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What Victims Of Texting While Driving Accidents Need To Know

The number one cause of car accidents in Florida is distracted or careless driving. Texting while driving presents several dangers, and if you have been a victim of this behavior, you need a lawyer who can protect your rights.

The stats:

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a car accident is 23 times more likely to occur when a person is texting while driving.

A study by Carnegie Mellon states that driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent.

The National Safety Council found that 1 out of 4 traffic accidents involve drivers talking on cell phones or sending text messages.

Text messaging presents significant concerns because it distracts drivers visually, cognitively, and manually. They are looking at their phone, thinking about the message and how to respond, and taking their hands off the wheel. These actions have dangerous consequences.

Is the texting driver liable for their actions?

When a driver intentionally participates in distractive behavior, the driver is in violation of their legal duty of care, or obligation to look out for the wellbeing and safety of other drivers on the road. This distracted driver is considered negligent, and they are legally liable for any inflicted damages.

What damages are included?

Victims of negligence are entitled to all reasonable damages caused by the other driver. This includes any:

  • Medical expenses. Cost of hospital stays, emergency room visits, or other care provided by doctors, including ongoing care- such as chiropractic treatment and physical therapy are covered.
  • Property damage. You are entitled to receive compensation for the car’s fair market value, if totaled, or other costs to repair damages to the engine or body. You can also be compensated for personal items damaged during the accident, including clothing, electronics, and jewelry/accessories.
  • Pain and suffering. Car accidents can cause serious emotional trauma that should not be overlooked. You can receive compensation for mental anguish and other intangible losses suffered as a result of your accident.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses. If a rental car is needed for you to get around, or if you need prescriptions or over-the-counter medications or first aid supplies, these are all reasonable damage costs the driver must cover.

Damages that would not be considered reasonable are those that are not directly linked to the accident, such as: speculative future income, tuition/educational costs, or emotional pain of family members not directly involved in the crash.

How do the police determine if a driver was texting?

If you have reason to believe the driver was texting, or otherwise exhibiting any distracted behaviors, be sure to let the police officers on the scene know immediately. They will be gathering all witness statements, so another person may have also seen the driver texting and be able to corroborate your observation.

Photographic evidence can be beneficial. If you are able, and it is safe to do so, take pictures or video of the vehicles, skid marks, traffic signs and signals, and any other evidence of what potentially caused the crash or occurred as a result.

A court order will force the driver’s phone company to release their cell phone records. These records should be able to determine if the driver was texting or on a call during the time, and at the location, of the crash.

The driver may even admit to cell phone use while driving, either initially when police arrive, or after statements are made and police question the driver.

An attorney experienced in representing car accident victims can help you better understand the legal process and get you the compensation you need. Texting while driving is a serious issue, and if you’ve been the victim of another’s careless actions, you deserve justice.

Michael J. Babboni's wide-ranging legal career is based on the strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and have access to effective legal help. Michael began putting his beliefs in action by helping the people of St. Petersburg Florida get what they are owed in civil trials fighting to protect families by making corporations pay, and honor their obligations.

What Victims Of Texting While Driving Accidents Need To Know

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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