There are more car accidents in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world. In 2020, the volume of traffic on the roads contributed to over 2.282 million traffic accident injuries and 38,800 fatalities, an average of 6,234.9 injuries and 106 fatalities daily. Motor vehicle accident fatalities are one of the primary causes of accidental deaths among those 44 years or younger. The fourth highest cause of death for people of all age groups is accidental death.
Distracted driving is among the primary causes of traffic accidents. A distracted driving accident lawyer can explain your legal options and help you seek damages if you’re in an accident caused by a distracted driver.
Multiple types of distractions cause accidents. Anything that shifts a driver’s focus away from driving qualifies as a distraction. Distractions fall into the following categories:
Distracted driving is widespread, with a driver’s cell phone use preceding their car accident 25% of the time. That means distractions from cell phone use alone contribute to a quarter of all traffic accidents.
Florida’s traffic laws attempt to reduce the volume of distracted driving accidents. These traffic laws prohibit drivers from using handheld electronic devices while driving.
Everyone is legally responsible for demonstrating a “duty of care” toward others. Consequently, drivers must drive safely and make reasonable attempts to avoid accidents. Distracted drivers fail to fulfill this duty and can be considered negligent if their distracted driving causes an accident.
Consequences of distracted driving
Under Florida statutes, a driver facing their first-time distracted driving offense could pay a fine of $350, plus court costs. Drivers may face additional fines and be given points on their driver’s record if they’re charged with additional distracted driving offenses.
Drivers may also face additional consequences if they cause an accident resulting in severe injuries. Suppose you’re driving in Tampa. You approach an intersection, and you have the right of way. Your vehicle is hit by a car driven by someone that failed to stop and didn’t have the right of way. That driver was texting while driving and didn’t stop because they weren’t paying attention to the road. You can seek compensation for expenses and the personal impact of your accident from the at-fault driver who caused the wreck.
Suppose this driver struck a pedestrian before they hit your car. If the pedestrian died, the distracted driver could face criminal charges for vehicular homicide.
Tampa car accident attorneys can provide legal support after a distracted driving accident. Your attorney can counsel you while you’re at the accident scene and ensure you do what’s required by law after an accident in Florida.
Your attorney will investigate the accident and prepare a legal case. They can gather the evidence to prove that distracted driving caused your accident. Proving the at-fault driver was guilty of distracted driving establishes negligence, which your attorney must prove to win your lawsuit if it goes to trial.
Claimants may settle their case out of court or go to court to seek a judgment. Your car accident lawyer will handle settlement negotiations before a trial. They’ll argue for you to receive a fair settlement and advise you of your options when a settlement’s offered.
In some cases, the at-fault party doesn’t offer a reasonable settlement. If you are in this situation, your attorney will present evidence at trial. They’ll summon witnesses and use other evidence, including photos, videos, and the police report, to support your case.
Every state is either a no-fault or at-fault state. As a no-fault state, Florida requires drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, which pays for medical costs. Severe accidents may result in costs that exceed your insurance coverage. The at-fault driver may be liable to cover these and other expenses.
In some situations, other parties may share liability for your accident. Suppose someone driving a commercial vehicle hits your car. An investigation reveals that the driver was talking to their boss while driving, and their boss was yelling at them. The verbal conflict distracted the driver, resulting in the accident. It’s possible to argue their employer knowingly contributed to a distracted driving accident and shares liability. Therefore, your attorney may file a suit against the driver’s employer.
Accident victims may seek monetary and non-monetary damages from the at-fault driver. There are also cases when accident victims can seek punitive damages in addition to monetary and non-monetary damages.
Monetary damages are also called economic damages. Calculating these damages involves gathering the bills related to your accident and adding up the total costs. Monetary damages include lost income, childcare expenses, property damage costs, and medical bills.
Non-monetary damages provide compensation for the personal toll you suffer after an accident. Examples of these non-economic damages include compensation for grief, trauma, and pain.
When the at-fault driver performed intentional acts that they knew jeopardized safety, accident victims can seek punitive damages. These damages aren’t based on financial or personal costs. Juries award punitive damages to punish the driver for their actions.
Florida allows car accident victims 48 months to file a claim. After four years, the statute of limitations expires.
Tampa’s premier distracted driving attorneys offer free consultations and only bill clients once we win your case. When you contact the team at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, you’ll receive immediate guidance from legal experts with years of experience representing car accident victims.
We’ll investigate your accident and gather the evidence to build your case. We’ll also work with you to calculate how much damages to seek, ensuring you pursue compensation for every expense from your accident.
Accidents are distressing, potentially life-altering experiences. You don’t have to face them alone. Our team will be with you every step of the way, fighting for you to receive justice after a distracted driving accident.
Injured in a distracted driving accident? Contact Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys now.
Bray, I. (2023). Common Causes of Car Accidents.
Duty of Care. (2023).
Leading Causes of Death. (2023).
Mental Distraction Myth Busters. (2017).