Texting While Driving Accidents
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting while driving is a growing epidemic on our nation’s roadways, claiming far too many lives and causing an increasing number of serious injuries each year. These crashes are especially prevalent among young drivers, but texting while driving accidents can affect victims of any age, including children and the elderly. If you or a family member has been involved in a collision caused by a texting driver, the Stuart car accident lawyers at Donaldson & Weston are here to help you fight for the compensation that you deserve.Bringing a Negligence Lawsuit after a Texting While Driving Accident
The concept of “distracted driving” is nothing new. For decades, careless drivers have been causing crashes due to distractions such as eating, drinking, grooming, adjusting the radio, looking at a map, or talking to passengers. However, new technological advancements bring new types of distractions. A basic cellphone is distracting enough, but now smartphones are the norm, complete with constant access to social media, online videos, and texting. A driver who is sending or reading a text takes his or her eyes off the road for an average of five seconds – the equivalent of driving the length of a football field while blindfolded.
For people who have been hurt by a driver who was texting behind the wheel, there may be many options to explore. Florida’s negligence laws provide that, when a driver breaches a duty of care owed to others, such as the duty to keep a proper lookout while driving, and proximately causes injuries to another motorist, a passenger, or a pedestrian, that driver may be held liable for the harm that resulted. Potential forms of compensation include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and loss of consortium. In fatal texting while driving accident cases, an at-fault driver may be required to pay funeral and burial costs, medical expenses, lost net earnings to the deceased person’s estate, loss of consortium, and other damages.
The plaintiff in a texting while driving accident lawsuit has the burden of proving his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence. With an attorney’s assistance, it is often possible to subpoena records from the defendant’s cellphone service provider, helping to build the case against the defendant by showing that he or she was engaged in distracted driving at the time of the crash. On the other hand, the defendant may make an argument based on comparative fault if there is evidence tending to prove that the plaintiff was also negligent in causing the accident. This defense may result in a reduction in the plaintiff’s compensation in proportion to his or her level of fault, but it does not defeat the plaintiff’s claim altogether unless he or she is found to be completely responsible for the collision.Enlist a Car Accident Lawyer in Stuart or Surrounding Areas
The Florida statute of limitations puts an outer time limit on the period during which a person who is injured in a car crash, or a family who loses a loved one, may file a claim for damages against the responsible party. Speaking to a motor vehicle collision attorney as soon as possible after a texting while driving accident not only ensures that a responsible professional can file the appropriate paperwork in a timely fashion but also allows the plaintiff to be represented during the crucial investigation phase of the case. To schedule a free consultation with a Stuart car accident attorney, call Donaldson & Weston at (772) 266-5555 or contact us online. We can assist victims of texting while driving accidents in many South Florida communities, including Port St. Lucie, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, and other cities in St. Lucie, Palm Beach, and Martin Counties.