Distracted driving is dangerous driving—and distracted drivers pose an especially high safety risk to motorcyclists. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 8 in 10 motorcycle collisions result in injuries to the rider.
This raises an important question: How do you prove that the other driver in a crash was distracted? Here, our Georgia motorcycle accident attorney answers the question by providing an overview of the key things to know about proving liability in a distracted driving crash claim.
Background: Georgia is a Fault-Based Motorcycle Accident Liability State
Georgia is an “at-fault” state for automobile accidents, including motorcycle crashes. The party—whether a driver, motorcyclist, or vehicle manufacturer—who is found to be at fault or negligent is held financially responsible for the damages that result from the accident. Recoverable damages can include property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and non-economic damages.
Notably, Georgia is a comparative negligence state (O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33). Each party to a crash is legally responsible for their “share” of the assigned fault. For example, imagine if you were a motorcycle who was struck by a distracted driver. You sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the crash. However, you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash — a violation of Georgia law. You may be assigned partial legal responsibility for your own head injury.
Distracted Driving is Negligent Driving in Georgia
Distracted driving is a prime example of negligent behavior behind the wheel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes that there are three main types of distractions:
- Visual Driver Distractions: Taking one’s eyes off the road
- Manual Driver Distractions: Taking one’s hands off the wheel
- Cognitive Driver Distractions: Taking one’s mind off driving
Notably, in Georgia, it is illegal to text while driving. Beyond that, all motorists in Georgia have a more general responsibility to operate their vehicle in a reasonably safe manner.
Proving that a Distracted Driver Caused Your Motorcycle Accident in Georgia
As Georgia is a fault-based motor vehicle accident state, an injured motorcyclist needs to be prepared to prove liability. By establishing that another driver involved in the crash was unlawfully distracted, you can impose liability. When it comes to proving that a distracted driver caused your motorcycle accident, there are several types of evidence that can be used. Here are some of the most common examples of evidence that can be used to prove distracted driving:
- The Police Report: If the police were called to the scene of the accident, they likely compiled a report that can serve as a crucial piece of evidence. The report may include the officer’s observations of the scene, statements from involved parties and witnesses, and potentially even an initial determination of fault.
- Witness Statements: If there were any eyewitnesses to the accident, their statements can be instrumental in establishing the other driver’s distraction. They may have noticed the driver swerving, not signaling, or engaging in some other suspicious behavior.
- Digital Data (Cell Phone Records): If you suspect the other driver was texting or talking on their phone at the time of the accident, cell phone records can be subpoenaed to confirm this. Time-stamped data can indicate whether the driver was using their phone when the collision occurred.
- Video Footage: In today’s digital age, it’s possible that the accident was caught on camera. Among other things, this could be from a nearby surveillance camera, a dashcam in another vehicle, or even a helmet cam on the motorcyclist’s helmet.
Ultimately, every distracted driving motorcycle accident claim involves its own unique set of facts and circumstances. It is imperative that a serious crash is comprehensively investigated by an experienced Georgia motorcycle accident attorney. Your lawyer will be able to conduct a proactive, detail-driven investigation with a focus on gathering all of the documents, records, and other evidence that you need to prove fault.
Call Our Georgia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Immediate Legal Help
At Lawbike Motorcycle Injury Lawyers, our Georgia motorcycle accident lawyers have the professional skills and legal expertise to handle the full range of distracted driving accident claims. Give us a phone call at 1-866-529-2453 or connect with us online to set up your no cost, completely confidential initial legal consultation. With a legal office in Atlanta and a legal office in Roswell, our firm fights for the rights and interests of injured victims throughout all of Georgia.