I Was in a Car Accident with Someone Who Was Texting and Driving. How Can I Prove It?
Do you own a cell phone? Odds are the answer to that question is “yes.” Have you ever used it while driving? If you’re like most drivers on the road, you may have used your cell phone at least once while driving. The reality is that the majority of drivers on the roads near Atlanta own and use cell phones, and many of those people choose to use them while driving — sometimes habitually. There is no shortage of statistics on the dangers of texting and driving in Atlanta, and as you likely know, the frequency of texting and driving offenders on the roads is all too high.
Here in the state of Georgia, texting and driving is against the law, but it certainly does not prevent many drivers from doing just that – not to mention sending other forms of instant messages, emails, or engaging in other forms of mobile or online communication. Distracted driving remains one of the most common factors in any car accident in Atlanta, Georgia, so being on your guard against those who would drive distracted is of paramount importance.
The idea of catching a driver texting red-handed can be more difficult than it sounds. Most will hold the phone in their lap, out of view of others on the road, while they interact with the keyboard. However, seeing a driver whose head is down-turned rather than looking at the road ahead is a definite clue, particularly if they are weaving, holding up traffic, or otherwise making a danger of themselves — this is a pretty clear indicator that you’ve got a texter.
The modern world moves very quickly, and we all have deadlines and pressing issues that urge us to answer the beeping, blinking indicator on our cell phone. Not only is it not worth the risk to check that notification while driving, but doing so is against the law in Atlanta, GA. One quick glance could result in a citation in the best case, or in the worst, a serious texting and driving car accident in which there are serious injuries or fatalities. If you have been injured in a texting and driving car accident in Atlanta GA, we urge you to contact us at Bethune Law today.
What the Law Says About Texting while Driving in Atlanta, Georgia
According to Georgia state law, any driver under the age of at, as well as any driver with a learner’s permit or a class “D” license (a driver’s license for those who operate a passenger vehicle such as a taxi) is prohibited entirely from engaging in any sort of wireless communication while behind the wheel. This means any use of a cell phone at all is illegal for these drivers except in cases of emergency such as reporting an accident or when one’s safety is of concern. Drivers with a commercial license are also barred from talking on a cell phone without the use of a hands-free device.
Most adults in the state of Georgia (those who do not have class C or D licenses) are not prohibited from talking on cell phones while driving. However, state law prohibits the use of cell phones for texting, emailing, and instant messaging, as well as reading the same. Even for these drivers, it is always advised to exercise care and caution when talking on the phone while driving and use a hands-free device if at all possible.
Proving Texting and Driving in a Car Accident in Atlanta, Georgia
If you have been involved in a car accident in Atlanta, Georgia and you suspect texting may have been a factor, proving that the driver was texting at the time of the accident may be something with which you and your car accident lawyer are concerned. The first and easiest evidence of texting involves witness testimony — if you or another witness saw the driver gazing downward at the time of the accident, this can be an indicator of texting – or, at the very least, a distraction.
It is also helpful to attempt to reconcile the time of the car accident with cell phone records for the at-fault driver. This is generally done after a suit has been filed, during a period known as discovery, but in certain cases, and with certain cell phone carriers, our car accident lawyers can obtain records before filing, during pre-suit investigation activities. When this can be done, it is often possible to use those records to place pressure on the at-fault driver’s insurance company, particularly if the records indicate the possibility of distracted driving.
Records of actual texts sent can be a challenge to obtain, but other forms of records may be sufficient to prove an Atlanta GA driver was using a cell phone in an illegal manner during a car accident — including texting and driving.
Consult with an Atlanta Auto Accident Lawyer About Your Texting and Driving Accident
If you or someone you love has been involved in a texting and driving car accident in Atlanta, Georgia, it is vital that you pursue every avenue to prove that the driver was distracted at the time of the accident. The car accident lawyers at the Bethune Law Firm can help you build a solid case, so contact us today.