Today, drivers face many distractions. From cellphones to radios to GPS systems, there are electronic distractions, as well as regular distractions (i.e., talking to passengers), that take a driver’s attention away from the road ahead. Not all drivers are distracted by these things, but those who are become a danger on the road. They are at higher risk for accident with not only other motor vehicles, but with pedestrians and cyclists, too. When distractions occur, accidents can result, and the driver could be held liable for his or her negligence.
Georgia Negligence Laws
In our state, negligence occurs when one driver fails to take reasonable care while operating a vehicle. This can include distracted driving. It could also include speeding or drunken driving. Drivers can also be liable for negligence if they are involved in an accident while eating, grooming, or having a conversation.
When other drivers or passengers are injured as a result of that negligence, the injured parties are legally entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver. In these types of cases, there are two types of compensation, which include:
- Economic Damages – These are designed to directly compensate the victim for his or her out-of-pocket costs associated with the accident and injury – such as medical bills or lost wages.
- Noneconomic Damages – These address the victim’s pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and diminished quality of life.
Georgia’s Comparative Negligence Laws
Georgia has adopted the modified comparative negligence law. This allows accident victims to receive compensation for their injuries, even if they were partially at-fault for those injuries, or the accident itself. In the state, you must be found 49 percent or less at-fault for your injuries. If you are considered 50 percent or more at-fault, you are barred from receiving compensation – even if the other driver was distracted or acting negligently.
Proving Negligence in Distracted Driving Cases
Proving negligence is more than a game of pointing fingers, and it is important that you establish the other driver’s negligence and distractions in order to win your case. To establish the other party’s negligence, or even that he or she was distracted, a victim will need to hire an attorney. An attorney can then investigate the accident, compile police reports, collect witness statements, and work with experts to prove that the other driver was distracted and failed to operate a vehicle with reasonable care; thus, he or she is responsible for your injuries and financial losses.
Your Percentage of Fault Could Impact Your Settlement
If you were partially at-fault for your injuries in a distracted driving case, you could reduce your settlement based on the percentage the courts feel you were at-fault. For example, if you were awarded $100,000 in a settlement, but the courts found you to be 20 percent at-fault, your settlement of $100,000 would then be reduced by 20 percent (by $20,000).
Injured by a Distracted Driver? Contact a Georgia Car Accident Attorney
If you were seriously injured by a distracted driver, you can hold him or her accountable for that negligence. To do so, you must speak with an accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact attorney B. Clarke Nash to schedule a consultation. Call 912-200-5292, or request a free consultation online today.