Most people know that texting while driving is dangerous. Even so, many people still overestimate their ability to pay attention to the road while checking their phones. When a driver causes an accident by using their phone while driving, the injured party can hold them liable for their injuries.
If you or a loved one were injured in a crash, a Fulton County texting while driving accident lawyer can help. A dedicated car accident attorney can guide you through the claims process to help you work toward the compensation you need and deserve.
Texting and Driving Laws in Fulton County
Texting and driving have been illegal in Fulton County since 2010. Recently, state lawmakers decided that the statute was not preventing enough accidents and made the law more restrictive. As of July 2018, the state’s Hands-Free Georgia Act went into effect, prohibiting most driver cell phone use.
What is the Hands-Free Georgia Act?
The Hands-Free Georgia Act bans drivers from using handheld devices except in very limited circumstances. Drivers are allowed to use their vehicle’s Bluetooth capacity to make and receive hands-free calls and can use their voice-to-text feature to send text messages. They may also use their cell phones as a GPS device. However, the law forbids drivers from using their phones in any other way.
Drivers cannot pick up or hold their phones or cradle it against their ear with their shoulders or necks. They also cannot check email, watch videos, record videos, or do anything that would require them to push multiple buttons. The only time a person in the driver’s seat may use their phone in any of the above-mentioned capacities is when the vehicle is legally parked.
Claiming Compensation for Injuries
Drivers who cause an accident while texting can be held responsible in several ways. First, the act of texting and driving is illegal. A ticket for using a cell phone while driving results in a fine and points added to a driver’s license. Depending on the situation, the driver may also face other criminal charges.
What is a Civil Suit?
The injured person may also file a civil lawsuit alleging negligence. A lawsuit does not necessarily mean that the plaintiff did anything illegal and is filed separately from any criminal charges. However, failing to pay attention and use a reasonable amount of care while driving is a type of negligence and can be the basis for an injury lawsuit.
Evidence that a driver was texting or using their phone prior to an accident is powerful evidence of liability in a personal injury case. Therefore, if a driver is facing criminal charges, the charges do not prove negligence but can be used as powerful evidence. The injured person may be able to sue the driver and their insurance for several types of damages. This can include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, lost earning potential, future medical expenses, and their pain and suffering.
A Fulton County Texting While Driving Accident Attorney Can Help
A practiced attorney has experience working with distracted driving cases. Distracted driving, and especially cell phone use while driving, causes thousands of injuries and deaths in Georgia every year. If you were injured in this type of accident, contact a Fulton County texting while driving accident lawyer today to learn more about your options.