Distracted driving lawsuits are on the rise. There are more than 1,000 car accidents a day in Florida and an increasing number of them are caused by distracted driving. Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the road, such as texting, using a cell phone, eating, or adjusting the radio.
When a distracted driver causes a car accident, the victims may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and damages.
Call 866-730-3508 for a free consultation with an Orlando car accident attorney at the Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm if you’ve been injured in a distracted driving accident.
Distracted Driving Lawsuits
Distracted driving lawsuits are a type of personal injury lawsuit that seeks to hold distracted drivers accountable for their negligence and compensate the victims for their injuries and damages. To succeed in a distracted driving car crash lawsuit, the plaintiff (the injured party) must prove that the defendant (the distracted driver) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, breached that duty of care by driving while distracted, and caused the plaintiff’s injuries and damages as a result of that breach.
One of the challenges of distracted driving lawsuits is proving that the driver was distracted at the time of the accident. Unlike other types of car accidents, there may not be physical evidence, such as skid marks or vehicle damage, that conclusively proves that the driver was distracted. Therefore, the plaintiff must rely on circumstantial evidence, such as witness testimony, cellphone records, or the driver’s admission of fault.
Common distractions while driving
Distracted driving can take many forms, and some distractions are more common than others. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most common types of distractions that lead to car accidents are:
- Texting and driving: This is the most dangerous form of distracted driving, as it involves all three types of distraction: visual (taking your eyes off the road), manual (taking your hands off the wheel), and cognitive (taking your mind off driving).
- Using a cell phone: Even talking on a hands-free phone can be distracting and increase the risk of a car accident.
- Eating and drinking: Trying to eat or drink while driving can cause a driver to take their hands off the wheel, as well as their eyes, and mind off the road.
- Adjusting the radio or GPS: Fiddling with the radio or GPS can be a distraction, especially if the driver has to look away from the road or take their hands off the wheel.
- Talking to passengers: While it’s important to interact with passengers, engaging in a deep conversation or turning around to look at them can be a distraction.
Key Evidence in a Distracted Driving Lawsuit
As mentioned earlier, proving that the driver was distracted at the time of the accident can be challenging. However, there are several types of evidence that can help establish the driver’s distraction and strengthen the plaintiff’s case:
- Eyewitness testimony: If there were witnesses to the accident, they may be able to testify about what they saw and heard leading up to the crash. For example, they may have seen the driver using their cell phone or eating while driving.
- Cellphone records: If the driver was using their cell phone at the time of the accident, their cell phone records may provide evidence of their distraction. The records can show the time and duration of calls or text messages, which can be compared to the time of the accident.
- Video footage: If there were any surveillance cameras or dashcams that captured the accident or the moments leading up to it, the footage can be used as evidence of the driver’s distraction.
- Police report: The police report may include information about the driver’s behavior leading up to the accident, such as whether they were weaving in and out of traffic or driving erratically.
Florida’s comparative negligence law and how it affects your case
Florida follows a comparative negligence system, which means that each party in a car accident can be assigned a percentage of fault based on their contribution to the accident. If the plaintiff is found to be partially at fault for the accident, their compensation award will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if the plaintiff is found to be 30% at fault and their damages are $100,000, their award will be reduced by $30,000 to account for their own negligence.
In distracted driving lawsuits, the defendant may argue that the plaintiff was also distracted or otherwise negligent and therefore should be assigned a percentage of fault. To counter this argument, the plaintiff must show that their own behavior did not contribute to the accident and that the defendant’s distraction was the sole cause of the accident.
The importance of hiring an experienced personal injury attorney
Navigating a distracted driving car crash lawsuit can be complex and challenging. That’s why it’s crucial to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you build a strong case, negotiate with insurance companies, and litigate in court if necessary.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to prove your case, such as cellphone records, witness statements, and expert testimony. They can also help you navigate the comparative negligence system and fight back against any attempts to assign you a percentage of fault.
Finally, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you maximize your compensation award by calculating your damages accurately and negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf. They can also represent you in court if necessary and argue for a fair and just outcome.
Winning Distracted Driving Lawsuits
If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, it’s important to take action as soon as possible and consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. They can guide you through the legal process, help you gather the evidence you need, and fight for your rights and interests.