The danger motorists court when driving while distracted is on par with driving intoxicated, yet Florida’s ban on using electronic devices while driving cannot be cited unless the driver commits another violation while on the device.
That does not mean people injured by a distracted driver cannot sue that driver for damages. This is why it is important to contact a Stuart distracted driving accident lawyer, who can examine your case and advise you of your legal options. An experienced car accident attorney can help you better understand the impact of distracted driving.
Florida was late compared to the rest of the nation in adopting a law prohibiting the operation of electronic devices on Oct. 1, 2013. The electronic ban has been criticized for not having the level of enforcement necessary to be effective, and statistics compiled by the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles show the number of incidents is pretty much flat.
During 2014, distracted driving caused 219 deaths, 3,344 incapacitating injuries, and 10,487 non-incapacitating injuries. The next year, 216 people died in these crashes, 3,432 sustained incapacitating injuries, and 10,600 were not seriously injured. That report did not list results for Martin County.
Law enforcement cannot detain drivers they saw texting unless that driver committed another infraction, such as operating a vehicle with expired tags while on the device. The device fine is $30. Of course, not all of those collisions happened because of texting. Other forms of driving while distracted include making and receiving calls, conducting internet searches, distractions in the passenger compartment, and generally not paying attention to what they were doing.
Distraction happens in three different ways, according to the Centers for Disease Control, not watching the road, removing hands from the steering wheel, and thinking about things other than driving.
Driving while distracted and causing a collision is a negligent act, and any injuries and property damage caused are a basis for a civil lawsuit seeking financial damages. Those who are hurt in a distracted driving incident, or the immediate family of someone killed in the crash, should immediately seek legal representation such as the Stuart distracted driving accident lawyer, who is accomplished in this area of law.
The attorney offers a free consultation to evaluate the circumstances of the collision and determine if a valid case for a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit exists. The next step in these cases is gathering evidence, including the statements of the individual and witnesses, the police report, statements made by the offending driver, the driver’s mobile phone records in serious wrecks, photographs, and surveillance tapes.
In personal injury cases, Florida’s negligence doctrine is the applicable law. To win, the attorney must prove that the distracted driver was at fault. This is accomplished by showing that the distracted driver violated the duty of care owed to the other driver and passengers in both cars. Pedestrians and bicyclists on the road are also owed a duty of care.
The attorney must prove the other aspects of negligence – a breach of care caused the collision and injuries, and financial damages resulted. A Stuart distracted driving accident lawyer cautions that comparative negligence holds all parties who have some fault legally and financially responsible. This limits the amount of damages that can be achieved by the amount of fault those involved in the collision had in causing the crash. If it was determined that someone is 20 percent at fault may only receive 80 percent of the damages incurred.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a texting while driving collision, then do not hesitate to talk to a Stuart distracted driving accident lawyer who will fight for you to receive the maximum amount of compensation possible for your injuries.
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