According to a report from the Zebra, approximately “391,000 drivers were injured in distracted driving crashes in 2017.” To put this in perspective, in the same year there were reportedly “39,773 gun deaths in the United States.” This startling statistic shows not only how deadly distracted driving accidents can be but also how alarmingly common they’ve become.
These numbers resulted in significant changes being done to help combat distracted driving. In July of 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that makes distracted driving a primary offense. This means that law enforcement can pull a driver over if they suspect they are texting while driving. Prior to this law going into effect, texting while driving was considered to be a secondary offense, meaning that a driver could only get a ticket if they were found to be using their cell phone after they were pulled over for another traffic violation such as speeding.
Despite these laws, distracted driving is still a prevalent issue here in the Sunshine State. Below, we take a look at what you should do if you’re ever injured in this kind of accident and how a personal injury lawyer can help you maximize your compensation.
What Are the Different Types of Distracted Driving?
As it stands, Florida is the second-worst state in the country for distracted driving accidents. Louisiana is reportedly the worst state for these types of car accidents. The cause of this reputation may be the result of many things, including out-of-town visitors who are unfamiliar with Florida roadways and ever-advancing technologies and addictive app services like Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok. Regardless of the reason, distracted driving is not limited solely to the use of talking or texting on a cell phone; distractions can also be any of the following:
- Using a GPS or other navigational device
- Checking email
- Eating and drinking
- Turning the radio station or using a handheld streaming device
- Applying makeup or brushing hair
- Watching a video
- Reading a book or newspaper while at red lights or during slowed traffic
- Posting and/or checking social media
Essentially, anything can cause a distraction if it takes your attention away from what you’re currently doing. Reports show that a vehicle traveling 55 miles per hour can travel the length of a football field. If a driver is distracted, this means they could potentially be driving the length of a football field without even realizing it.
Common Injuries Resulting From Distracted Driving Accidents
Just as with any type of motor vehicle accident, the damage and injuries one can sustain from a distracted driving accident can vary in severity. Most commonly, the following types of injuries result from a distracted driving accident:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limb/amputation
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Severe head trauma
- Internal bleeding
If you sustained any of the injuries listed above, you’ll undoubtedly be dealing with expensive medical bills, ongoing treatment, and lost wages from being unable to return to work. In severe cases, as seen with amputations and traumatic brain and spinal injuries, you may be tasked with having to completely adapt to a new normal. This brings us to one of the most common questions injured victims and their families ask:
Is the Distracted Driver Always at Fault?
Simply put, it depends. Florida is a no-fault accident state, which means that it’s not necessary to determine who was at fault for the collision because the injured party will have to file a claim and recover compensation through their own insurance carrier. Instead, the issue of negligence takes center stage.
Legally speaking, negligence is defined as any action that failed to exercise appropriate care for others. In a personal injury case, this means that it must be determined that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, the duty of care was breached and that the plaintiff not only suffered harm as a result of the breach but that those injuries can be financially compensated.
If you were injured in a distracted driving accident and believe you have a valid basis to pursue a claim, the accident attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphey are ready to take your call.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Distracted Driving Accident Case in Florida
Did you or a loved one sustain a serious injury as a result of a distracted driving accident in Florida? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphey represent clients who have been injured in a distracted driving accident in Broward, Dade, Palm Beach Counties, and throughout Florida. Call 954-525-2345 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 2211 Davie Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312 as well as offices in Pembroke Pines, Weston, Coconut Creek, Pompano Beach, and Plantation.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.