Texting and driving is a serious problem across the United States. Many states have even criminalized the act because of how dangerous it is. A driver who is texting is incredibly prone to getting in an accident because they are not focused on what they should be doing – which is driving. When victims of car accidents are injured by a driver who was texting, they may be looking to file a lawsuit against them.
You sue a driver who injured you while texting just like any other driver who injured you for any other reason. In court, you will provide evidence that the driver was texting and, as a result, injured you in a car accident.
To get a free overview of your case with our team of Georgia car accident attorneys, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
How Dangerous is Texting While Driving in Georgia?
Texting while driving is incredibly dangerous. Driving demands someone’s full attention so that they can adequately respond to changing road conditions and surprises that may require immediate action. Texting is often considered the most dangerous form of distracted driving because it occupies a driver’s eyes, hands, and mind, all of which should be focused on the road, not a screen.
In fact, texting while driving is illegal in Georgia under O.G.C.A. § 40-6-241. So, if someone hits you and they are texting, they may be facing criminal charges in addition to your civil case.
What Do I Need to Prove in a Georgia Car Accident Case Involving Texting While Driving
In any car accident lawsuit, you need to prove that the defendant was negligent. A driver is negligent when they do something dangerous or careless and, as a result, someone else gets hurt. Here, the negligent act is texting.
Under O.G.C.A. § 40-6-241(c), drivers are prohibited from doing many things involving wireless devices. For example, drivers are not allowed to be physically holding a wireless communication device like a phone – or indeed something older like an MP3 player or iPod – in their hand while driving. Things that do not need to be manipulated by hand, like earpieces or other hands-free communication methods, are allowed, though. If you can prove that the defendant was holding a phone in their hands, you can hold them liable for your injuries.
Motorists are also not allowed to look at an electronic device of any kind while driving unless that device has to do with navigation or otherwise enhancing their awareness of the road around them. So briefly glancing at a GPS to determine whether you are going in the right direction is ok, but watching a movie or online video is prohibited.
What Evidence Can Show That Another Driver Was Texting When They Hit Me in Georgia?
Having a successful lawsuit against a driver who was texting seems fairly straightforward. You take them to court, show that they were texting, and walk away with your damages. However, it is often more complicated than that in reality. It can be very hard to prove that someone was texting when driving. That being said, there are things you can do to help prove to the judge and jury that the defendant was texting and that is why they caused a car accident.
Get Phone Data and Records
The strongest proof that another driver was texting when they hit you is the texts they were sending or reading at that time. To this end, our lawyers can put in a request with the court to obtain the cellular data of the defendant, in order to see if they were texting or got a message sent to them around when the accident took place.
Inform the Police
After your accident, police will likely respond to the scene to figure out what is going on. Be sure to talk to them and inform them that the other driver was texting, or at least that you suspect as much. This will be included in their police report, which can be used by our Georgia car accident lawyers. Additionally, the officer may, based on that assertion, ask the other driver if they were texting or not, and they may even admit it.
Note Exactly When the Accident Took Place
However, you keep records and make a note of the date and time when the accident happened. This way, our lawyers can request information from the defendant’s phone, and any texts sent by the defendant at the exact time that the accident took place can be used as evidence that they were texting and driving.
If you can, try and get photos of the inside of the other driver’s vehicle. Their phone may be inside, and you might get lucky and snap a picture of open texts on the screen.
Ask the Other Driver
This is straightforward and may seem silly, but you can sometimes have the other driver say that they were texting if you just ask them. If the other driver simply states that they were texting, be sure to make a record of it and tell the police. You can do the same for any passengers in the other driver’s vehicle. They may have seen the driver texting just before the accident happened.
Talk to Witnesses
You should speak to any witnesses who are present after your accident. They may have seen the other driver engrossed in their phone prior to the accident happening. Even if they were just holding the phone in their hand, that may be enough to incur liability under Georgia law.
Talk With a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer About Your Case Today
If you want to file a car accident claim based on texting while driving, speak with one of our Georgia car accident lawyers right away by calling Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.