Distracted driving is a rampant issue in Gainesville. Distracted driving took at least 3,450 lives throughout the country in 2016. An unprecedented amount of cell phone use has impacted driving, causing more distracted driving accidents than ever before. In Florida, you can file a personal injury claim against a distracted driver if the accident caused “serious injuries.” Find out if you have a case against someone after your crash by consulting with a lawyer at Fischer Redavid PLLC.
If you do have grounds to bring a personal injury claim against a distracted driver, the courts will require certain elements of proof before awarding you compensation. The main element is proof of negligence. You must have evidence that the driver was in fact distracted (or otherwise negligent), and that this is what caused your accident and injuries. Proving that the other driver wasn’t paying attention to the road at the time of the collision can be difficult. The steps you take immediately after the crash can help with this task.
First, take photographs of the accident if you can. Take pictures of the road, the vehicles, your injuries, and the other driver’s car. Take notice of anything that could point to distraction, such as lack of brake marks on the road or food wrappers in the other driver’s vehicle. Get the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident. Then, call the police to conduct an official investigation into fault. A police report can help you prove fault. Finally, contact our law firm to request legal help. We can look into the crash ourselves and let you know if we see indicators of distracted driving.
The other three elements you will need to prove are the driver owed you a duty of care, caused your accident, and that you suffered damages as a result. A duty of care can be simple to prove, as all drivers owe duties not to cause accidents. It is a driver’s duty to pay attention to the road and to obey the law – including Florida’s ban on texting and driving. You must then show that it was the driver’s actions that caused your accident, not something else such as a malfunctioning stoplight. Finally, you must provide documentation that the crash caused personal injuries, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
Florida’s car accident laws state that all accident victims must first seek recovery through their own insurance companies, even if a distracted driver is to blame for the crash. There is an exception, however, if the crash caused serious injuries. These are injuries that resulted in permanent or long-term impairment, disability, or disfigurement.
In these cases, victims have the right to file a personal injury claim against the distracted driver outside of the no-fault insurance system. An injury claim will generally result in greater compensation than an insurance claim alone. This is why it’s important to contact a lawyer after a Gainesville, Florida auto accident. A lawyer can help you identify the cause of your accident, the at-fault party, and your rights under Florida law. If you do have grounds for a claim, your attorney can handle the legal process on your behalf.
There may never come a time when every driver dedicates 100% of his or her attention to the roadway. If you become the victim of a distracted driving accident as another driver, a bicyclist, or pedestrian, contact Fischer Redavid PLLC. We can answer your questions, get the facts, and help you go up against negligent drivers. Together we can make Florida’s roads safer by holding distracted drivers accountable. Contact us today for your free legal consult.