Talking on the phone while driving can bring multiple risks that put other drivers in danger. Many states have laws against texting and driving, including Florida, but Florida has no law against talking on the phone while driving. New laws might be coming in 2019 to combat distracted driving involving cell phones, but even without these statutes, you may be able to sue a driver that caused an accident while talking on the phone.
Prosper Shaked is a Miami lawyer for accidents caused by talking on a cell phone, and he may be able to represent you on your injury case and help get you the financial compensation you need. Call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today to set up a free legal consultation on your car accident case. Our number is (305) 694-2676.
Dangers of Talking on the Phone While Driving
Talking on the phone is a distraction behind the wheel. While simply holding the phone to the side of your head might not be as dangerous as looking down to send a text, it is still a distraction that can lead to accidents.
Using a phone without a hands-free device is a physical distraction that makes it harder to drive. When a driver holds a cell phone in their hand, they are unable to use the hand to steer, pull the emergency brake, activate their turn signal, or shift. If they add in other distractions that require the use of their hands, such as adjusting the radio, they may end up driving without any hands on the steering wheel at all or end up driving while holding their phone against their shoulder and awkwardly driving with their head tilted. Either way, this physical distraction can make it harder to operate a vehicle, especially during an emergency stop or turn.
Talking on the phone while driving is also a mental distraction. While driving, it is important to focus on the road and the potential dangers present in front of you. When a driver holds a conversation with someone in the passenger seat, this certainly splits their attention. Holding a conversation over the phone may be even more distracting, especially if the person on the other end of the call is not present in the car where they can help the distracted driver stay alert to potential dangers. This risk could even apply to drivers talking on the phone using hands-free devices.
Operating the phone in the first place also takes your eyes off the road. Entering a contact name or phone number into the phone or looking away from the road to see who is calling before accepting a call all mean that the driver’s eyes are focused somewhere other than the road in front of them. This makes it harder to notice dangers or react to sudden changes until your eyes refocus on the road.
If any of these distractions contribute to a car accident, the driver who was talking on the phone could be held accountable for the accident. Distracting oneself in this manner goes against reasonable safety expectations behind the wheel and could contribute to fault in a car accident. Especially if the distraction causes the at-fault driver to leave the roadway, run a stop sign, or commit some other traffic violation, their cell phone use could be a clear contributing cause to the crash.
Suing a Driver for an Accident Involving Cell Phone Use in Florida
When you are injured in an accident, you may be able to sue the at-fault party. In a car accident, fault is determined by looking at which driver(s) violated safety rules, including traffic laws and standard safe-driving expectations. A driver who was distracted by using their cell phone while driving could be considered at-fault, especially if the distraction led to another traffic violation or safety violation.
Proving their violation is not sufficient to get you compensation after a car crash; you must also prove the damages that you suffered because of the crash. This means providing medical bills, pay stubs, and bank statements highlighting the costs that you faced because of the injuries. You may also provide evidence of the pain and suffering that you faced, such as testimony about how the injuries affected your day-to-day life.
In Florida, you may not always be able to sue the driver. Florida’s auto insurance rules sometimes require drivers to file through insurance for damages instead of filing in a court of law. However, insurance payouts are often reduced from the actual damages you may be entitled to. Insurance policies often require you to pay a deductible and cover less than the full value for lost wages and medical expenses. Insurance may also refuse to cover pain and suffering. If your injury was permanent or you suffered more than $10,000 in damages, Florida law protects your right to sue in court instead of using insurance.
Miami Car Accident Lawyer Offering Free Consultations for Cell Phone-Related Accidents
If you or someone in your family was injured in a car crash because of another driver talking on their cell phone, contact Miami cell phone accident lawyer Prosper Shaked today. Until Florida passes a law banning talking on the phone without a hands-free device, these cases may be complex and require the assistance of a skilled personal injury lawyer. For help with your case, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today to schedule a free legal consultation. Our number is (305) 694-2676.