How Does Texting While Driving Affect Negligence in Georgia Car Accidents?

Texting and driving is an ongoing, dangerous problem on the roads today. The NHTSA estimates that approximately 660,000 of drivers are using mobile devices while driving during daylight hours, and some estimate the risk of accident increases by up to 23 percent when someone texts while driving. So how does texting while driving tie in with the idea of negligence in Georgia care accidents? Can it be argued that someone who texts and drives is being negligent? The answer is yes. Here’s why. In the state of Georgia, texting while driving is against the law; it’s considered a type of reckless driving, punishable by fines and points on one’s license. From the standpoint of personal injury and civil suits, this means if you suffer damage or injury due to a driver who was texting, that driver may be legally liable for all damage he/she caused as a result of the crash.

The question of negligence

According to the law, every driver who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle assumes a legal obligation to operate that vehicle safely for the sake of others on the road – a legal concept known as “duty of care.” When a driver makes the choice to text and drive, that driver is purposefully driving while distracted, thereby violating his/her legal duty of care. That, by definition, constitutes negligence, making the driver liable for any damage caused as a result of that distraction. Do the courts automatically presume negligence if someone texts while driving and causes an accident? Not necessarily. In theory, texting and driving is negligence by definition, but the challenge is in proving that the accident was actually caused by that negligence. In these cases, the defendant’s attorney may argue that factors other than distracted driving may have contributed to the crash. If you are the victim in the accident, your attorney will have to present evidence to confirm that the accident was caused by the other driver’s texting. Such evidence may include police reports, forensic evidence (e.g., skidmark patterns on the road), photographs, cell phone records and witness statements. If you’ve been involved in an accident in Georgia where the other driver was texting while driving, you need an experienced personal injury attorney who can effectively present the case of negligence to help you receive the compensation you deserve. For a free case evaluation, call Sutton Slover today at 404.768.0292.