Do not send that text while driving. Remember, driving is a privilege, not a right. Every driver has a legal obligation to act in a manner prescribed by law. Failure to do so can result in an accident. Distracted driving is anything that takes an individual’s hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, or mind off driving. It is risky behavior that endangers everyone on the road. Distracted driving is often referred to as the new drunk driving.
DISTRACTED DRIVING STATISTICS IN FLORIDA.
- Distracted driving is responsible for nearly 50,000 crashes a year in Florida.
- Florida has been cited as having the second most number of distracted driving accidents in the Country.
- More than 200 people are killed every year in Florida due to distracted driving.
- There is an average 137 distracted driving accidents in Florida every day.
Distracted driving is a form of negligence. Negligence is defined as “Failure to take reasonable care to avoid causing injury or loss to another person.”
To prove negligence, the plaintiff (the injured party) must establish the following four main elements:-
- The defendant (the accused party) owed the plaintiff a reasonable duty of care.
All drivers owe a duty of care towards other drivers, passengers, pedestrians and others on the roadway when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
- The Defendant breached his or her duty of care.
The breach of care by the defendant is the crux of the personal injury law. It is the plaintiff’s burden of proof to convince the judge or jury that there was a breach of care committed by the defendant.
- The breach of duty by the Defendant caused the accident.
It is not enough to show that the Defendant was negligent, careless or distracted, it has to be established by a preponderance of the evidence that his or her act of negligence was the main cause of the car accident.
- The accident caused compensable damages.
The plaintiff will have to establish that he or she suffered damages due to the breach of duty by the Defendant. Damages may include physical injury, pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, lost wages, loss of quality of life and/or property damage.
TYPES OF DISTRACTIONS.
Anything that diverts a driver’s attention away from the road is a distraction. These distractions can be categorized Into three types:-
- VISUAL DISTRACTIONS.
Distractions that cause a driver to take his or her eyes off the road. These include,
- Looking at the phone screen.
- Using vanity mirror to check appearance or for the purpose of self grooming.
- Looking behind at unsecured children or pets in the backseat.
- MANUAL DISTRACTIONS.
Distractions that involve a driver taking his hands or hand off the steering wheel. These include,
- Texting, talking or calling on the phone.
- Eating, drinking or smoking while driving.
- Adjusting radio or mirrors.
- Using a navigation system.
- Engaging on social media Apps on the phone while driving.
- COGNITIVE DISTRACTIONS.
Distractions that take a driver’s mind off the road. These include,
- Listening to loud music.
- Having a conversation with passengers in the car.
- Talking on cellphone
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has partnered with the Department of Transportation and law enforcement agencies to educate Floridians about distracted driving laws through the “ Put it down, focus on driving” campaign.
The ‘Wireless Communications while driving law’ came into effect from July 1, 2019. This law empowers law enforcement agencies to stop motor vehicles and issue citations to motorists who breach the distracted driving laws. A person is required by law not to operate a motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device.
WHAT TO DO AFTER BEING INJURED BY A DISTRACTED DRIVER?
If you are injured in an accident with a distracted driver, it is important to remain calm and follow these steps:-
- Turn on hazard lights.
- Move yourself and your vehicle to safety.
- Call 911 to report the accident.
- Lend a helping hand to others injured in the accident.
- Exchange contact information with others involved in the accident.
- Gather any sort of evidence, if possible.
- Gather eye witness information.
- Don’t admit fault.
- Seek medical attention.
- Call insurance company and report the accident.
- Enlist the services of a Miami Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer at the earliest.
Our qualified and experienced Attorneys possess in depth knowledge and experience to assist a victim and his family to navigate through complex accident laws. Our team relentlessly fights to secure maximum compensation through verdicts and settlements for victims of car accidents due to distracted driving in Miami and all across Florida.
TYPES OF INJURIES SUSTAINED IN CAR COLLISIONS/ CRASHES.
Car accident injuries involving distracted driving vary from person to person, and from crash to crash. Most common injuries are :-
- Broken bones and Fractures.
- Facial damage.
- Spinal injuries/ paralysis.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Permanent disability.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR FILING A DISTRACTED DRIVING ACCIDENT LAWSUIT IN FLORIDA.
There are specific time limits, restrictions and rules for filing a accident claim. An experienced distracted driving accident lawyer ensures that you fully understand the Federal, State and Local laws that might apply to your case. Florida statute of Limitations for distracted driving accidents is four years after the accident occurred. In general terms, residents of Florida have four years from the date of the accident to initiate a civil lawsuit.
If an accident has resulted in a wrongful death, the plaintiffs have only two years to file a suit in Florida.
It is in the best interests of the plaintiff to enlist the services of an experienced Miami Motor Vehicles Accident lawyer. Sufficient time is necessary to collect evidence to establish the defendant’s liability. Various witnesses have to be traced and interviewed. Numerous records have to be collected and opinion of experts has to be sought.
COMPENSATION FOR VICTIM OF A DISTRACTED DRIVING ACCIDENT IN MIAMI.
Our Miami distracted driving accident lawyers seek to get maximum compensation for the victim of an accident and help him or her explore other options and alternative ways to seek additional compensation for injuries sustained.
A victim can file a claim with his or her own insurance company or the at-fault driver’s Insurance company, but policy coverage may limit the amount of compensation a victim recovers.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit is the best option to recover damages. Our Miami Distracted Driving Accident lawyers help victims recover:-
- Medical Bills.
- Lost Wages.
- Damages suffered due to Pain and Suffering.
- Damages suffered due to Emotional Distress.
- Costs of future corrective surgeries.
- Punitive damages
Florida, being a Comparative Fault State, allows a person to recover damages irrespective of his or her degree of fault. A Court will apportion fault among the parties, and the plaintiff is entitled to recover damages to the extent, he or she is not responsible for causing his or her injuries.
Compensation awarded in such a claim can help cover medical expenses, long term medical care, and other damages, not covered by Florida Personal Injury Protection Insurance Plans.
Florida is a ‘No Fault’ car insurance state which means that each person’s Insurance Company pays for their own medical expenses, regardless of fault. The amount of no-fault benefits is typically limited to $10,000.00.
WHY HIRE KAIRE & HEFFERNAN?
Car accidents due to distracted driving involve complex and intricate legal concepts. If we represent you, our attorneys will carefully investigate the cause of the accident. Our Florida distracted driving accident attorneys possess the ability and skill to subpoena cell phone records of those involved in the accident to determine whether the driver who caused the accident was talking on the phone or sending texts at the time of the accident.
Our team of personal injury lawyers in Miami are experienced at calculating the full extent of a victim’s expenses and damages. Our team works with the victim’s doctors to estimate future medical needs and their costs. Our lawyers are adept at collecting and protecting evidence. They know how to obtain and review medical records and have access to top auto industry experts in addition to accident reconstruction experts.
Our team of Miami distracted driving accident lawyers know how to effectively deal with Attorneys and Insurers of the Defendant who try to deny the plaintiff’s claim or reduce the claim value significantly.
CONTACT A MIAMI DISTRACTED DRIVING ACCIDENT LAWYER.
If you or your loved one has been a victim of a distracted driving accident in Miami, you deserve to be duly compensated for the injuries suffered and other damages. Call an experienced Distracted Driving Accident lawyer at our firm for a free in depth case evaluation right away.
Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 30 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for many years.