Canton Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
Distracted Driving & Texting while Driving in Georgia
Georgia consistently ranks among the deadliest states when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. According to the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT), 1,507 people died in traffic accidents in the state in 2019 (the latest year with recorded data). Of those fatalities, over 75% were caused by “unsafe driving behaviors,” such as distracted driving.
Distracted driving—including texting while driving—is one of the most prevalent and most dangerous behaviors on our roads. If you or someone you love was hit by a distracted driver, you are likely dealing with a range of devastating physical, emotional, and financial consequences. At Hasty Pope, LLP, we understand the immense impact car accidents have on victims and their loved ones, which is why we fight to hold distracted drivers accountable and work to recover the compensation you need to get back on your feet.
As natives of the Polk/Cherokee County area, our team is committed to serving the people of Canton, Gainesville, and the surrounding areas with the care and compassion they deserve. We bring more than 150 years of combined experience to every case and, to date, we have successfully recovered more than $100 million on behalf of our clients.
What Is Considered “Distracted” Driving?
When we think of distracted driving, we often think of texting or using a cell phone behind the wheel. While this is one of the most common driving distractions, it is far from the only one. In fact, anything that diverts a driver’s attention from the task at hand can be considered a driving distraction.
Distractions are generally classified into three categories:
- Visual Distractions: A visual distraction is anything that causes the driver to take their eyes off the road.
- Manual Distractions: These are distractions that cause the driver to remove one or both hands from the steering wheel.
- Cognitive Distractions: A cognitive distraction is something that takes the driver’s mind off driving.
Most driving distractions can be classified into two or three categories. For example, one thing that makes texting while driving so dangerous is the fact that it comprises all three types of driving distractions: the driver’s eyes are off the road as they are looking at the text message, the driver’s hand(s) are off the steering wheel to hold the phone and/or type a text message, and the driver’s attention is not on the road but on the content of the text message. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), taking one’s eyes off the road for as little as 5 seconds while traveling at 55 miles per hour is the same as driving a full football field with your eyes closed.
Examples of Common Driving Distractions
There are many examples of driving distractions, all of which can lead to serious accidents and life-altering injuries.
Some of the most common examples of driving distractions include:
- Using a cell phone
- Sending or receiving a text message
- Looking at or posting to social media
- Taking picture or videos
- Using a GPS device or navigational system
- Adjusting the radio
- Adjusting comfort control systems
- Reaching for something on the floor
- Attending to kids in the backseat
- Having pets in the car
- Talking to a passenger
- Looking at billboards and other objects along the roadway
- “Rubbernecking” (looking at an accident)
If you believe the person who hit you was distracted or simply not paying attention, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. It is important that you discuss your options with an experienced attorney who can inform you of your options and work to protect your rights.
Proving Liability in a Distracted Driving Case
As in all car accident claims, you will need to prove that another driver (or party) was at fault for the accident that caused your injuries to bring a distracted driving accident claim. However, proving that another motorist was negligent because they were distracted can be difficult.
Georgia’s distracted driving laws focus primarily on cell phone use. As of July 1, 2018, Georgia motorists are not only prohibited from texting while driving, but they are also not allowed to use a hand-held wireless telecommunication or stand-alone device. They are also prohibited from watching or recording videos on a wireless telecommunication or stand-alone device, with the exception of watching a GPS system for the purpose of navigation.
With these laws in place, it is possible to prove that a motorist who violates the law was negligent. Our Canton distracted driving lawyers often work with accident reconstructionists and investigators to recreate the accident and determine how it occurred. Our team can also examine the at-fault driver’s cell phone records to assess whether they were unlawfully or negligently using a cell phone at the time of the accident.
But what happens if the driver caused the accident not because they were using a cell phone but were distracted by something else inside or outside of the vehicle? While it can be difficult to prove that a driver was looking at signs along the road or reaching into the backseat to pick up something that fell from the seat, these actions often cause drivers to make mistakes, such as running stop signs or drifting across lanes. These are clear examples of negligence, and the at-fault driver can be held accountable.
Contact Hasty Pope, LLP Today
If you were injured or if your loved one was killed by a distracted driver, we at Hasty Pope, LLP are ready to fight for you. We know that nothing can undo the devastating experience you have gone through, but our goal is to help you recover the compensation you need to move forward.
We truly care about each of our clients. Our team is here to answer your questions and provide the compassionate, personal attention you deserve. We will advocate for you, from the moment you call until the moment your case is resolved. We have earned a reputation for providing aggressive representation for our clients, as well as for never backing down from a challenge.
At Hasty Pope, LLP, we provide free initial consultations and contingency fees. This means you do not pay any out-of-pocket expenses, and we only collect attorneys’ fees when we successfully recover a settlement or verdict for you.
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$9,000,000 Wrongful Death
Settlement of $9 million in September of 2019. This was for the family of a 20-year-old man struck and killed by a driver who crossed the centerline in Cherokee County, Georgia on May 18, 2018.
$6,000,000 Truck Accident
A tractor-trailer lost control and struck two motorcyclists, both suffered catastrophic injuries.
$5,000,000 Rear-End Accident
A female client was rear-ended at a high rate of speed in Fannin County, Georgia, a county in North Georgia. The negligent driver was following too closely and failed to maintain control of her vehicle.
$2,800,000 Dental Malpractice
A woman sustained permanent injury to her mouth and teeth as result of dental work performed below the standard of care by a dentist employed by a large corporate dental chain.
$2,500,000 Intersection Collision
A woman suffered multiple injuries including head trauma, multiple rib fractures, and a collapsed left lung when another car ran a red light and struck her vehicle in West Palm Beach, Fla.
$2,000,000 Intersection Collision
Our 76-year-old client, Sara, was on her way home from the salon. She was driving through an intersection on a green light when a young driver turned in front of her.
$1,735,000 Distracted Driving Accident
Our client was struck and killed on I-985 in Hall County, Georgia. Our client had pulled off I-985 to secure his load and was outside all lanes of travel.
$1,700,000 T-Bone Collision
A woman suffered permanent injury to her dominant arm after being involved in a collision at Davis Drive and Mansell Road in Alpharetta, Georgia.
$1,650,000 Accident on MARTA Bus
Our client sustained an injury in an accident in which the wheelchair ramp of a MARTA bus closed on her foot in 2016.
$1,300,000 Rear-End Collision
Our client, a 49 year-old small business owner was on his way home from a job when his life was forever changed - he was rear ended at a high rate of speed by a large construction truck.