In the state of Florida, the prevalence of texting while driving has reached alarming levels, leading to an increase in accidents and fatalities. The legal team at Kogan & DiSalvo is dedicated to holding distracted and negligent drivers accountable for the harm they cause others.
If you’ve suffered serious life-changing injuries or lost a loved one due to a distracted driver, reach out today to see how we can assist you in pursuing compensation. Get started with a free, no-obligation consultation.
What Constitutes Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is broadly defined as anything that diverts a driver’s attention away from the road. While distracted driving has long been a concern, smartphones have exacerbated the problem. Drivers now have a constant source of distraction that can take away their attention from the road for several seconds or more. Checking emails or social media while driving has become a common practice. Sending a text further intensifies the issue, as it involves completely taking eyes off the road and hands off the wheel.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, distracted driving encompasses three primary types of driver distraction:
- Visual – diverting your eyes from the road
- Manual – removing your hands from the wheel
- Cognitive – concentrating on anything other than driving
Texting involves all three types of distraction, making it one of the most dangerous behaviors associated with distracted driving.
Compensation in Texting and Driving Cases
If you find yourself in a texting and driving incident in Hillsborough County, Florida, you may be eligible for various forms of compensation. Damages are meant to address different aspects of the injuries you have endured, including:
- Emergency medical costs: Covering the costs of medical treatment resulting from the accident, both now and in the future.
- Property Damage: Covering the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and other damaged property.
- Lost or reduced wages due to your injuries: Compensating for income lost due to the inability to work following the accident.
- Emotional pain and physical suffering: Addressing the physical and emotional distress caused by the accident.
The specific amount of compensation varies, considering factors such as the severity of injuries, relevant insurance policies, and other case-related elements.
You should also be aware that the insurance company representing the at-fault driver is primarily focused on settling your claim swiftly and minimizing the payout. Their goal is to pressure you into accepting a less favorable settlement. Additionally, they may deploy their own formidable legal team to defend the at-fault driver. It’s essential to be aware of these tactics and seek professional legal assistance to ensure your rights are protected and you receive just compensation.
Common Injuries in Distracted Driver Crashes
Distractions impair a driver’s reaction time, resulting in delayed responses to crucial traffic signals, road signs, and changes in road conditions. This lack of focus significantly increases the risk of crashes and other incidents, potentially leading to severe injuries or even fatalities.
Some of the most common injuries associated with distracted driving accidents include:
- Whiplash: Sudden acceleration or deceleration during a collision can cause neck injuries.
- Fractures: The impact of a crash can lead to broken bones, particularly in areas like arms, legs, or ribs.
- Cuts and Bruises: Contact with surfaces inside the vehicle or loose objects can result in cuts and bruises.
- Head Injuries: Trauma to the head can result in concussions or more severe brain injuries.
- Back Injuries: The force of a collision can harm the spine or other parts of the back.
After a crash, swift action is crucial. Prioritize seeking immediate medical attention and consult with an attorney at your earliest convenience. These injuries can have long-lasting effects on victims, necessitating the need for comprehensive legal support.
Beyond physical injuries, distracted driving can impose substantial financial and emotional burdens on victims and their families. The repercussions of a distracted driving collision can affect an individual’s life for years to come.
Seeking legal representation is crucial to ensure fair compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial toll of the injuries sustained in a distracted driving accident.
How Kogan & DiSalvo Can Help Victims of Distracted Driving
Our skilled attorneys offer valuable assistance by:
- Conducting a Comprehensive Accident Investigation: Thoroughly examining the details of the accident to collect essential evidence supporting your case.
- Establishing Distracted Driving: Demonstrating that the other driver was engaged in distracting activities at the time of the accident, establishing liability.
- Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Engaging in negotiations with insurance providers to secure fair compensation on your behalf, ensuring your rights are protected.
- Legal Representation at Every Stage of the Process: We will not settle for anything less than the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.
The quicker you contact a Tampa car accident attorney, the faster we can start an investigation to gather all the evidence necessary to maximize the value of your claim.
Distracted Driving Accidents on the Rise
Using a cell phone while driving creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on the road. According to the NHTSA, “In 2021, 3,522 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.”
Distracted driving in Florida is a major contributor to tragic accidents and it’s only increasing. In 2021, Florida witnessed 333 distracted driving fatalities, marking the highest total in the state over the past eight years, per the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Florida Texting and Driving Laws
In response to the rising number of texting-while-driving accidents, Florida has implemented a complete ban on texting and driving.
As of July 1, 2019, Florida’s law prohibiting texting while driving went into full effect. This legislation applies to anyone operating a vehicle on Florida’s roadways, highways, streets, and alleyways.
The legislation signed by the governor elevated texting while driving to a primary offense, authorizing law enforcement officers to initiate traffic stops and issue citations exclusively for texting activities while driving (including messaging, emailing, and other forms of typing on a mobile device). This shift allows officers to stop motorists solely based on suspicion of texting while driving.
Penalties for violating Florida’s texting and driving laws include a $30 fine for a first offense, along with court fees. Repeat offenses within five years can result in higher fines and potential points on the driver’s license.
Despite the state’s aim at tackling the problem, recent data unfortunately suggests it has mostly gone unenforced, and the number of fatalities due to distracted driving continues to climb.
Hillsborough County Texting While Driving Lawyers
Kogan & DiSalvo represents the interests of individuals who have been injured in texting and driving accidents in Tampa, Florida.If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident where distracted driving played a role, seeking legal assistance promptly could impact the outcome of your accident claim.
Contact one of our skilled texting and driving accident lawyers today to schedule a free case evaluation and to learn more about your rights.