Most people believe that they cannot live without their smartphones by their side. That means, of course, that some people cannot help but interact with their cell phones even when engaging in activities that require focus, like driving a car.
In the United States, almost 500,000 people are injured or killed every year in traffic accidents due to texting while driving. Texting and driving – similar to other driver distractions like eating, using the GPS, or talking on the phone – is a form of distracted driving that endangers both you and other people on the road.
Accordingly, if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident involving someone who was texting while driving, you need to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who specializes in distracted-driving car accident cases.
In this article, we will discuss why texting while driving is so dangerous, what Florida’s law is related to texting while driving, and what damages you may seek in a personal injury case if you were injured by a driver who was texting at the time of the accident.
If you have additional questions, we welcome you to contact the seasoned personal injury attorneys at Crary Buchanan. At Crary Buchanan, we are proud of our standard of excellence, which has allowed us to be one of the oldest law firms on Florida’s Treasure Coast. We are passionate about giving you the highest quality representation in personal injury matters. Call us today at (772) 287-2600 or schedule a free personal injury to consult online with our online contact form. Remember, you pay no legal fee unless you receive compensation for your injuries.
Why Are Texting and Driving So Dangerous?
Texting while driving makes vehicle accidents 23 times more likely. The exponentially increased danger comes from multi-tasking. A driver who is texting and driving are actually handling at least three separate mental and physical actions at the same time. Specifically, the driver, while driving at a certain speed, is doing the following things:
1. Taking eyes off of the road to look at a phone. When you are in the middle of a text conversation, your eyes will naturally check for the next message. That is time not looking at the road.
2. Taking hands off of the wheel to text. Texting with one hand is not an easy task to do very quickly. As you know, it demands some concentration and can be particularly tricky with challenges like your phone auto-correcting to words you don’t want while texting, which is an additional distraction.
3. Taking your mind off of the road. Text messages can pull your attention away from the task of driving in a major way, especially if you are having a difficult text conversation. When driving down the road at a good clip, any change of focus from the road is, without question, dangerous.
Florida’s Texting-While-Driving Law
Prior to January 1, 2020, a driver could only receive a citation for texting while driving if they were stopped and cited for another primary offense, like speeding. In other words, texting while driving was treated as a “secondary offense.”
However, Florida’s new texting-while-driving law took effect at the beginning of the new year. Now, in Florida, texting (and other forms of typing on a mobile device, such as emailing and note-taking) is treated as a primary offense. A police officer can stop you simply if he or she sees you texting while driving.
A first offense for texting while driving leads to a $30 fine. A second offense will result in a $60 fine and three points on your driver’s license.
Some believe that the fine is too low to really deter texting while driving behavior. However, supporters hope that the law will bring heightened awareness for drivers.
Possible Damages From A Distracted Driving Injury Claim
While it is good news that Florida now makes texting while driving a primary offense, that does not help you if your car is stuck or you are injured by a texting driver.
So, you may be wondering: What damages can I claim if I am injured by a distracted driver? There are actually a number of damage claims you can make in a personal injury case.
Specifically, you are likely eligible to receive compensation for the following:
1. Medical Bills
2. Pain & Suffering
3. Psychological Injuries
4. Loss of Income
5. Loss of Earning Capacity
6. Loss of Ability to Work or Engage in Favorite Recreation Activities
7. Punitive Damages
Of course, the kinds of damages that you can expect depends on the type of accident, the level of fault for the texting driver, and the extent of your injuries. Suffice it to say, however, that if you are hurt by a person who was not taking proper care while driving their car, the damages you should expect include the amount that will compensate you for all of your losses, not just your doctor’s bills.
The Need for an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Texting-While-Driving Cases
When it comes to auto, truck, or motorcycle accident cases, in which you suffer significant physical and mental injury, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.
Having an attorney in your corner will not only help you in the courtroom and at trial. An attorney who has handled many accident cases in the past will be invaluable in ensuring that you present the best case possible so that you can obtain the compensation you deserve.
A qualified personal injury attorney will help to distracted driver accident victims in the following ways:
1. Meticulously investigate the facts and circumstances of your case in order to fashion the best litigation strategy.
2. Help obtain necessary medical attention, even if you do not have health insurance.
3. Remain reliable and responsive to you for any questions you may have.
4. Work diligently to resolve your case as completely and efficiently as possible.
We Invite You to Call Crary Buchanan
Being injured in an accident or car crash can leave you feeling hopeless and overwhelmed, but our lawyers at Crary Buchanan are here to help you recover money to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for your pain and suffering.
After an accident, people usually want to get back on their feet and will often settle too early for amounts that are significantly lower than what they deserve. With Crary Buchanan, you do not have to face this personal injury challenge alone. Talk to our team today. We want to hear from you, and we want the best for you. Call us today at (772) 287-2600 or schedule a free personal injury to consult online with our online contact form. Remember, you pay no legal fee unless you receive compensation for your injuries.