On highways and other roads throughout Florida, drivers often pay more attention to their phones than the road, causing accidents that result in serious injuries. In the worst cases, these accidents lead to death. If you or someone close to you has been hurt or killed in an accident caused by a driver who was texting and driving, our seasoned Miami car accident attorneys can help you pursue the compensation that you are entitled to receive. With extensive experience in Florida personal injury law, we will see to it that your rights are protected at every stage of the legal process.
In May, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the “Wireless Communication While Driving” bill into law, which makes texting behind the wheel a primary offense carrying a punishment of a fine. Prior to this bill, officers could only issue citations to people texting and driving if they were stopped for another traffic violation. Beginning July 1, however, police officers can stop drivers solely for texting and driving. Even though the law goes into effect next month, the Florida legislature is giving drivers some time to adjust to the latest law. As a result, police officers will only give warnings to people pulled over for texting and driving until January 2020, at which point they can begin writing citations. A first offense carries a punishment of a $30 fine, and a second offense costs $60.
An individual who operates a motor vehicle and texts at the same time threatens the safety of others on the road. If you have been injured as a result of a distracted driver, you may be able to recover compensation by filing a personal injury claim in a Florida civil court. Most personal injury claims are rooted in the theory of negligence. To demonstrate negligence, the plaintiff is required to prove the following elements:
- The defendant had a duty to act as a reasonable driver would under the circumstances;
- The defendant breached this duty of care; and
- The defendant’s breach was a direct cause of the plaintiff’s injury or property damage.
If a driver breaks the texting while driving law, there is a rebuttable presumption that the driver was negligent as a matter of law. This is known as negligence per se. A driver may be on the hook for negligence per se if the plaintiff can show that the defendant violated a law (i.e., the Florida law that prohibits texting while driving), which is designed to protect persons like the plaintiff from the type of injury caused by the defendant’s conduct.
If you have been injured or if your loved one has been killed in an accident caused by a driver who was texting behind the wheel, you need to reach out to an experienced and trustworthy Miami distracted driving accident attorney immediately. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we understand how to resolve personal injury claims in an efficient and timely manner. We proudly represent clients across South Florida. To speak directly to a member of our team, call 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or reach out to us online today.