Auto Accident Lawyer: Understanding Distracted Driving in Florida

Distractions abound today, whether it's on the road or the sidewalk. They can be a serious problem for drivers. If a driver's distraction on the road causes an accident, and you get injured, you may have a personal injury claim to file. At Rodriguez & Williamson, PLLC, our personal injury lawyer in Florida can review your case, help identify if a distraction was the cause or a contributing cause to an accident, and then lay out your options for you. Making sure you get the compensation you deserve is the best way you can recover and regain your life. Contact us online or at 813-320-7500 to learn more.

Is Distracted Driving in Florida Considered Negligence?

The short, unsatisfying answer to this question is: maybe. In order to understand when and how distracted driving can be considered negligence, it is important to understand what, exactly, comprises negligence. 

Negligence is a theory in tort law that allows people to obtain compensation if four specific elements are present and proven: duty, breach, causation, and damages. First, the other party must have a duty to act in a certain way. Next, they must have breached this duty and the breach must have led to your injury and the damages flowing from the injury. Finally, the party seeking compensation must have actually incurred damages.

To apply negligence to distracted driving, you have to consider if the driver or another person owed you a duty of care. Drivers owe everyone on and around the roadways a duty of care to drive safely and in accordance with the law. If the driver was distracted and, for example, struck your vehicle and you suffered whiplash, then that's negligence only if your vehicle was damaged and/or the whiplash was real and required medical attention that resulted in medical bills. If your car was not damaged and you suffered no injury, then though the driver may have been negligent, it will not qualify you for compensation. 

Common Distractions while Driving in Tampa

Anything that takes your attention away from the road while driving can be considered a distraction. However, different types of distractions can impact drivers in different ways.

Visual

Visual distractions are anything that takes a driver's eyes off of the road. Some examples of visual distractions include texting, changing the radio station, or turning around to communicate with someone in the backseat. It is obviously critical for drivers to be able to see what is going on on the road in front of them, which means that seemingly minor visual distractions can have devastating consequences.

Manual

Manual distractions are anything that makes a driver take their hands off the wheel while driving. Manual distractions may seem less dangerous than visual distractions if a driver still has their eyes on the road, but some situations require split second reactions, and not having hands on the wheel to be able to immediately react can be the difference between a close call and a serious accident.

Cognitive

Cognitive distractions are anything that take a driver's mind off of the road. They are similar to manual distractions in that they can seem more benign than visual accidents, but can have the same catastrophic consequences. Cognitive distractions can be anything from chatting with a friend to simply thinking hard about an emotional situation. 

Compensation You Can Expect after a Distracted Driving Accident in Tampa

One of the main concerns many car accident victims have is being made financially whole after their accident. There are many things that an accident victim could potentially be eligible to seek compensation for, and they generally fit into a couple of main categories.

Economic damages are financial losses that victims incur, which include things like medical bills, replacing a car, and even lost wages from being unable to work. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are intended to compensate a victim for the pain and suffering that they experience as a result of their accident. 

Why You Need a Auto Accident Attorney in Tampa

After making sure that your medical needs are taken care of, it is important to make sure that your legal interests are protected. The other parties in your case will try to take advantage of you while you are in a vulnerable state. Having an attorney by your side is critical to make sure your interests and rights are upheld. 

In distracted driving cases, it is also important to have an auto accident attorney represent you who has experience with such cases. The evidence can fall on highly technical or hard to prove claims, and so you want the experience an attorney has to offer. You do not want to settle for less than what is owed, especially if your injuries are significant.

Contact an Auto Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida Today

At Rodriguez & Williamson, PLLC, it is our job to make sure you get the representation you need in your personal injury claim. Distracted driving cases can be straightforward or complex––regardless of the latter, we are here to help. Contact our auto accident and personal injury legal team at 813-320-7500 to schedule a Free and to get the advocacy you deserve.

Today, there are distractions wherever you look, whether you're on the road or the sidewalk. They have the potential to cause drivers significant difficulties. Suppose a distracted driver precipitates an accident while they are driving, and you are hurt as a result of the accident. In that case, you may be eligible to submit a claim for personal injury. At Rodriguez & Williamson, PLLC, our injury attorney in Florida can review your case, assist you in determining whether or not a distraction was the cause or a contributing cause to an accident, and then provide you with an explanation of the options that are available to you moving forward. The greatest approach to mending your wounds and getting your life back on track is to fight for the financial compensation you are entitled to. For further information, feel free to get in touch with us via our website or by calling 813-320-7500.

Is It Considered Negligence to Drive While Distracted in the State of Florida?

The short answer to this question is "maybe," but it's not very gratifying. It is essential to have a solid understanding of what constitutes negligence to grasp when and under what circumstances distracted driving might be considered negligent.

Persons can be awarded compensation under the tort law theory of negligence if it can be demonstrated that four specific aspects were present and were the cause of the damages. These elements include duty, breach, causation, and damages. To begin, the other party must be obliged to behave in a predetermined manner. Next, they are required to have violated this obligation, and that violation must have been the cause of your harm and the damages that resulted from your injury. The third and last requirement is that the party requesting compensation must demonstrate that they have suffered actual harm.

To apply the concept of negligence to distracted driving, you must first determine if the driver or another person owed you a duty of care. Drivers have a responsibility to everyone else on and around the roadways to operate their vehicles in a safe and legal manner. Suppose the driver was preoccupied and, for example, collided with your vehicle, causing you to experience whiplash. In that case, this constitutes negligence only if your vehicle was damaged and/or the whiplash was real and required medical attention, resulting in medical expenditures being incurred. Even if the driver was irresponsible, you would not be eligible for compensation if your vehicle was not damaged and you did not sustain any injuries due to the incident, even if the driver was negligent.

Common Distractions That Can Affect Your Driving in Tampa

When you're behind the wheel, avoiding getting distracted by anything that pulls your focus away from the road is important. However, different sorts of distractions have the potential to have a variety of effects on drivers.

Visual

Anything that causes a driver to take his or her eyes off the road is considered a visual distraction. Texting, adjusting the radio station, or turning around to talk to someone in the backseat are all examples of activities that could be considered visual distractions. Because drivers need to see what is happening on the road in front of them, seemingly insignificant visual distractions can have disastrous effects even if they do not appear to be particularly dangerous.

Manual

Anything that causes motorists to take their hands off the wheel while operating a vehicle is considered a manual distraction. Manual distractions may appear to be less dangerous than visual distractions if a driver is still keeping his or her eyes on the road; however, some situations require split-second reactions, and not having hands on the wheel to be able to react immediately can be the difference between a narrow escape and a serious accident.

Cognitive

Anything that takes a driver's attention away from the road is considered a cognitive distraction. They are analogous to manual distractions in the sense that they could appear to have fewer negative repercussions than visual mishaps. Still, in reality, they might have the same devastating effects. Distractions to one's thinking can take anything from casual conversation with a friend to intense introspection on an upsetting event.

You May Be Entitled to Financial Recompense in the Event of an Accident Caused by Distracted Driving in Tampa

After being involved in a car accident, getting their lives back to normal financially is one of the most pressing issues for many people. There are many different reasons why someone in an accident might be able to file a compensation claim, and most of the time, these reasons fall into one of several primary categories.

Economic damages are monetary losses that victims incur, including medical costs, the cost of purchasing a replacement vehicle, and even missed pay due to being unable to work. On the other hand, the purpose of non-economic damages is to pay a victim for the physical and mental anguish they endure as a direct result of the accident in which they were injured.

Why You Should Hire a Lawyer for Your Auto Accident in Tampa

After ensuring that your physical requirements are met, the next most important thing to do is to look out for your legal interests and make sure they are safeguarded. When you are in a weak position, the other parties involved in your case will attempt to take advantage of you by taking advantage of your situation. It is necessary to have an attorney working on your behalf if you want to protect your rights and interests.

In cases involving distracted driving, it is essential to retain the services of a car accident attorney who has previous experience working on cases similar to yours. Because the evidence may involve extremely technical matters or allegations that are difficult to demonstrate, you will want the expertise that an attorney can provide you with. Especially if your injuries are substantial, you should never agree to accept less compensation than is warranted.

Get in Touch With a Personal Injury and Automobile Accident Lawyer in Florida Right Away

At Rodriguez & Williamson, PLLC, it is our responsibility to ensure that you have the legal representation for your personal injury claim. Cases involving distracted driving might be very simple or quite difficult, but we are here to assist you no matter how difficult they are. You may book a free consultation with our vehicle accident and personal injury legal team by calling 813-320-7500. We will provide you with the assistance you deserve.

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