Individuals that are injured as a result of a distracted driver understand how problematic this can be. They may have medical bills piling up, and they may not be able to return to work, all because someone made a mistake while they were driving. It’s important to pursue legal action as soon as you can. The sooner that you do this, the faster you will have settlement money that can help you pay for your rehabilitation.
Here at Winters & Yonker, our Oldsmar distracted driving accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you rightly deserve. Our trusted car accident attorneys have the experience needed to handle settlement negotiations and represent in court if needed. Schedule your free consultation by calling our office at (888) 373-7770.
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What Distracted Driving Actually Means
Distracted driving can be defined in many different ways. It actually has multiple definitions, all of which pertain to someone that is not paying attention to the road in front of them. It is easy for drivers to get distracted. It happens all the time.
In fact, the state of Florida is known as the second-worst state when it comes to distracted driving accidents. 50,000 crashes occur in Florida every single year, and 200 people die, because of distracted driving.
The Three Types of Distracted Driving
There are three specific categories of distracted driving that you need to be aware of.
The first category of distracted driving has to do with visual distractions. Anything that causes you to look away from the road falls into this category. You could be looking at a passenger, or you could see something off to the side of the road, and this will prevent you from focusing on what is in front of you.
Manual distractions represent the second category. Any time that you take a drink from your soda, or if you decide to use your cell phone while driving, this is a manual distraction. You will know that you are doing this if you have one or more of your hands no longer on the wheel.
Finally, cognitive distractions are very common, and people experience this on a daily basis. They could be thinking about something very interesting, or they might be listening to a song, taking their attention from focusing on the road. Of all of these, manual distractions are the ones that are primarily prosecutable.
Florida Laws About Distracted Driving
There are certain circumstances where the driver is distracted by virtue of doing something illegal. In the state of Florida, like most other states, there are laws that prevent people from taking certain actions while they are driving a car, truck, and certainly an 18 wheeler.
Part of these laws pertains to those that are using something with their hands, such as a cell phone, sending a text message. Others will focus upon audio equipment, such as a headset or earbuds that you are wearing. In fact, in the state of Florida, you can only have one earpiece in one ear or the other at one time, or else what you are doing will be illegal.
In regard to texting, it is not absolutely illegal to use your phone in the car. If you are at a stoplight, you then have permission legally to send and receive text messages. The reason that these certain laws have been created is that most of the accidents, and most of the deaths that have occurred in Florida, are because of distracted drivers that are making these decisions.
How Much Compensation Can Victims of Distracted Driving Get?
The amount of money that the victims can be awarded in a distracted driving case depends on the injuries they have suffered as well as the associated financial losses. It will be proportional to the amount needed to help pay for hospital bills, loss of time at work, and anything else that is designed to help rehabilitate the victim.
How the driver was distracted can also influence the compensation figure. An example of this would be a driver that is purposefully using their phone to send a text message, inadvertently causing an accident that harms another person. In this type of case, the settlement could be much higher than someone distracted by taking a drink of soda.
Punitive damages may also be administered by the judge to punish the perpetrator for intentional misconduct or gross negligence.
The Statute of Limitations in Florida for Distracted Driving Claims
In Florida, you have four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. If you wait longer, the judge will dismiss the case. It’s important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible so they can gather evidence while the accident is still recent. While you focus on recovering, your lawyer will file the necessary papers to start your claim for restitution.
Why It Is Essential That You Have an Attorney
These attorneys practice personal injury law. This means that they will be able to speak with you, assess your case, and present this case in front of a court. If they have done this many times, they are very experienced at helping their clients receive a settlement.
Without the assistance of a competent law firm, it is virtually impossible for an individual to properly represent themselves. Even if the injuries that they have are significant, they could receive far less than they deserve simply because they did not retain the services of a skilled lawyer.
Contact Our Oldsmar Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation
It is so important to seek legal counsel if you are the victim of a distracted driving accident. You may have been injured significantly, preventing you from living your life as you once did, or you may be going through very expensive rehabilitation. The cost of going to the hospital, and all of the other expenses associated with this incident, need to be paid for in some way.
That’s why you should contact the law offices of Winters & Yonker in order to discuss your case. We aggressively represent people hurt by distracted driving in Oldsmar, Florida so that these clients will have the best possible chance of success. You can call us directly at (888) 373-7770 to schedule an appointment to speak with our attorneys today.