Were you the victim of a distracted driving accident? Did you suffer injuries that require medical treatment? If so, contact Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. immediately. We’ll help you hold the other driver accountable for their actions and pursue the maximum financial compensation available.
Distracted driving is reckless behavior. It happens when a motorist takes their hands, eyes, or focus off of the task at hand. If you get hurt in a car accident and find out it occurred because the other person was distracted, you could pursue an injury claim to cover your expenses, lost wages, and more.
Our Alpharetta distracted driving accident lawyers understand how devastating car crashes can be. You shouldn’t suffer the consequences of someone else’s careless actions. We’ll help you fight for justice and get on the road to recovery. Call Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. today at (770) 205-8827.
Distracted Driving Comes in Different Forms
There are different types of distractions that can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicle and cause an accident. These can occur one at a time or simultaneously. Any of these distractions could lead to severe injuries or fatalities.
A manual distraction happens when the driver takes one or both hands off the wheel to do something. They no longer have complete control of their vehicle in this type of situation. Most accidents are the result of manual distractions. Common examples include the following:
- Manually answering a phone call
- Sending or reading a text, email, or another electronic message
- Drinking or eating
- Changing the radio
Visual distractions are the result of someone taking their eyes off the road to look at something else while they’re operating their car. Some examples of this type of distraction include:
- Looking at a map or GPS
- Turning to look at a passenger you’re communicating with
- Reading an email, text, or other content on your mobile device
- Checking yourself out in the mirror
Cognitive distractions are anything that takes the driver’s focus and attention off of driving. It can happen along with one or both of the other distraction types. Some examples include:
- Focusing on a conversation with someone over the phone or a passenger in your car
- Disciplining or caring for your children
- Thinking about something that takes your attention off the road in front of you
How to Handle the Aftermath of a Car Accident
Getting hurt in a car crash is an overwhelming experience. You might be in shock immediately after and don’t know what to do next. It’s crucial that you follow the steps below to protect your rights and ensure you can recover compensation for your losses.
- Call 911 to report the crash and wait for an officer to show up at the scene. They will speak with you, other drivers involved, and any witnesses. After investigating what happened, they’ll write a traffic crash report that you can request online.
- Ask the other driver for their name, contact information, and auto insurance details.
- Take photos of the accident site, vehicle damage, and your visible injuries.
- Speak to people that saw the crash happen and write down their names and phone numbers.
- Go to the hospital for an initial evaluation of your injuries. If the doctor refers you for further treatment, follow their orders.
- Get a repair estimate for the damage to your vehicle.
- Maintain copies of all documentation associated with the accident.
- Hire an Alpharetta distracted driving accident lawyer.
The evidence you collect at the accident scene could increase the value of your case. If you can prove that the other driver was distracted and that’s what led to the crash, you’ll have a better chance of collecting the maximum compensation available. Distracted driving is a form of negligence, a standard legal theory that injured victims use in their cases.
Injuries Commonly Caused by Distracted Driving Accidents
When someone gets distracted while operating a motor vehicle, they put everyone around them at risk. It can lead to severe injuries and fatalities. Numerous distractions involve a cell phone. If someone is texting while driving, they take their eyes off the road for several seconds. In that short amount of time, they could travel hundreds of feet. With their focus on something other than driving, there’s no way for them to notice if a car swerves into their lane or there’s debris in the middle of the road.
Common injuries associated with car crashes caused by a distracted driver include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Back or neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Lacerations and wounds
- PTSD, fear of driving, and other psychological trauma
Even if you follow certain safety precautions, such as wearing your seatbelt, the impact of another vehicle could damage your car and cause bodily harm. If you sustain injuries, you might require months of physical therapy or end up with a permanent disability. It’s difficult to predict how other drivers will act, but if you notice someone isn’t paying attention to what they’re doing, you can merge into another lane or maintain distance from their vehicle.
Legal Options for Pursuing Financial Compensation
There are three options available if you want to hold the distracted driver accountable and collect compensation for your expenses.
Liability Insurance Claim
Georgia follows a fault system. That means the driver that causes a car crash automatically becomes financially responsible for the victim’s expenses. Typically, the payment comes from their auto insurance company. Every motorist must carry liability insurance with minimum limits for bodily injury and property damage. Those limits can cover the cost of medical treatment, vehicle repairs, and other expenses associated with the accident.
UM Insurance Claim
UM stands for uninsured/underinsured motorist. It’s coverage on your insurance policy that provides compensation when the at-fault driver either doesn’t have liability insurance or their limits aren’t high enough to cover all your expenses. Your UM limits can reimburse your medical bills, lost wages, and other costs resulting from your injuries.
Most people will sue the distracted driver who caused their accident if they discover there’s no liability insurance or the insurance claim gets denied. To file a lawsuit in Georgia, you must follow the statute of limitations. That is a deadline for pursuing legal action against another party in the civil court system. The statute of limitations for car accidents is two years. That means you only have two years from the crash date to file, or you lose your right to compensation.
The Impact of Modified Comparative Negligence
Besides the fault system that entitles an injured driver to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver, Georgia also follows a modified comparative negligence rule. Under this rule, the victim of a car crash can only recover a financial award if it’s found that they share less than 50% blame.
To clarify, let’s say you incurred $100,000 in damages (all losses suffered in an accident). If the distracted driver was 100% to blame for the crash, you could pursue at least $100,000 in compensation. However, if an insurance company determines you share 20% fault for the accident, the most compensation you could receive would be $80,000. The percentage of shared fault gets subtracted from the victim’s total damages.
Types of Damages Available in a Car Accident Case
Suppose you got hurt in a car crash and discover that the cause was due to the other driver being distracted. In that case, you could file an insurance claim or lawsuit for compensatory damages, compensating you for what you lost due to the accident. There are two categories of compensatory damages: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are actual expenses resulting from a car crash, such as:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Vehicle repairs or replacement
- Rental cars
Non-economic damages are intangible losses associated with the suffering crash victims endure, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disability
A third type of damage that’s only available in a lawsuit is known as punitive damages. A jury will only award it to the accident victim if there’s clear evidence that the at-fault driver’s actions were reckless, negligent, egregious, or malicious.
Choose Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C.
Our Alpharetta distracted driving accident lawyers are ready to help you fight for the justice you deserve. We believe in holding people accountable for their actions, so our clients receive the maximum compensation available. You shouldn’t pay for the expenses you incurred because of another person’s careless decisions. We will work hard to reach a favorable outcome in your case.
You can depend on our experienced team to guide you through the complicated legal process. We’ll relieve your burden by handling each step of your claim or lawsuit so you can focus on recovering.
If you were the victim of a car crash caused by a distracted driver, call us at (770) 205-8827 today. We’ll schedule your free consultation with one of our dedicated Alpharetta car accident lawyers.