Tampa Distracted Driving Attorney
Distracted driving is a dangerous, but not uncommon, activity. In 2015 alone, over 3,500 Americans lost their lives in accidents related to distracted driving, and 391,000 more sustained injuries. If a distracted driving incident caused an accident and you were hurt, you may be wondering about your legal options. Fortunately, Florida law does provide recourse for victims of distracted driving. If your accident happened in the Tampa Bay area, reaching out to a Tampa distracted driving accident lawyer is your best option for getting compensation for your injuries.
What Is Distracted Driving?
When we talk about distracted driving, most people think of cell phone use. While using smartphones and texting do play a role in a large number of distracted driving accidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts your attention from the task of operating a vehicle. Examples may include:
- Adjusting the radio
- Applying makeup
- Eating or drinking
- Using the navigation system
- Talking to passengers
Texting and mobile device-use still pose some of the greatest threats to other drivers on the road. Consider this: it takes about five seconds to read a text. If you travel at 55 miles per hour, you’ve driven the length of an entire football field! When we frame it this way, it’s easy to see how distracted driving can lead to serious injuries.
Distracted Driving Laws in Florida
Across the country, states and municipalities have begun to crack down on cell phone use while driving. Florida is no exception, passing a law banning texting and driving throughout the state in 2013. In the beginning of 2017, two Florida lawmakers introduced a bill that would make harsher punishments for texting and driving in inexperienced drivers (aged 15 to 17).Texting drivers face fines and other penalties, but they’re also vulnerable to lawsuits in the event of a car crash.
Florida’s “No-Fault” Car Accident Laws
When it comes to car accidents, Florida follows a “no-fault” system, which means your own insurance company will compensate for medical bills and lost wages following a car accident. While you won’t have to prove anyone was legally liable for your injuries, this also limits your ability to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Florida law states you may pursue a personal injury claim against another driver if you meet a certain threshold: your injuries must be serious or permanent, involve significant or permanent scarring, or result in disfigurement.
Florida’s Comparative Negligence Rule
Florida also follows a “comparative negligence” rule when it comes to car accident cases. This doctrine asserts that, should you be partially at fault for an accident, the courts will reduce your personal injury settlement by your degree of fault. Here’s an example: say you incurred $100,000 in damages as the result of a serious accident. While the other driver was texting, you were speeding, so a judge finds you 10% at fault for the accident. In this case, your maximum recovery would be $90,000.
Your Next Steps: Finding a Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
Distracted driving is against the law and may result in serious injury. After an accident with a distracted driver, you may be wondering how you’ll pay for your medical bills or compensate for lost wages. At Williams Law, P.A., our Tampa distracted driving attorneys believe you shouldn’t have to worry about paying for bills that were the result of someone else’s negligence. A personal injury settlement can help provide you with financial security and the means to move forward.
Your road to recovery begins with a free initial consultation. Let us review the facts of your case and help you decide on your next steps. We proudly offer our services on a contingency-fee basis, so you won’t owe a fee unless we win a settlement. Contact us to get started today.