Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of auto accidents not only in Tarpon Springs, Florida but also throughout the United States. However, that’s hardly surprising considering the ever-growing number of distractions that exist both inside and outside vehicles today.
From cellphones to GPS devices to billboards, there’s plenty to do and see both inside and outside a vehicle besides focusing solely on the road. Unfortunately, when drivers stop paying attention to anything besides driving, the chances of an accident occurring suddenly shoot up.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one, you need to speak to the experienced Tarpon Springs distracted driving accident lawyers at Winters and Yonker regarding the pursuit of compensation.
Contact us at (888) 373-7770 or using the online form provided to schedule your free, initial, no-obligation consultation today with our knowledgeable and compassionate car accident attorneys.
Table of Contents
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is a loose term, but it is literally anything that makes driving the secondary task. It is simply defined as operating a truck, car, or motor vehicle while engaging in another activity that takes one’s attention away from the road. It is highly risky behavior that puts the safety of all road users in jeopardy.
Types of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is of 3 main types:
Manual distractions occur when the driver is distracted by something that involves their hands, which means that they are unable to be in full control of the vehicle. Manual distractions are some of the most common reasons for the occurrence of accidents. Examples include:
- Taking a call
- Adjusting the stereo
- Personal grooming (applying makeup, combing hair, etc.)
- Eating and drinking
Visual distractions cause drivers to take their eyes off the road. In some instances, visual distractions and manual distractions overlap; texting while driving means that you are distracted both visually and manually. Other examples of visual distractions include:
- Looking at a GPS or map
- Focusing on a passenger while talking to them
- Looking in the mirror to check your appearance
- Reading content of any type on your cellphone
- Reading text messages
- Watching video content from an electronic device, including cellphones or the car’s entertainment system
Cognitive distractions are those that take the driver’s mind off the road for an extended period of time. Such distractions not only distract both physically and visually but also mentally. Examples of cognitive distractions include:
- Focusing on stressful situations not related to the drive
- Disciplining or caring for children
- Focusing on a phone call or conversation with a passenger
Laws Regarding Distracted Driving in Florida
The Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law came into full effect as of January 1st, 2020. The law made texting a primary driving offense, which means that law enforcement officers can pull over and ticket drivers observed texting and driving.
The Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law also forbids talking with a cellphone in hand while driving in an active work zone or a school zone. Drivers are free to use hands-free devices to talk on their phones, but if utilizing earbuds, one of the ears must not contain an earbud.
What Damages Can Victims Get from a Distracted Driving Accident Claim in Florida?
Victims of distracted driving accidents in Tarpon Springs, Florida, are entitled to the following types of damages:
Are awarded to victims to recover financial losses associated with their injuries. They are meant to relieve the victim’s financial burden and are calculated on the fair market price at the time of the incident. Examples include:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Personal care costs
- Funeral costs in case of a fatality
- Cost of living with a disability
Are not easy to assign a monetary value to since they encompass general pain and suffering. They are less tangible in comparison to economic damages. Examples include:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of reputation
Punitive damages are hardly ever awarded in personal injury cases, but they are intended to punish the defendant for their criminal conduct. The punishment is aimed at deterring others from partaking in similar conduct. Punitive damages are only ever awarded if the defendant’s actions were either reckless or malicious.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim in Florida?
The standard statute of limitations, which refers to the amount of time within which you are required to file a claim in Florida is 4 years. As such, if you are the unfortunate victim in a distracted driving accident, you need to start the process of pursuing compensation before the fourth anniversary of the accident. Failure to meet this deadline could mean losing your right to pursue civil justice.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you are involved in a distracted driving accident, it can be a wise decision to enlist the help of competent lawyers such as those at Winters and Yonker who will work to prove negligence and liability. You can count on the lawyer to:
- Protect your right to compensation
- Manage all communication with the at-fault party and their insurance provider
- Investigate all aspects of your case, including collecting and analyzing evidence
- Build a case to support legal action and compensation
- Work with accident reconstruction experts to prove your case
- Pursue your case in court in case they are unable to reach an out-of-court settlement with the insurance company.
File Your Claim With A Tarpon Springs Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving accident, you need to get in touch with the legal team at Winters and Yonker in Tarpon Springs, Florida today. We can help you get the compensation you are rightfully entitled to.
Call our personal injury lawyers at (888) 373-7770 or by filling out the online contact form provided for your free, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation.