Will a Distracted Driving Accident Affect My Car Insurance Rate?

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A female distracted driver operates her car while using the phone.If you were the distracted driver, your car insurance premiums would likely go up. How much they will increase depends on many factors, including your car insurance provider, how many points are currently against your driver’s license, other infractions, and what you were cited for. Remember that any accident in which you are at fault, regardless of the reason, is likely to increase your premiums.

How Does a Distracted Driving Ticket Affect My Insurance?

Car insurance companies base their rates on their perceived risk. When you get a ticket for distracted driving, even if you don’t cause an accident, the insurance carrier considers you a higher risk and may raise your rates. If you received other citations, such as a ticket for speeding or running a red light, you would probably see an even sharper increase.

Can You Keep a Distracted Driving Ticket Off Your Record?

If it’s your first offense for using a smartphone while driving, you may be able to get the citation revoked by purchasing hands-free technology for your car. However, your insurance rates would still be affected if you caused an accident while distracted.

What Actions Lead to a Distracted Driving Ticket in Georgia?

Under Georgia law, distracted driving is loosely defined as anything that can distract a driver from the safe operation of their vehicle. The Georgia Hands-Free Law is focused on preventing smartphone use from distracting drivers, but you can receive a ticket for any distraction that causes you to drive unsafely. However, most distracted driving citations involve phone usage.

The Hands-Free Law prohibits the following actions:

  • Using a smartphone while driving. There is an exception for use with hands-free devices, but you can’t touch or look at your phone while driving. You should set up your Bluetooth headset or another device while your car is parked. Calls should be made by voice activation or dial before you start driving. Another exception allows device use for GPS or navigational assistance. While this is not illegal, you should still be careful to keep your eyes on the road. Find a safe place to pull over if the voice directions aren’t helpful enough and you want to study the map.
  • Reading or sending texts, emails, social media posts, or other communications. You can use speech-to-text software to send a text, but you must keep your hands off your phone.
  • Watching or recording videos while operating a vehicle. Continuously recording dash cams are allowed if you want a record of what happens on the road. The idea is to avoid the distraction of trying to take video with a phone while driving.

However, some actions that aren’t strictly illegal can still lead to an unsafe situation if they distract the driver. These include eating and drinking, styling your hair, applying makeup, cologne, or deodorant, adjusting controls for the radio or temperature, digging in a bag or briefcase for anything, and more. We recommend waiting until you’re safely parked to do these activities. In general, anything that pulls your eyes or your focus from the road should probably be avoided.

What If Your Distracted Driving Wasn’t the Cause of the Accident?

Distracted driving is dangerous, and we strongly advise avoiding distractions when behind the wheel. However, if you were not responsible for the accident, you – and your insurance carrier – should not be responsible for the bills (medical care, car repairs, and more).

Your situation may be complicated because of something called comparative fault. This legal doctrine is used in many states to distribute responsibility in torts or personal injury cases. Comparative fault recognizes that more than one party may contribute to an accident or injury and focuses on determining who is most at fault. A party found to be less than 50 percent responsible can seek compensation from the party that is more than 50 percent at fault. The less-responsible party’s award will be reduced by their responsibility percentage.

As an example, let’s say that you were driving through an intersection, and another driver ran a red light. You were distracted by your phone and didn’t see the car heading your way until it was too late. The driver who ran the red light is primarily responsible for the accident, but it’s possible you could have stopped in time to avoid them if you’d seen them coming sooner. If your case went to trial, a jury might find the other driver was 80 percent responsible and you were 20 percent responsible. In this situation, the compensation you won from the other driver would be reduced by 20 percent.

What If a Distracted Driver Caused Your Accident But Claims You Were At Fault?

This is another possibility with distracted driving accidents. It isn’t always easy to prove the other driver was distracted, even if you observed them looking away from the road or using a phone. They might claim that you’re lying or that they saw you on your phone. If the accounts are conflicting and there are no additional witnesses, the police report may be inconclusive.

Fault can be difficult to determine with only one perspective. After an accident, you should answer the responding officer’s questions honestly but avoid speculating about fault or stating what you think you did wrong. In many situations, both drivers made errors, but one driver had more responsibility for the accident than the other. However, both parties may believe the other is solely at fault for the crash. Their respective insurance companies will likely agree with their clients because neither insurer wants to pay the claim.

What can you do in this situation? Many people are tempted to argue with the insurance company on their own, but this is unlikely to work out well. The insurance adjuster will be on the lookout for anything you say that they might be able to misinterpret as an indication of liability on your party. They will probably record the conversation, too. Additionally, insurance adjusters and the insurance company’s legal team are all well-versed in various laws and loopholes related to insurance coverage. Unless you’re also an insurance industry expert, you will be at a disadvantage.

Instead, we recommend contacting an experienced Georgia distracted driving accident lawyer right away. Our investigative team will examine the details of your car crash and collect evidence to show who was really at fault. If we can prove that the other party was at least mostly responsible for your accident, we can help you get the compensation you need.

When Should You Contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm?

As soon as you’re able to after your accident. It’s important that we begin gathering evidence as right away because many types of evidence don’t last long. For instance, we may be able to obtain video from traffic or doorbell cameras, but these are frequently erased so new recordings can be made. We also check the accident scene and attempt to find additional witnesses, but their memories may not be as sharp after weeks or months have passed.

We can also assist you in filing a claim with the relevant insurance company and will negotiate with the insurer to get you an appropriate settlement. In many cases, the insurance agency’s first offer is too low for the injured party’s damages. This is not always apparent to the injured person, as it can be difficult to identify and calculate all your damages on your own. Having the assistance of a skilled distracted driving accident lawyer will help you ensure you receive enough compensation for your current and future expenses.

Your initial consultation is always free at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm. We’ll review the details of your case, explain your options, and answer any questions you have. If we take your case, you don’t owe us anything until we successfully settle or win it. Contact us today!

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Frequently Asked Questions

After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!

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Help Negotiating with Insurance Carriers

To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.

Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?

The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.

Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm

Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.

What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?

During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process. Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today. We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.

Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.