Auto Accident Lawyer: Understanding Distracted Driving in Florida

Distractions are everywhere. Whether it's on the road or on 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. 

Is Distracted Driving in Florida Considered Negligence? - Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer

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 a driver was distracted and 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 although the driver may have been negligent, it will not qualify you for compensation, or at best, minimal compensation.

Common Distractions while Driving in Florida - Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer

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 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 critical for drivers to be able to see what is going in front of them, which seemingly minor visual distractions can have devastating consequences.


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 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 Florida

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 Florida

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 ensure 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, therefore it's important to hire an attorney who specializes in auto accidents. 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

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 consultation and to get the advocacy you deserve.

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