Texting While Driving Accidents
According to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 percent of drivers ages 18-64 in the United States reported that they have texted while driving at least once in the 30 days before being surveyed. Texting while driving is a distraction and presents a danger to others on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers take their eyes off the road about 4.6 seconds within a six-second interval while texting, which is equal to driving the length of a football field without looking. In 2012, there were 281,000 crashes due to texting while driving, and in the same year, Florida banned this behavior, although there are certain exceptions. If you are injured in an Ocala accident caused by texting while driving, the experienced car crash lawyers at the Dean Law Firm can guide you through the process of seeking compensation.Texting While Driving in Florida
A personal injury plaintiff suing another driver for negligence generally will need to show the other driver's duty of care, a breach of the duty, actual and proximate causation, and actual damages. Usually, texting while driving is a breach of the duty to drive safely under the circumstances that all drivers on the road owe to each other and pedestrians.
If a plaintiff can prove that the other driver broke the law that prohibits texting while driving, a rebuttable presumption of negligence will apply under the doctrine of negligence per se. This doctrine applies when a defendant breaks a law that was designed to protect a class of people to which the plaintiff belongs, and when the violation causes an accident that harms the plaintiff. Texting while driving was banned in order to reduce injuries and deaths caused by drivers distracted by this behavior.
After an accident that you believe was caused by another driver's texting, it is important to contact the police to take a report, rather than try to resolve it through insurers without the involvement of the police. The police report may contain information that can be used to prove a violation of the law or negligence. Although Florida has a statute of limitations period that lasts four years from the accident, evidence can vanish and memories fade with time. You should also contact an attorney right away. The texting driver's insurer will likely look for reasons why you, not its insured, were at fault for the accident.
Compensation you can potentially recover in Florida after a texting while driving accident often includes economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages consist of tangible costs such as medical bills, lost income, and out-of-pocket expenses. Noneconomic damages are intangible losses such as loss of enjoyment in activities, mental anguish, and pain and suffering. These awards may vary dramatically depending on the subjective impressions of jury members and the skill of the trial attorney.Explore Your Options with an Ocala Lawyer after an Auto Accident
If you are in an accident, you may experience serious injuries and have concerns about missing work and how you can pay for your medical bills. The motor vehicle accident attorneys at the Dean Law Firm have experience advocating for individuals in Ocala and the surrounding area. Call us at 352-387-8700 or contact us via our online form to set up a free consultation. We represent accident victims in Crystal River, The Villages, and other areas across Marion, Sumter, Citrus, Levy, and Lake Counties.