Texting and Driving Accidents
Texting behind the wheel has become one of the greatest dangers facing motorists today. To put the risks of texting in perspective, consider the five seconds that it typically takes to send a text message. If a driver is traveling at 55 mph for five seconds, they will cover the length of a football field without looking at the road. This is more than enough time for a disastrous or potentially fatal car accident to occur. To help decrease the rate of accidents that result from texting behind the wheel, Florida enacted a ban on texting while driving that took effect in 2013. If you have been injured in a car accident and believe that the other driver was texting at the time of the crash, you may be entitled to compensation. At The Grife Law Firm, our Boca Raton car accident attorneys can assist victims with asserting their right to compensation following a crash caused by a distracted driver.Pursuing Compensation from a Texting Driver
Texting while driving is one of the most common types of distracted driving behaviors. If you were injured in a car accident due to someone else’s lack of attention, you can bring a personal injury action against that driver to seek compensation for your injuries. This lawsuit will require you to prove several things before you will be awarded compensation. The first thing that you must prove is that the defendant owed you a duty of care. This is usually straightforward because all drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles with reasonable care and skill under the circumstances. This duty encompasses any applicable traffic laws, such as Florida’s ban on texting while driving.
Next, you will need to show that the defendant did not operate their vehicle according to this standard. This element is called breach. You likely will have a strong case that a breach occurred if you can show that the defendant violated the texting law at the time of the crash. One way to go about proving the violation is to present a police report describing the cause of the crash.
The third step of a personal injury lawsuit involves proving that the defendant’s breach of the duty of care was the direct cause of the injuries that you sustained. This includes any evidence that you were also acting negligently at the time that the accident happened. Florida has adopted a pure comparative negligence standard, which means that the jury can assign a percentage of fault to you if you were also acting negligently. Any compensation awarded to you will then be reduced by this percentage. Fortunately, you still can recover damages corresponding to the defendant’s degree of fault, no matter how much you were at fault.
The last step of the lawsuit consists of determining the amount of compensation that the plaintiff should receive for their damages. This involves submitting any bills that you have incurred as a result of the crash. A typical category of damages that plaintiffs seek after a texting while driving accident is medical expenses. This can include past and present medical expenses as well as compensation for any future anticipated expenses. If you suffer permanent or ongoing injuries, you may continue to require medical care well after the accident. Another common category of damages is missed wages and reduced earning capacity. A personal injury lawyer can help you ensure that you protect your right to the full amount of compensation that you deserve.
Since texting is a socially undesirable and inexcusable behavior, a victim of a texting while driving accident often can seek punitive damages as well. These are damages awarded in addition to compensatory damages when a defendant’s actions are especially reprehensible. Punitive damages are meant to deter a defendant and others in similar situations from engaging in certain conduct. We can help you explore the possibility of pursuing them if a texting driver struck you.Schedule a Consultation to Discuss Your Accident with a Boca Raton Attorney
At The Grife Law Firm, we ensure that each client is treated with the respect and personal attention that they deserve during this time. You likely have many questions about your ability to recover compensation and how the legal process works, or about what you should do after a car accident. We are happy to answer your questions and to ensure that you understand the full extent of your legal rights during each step of your lawsuit. Our attorneys have handled cases on behalf of victims in cities such as West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. To set up your free consultation, call us now at 1-855-998-0770 or contact us online.