Distracted driving puts everyone in harm’s way. Florida has strict laws regarding cell phone use, yet more than 1,000 distracted driving accidents are reported every week in the Sunshine State. Driver distraction is one of the leading causes of serious and fatal motor vehicle crashes in the nation. If you were injured in a car accident caused by an inattentive driver in Boca Raton, the law firm of Kogan & DiSalvo is here to help.
Protect your rights after being hit by a distracted driver by speaking with a Boca Raton car accident lawyer at our firm. The initial consultation is complimentary and affords an excellent opportunity to explore the best approach for seeking justice and fair compensation. These claims present unique legal challenges best handled by a skilled distracted driving accident lawyer.
Common Causes of Distracted Driving Accidents in Boca Raton
Anything that takes your focus off the complex task of driving is inherently dangerous. It is not surprising that texting and driving is a leading cause of collisions throughout South Florida and the entire nation. Texting is one of the most hazardous behaviors, as it combines cognitive, visual, and manual distractions all at once. In fact, national research indicates that texting while driving is six times more dangerous than drunk driving.
The majority of distracted driving accidents in Boca Raton are caused by people who think they can drive and do something else at the same time. Unfortunately, this decision often has grim circumstances for other road users.
Examples of common distractions include:
- Eating and drinking
- Using social media
- Adjusting music
- Personal grooming
- Using a GPS
- Reaching for objects
- Watching videos
- Applying makeup
- Taking photos
- Any cell phone use
- Talking to passengers
Distracted Driving Statistics in Florida
Florida ranks as the second-worst state for distracted driving accidents and injuries. According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), more than 56,000 motor vehicle crashes last year were caused by inattentive motorists.
An average of 250 Floridians are killed every year in distracted driving accidents, and the number of fatalities has increased by 36 percent in the past five years. Although people of all ages admit to using their cell phones while driving, teenagers are among the biggest offenders. Ninety percent of adolescents say they use their smartphones while behind the wheel.
People who are hit and injured by an inattentive driver may be entitled to money damages for their losses. Working with a reputable distracted driving accident attorney is the first step toward holding negligent parties accountable for their actions.
Common Injuries in Distracted Driving Cases
Our lawyers have seen a wide range of injuries stemming from distracted driving crashes. Even low-speed collisions can result in serious bodily harm, including:
- Herniated and compressed discs
- Broken bones
- Torn tendons and ligaments
- Severe burns
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
Florida Distracted Driving Laws
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) states that any activity that takes a motorist’s attention away from the essential task of driving is dangerous. Whether manual, visual, or cognitive distractions–drivers can be held liable if their negligence causes accidents.
Florida statutes ban:
- Reading, writing, or sending a text message while driving
- The use of handheld cell phones or devices in active school zones
- The use of handheld cell phones in active work zones
In 2019, Florida made texting and driving a primary offense. Once Florida statute §316.305 was enacted, law enforcement could legally pull over drivers who they observe texting while operating a motor vehicle.
Florida statute § 316.1925 also prohibits operating a motor vehicle in a reckless or negligent manner. Under this legislation, drivers have a legal duty to operate their vehicle in a way that doesn’t “endanger the life, limb, and safety” of any person. There are many distracted behaviors—from talking to a passenger to adjusting music–that can be interpreted as a clear violation of this statute.
Establishing Fault in a Distracted Driving Injury Case
Our attorneys work diligently to prove fault in a distracted driving injury case. Compelling evidence that corroborates police reports, eyewitness accounts, and your own allegations is crucial. We may subpoena CCTV or traffic surveillance footage to support claims that the defendant was distracted in the seconds leading up to the accident.
If you believe that the driver was texting or talking on their phone at the time of the crash, we can also subpoena their cell phone records to establish if they were breaking the law. Further, bystanders or other motorists who saw the other driver engaged in distracted behavior could provide eyewitness testimony to the fact. Finally, physical and forensic evidence at the crash scene and inside the at-fault driver’s car can also prove invaluable.
What to Do After Being Involved in a Distracted Driving Crash
A motor vehicle accident is stressful and overwhelming. Whether a texting driver caused a rear-end collision or your vehicle was sideswiped during a negligent lane change, there are some critical steps to take in the moments and days afterward.
Follow these steps to protect your legal rights:
- Call 911 and report the accident
- Seek medical attention even if you do not have obvious injuries
- Exchange insurance information with other parties
- Be careful what you say. Do not admit fault or apologize for the accident
- Take photographs and videos of the vehicles and the accident scene
- Avoid discussing the accident and your injuries on social media
- Talk to an experienced Boca Raton distracted driving injury attorney
- Keep a daily journal that details how your life is impacted by the accident
- Follow your doctor’s treatment protocols
- Keep a record of all out-of-pocket receipts and bills related to the accident
Keep in mind that some injuries are difficult to detect right away. For example, you may not know you suffered a concussion or whiplash until many days or weeks later. Don’t wait until symptoms appear. Be sure to get a complete medical evaluation as soon as possible, as this documentation is also key to bolstering a personal injury claim for damages.
What Compensation is Available in a Boca Raton Distracted Driving Accident Case?
Victims of distracted driving collisions are entitled to seek monetary compensation for their physical, emotional, and financial losses. Legal damages in car accident claims are generally categorized as economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are easily calculated and meant to put the plaintiff in the same position they were in before the accident occurred. These may include:
- Ambulance costs
- Emergency room expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage repairs
Non-economic damages are more subjective and more difficult to assign a dollar amount. However, in Florida, claimants can sue for losses such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress leading to anxiety, depression, PTSD, and sleep disorders
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Partial or permanent disability
- Loss of consortium
These losses are no less significant and can have lasting repercussions on the general quality of life. Here at Kogan & DiSalvo, we collaborate with medical professionals, psychologists, and other experts to accurately assess the value of non-economic damages.
Boca Raton Distracted Driving Injury Attorney
Whether you live here year-round or got in an accident while visiting Boca Raton, you can count on the attorneys of Kogan & DiSalvo for client-focused representation. Our legal team is well-versed in the laws that govern Florida’s roads and highways and can pursue the compensation you deserve after being hurt by a distracted driver.
Reach out to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a skilled car accident attorney Palm Beach County residents have come to trust. There are no upfront attorney fees, and we only get paid if we settle or win your accident claim.