While drunk driving remains the major cause of fatalities and serious injuries on Florida roadways, distracted driving is not far behind. Driving drunk is a crime. Distracted driving is now a primary offense in Florida and a distinct moving violation. However, for the victims, there may not be much of a distinction when they are facing long-term or permanent disability or the loss of a loved one. A Palm Bay car accident lawyer at Kogan & DiSalvo protects your rights and can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
We leverage our extensive knowledge, real-world experience, and the authority of medical and financial witnesses to present your strongest and most compelling case. If you’ve been hurt in a distracted driving accident, reach out today to schedule a free consultation.
Florida Distracted Driving Statistics
Distracted driving in Florida has reached epidemic proportions. In 2021, 333 people lost their lives due to distracted driving crashes, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). That was the highest number in eight years. In addition, more than 1,000 distracted driving crashes occur weekly in Florida, totaling 56,000 in 2021.
Florida has the unfortunate distinction of being the second-worst state in the nation for the number of distracted driving accidents. Further, many distracted drivers are young and inexperienced, making a dangerous situation worse.
Types of Distracted Driving
When drivers text and drive, they take their eyes off the road. That is a visual distraction. Their hands are texting rather than fully engaged with the wheel, making it a manual distraction. In addition, it is a cognitive distraction because they are focused on reading or writing the text instead of looking at the road. Drivers paying more attention to their cell phones or other distractions are more likely to cause accidents.
Distracted driving accidents take place because the at-fault driver did not:
- Notice changes in traffic or roadways
- Have sufficient reaction time due to distractions
- Stop at traffic lights or stop signs
Distracted drivers are also more prone to losing control of their vehicles because they are not paying attention to changing traffic situations.
Common Causes of Distracted Driving Accidents
Although most people associate “distracted driving” with cell phone use and texting, that is not the only reason drivers become distracted. Even though drivers should realize that texting and driving are illegal, they may engage in other potentially dangerous activities behind the wheel. That includes eating and drinking, having a pet in the vehicle, or even applying makeup.
Other common, preventable causes of distracted driving include the following:
- Dealing with the stereo or navigation system
- Talking with other people in the vehicle
- Looking for belongings or specific items while driving
- Trying to care for children
- Further attempts to multi-task rather than pay attention to driving
Common Distracted Driving Injuries
Distracted driving accidents run the gamut from fender benders to the total wreckage of all vehicles involved. Those suffering from minor injuries, such as bruising or small lacerations, should find their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage sufficient to pay all medical costs. More serious distracted driving injuries include:
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injury
Distracted Driving Accident Damages
Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to auto insurance. As noted above, those injured in accidents must first look to their insurance to pay their medical bills or lost wages. However, those suffering serious injuries because of another driver’s negligence may file a personal injury lawsuit if their injury results in any of the following:
- Broken bones
- Severe disfigurement
- Full disability lasting several months
- Permanent loss of a body part or organ
- Substantial limitation to a bodily function
Compensation, or damages, in a distracted driving case, may include:
- Medical expenses, current and future
- Lost wages
- Future loss of wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Why You Need a Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
While you focus on healing, a distracted driving lawyer will thoroughly investigate the accident’s circumstances. That includes identifying the type of distraction causing the accident, obtaining any available surveillance video, interviewing witnesses, and obtaining the at-fault driver’s billing records to verify whether text messages were sent or received at the time of the accident.
How Kogan & DiSalvo Can Help
If you were seriously injured in an accident due to another motorist texting while driving, you need the services of an experienced Palm Bay distracted driving accident lawyer at Kogan & DiSalvo. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today to discuss your case. Since we work on a contingency basis, there is no fee unless you receive compensation. We serve clients in Brevard County and throughout Eastern Florida.