Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of auto accidents. Drivers can get distracted by many things, reducing their focus on the road. That can lead to not seeing things or reacting to them on time, which increases the chances of a crash. When the driver is in a big rig or other commercial vehicle, the consequences of distracted driving can be severe. These vehicles are so large that collisions that would otherwise be minor can result in serious injuries or even death. If you are one of the victims of distracted driving truck accidents in Sandy Springs, an experienced tractor-trailer collision lawyer at The Hammers Firm could help you review your legal options.
Many people think of texting when they think of distracted driving. While texting is a distraction, it is not the only one. Anything that diverts attention away from driving is a distraction. So, eating while driving, putting on makeup, or even having an animated conversation with passengers can all be distracted driving. There are three main types of distractions for drivers:
One of the reasons that people equate texting with distracted driving is that texting does all three.
Eating or drinking are also distractions. They are also things that most truckers, especially long-haul truckers, do while driving. Drinking beverages while driving is so common that almost all vehicles come with cupholders. Changing radio stations or music apps is another common distraction. Even daydreaming or listening to an audiobook can be a distraction since it keeps a driver from focusing on events. A qualified Sandy Springs truck accident attorney could help determine whether distracted driving led to a specific wreck.
Georgia uses contributory negligence to determine fault, and two statutes, Georgia Code § 51-11-7 and Georgia Code § 51-12-32, explain how that works. A plaintiff can still recover for an accident, even if they were partially responsible, and the court looks at the percentage of responsibility to make its monetary damage determinations. The court will examine whether the trucker’s distracted driving contributed to the collision and, if so, how much it contributed.
Establishing fault can be difficult in a distracted driving case. If the distraction was a cellphone or other electronic device, it is much easier to prove what the driver did during the accident. However, suppose a driver was daydreaming or having a conversation with passengers. In that case, showing they were distracted can be much trickier. In some instances, a plaintiff may not be able to prove that the defendant was distracted but still able to demonstrate that the defendant was negligent.
In all auto accidents in Georgia, plaintiffs can seek compensatory damages. Compensatory damages seek to put a plaintiff in the same position they would have been in without the accident. Examples of compensatory damages include:
In some instances, a plaintiff can also seek punitive damages; however, the defendant must have been engaged in outrageous behavior to support a punitive damage claim. A skilled Sandy Springs truck crash lawyer could assess the circumstances of a distracted driving claim to determine if punitive damages may be available.
Proving distracted driving can be difficult. It is often a matter of he-said/ she-said. However, our experienced attorneys know where to find the evidence to prove distraction. If you think that a distracted driver was the cause of a wreck that resulted in your injuries, we could help. Contact The Hammers Firm following distracted driving truck accidents in Sandy Springs.