Despite the well-known dangers of distracted driving, many distracted driving accidents continue each year in Tampa, FL. These accidents can easily be prevented simply by motorists following the law and focusing on the important task of driving.
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers is here to help you seek compensation after a careless distracted driver hurts you. Our Tampa distracted driving accident lawyers can advise you of your legal rights and options when you contact us for a free case review. Contact or call us today at (813) 223-6200 to get started.
How Winters and Yonker, P.A., Can Help After a Car Accident in Tampa
If you are hurt in a distracted driving accident on a road or intersection in Tampa, Florida, the last thing you need to deal with is an insurance company determined to give you less compensation than you deserve. When you hire our firm, an experienced personal injury attorney in Tampa will assist you with every aspect of your claim, including:
- Locating well-qualified physicians to help provide treatment for you
- Reviewing your medical records to understand the impact your injuries have on your life
- Communicating and negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf
- Gathering evidence of the losses you have suffered, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering
- Aggressively demand maximum compensation for your claim
Contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers for your free case review with an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is anything that takes away your attention from driving. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies driving distractions into these categories:
- Visual – A visual distraction causes you to avert your eyes from the roadway. Examples include looking down at a cell phone message or looking back at a child or pet.
- Manual – A manual distraction is one that causes you to take your hands off the steering wheel. Examples include typing a text message into your phone, dialing a phone, eating while driving, drinking, or adjusting controls in the vehicle.
- Cognitive – A cognitive distraction takes your mind off of driving, such as thinking about a message to write in your cell phone or daydreaming.
Texting and driving is a particularly dangerous form of distracted driving because it involves all three categories of distractions.
How Common Is Distracted Driving in Florida?
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving led to the death of 3,142 people in 2020. On the local level, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that there were 56,594 distracted driving crashes in 2021, which resulted in 2,726 serious injuries and 350 deaths.
What Is Florida’s Distracted Driving Law?
The Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law prohibits operating a motor vehicle when doing any of the following:
- Instant messaging
- Entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device
- Sending or reading data on a wireless communications device
There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as if the motorist is using their device for navigation purposes or in the event of an emergency.
Violation of the law can result in a noncriminal traffic infraction that is punished as a nonmoving violation. Subsequent offenses within five years of the first conviction are punished as moving violations.
How To Prove Distracted Driving Caused the Crash in Tampa
It’s important to note that Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to car insurance. That means that by default, drivers must go through their own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to receive compensation.
Drivers may have the option to sue, however, when the accident meets the state’s serious injury threshold. To recover compensation in a car accident claim against the at-fault driver, you will need to show that driver was negligent.
If you can prove the other driver was distracted, you’ll be well on your way to proving negligence because all drivers have a duty to drive safely and obey the laws. If they breach this legal duty and cause an accident, they can be held responsible for the damages that result.
To show the other driver was distracted, you will generally need evidence such as:
- Cell phone records showing the other driver was on a call, texting, or using data at the time of the accident
- Traffic camera footage that shows the driver was distracted
- Statements from witnesses who saw the driver distracted immediately before the accident
- Damage to your vehicle or skid marks that are indicative that the other driver did not brake quickly once they noticed a hazard
An experienced car accident lawyer knows how to preserve and gather strong evidence to support distracted driving claims.
Compensation You Can Collect After a Distracted Driving Crash in Tampa, Florida
The potential compensation you can recover after a distracted driving crash depends on the nature and severity of your injuries. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Physical and emotional pain, suffering, and distress
- Property damage
Again, Florida’s no-fault insurance framework will come into play, as you can only obtain a limited amount of compensation unless the accident is especially serious. Our experienced distracted driving accident lawyers can give you a better idea about what you might be able to expect for your claim during your free consultation.
Contact Our Tampa Car Accident Law Firm for Help with Your Claim
If you were hurt in a distracted driving accident in Tampa, the dedicated car accident lawyers at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help you in every way we can. We can advise you of your legal rights or options during a free case consultation. Call us today at (888) 373-7770 to learn more.