Driving a car in Florida is a privilege, not a right. When people get behind the wheel, they have a responsibility to pay attention to the road and stay focused at all times. Unfortunately, many drivers get distracted while operating a vehicle, thus posing a risk to everyone around them.
If you or someone close to you was hurt in a collision caused by distracted driving, you should seek the assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer. We have helped numerous individuals seek the justice and compensation they deserved after a car accident, and we can help you as well.
What is Distracted Driving?
The Florida Department of Transportation defines distracted driving as any mental or physical activity that takes an individual’s focus off the task of handling a vehicle. When a person’s attention is not on the road, the likelihood of a car accident increases greatly. The United States Department of Transportation estimates that a person was hurt every 75 seconds in a collision caused by a distracted driver in 2012.
Drivers can be distracted in a variety of ways, including using their cellphones to talk or text, eating or drinking, putting on makeup, smoking, or fidgeting with the radio or GPS system. Given the high risks associated with distracted driving, Florida State Statute 316.305 prohibits texting while driving.
A personal injury lawsuit may be filed against an individual who caused harm to someone else because of distracted driving. This type of claim is rooted in the theory of negligence, which is the failure to use the appropriate level of precaution when undertaking a certain activity. In the context of operating a motor vehicle, each driver is required to use at least as much care as an ordinary prudent person would use in the same circumstances.
To prevail on a negligence claim, the victim must establish the following:
- Distracted driver owed the victim a duty to exercise reasonable care, which is usually straightforward to establish in car accident cases
- Defendant breached the duty of care by engaging in a distracting activity, such as texting and driving
- Distracted driver’s breach was a direct cause of the victim’s resulting injuries
- Quantifiable damages arose that can be compensated
Once negligence is established, an injured person can typically seek compensation for costs and losses such as medical expenses, lost income and benefits, pain and suffering, property damage, and any other expenses stemming from the accident.
Wrongful Death Claims
Distracted driving is not to be taken lightly. In some serious accidents, victims may tragically lose their lives. If your loved one was killed by a distracted driver, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim in Florida. These lawsuits often are brought by close family members of an accident victim, seeking compensation for medical and burial expenses as well as lost earning capacity and damages based on their relationship to their lost loved one.
Our Legal Team
Drivers who fail to take proper care behind the wheel should be held accountable for any harm they cause. At Lusk, Drasites, & Tolisano, our car accident attorneys can help victims assert their rights after a collision. Our accident lawyers proudly represent individuals near Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Naples. Call us toll free at (800) 283-7442.