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Auto Accidents

Distracted Driver

According to the DMV, as many as 65% of all near crashes are caused by some sort of distraction, and a distraction typically occurs within 3 seconds of an accident occurring. Distracted driving is not a brand-new phenomenon, of course, but in today’s world there are ever increasing opportunities to become distracted.

If you are hurt in a car accident involving a distracted driver, you may have the right to compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages. An experienced distracted driver accident attorney in Florida can help you protect your rights while exploring legal options against the at-fault driver.

What Is Distracted Driving?

When most people think of distracted driving they tend to think of drivers on the phone, or even texting while driving. While absolutely these are common forms of distracted driving, they aren’t the only ones. Distracted driving has been defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as anything that can take your attention off the task of safe driving. This could be one of any number of things, such as:

  • Phone use, including talking on the phone, texting, checking emails, checking social media and taking photos or videos
  • Checking the GPS
  • Reading
  • Applying makeup
  • Rubbernecking
  • Tending to children
  • Tending to pets
  • Conversing with other passengers
  • Changing the music

These fall into one or more of three distinct categories of distractions, and studies suggest that any one of these categories could lead to a serious or even fatal accident. The three categories are as follows:

  • Visual distractions when drivers take their eyes off the road to look at something unrelated to their driving
  • Distractions when mental concentration for driving drops and the mind wanders from paying attention to the road
  • Manual distractions when the driver removes their hands from the wheel to perform a different activity

Florida Distracted Driving Laws

Under current Florida laws, police are only able to pull over commercial vehicles, such as 18 wheelers, for driving while on the phone. It’s not seen as a “primary offense” when it comes to car drivers. If the driver is pulled over for a primary offense, such as speeding, for example, they can then be given a citation for using the phone as a “secondary offense.” The same goes for texting as Florida is one of just four states where texting while driving is not considered a primary offense.

Regardless of distracted driving being a primary or secondary offense, any distracted driver that causes an accident can be liable for any damages.

Establishing Liability in a Distracted Driving Accident

Under Florida personal injury law, any driver that was texting or on the phone unlawfully while driving and caused an accident which caused harm or damage to another person or their property can be held liable for any damages that occurred. If you are injured by a distracted driver, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy and/or your own PIP coverage. If the damages go over the limits set by the defendant’s insurance policy, however, then they may be required to pay for additional compensation.

Additionally, it’s important to note that Florida is a comparative negligence state. What this means is it’s possible for your damages to be reduced if you are found to be even partially at fault for an accident.

Contact a Florida Distracted Driver Injury Attorney

Have you been seriously injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver? It’s important to consult with an experienced distracted driver personal injury lawyer as soon as possible and before talking to the insurance companies to protect your legal rights and fight for the fair compensation you deserve.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Our Spanish and English speaking representatives are ready to help.

GMV Law Group, LLP