Florida is the second-worst state in the country when it comes to distracted driving accidents. Drivers lose focus for many reasons, such as picking up their cell phones to make a call or send a text message. If you or a loved one was hurt in this type of crash, you should contact a reputable Dover distracted driving accident lawyer.
Distracted driving has always been an issue. As long as people have been driving vehicles, distractions are simply going to occur. Having a conversation with someone in your vehicle, or seeing someone on the side of the road, is a legitimate distraction.
There are distractions that can also come in the form of thinking about something very deeply instead of paying attention to the road. However, the worst type of distracted driving comes in the form of willingly choosing to pick up your cell phone. That is why there are laws in Florida that are focused upon limiting this type of behavior.
A study ranked Florida as the second-worst state for distracted driving accidents.
Different Types Of Distracted Driving
There are three specific types of distracted driving categories that people should be aware of, particularly if they have been the victim of this type of incident.
Visually distracted driving is when you are no longer paying direct attention to the road in front of you. If you are speaking with your children in the backseat, or if you are looking for the exit on the freeway, you are distracting yourself from what is specifically in front of your vehicle.
The second type is cognitive distracted driving. This comes in the form of inadvertently thinking about something, a thought that distracts you and happens all the time when people are driving.
The third type of distracted driving is manual distracted driving. This is what typically leads to many of the accidents that occur. In the state of Florida, this type of distracted driving is running rampant because of modern technology. It is for this reason that many of the latest laws regarding distracted driving have been created.
What Are the Laws in Florida Regarding Distracted Driving?
First of all, although there are laws regarding distracted driving, it is important to understand certain distinctions. For example, these laws do not pertain to everyone that is in Florida. It will not apply to first responders such as law enforcement or firefighters that are coming to help with an emergency. It would also not pertain to paramedics that are trying to help someone that needs assistance.
However, these laws do pertain to those that are regular citizens that are simply driving from one location to the next. An example of Florida’s distracted driving laws is that it is illegal to text and drive. This is the primary culprit in regard to some of the worst accidents in the state. You can use a handheld device, but to send and receive text messages, you must be at a stoplight in order to do this.
It is also permissible to have a headset or headphone active in your ear, but it can only be one year or the other. These are the laws that law enforcement officers will use when they are pulling people over. Those that are repeat offenders can face fines, and other penalties, as a result of not abiding by these Florida laws. These are also the same laws that are referenced in court cases that are filed by victims of distracted driving.
Damages That Victims of Distracted Driving Can Receive
If you were hurt by a distracted driver, you can be compensated for both economic and non-economic damages.
In regard to medical expenses, the distracted driver will need to pay for ambulance fees, physician co-pays, emergency department charges, hospital bills, and home care expenses to name a few. The compensation amount may also include payments for lost earnings, and other economic damages including childcare, vehicular repairs, and alternative forms of transportation.
Non-economic damages can include compensation for the pain and suffering and emotional distress that you have experienced. If you are unable to enjoy life as you did before, this can also contribute to the final amount of the settlement or compensation granted in court.
In addition to compensation for economic and non-economic damages, victims may be awarded punitive damages in certain cases.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?
In Florida, you have up to four years in order to file a personal injury claim against the person that is responsible for the distracted driving accident. It is best to get started as soon as possible because obtaining key evidence can be harder if the accident isn’t recent.
Someone going through rehabilitation might not be able to file these papers in a timely manner. A competent attorney in the Dover, Florida area can handle this for you. Having a lawyer represent you will also increase your odds of getting the settlement money.
Reasons to Hire a Dover Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
There are many reasons why retaining a lawyer for a distracted driving accident case is a good idea. First and foremost, these attorneys have represented hundreds of other people in your situation. Second, you will likely not have the knowledge or experience to file a claim or represent yourself in court. You will likely not be able to prepare the information that you will present to the court in order to convince them to provide you with compensation.
Your attorney can negotiate for a settlement with the distracted driver, their insurance company, or their lawyer. Having a lawyer represent you will increase your odds of getting more settlement money. Finally, having a professional help you with legal matters allows you to focus on what’s most important – your recovery.
Contact Winters & Yonker Today
Distracted driving causes many crashes, especially in Florida. Our Dover distracted driving accident lawyers at Winters & Yonker are here to help those affected get the compensation they rightfully deserve. It is best to have these experienced professionals represent you in a court of law to make sure everything is done right.
When you set up a free, no-obligation consultation, we will evaluate your case and advise you on the best course of action. You can contact our Florida car accident law firm by calling (888) 373-7770 or completing our online contact form.