Accidents Involving Texting While Driving in Florida
We have all seen it while driving down the road: you almost get run off the road and the person who almost hit you never even realizes it. Their eyes are off the road and their hands are not even on the steering wheel. They are texting while driving (TWD). TWD has been illegal in Florida since 2013, yet any time you are on the roads and streets of Tallahassee, you will most likely see people doing it. Research has shown that one out of three drivers aged 16-17 admitted sending or reading a text while driving in the last month.
More Scary Statistics
That’s not the only scary statistic regarding distracted drivers in Tallahassee. In fact:
Texting drivers are approximately six times more likely to cause an accident than a drunk driver;
About 20% of adult drivers send texts while driving;
47% of drivers under age 35 admit to texting while driving; and
Studies have shown that distracted driving causes about 25% of all traffic accidents in the United States.
TWD In Florida
TWD is against the law in Florida but it is only a secondary violation. There were at least five bills introduced during the 2015 legislative session to amend the current law with attempts being made to increase the penalties and change TWD into a primary offense.
What If I Am Injured By A Texting Driver?
Luckily, skilled personal injury attorneys have a few tools at their disposal to help in a TWD injury case. Commonly, the offending party will deny that they were texting at the time of an accident. Technology, however, has made it easy to trip them up. Your personal injury lawyer will most likely obtain the cell phone records of the party at fault and, with some analysis, may be able to determine if the cell phone was being used at the time. If it is then determined that the offending party was texting at the time of the accident, this can be used as evidence to help prove their negligence.
Negligence In Florida
Most personal injury cases involve negligent behavior. There are two types of negligence frameworks in the U.S.: contributory negligence and comparative negligence. Florida follows the doctrine of pure comparative negligence. Simply put, this means that even if you are partially at fault for the accident, you still have the ability to recover at least some of your damages. In fact, under the Florida negligence law, even if you are 99% responsible for the accident, you could still recover 1% of your damages.
Going back to TWD, if evidence is discovered that can be use to prove that the other driver was texting, it will be utilized to help prove their negligence. Presented correctly, TWD evidence carries fairly heavy weight with most courts based on, among other things, statistics like those cited above.
If you have been injured in a car accident and you suspect the other driver was texting, you need to be represented by an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Fasig & Brooks have years of experience protecting people just like you in cases just like yours. Our Tallahassee firm is dedicated to getting you the results you deserve. Give us a call today at (850) 222-3232 to set up your free consultation.