Driving has become an integral part of many American’s lifestyles. With jobs, errands, emergencies, and schooling in modern-day America stretching far and wide, the ability to travel to and from destinations quickly is almost considered a necessity for most individuals. With driving becoming so common, it’s even easier to get distracted and cause a car accident.
Distracted driving is quite literally anything that makes driving a secondary task. It includes visual, cognitive, and manual distractions. According to estimates in 2012 provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation, a person was injured every 75 seconds due to accidents caused by a distracted driver, and 3,328 were killed.
Due to the potential severity of a distracted driving accident, it is important you have a dedicated personal injury attorney on your side. Here at The Law Place, our personal injury lawyers possess a combined 75 years of experience, so are well educated in the Florida legal system, and you can be confident your case is in the best hands. Contact us today on (941) 444-4444, to organize a free consultation with a Clearwater car accident lawyer. Phone lines are open 24/7.
What Constitutes Distracted Driving?
A driver can become distracted whilst driving easier than you may think. Here are some of the most common reasons behind how a person can cause an accident whilst distracted:
- Texting whilst driving.
- Eating or drinking.
- Using a cell phone.
- Reading, e.g. a map.
- Using a GPS or another navigational system.
- Talking to another passenger in the vehicle.
If you have been a victim of a car accident caused by distracted driving in Clearwater, then contact our legal team at The Law Place to organize a free consultation to discuss your case details.
For a free legal consultation with a distracted driving accidents lawyer serving Clearwater, call 941-444-4444
Florida’s New Texting Whilst Driving Law
According to a federal study published in 2013, an estimated 40,000 Florida drivers are distracted by a phone whilst driving each moment. In an effort to combat the increasing numbers of car accident cases caused by the driver using a cell phone, Florida made driving whilst using a cell phone a primary offense in 2020. A primary offense allows an officer to stop and ticket a driver if they violate the law. Before this law was passed, drivers commonly got away with being on their phone if caught by the police due to a lack of powers granted to enforce proper punishment.
Thankfully, officers now have the power to issue tickets and fines. This has resulted in a slight reduction in the number of cases where a driver is found on their phone. This was enforced at the start of July 2020, so massive changes cannot be observed as of yet, but hopefully, it is a move in the right direction.
Contact our Clearwater firm if you have been a victim of a collision following somebody texting whilst driving. You deserve justice following such a collision
Clearwater Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
How to Avoid a Distracted Driving Accident
It is an awful thing to know following a car accident caused by a distracted driver is that it was easily avoidable if the driver had simply paid attention. A lot of drivers will over-estimate their ability to multi-task while driving. Despite this commonly held belief, 16% of all crashes were reported by the police to have been caused by a distracted driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These accidents can easily be prevented, some ways to avoid such an incident include:
- Eat and drink before you begin your journey. If you are on a long journey, we know it can be tempting to pick up food from a drive-thru restaurant and eat on your journey. However, it is best on a long journey to take regular breaks and eat whilst stationary so as not to put other road users at risk.
- If you need to set up a GPS system or play music, do this before you set off on your journey. Preparation will prevent you from getting distracted by changing music or GPS issues mid-journey.
- It is advisable to put your phone in your glove box. It is not worth risking others to take a phone call or send a text. Studies have proven that by removing your phone from your vision, you are less likely to be distracted by it on your drive.
To simplify it if you feel tired, want to eat or drink, make a phone call, or anything that may divide your attention from the road, pull over and stop. You run the risk of ruining your own life, somebody else’s, and their families. It is not worth it when lives can be at risk.
Damages Following a Distracted Driving Accident
If you have been involved in a distracted driving collision, which was not your fault, then you could be owed compensation to account for your suffering. Examples of what you could be owed for include:
- Medical bills – It is sadly very likely that after a car accident, you will have suffered some injuries and have to seek medical attention. This can come at a cost, so for any medical bills, you encounter you will be able to claim back any expenses. Similarly, if your injuries are long-lasting, you may be able to claim for any future costs too.
- Loss of wages – If you had to have time off work because of your injuries, then you will be able to make a case for receiving any lost wages in your settlement. If you are unable to return, you may also be able to claim for a loss of earning capability.
- Pain and suffering – This includes any physical or mental suffering caused by the collision. This is hard to prove and then translate into compensation, so it is best to hire a personal injury lawyer to do this for you and ensure everything has sufficient evidence.
- Property damage – It is likely that, following a collision, your car will have received some damage, so, therefore, any repair or replacement costs can be accounted for in your settlement.
- Loss of enjoyment – If you are now unable to enjoy activities you once enjoyed because of the collision, such as sports or playing an instrument, then this is a loss of enjoyment, and you can claim for compensation for this.
- Wrongful death – If you have unfortunately lost a loved one to a distracted driving accident, then you could file a wrongful death lawsuit per Florida Statute 768.21. This settlement will cover the loss of consortium and for any funeral expenses.
If you believe you could be owed compensation for any damages, listed or not, then contact a personal injury attorney from The Law Place in Clearwater, FL. We can take on your insurance company on your behalf and ensure you get the suitable settlement for your case.
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There Is a Time Limit on Your Accident Case
If you have been involved in a Clearwater car accident, then you must act as quickly as possible and consider hiring a knowledgeable car accident lawyer. There is a statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Florida, per Florida Statute 95.11. This statute expresses that you will only have four years from the date of your accident to make a claim. If this time elapses, then it will be forever barred, and you will be unable to get the compensation you deserve. If you have lost a loved one and wish to put forward a wrongful death lawsuit, then the limitation is reduced to two years.
Additionally, it is also important to get medical attention as soon as possible. As per Florida Statute 627.736, you must seek medical care within two weeks of the accident. If said two weeks elapse from the date of the collision, then the insurance company or driver you’re up against can use this to devalue your claim by arguing you left it too late, and thus, your injuries are not severe enough.
Contact The Law Place Today
If you have been involved in a distracted driving accident, then contact The Law Place today. We recognize how traumatic a collision can be and will be there for you every step of the way to reduce any unnecessary stress regarding your legal battle.
Here at our Clearwater firm, our lawyers possess a combined 75 years of experience so you can be confident in our ability to fight for the justice you’re owed. Call us today on (941) 444-4444, to organize a free case evaluation with our experienced attorneys. Our lines are open 24/7.