Common Legal Issues in Distracted Driving Cases
Everyone is guilty of peeking at their smartphones at least a couple of times on the road. Unfortunately, the responsibility of being behind the wheel doesn’t eliminate the possible hazards of distracted driving for most Americans. According to recent statistics from CrashStats, 10% of fatal crashes, 15% of injury crashes, and 14% of police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
Every day, drivers, families, and teenagers experience incidents related to distracted driving that can cause damages or instill fear. Distracted driving incidents vary on the degree from the bruised to the gruesome. If cases of distracted driving in your area are becoming more noticeable, talking to a car accident lawyer in Miami can give you leverage in case an accident occurs.
What’s The Deal With Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving involves any activity that diverts your attention from driving. This can involve:
- Talking or texting on the phone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to people in the vehicle
- Fiddling with a stereo, an entertainment, or a navigation system
In Florida, distracted driving laws are amongst the most inefficient and lacking in the country. The scope of Florida’s distracted driving laws only prohibits talking on cellphones while driving. Until today, lawmakers are still in the planning stages to expand the cellphone law to include texting.
What Legal Action Can I Take Then?
If you have recently been the victim of distracted driving, a Miami car accident attorney can explain your options. Incidents that involve distracted driving can allow for compensation under a personal injury case.
The most common accident case injury lawyers encounter involves a negligent party speaking on their phone while driving. Ideally, a victim will be able to collect compensation when a negligent driver violated the cellphone law. Violating the cellphone law and engaging in negligent driving itself can require that the driver be liable for other damages considered under the law. Liability can fall under three categories:
- Legal Violation
This is when a driver violates any traffic law, criminal law, municipal ordinance, or another
- Substantial Cause
The legal infraction need not be the only cause of the accident, but also if there was a foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s actions. This can also give rise to negligence.
- Protected Class
The legal violation could go along the lines of an expired registration sticker or expired driver’s license.
How Else Can I Get Compensated?
A personal injury attorney in Miami will tell you that it is also possible to receive compensation through a traditional negligence claim. Possible claims can involve failures in operation and responsibility. The elements of a traditional negligence case are:
Noncommercial vehicle operators in Florida have a duty of care towards passengers and other
drivers. Taxi drivers, bus drivers, and even Uber drivers are common carriers under the law.
They are then responsible for a higher duty of care.
A breach can be considered for a claim when behaviors involve visual distraction (taking
their eyes off the road) or cognitive distraction (not having their mind on driving). Talking
to a passenger is not necessarily considered a breach, unless in extreme cases.
- Factual Cause
There must be a direct link between the breach of duty and the victim’s damages.
- Proximate Cause
This is when an event that is justifiably related to an injury that the court considers as the cause of
The victim/plaintiff must suffer actual physical injury and/or property loss damages. Near
misses are usually not actionable in Florida courts.
Becoming the victim of distracted driving is a traumatizing experience. While Florida continues to strengthen road safety laws, let’s work together to make the road safer for everyone today. Consult with a personal injury lawyer in Miami today to discuss what you can do about reckless drivers, and how you can get compensated for your injury.
We handle a variety of cases, so call us now if you have any questions.
View more contact information here: Miami Car Accident Attorney.
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