Every year, a number of Florida residents are injured and some are even killed due to accidents caused by distracted driving. Distracted driving is not a phenomenon limited to Florida, of course. It happens on a daily basis throughout the United States.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), ‘distracted driving’ is any activity that could divert an individual’s attention away from the primary task of driving. In other words, distracted driving is when a driver engages in a task that decreases his or her concentration on driving. When a person’s focus is not on the road, the chances for an accident increase significantly. This is because when a person is not paying attention he or she is likely to be unaware of hazards on the road, even obvious ones. Additionally, an individual’s reaction time decreases when he or she is distracted.
Distractions inside and outside a vehicle may include texting while driving, eating, drinking, talking to other passengers, reading a map, toying with a GPS system, applying makeup, or smoking.
The NHTSA reports that about 10 percent of fatal crashes and approximately 17 percent of injury crashes in 2011 were due to distracted driving. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that more than 20 percent of all motor vehicle accidents in 2012 involved a driver talking on a hand-held or hands-free cellphone. An additional five percent of crashes involved a motor vehicle operator who was texting at the time of the wreck.
If you or someone you know has been injured due to a distracted driver, you can file a negligence claim against that driver to seek compensation for your injuries. Negligence law is designed to hold the reckless party responsible for his or her actions. Distracted drivers not only put their own safety at risk but also the safety of everyone around them. A plaintiff can sue for damages by establishing the following elements of negligence.
The distracted driver must have owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. The duty of care involves making decisions that a reasonably prudent person would make in similar circumstances. The distracted driver must have breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff by engaging in some distracting behavior, and the distracted driver’s breach must have caused the accident and the plaintiff’s resulting harm. The injured victim can typically recover medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, pain and suffering, property damage, and any other expenses arising from the accident.
If you or someone close to you was injured because of a distracted driver, you have legal options under Florida law. Robert Dixon is a highly reputable Miami auto accident attorney who has helped a number of South Florida clients get the compensation they deserve for their injuries. At our firm, we take every case very seriously. We know that a car accident can affect every aspect of your life, and we want to make the legal process as smooth as possible. We will analyze the merits of your case and give you a realistic assessment of what you should expect. You can contact us online or call us today at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) for a free, confidential consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Florida’s Medical Negligence Damages Cap, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, December 12, 2014
Understanding Florida’s “Move Over” Laws, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, November 19, 2014
Your Legal Rights After an Airplane Accident, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, November 19, 2014