According to an NHTSA report, over 2,000 people are killed, and approximately 500,000 are injured every year in America due to distracted drivers. The report continues to mention that 1 in every 5 people who died in an accident involving a distracted driver are not in vehicles. These people are either pedestrians, bike riders, or simply standing outside a vehicle.
This is an alarming statistic that shows the severity of distracted driving. According to Florida law, distracted driving is proof of negligence, which means an injured victim has the legal right to seek monetary compensation.
If you are a victim, get in touch with our Lutz distracted driving accident lawyers today. Here at Winters & Yonker, we offer a free initial consultation, where we evaluate your case and offer the best legal action to take without any obligation. We do not ask for payment until we win the case. That is because we work on a contingency basis. It also means that if we fail to win compensation for you, we do not get paid. Call our car accident lawyers in Lutz today to get started.
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What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is defined as an act of driving while being engaged with other activities that distract a driver’s attention from the road. These distractions compromise the safety of pedestrians, passengers, drivers, and other vehicles on the road. Distracted driving can be categorized into three groups:
This type covers all forms of distractions that will take a driver’s eyes off the road. According to the NHTSA report, visual distraction is the most common type of distraction for most drivers. This is made possible by the wireless visual gadgets we own like smartphones, tablets, and others.
This type covers all actions that force a driver to take their hands off the wheel. Remember, with both hands off the when, a driver’s reaction time is affected, and their ability to steer suffers. For example, working the car’s stereo system, looking for something in a bag, trying to apply make-up, etc.
This is anything that will make a driver take their mind off driving. It can be anything like daydreaming, recollection, anxiety, stress, and others.
The Laws Regarding Distracted Driving in Florida
On July 1st of 2019, section 316.305 of the Florida statutes took effect. This is a law that requires all drivers in Florida to put their phones away while driving and focus solely on the road. This law gives Florida law enforcement the power to stop any vehicle and issue a citation if found to be using their phones while driving.
No one can input different letters, symbols, and numerals in their wireless communication devices and continue to drive safely. This is why section 316.306 Florida statutes is a prohibition using wireless communication devices in a handheld manner in work and school zones. This law states that a driver may not operate a vehicle while using a wireless communication device in a handheld manner in school zones, crossing, or work zone areas. As pertained in the section, it also includes construction personnel operating equipment on the road or immediate to a work zone.
What Damages Can a Victim Get For a Distracted Driving Accident in Florida?
Any injured victim has the legal right to seek compensation for all documented/proven damages or losses suffered. All damages can be categorized under three groups, which are:
Economic damages cover all forms of losses a victim has suffered that can be calculated. It includes therapy treatment, medical bills, lost income, lost future income, out-of-pocket expenses, etc.
Non-economic damages cover all forms of losses a victim has suffered that cannot be calculated. They include pain, torment, trauma, anxiety, etc.
In some cases, punitive damages are awarded by the court to a victim on top of the compensation amount. This amount is not part of the compensation or losses a victim has sustained but as a way to punish the offender.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim in Florida?
The time to file a compensation claim differs from state to state. This time is known as the Statute of Limitations. In Florida, the Statute of Limitations is found under the Florida Statute Section 95.11 and covers all important Limitations. When it comes to distracted driving accident compensation claims, an injured victim has only four years starting from the day of the accident to file the claim.
It is important to note that the statute of limitations can change depending on the case. For example, if you are filing a compensation claim against a government entity, then you have three years to file the claim. If the case involves a mentally incapacitated victim or the offender is nowhere to be found within the state, the statute of limitation can be suspended.
According to the law, after filing a claim, Florida insurance companies only have 14 days to acknowledge they have received it.
Why Do I Need A Lawyer?
Proving distracted driving negligence is not easy. Furthermore, navigating through complex legal systems is challenging for anyone without knowledge or experience. Let’s not forget that lawyers help improve your chance of getting the compensation you truly deserve. With this in mind, there are so many benefits to seeking the services of an experienced attorney. Some of the reasons include:
Filing Compensation Claim
Because a lawyer is experienced in navigating through complex legal processes, they are in a better position to file the compensation claim. In fact, it is wise to let your lawyer handle the process.
A distracted driving accident attorney is in a better position to offer the best legal action to take in this matter. That is because they are experienced in this field of law.
Conduct Investigations and Collect Evidence
The lawyer will help you gather evidence by conducting investigations. This will help you get the amount you truly deserve.
The truth is that many compensation cases are solved out of court through negotiations. Because a lawyer is in a better position to determine the true worth of your case, they will help in negotiations.
Case Preparation And Representation
Sometimes both parties fail to reach an agreement based on the amount of compensation. In such situations, the matter must be solved in a civil court. In case of such, a lawyer will prepare and represent you in court.
Call Our Experienced Lutz Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers
At Winters & Yonker, we have a team of experienced distracted driving accident attorneys who are ready to work on your case. We offer a free initial consultation service and work on a contingency basis. That means there are no upfront fees and you pay nothing if we don’t win your case. Call our car accident and injury law firm at (888) 373-7770 and allow us to protect your rights.