Distracted driving accident claims

According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, Georgia averages over 150,000 suspected distracted driving crashes per year. These crashes injure tens of thousands of people, potentially costing each victim thousands of dollars in medical expenses and income loss. Distracted driving has attracted much attention from drivers, policymakers, and police agencies. Too many motorists try to multitask while driving, interfering with their ability to identify and avoid traffic, road, and weather hazards. As a result, they end up hitting vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, and stationary objects like signs and lamp posts. Whether you were a passenger or road user, you may have a claim for personal injury compensation after a distracted driving crash. These kinds of accidents can be devastating, but an attorney from Pendergrass Law can gather the necessary evidence to prove negligence and recover your fair compensation from the distracted driver or their insurer.

Types of distractions

Distractions can include any task that takes a driver’s mind, hands, or eyes away from the task of operating their vehicle, compromising the safety of those around them.


Cognitive distractions include talking to passengers or on a cell phone. Similarly, emotionally distraught drivers might be unable to concentrate on driving, and boredom can cause a driver’s mind to wander.


Visual distractions include reading, looking at a navigation screen, and rubbernecking at an accident scene. Distractions prevent drivers from spotting what is in the path of their vehicles. This delayed recognition hampers their ability to avoid a crash.


Manual distractions include eating, texting, and adjusting a vehicle’s sound system or cabin controls. These actions interfere with a driver’s ability to proceed safely. They may even cause the driver to lose control of their vehicle and cause a crash. For example, a driver may inadvertently veer out of their lane when reaching for something.

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Proving distracted driving

Georgia law allows drivers to pursue injury claims following distracted driving accidents by proving negligence. This requires showing that the other driver failed to exercise reasonable care, a standard which demands that all road users drive with the same level of care a reasonably prudent driver would in the same circumstances. Distracted driving can constitute negligence under two different theories.

  1. Negligence per se occurs when drivers violate traffic laws. Under this theory, violating traffic safety laws, such as those banning texting and driving and handheld cell use, creates a rebuttable presumption that the driver violated the standard of care.
  2. Even when an activity is not banned, it can still constitute negligence if a reasonable driver would have known that it presented an unreasonable hazard. For example, there is no law in Georgia prohibiting tying a necktie while driving, but reasonable people would consider that activity unreasonably dangerous.
man on phone while driving

Damages recoverable for distracted driving

Georgia law allows you to recover both special and general damages for a personal injury. Special damages are unique to your case and are intended to cover losses like medical bills and lost income. General damages are presumed to affect every injured person and offer compensation for effects like pain and suffering, disability, and loss of enjoyment of life.

What happens if both drivers are distracted?

Unfortunately, distracted driving is so common that sometimes both drivers involved in an accident are distracted. For example, suppose that you were talking to a passenger when a distracted driver ran a stop sign and hit you. In this case, the question of whether your distraction prevented you from avoiding the crash may arise. Even if you were distracted at the time of your accident, you should contact an attorney about your case. According to Georgia’s comparative negligence rule, each person who contributed to an accident can be assigned a share of the blame. This can ultimately impact the compensation they might be eligible to receive. For example, if a judge determines you were 10% responsible for the accident, your compensation may be reduced by 10%. However, you may still have a case. For one thing, your distraction might not have contributed to the crash — if you never had a chance to swerve or brake, the accident likely would have happened anyway. Even if you share in the blame, you can still recover compensation for the percentage of blame borne by the distracted driver.

Contact a distracted driving accident attorney in Atlanta

A distracted driving accident may not leave behind hard evidence, such as skid marks or witnesses who saw the driver pull out in front of you. Regardless, a skilled lawyer can collect what evidence there is that can explain what happened and who bears the blame. Pendergrass Law has years of experience representing accident victims against those responsible for their losses. Our attorneys live by our motto, “Do Right, Win Big.” Our team will take the time to get to know you and your needs after an accident. From there, we will tailor a legal strategy to your situation and gather the necessary evidence to prove liability and recover compensation on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your distracted driving accident and the compensation you can seek for the injuries you have suffered.

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