Texting and driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Statistics from 2017 place Florida as the second-worst state in the nation for distracted driving. In 2016, there were around 1,591 deaths from distracted driving – up 13% from the previous year. Part of the reason behind the high number of texting and driving crashes may be that Florida’s texting and driving ban is somewhat weaker than most other states’ rules.
Regardless, texting and driving is against the law in Florida. This texting ban can help victims of texting and driving accidents recover compensation if they file a lawsuit for their injuries. Miami texting and driving accident lawyer Prosper Shaked understands the high medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering that texting and driving victims face. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA fights for injury victims and their families and works to file lawsuits to recover damages if you’ve been seriously injured. For a free consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (305) 694-2676.
How Florida’s Texting While Driving Ban Affects Car Accident Lawsuits
Florida law bans texting and driving behind the wheel. Part of the reason that distracted driving accidents are so common in Florida is that police do not have the power to pull people over for texting and driving. Police need to witness another “primary offense” like speeding or running a stop sign before they can pull people over for texting behind the wheel. This means that many drivers are not caught texting and driving until they cause a crash.
Despite this law’s flaws, the texting ban stands as a clear rule that texting while driving is illegal in the State of Florida. If someone causes a car accident while breaking laws that are designed to keep others safe, the victim may be able to use the law to help them prove their case.
Most car accident lawsuits are based on proving the at-fault driver was “negligent” behind the wheel. When proving a negligence case, you must show that the defendant breached a duty that they owed you, and that that breach caused your injuries. Florida’s texting and driving statute creates a clear duty not to text while driving. Victims of texting and driving accidents can point to this statute to help them define the duty the at-fault driver breached.
Suing for Damages after a Texting and Driving Crash in FL
Many car accidents entitle you to sue for damages if you faced serious injuries. Florida’s no-fault insurance rules often bar lawsuits for minor cases, preferring that those cases are handled through insurance. However, if you faced permanent injuries or face more than $10,000 in medical expenses and lost wages, you can take your case to court instead.
Taking your texting and driving case to court may entitle you to higher damages than you would receive through insurance. First, insurance companies usually fail to cover compensation for pain and suffering. While insurance settlements and in-court damages may cover lost wages and medical bills, courts can also order damages to compensate you directly for pain and suffering. These damages can be substantial. Second, insurance companies may require deductible payments and may cover only part of the damages you face, ultimately lowering your net damages. Lawsuits allow you to claim 100% of the damages you suffered.
If you have discussed your case with an insurance company or the at-fault driver has made you a settlement offer, talk to an attorney before accepting anything. If you take a settlement, your case may be resolved, and you might be unable to take your case to court later. Seek advice from an experienced texting and driving lawyer before taking any money for your case.
Injuries in Texting and Driving Accidents
The injuries in distracted driving and texting while driving cases are often more serious than conventional car crash cases. When someone’s attention is focused on their phone instead of the road, they may not be able to react to potential accidents. This means that many texting accidents see drivers failing to apply the breaks or swerving to avoid the crash. That means that the accident often occurs at full speed, transferring more momentum into the victim’s car and causing more severe damage. Because of this, injuries are often more severe in texting accidents.
It is common for texting while driving accidents to be fatal. If a family member was killed in a crash that involved texting and driving, you may be able to file a lawsuit for their wrongful death. This includes cases where they were driving another car when a texting driver hit them as well as cases where your loved one was killed or injured as a passenger in a car with a distracted driver. Talk to an attorney about building your case today.
Miami, FL Texting While Driving Accident Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured, or if you lost a loved one because of a driver who was texting behind the wheel, talk to an attorney today. Miami texting and driving accident lawyer Prosper Shaked is passionate about the dangers of texting and driving, and he fights to get justice for injured victims and their families. For a free consultation on your South Florida texting while driving accident, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676.