Distracted Driving On Florida Roads Kills
Many drivers think nothing of trying to multitask behind the wheel, but in reality, doing so is dangerous, and contributes to countless road accident deaths each year. Florida is one of several states that has passed laws governing aspects of distracted driving, and at this point, Florida juries are not hesitant to hold someone liable if their negligence is evident in an accident case. If you have been injured due to the negligence of a distracted driver, you have the right to try and seek compensation for what you have been through.
Number Of Fatalities Continues To Rise
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimate that approximately 3100 people died as a result of accidents involving distracted driving. This may not seem like much, but it is a disproportionately high number when compared to the overall number of accidents that involved distracted driving. In addition, the number of distracted driving-related fatalities has continued to rise in recent years, and shows no sign of slowing.
There are numerous different types of distracted driving. Talking to passengers, fiddling with radio or GPS, eating, doing makeup and any other behavior that takes one’s hands or eyes off the road can qualify as distracted. By far the most common, however, is texting and driving. Texting and driving is one of the behaviors that take both hands and eyes off the wheel, and even a second can be too much time to prevent an accident when one is totally disengaged from the road.
Florida is a no-fault state in terms of auto insurance, which means that most automobile accident cases are handled by making claims against personal injury protection (PIP) insurance that all Florida drivers are required to carry. If your injuries are ‘significant and permanent,’ state law does lift the tort immunity and allow you to file suit against the (allegedly) negligent defendant, though this is rare. Most of the time, if someone else caused your injuries, you will be filing a claim with either your own or their PIP insurance.
In addition, Florida has a ban on texting and driving. Breaking this law results in civil violations, not criminal charges, but it may still be useful in a suit against an allegedly distracted and negligent driver. Florida observes a doctrine called negligence per se, which holds that if someone breaks a law designed to protect a certain class of people by injuring someone in that class, they can be held negligent as a matter of law. This means that in your suit, if you can show that the defendant was texting and driving, they will automatically be deemed negligent – which in turn means that your attorney has less work to do in proving your case.
Contact A Tampa Auto Accident Attorney
Distracted driving is not a behavior to engage in with regularity. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you deserve to recover for the harm you have suffered. The Tampa car accident attorneys from the Rinaldo Law Group can work with you to try and get the fairest possible outcome for your case. We are happy to try and assist you during what can be a difficult time for you and your family. Call our offices today for a free consultation.