpoenaing cell records with your attorney. If you are able to obtain these records they can go a long way in proving your case as they will indicate when the driver both sent and read text messages.
- Photographs and Videos/ Surveillance Vidoes: If possible, take photos and videos of the interior of the other driver’s car directly after the accident. If the driver’s phone was within their reach at the time of the accident this evidence can help prove your case. Additionally, look around the scene of the accident to see if any nearby stores have surveillance cameras that may have captured the other driver texting.
If you were injured in a car accident and believe that the other driver was texting, be sure to tell your personal injury attorney of your suspicion as soon as possible. The Atlanta car accident attorneys of The Angell Law Firm would be happy to represent you in your personal injury case and help get the money that you deserve. Call our office today at (770) 217-4954 to schedule your free consultation.See Related Links