Driving a motor vehicle in Florida and nationwide is a privilege—not a right. Further, everyone has a duty to protect themselves and others by driving safely and responsibly. Unfortunately, even the most responsible drivers are at risk because other motorists multitask while behind the wheel. Someone who looks away from the road can cause a devastating crash in as little as two to three seconds.
A West Palm Beach car accident lawyer at Kogan & DiSalvo could help if this has happened to you. We are South Florida’s premier personal injury law firm, and you can trust that we will leverage our significant resources and experience to fight for your right to fair compensation. Contact us for a free consultation, and we will be happy to review your case and determine if you have a viable personal injury claim.
What is Distracted Driving?
When you think of distracted driving, you might imagine someone texting while driving. And while that is one of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents, it is not the only one.
There are three types of Distracted Driving:
- Cognitive distractions: Anything that pulls your focus from the task at hand is a cognitive distraction and could include daydreaming, talking on the phone, being overtired or overstressed, or being distracted by something outside your vehicle.
- Manual distractions: An activity where you take your hands off the wheel is a manual distraction—which can include grooming, eating, reaching for something in a handbag or wallet, or adjusting the radio.
- Visual distractions: If your eyes are not on the road but instead looking at your phone or GPS is a visual distraction.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses this powerful example to convey the dangers of distracted driving: When traveling at 55 mph, sending or reading a text is the equivalent of driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes closed. Moreover, driver distraction has become so widespread in Florida that the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles launched Put it Down to raise awareness about the risks and penalties for inattentive driving.
Common Injuries From Distracted Driving Accidents
In Florida, distracted driving contributed to more than 1,000 accidents every week last year. Those who survive these crashes are often left to cope with life-changing injuries that impact their ability to work and care for their loved ones.
Distracted driving accident injuries include:
- Bone fractures
- Chemical burns (from airbag deployment)
- Sprains, strains, and tears
- Lacerations and puncture wounds
- Head, neck, and spine injuries
- Facial injuries, including disfigurement
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
Whether you were hurt in a rear-end collision, a T-bone crash, or a head-on accident, you should know that some injuries are not always immediately apparent. Organ damage, whiplash, TBI, and many others can worsen over time. It’s always wise to see your healthcare provider to rule out internal and delayed-onset injuries and provide the necessary documentation for your claim.
How Do You Prove Fault in a Distracted Driving Accident?
Distracted drivers are negligent in their duty to drive responsibly. It’s up to our experienced West Palm Beach distracted driving accident lawyers to establish liability and make the connection between the driver’s actions and your injuries.
We do this by analyzing evidence related to the crash, which can include the following:
We subpoena the driver’s phone records to determine if they were actively using it at the time of the crash. It can tell us if the driver was using the internet, on a call, or sending and receiving texts while driving.
Surveillance from traffic cameras, nearby businesses, and driver dash cams often provide clues to the driver’s behavior in the minutes and seconds leading up to the accident.
Black Box Recordings
Newer-model vehicles have a black box that records speed, steering, acceleration, seatbelt use, and other data that helps police, insurance companies, and attorneys piece together accident details.
If someone witnessed the driver texting while driving, their testimony could be invaluable for proving liability. We could contact possible witnesses, ensure their credibility, and collect their statements to help build your case.
How Recent Tort Reform Measures Affect You in Florida
Recent Florida tort reform measures make Florida a modified comparative negligence jurisdiction—so it’s more challenging for plaintiffs to recover damages depending upon their degree of fault.
Modified comparative negligence bars claims in which the plaintiff is determined (by a jury or judge) to be more than 50% at fault for the accident (i.e., 50%+). If the plaintiff is found less than 50% at fault, their recovery is reduced proportionally to their fault; for example, a driver found 25% at fault can still recover, but their award will be reduced by 25%. The team you entrust to oversee your claim has never been more important
Contact Us at Kogan & DiSalvo for a Free Consultation
We use our extensive knowledge and experience to advocate for you. We will keep you up-to-date on every milestone in your claim as we document the damages you’ve sustained and strive to maximize your legal recovery. We are proud to offer award-winning personal injury representation to South Florida residents on a contingency fee basis. That means we only get paid if we secure compensation on your behalf.