Are you a resident of Ruskin, Florida? Have you recently been involved in a distracted driving accident? Seeking legal counsel may not be at the top of your list if you are going through rehabilitation. However, you will eventually have to pay medical bills, car repair fees, and other expenses. A Ruskin distracted driving accident lawyer can help you recover compensation for these damages.
Here at Winters & Yonker, we have experienced and dedicated car accident attorneys. We will be more than happy to speak with you about your case. You can call us at (888) 373-7770 to schedule a free consultation.
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What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is whenever a person is no longer focused solely on the road. This happens every day. Someone can be distracted by things that move into their visual awareness, such as something on the road that attracts their attention. A driver could also grab something, such as a hamburger, and this is a form of distracted driving as well. In some cases, people are distracted because they are thinking about a topic that is very important to them. These are all representative of what distracted driving means.
Common Types of Distracted Driving
The easiest way to explain distracted driving to someone is to relate the three different types that are defined.
Visually distracted driving involves no longer looking at the road because you are now directing your attention at something else. You could be looking at someone to the right of you, perhaps your passenger, or it could be something to the left that is passing by.
The second category involves manual distractions which are typically caused by the individual that is driving who is making a definitive choice to take their hands off the wheel.
The third category represents cognitive distractions. This could be represented by having an argument in your car, singing along with the song, or perhaps daydreaming while you are driving. These different types or categories of distracted driving are defined so that, in a court of law at least, decisions can be more easily made.
What Are the Laws in Florida Regarding Distracted Driving?
Each of these categories of distracted driving has certain elements that are legally permissible and those that are not. For example, if you are drinking a beverage, or consuming a snack, this is not an illegal act. Likewise, if you are at a stoplight, you may use your cell phone to respond to a message. However, texting is not allowed at all if you are driving down the road. When using earbuds or headsets to speak with people while you are driving, only one earpiece can be in your ear at one time.
Additionally, there are both primary and secondary enforcement standards regarding distracted driving laws. For primary enforcement, this means that a police officer has the right to pull you over because they believe you are breaking the law. Secondary enforcement for distracted driving refers to a driver committing a violation that is citable.
There are also offenses associated with each type of citation. First-time offenders will pay a small fee plus court costs. If you are a subsequent offender, you may be liable for additional fines. The purpose of these laws is to prevent a distracted driver from causing an accident.
What Type of Damages Can a Victim of a Distracted Driving Accident Receive?
If you or someone that you know has been the victim of a distracted driver, you can a legal claim to pursue compensation. It is important to seek legal counsel before doing so. This will allow you to file the proper paperwork and present your case in the best manner.
There are three types of damages that courts may award victims. A distracted driver will be liable for economic damages, such as the cost of surgeries, home care expenses, medical-equipment fees, physician co-pays, prescription medication, and ambulance fees. If the victim cannot work, the distracted driver can also be liable for lost earnings.
Non-economic damages can include compensation for loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and also emotional distress. Finally, punitive damages may be placed on the distracted driver, amounts that can go as high as $500,000. This is usually reserved for those that are repeat offenders in the state of Florida.
Statute of Limitations in Florida for Distracted Driving Cases
If you are going to pursue compensation from the person who has caused your injuries, this must be done in a timely manner. In Florida, you can file these claims up to four years after the exact date of the incident. Filing for compensation is not the same as receiving it, however. To improve your odds of getting all of these expenses paid for, you must work with a competent law firm that can help you. That’s why you should seek legal counsel and retain an experienced attorney to help you do all of this work.
Why Do You Need a Ruskin Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer?
There are two specific reasons why you should certainly contact and retain a lawyer for this type of case. First of all, if you were injured significantly, you will certainly want to continue your rehabilitation and not deal with a court case. Second, even if you could, you are not going to present your information more competently than a trained professional that understands tort law and personal injury law. That’s why contacting a firm with experience handling distracted driving accidents would be the wisest decision to make.
Call Winters & Yonker for a Free Case Review
If you want a trusted and dedicated attorney to help you with your distracted driving case, you should get in touch with our team at Winters & Yonker. Our Florida car accident law firm has been representing clients for many years and can do all of this work for you, in the most competent way possible.