Experienced Attorneys Serving Distracted Driving Accident Victims Throughout Florida

Distracted driving accidents can cause significant disruption to your life, with a myriad of potentially life-changing concerns and considerations that arise in the aftermath. Medical treatment and related costs can quickly escalate, becoming a financial burden. The damage to your vehicle may necessitate costly repairs or replacement. Furthermore, you may require alternative transportation while your vehicle is being repaired.

Beyond these immediate concerns, there are long-term implications to consider. If your injuries prevent you from working, you could lose significant income. Your physical injuries might also create emotional distress, further diminishing your quality of life. Severe injuries might even limit your ability to work in the future, in addition to other potential losses.

Navigating these challenges can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. Working with a Florida personal injury attorney at Cohen and Cohen Law can provide invaluable support during this difficult time. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, where we will assess the details of your unique case and plan your strategy moving forward. Let us handle the legal complexities so you can concentrate on healing and reclaiming your life after an accident caused by a distracted driver.

Causes of Distracted Driving Accidents in Florida

Distracted driving has become a major issue on the roads today, leading to numerous accidents and fatalities. The following are common types of distracted driving scenarios:

  • Generally Distracted or “Lost in Thought”: This is when the driver’s mind wanders away from the task of driving. It could occur due to stress, personal issues, or the driver may simply be daydreaming.
  • Smartphone Use: Using a smartphone while driving is a significant distraction. This includes texting, making calls, browsing the internet, or using GPS.
  • Other Occupants: Conversations or activities involving passengers can cause the driver to lose focus on the road.
  • Outside Person, Object, or Event: Drivers are often distracted by activities happening outside their vehicle, such as accidents, billboards, or people.
  • Eating or Drinking: Handling food or drinks while driving leads to physical distraction, as it requires the use of hands.

Among these scenarios, there are different categories of distractions that may be at play:

  • Visual Distractions: This involves anything that causes the driver to take their eyes off the road. Looking at a cell phone screen or GPS screen could be a visual distraction that prevents a driver from paying attention to the road.
  • Manual Distractions: These occur when the driver takes one or both hands off the wheel for any reason. Handling cell phones or adjustment of radio controls could qualify as manual distraction.
  • Auditory Distractions: Loud music, conversations, or noises that affect the driver’s concentration may qualify as an auditory distraction, depending on the circumstances.
  • Cognitive Distractions: Any mental distraction that keeps the driver’s mind off the task of driving could be a cognitive distraction.

These distractions can have devastating consequences, including severe auto accidents and loss of life. Unfortunately, far too many Florida drivers fail to make an effort to minimize distractions while driving. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an auto accident in Florida caused by a distracted driver, contact Cohen and Cohen Law today to schedule a free consultation so we can assess the details of the case and devise a strategy to pursue appropriate compensation.

Proving Fault in a Florida Distracted Driving Accident Case

To prove fault in a Florida personal injury case, four elements are required: Duty of Care, Breach of Duty, Causation, and Damages:

  1. Duty of Care: This refers to the legal obligation of all drivers to act with reasonable care towards others on the road. For instance, a driver is expected not to be distracted by their cell phone while driving.
  2. Breach of Duty: This element is satisfied when the defendant fails to meet the expected Duty of Care. A driver texting while driving would be breaching this duty.
  3. Causation: This involves proving that the defendant’s breach of duty directly caused the accident and subsequent injuries. For instance, if a driver’s eyes are distracted by their phone and that driver hits a pedestrian, the driver’s distracted state at the time of the incident is the cause of the accident.
  4. Damages: The plaintiff must provide evidence of actual damages due to the accident. This could include medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.

In cases involving distracted driving crashes, all of these elements must be proven to establish the driver’s negligence and secure compensation for the victim.

Proving fault in a Florida distracted driving case requires the plaintiff to show that the other driver was negligent, which can be done by demonstrating they were engaged in an activity that took their attention away from the road. Demonstrating causation often requires a meticulous investigation combined with extensive legal knowledge. Physical evidence of distraction, such as phone records or eyewitness accounts, can be crucial in proving fault for car accidents. Additional evidence might include traffic, surveillance, or dashcam footage.

A police report detailing the circumstances surrounding the accident can be instrumental in proving fault. In some cases, expert witnesses may be required to establish the link between the driver’s distraction and the accident.

Each case is unique and the specific evidence required may vary. Consult with a personal injury attorney who is experienced in distracted driving cases for advice tailored to your situation.

Types of Damages in a Florida Distracted Driving Accident Claim

After experiencing an auto accident caused by a distracted driver in Florida, victims may seek various types of damages, including economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Economic Damages Refer to Straightforward Monetary Expenses and Losses

Economic damages represent the quantifiable financial losses incurred due to the accident. They can include:

  • Past and Future Medical Expenses: This includes the cost of medical care needed due to injuries from the accident, both immediate and long-term. Physical therapy treatments due to injuries from the accident would also need to be included among economic damages.
  • Lost Wages: You may be able to claim money lost due to being unable to work following the accident.
  • Reduced Earning Potential: If the accident affects the victim’s ability to earn in the future, accurate estimations of projected lost income can often be included among economic damages.

Non-Economic Damages for a Distracted Driving Claim Reflect Harms to Your Life Experience

These damages refer to non-monetary losses that are subjective and harder to quantify. They can include:

  • Pain and Suffering: Physical pain and emotional distress suffered due to the accident are classified as non-economic damages.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: This accounts for the diminished ability to enjoy the day-to-day pleasures of life.

Punitive Damages May Be Used to Discourage Distracted Driving

Unlike compensatory damages (economic and non-economic), punitive damages are not meant to compensate the victim, but rather to punish the at-fault party and deter similar behavior. In Florida, punitive damages may be awarded in cases where the driver’s actions were particularly reckless or intentional. However, they are not commonly awarded in distracted driving cases unless it can be proven that the driver’s distraction was a deliberate and conscious decision.

Each case is unique, and the specific damages awarded will depend on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of the victim’s injuries.

Valuation of Your Florida Distracted Driving Car Accident Claim

The value of a distracted driving auto accident claim in Florida is determined by several factors, including the sum of economic damages, non-economic damages, punitive damages (if applicable), the severity of your injuries, and applicable insurance coverage.

The extent and severity of your distracted driving accident injuries will significantly impact the value of your claim. More severe injuries typically lead to higher settlement amounts. The insurance policies of both parties involved in the accident can also affect the value of a claim. Florida’s PIP insurance, for instance, covers 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost wages.

An experienced attorney at Cohen and Cohen Law can help identify and estimate these damages to determine the potential value of your claim. We can gather evidence, consult with expert witnesses, and negotiate with insurance companies to seek fair compensation for your losses.

However, it’s important to note that every case is unique and the specific amount that can be recovered will depend on the facts of your case.

What To Do To Following a Distracted Driving Accident in Order to Protect Your Health and Your Case

If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, it’s crucial to take the following steps to protect both your health and your legal rights:

  1. Ensure Safety: Move yourself and your vehicle to a safe location, if possible.
  2. Call 911: Contact emergency personnel immediately for medical assistance and to report the accident. A police officer should then arrive at the scene to prepare a report that may indicate a distraction contributing to the other driver’s failure to drive safely.
  3. Seek Medical Attention: Even if injuries caused by the accident are not immediately apparent, some may manifest later.
  4. Document the Scene: Take photographs of the accident scene, vehicle damages, and any visible injuries.
  5. Gather Information: Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver.
  6. Report to Insurance Company: Notify your own insurance company about the accident as soon as possible.
  7. Keep Records: Maintain all documents related to the accident, including medical records, repair estimates, and correspondence with insurance companies.
  8. Consult an Attorney: Engage an experienced attorney to help navigate the legal process and protect your rights while following a strategy seeking to recover compensation.

Remember, each step is essential to seek appropriate medical care and fair compensation for your losses.

Your Auto Accident Attorney Can Handle Insurance Communications and Negotiations

Having an attorney handle communications and negotiations with insurance companies is crucial for several reasons:

  • Legal Experience: Seek legal representation by an injury lawyer who is experienced in dealing with insurance companies and cases involving distracted drivers, which can be essential for securing a quick and fair settlement.
  • Protection Against Minimization Tactics: Insurance companies are experienced in using tactics to minimize claims based on information provided by claimants. A skilled distracted driving lawyer can protect you from such strategies.
  • Legal Knowledge: Our distracted driving accident lawyers understand the complexities of the legal system and can efficiently navigate through injury cases involving distracted driving crashes.
  • Effective Communication: Our experienced distracted driving lawyer team can communicate effectively with insurance companies, opposing parties, and mediators to seek an appropriate settlement.
  • Honesty: Being honest with your attorney throughout the legal process is important. Withholding details may hurt your claim, but an attorney can guide you on what information to share and what to withhold throughout your case. Our attorneys are familiar with tactics often used to twist a claimant’s words and minimize a claim.
  • Negotiation Skills: Our injury lawyers negotiate with insurance companies and their lawyers to agree on settlement terms.

In a distracted driving case, the stakes are high, and it’s essential to have a legal professional on your side to ensure your rights are protected and seek the compensation you need.

Addressing Medical Treatment and Expenses Following a Distracted Driving Accident in Florida

Following a distracted driving accident in Florida, your attorney can guide you in pursuing appropriate medical treatment and dealing with the related expenses. It is important to prioritize these steps accordingly:

  1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Even if you don’t feel injured, it’s crucial to seek evaluation by a medical professional immediately following the accident.
  2. Use Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage: As Florida is a no-fault state, your own PIP coverage should cover 80% of your reasonable medical expenses up to the limit of your policy, regardless of who was at fault.
  3. Assess Whether to Personal Injury Claim: If your injuries are severe and exceed the PIP limit, you may file a personal injury claim against the distracted driver.

Remember: Florida law requires accident victims to seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident to qualify for PIP benefits. Vehicle repairs or replacement should be pursued after ensuring your health and safety.

Addressing Vehicle Repair or Replacement Expenses After a Florida Distracted Driving Accident

  1. Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company: Notify your insurance company about the car accident as soon as possible. If you have collision coverage, your insurance company will cover the repair costs or the actual cash value of your car if it is totaled.
  2. File a Property Damage Liability Claim: If the other driver was at fault, you can file a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver under their property damage liability coverage.
  3. Consider a Lawsuit: If the distracted driver’s insurance doesn’t fully cover your vehicle damage, consult with your attorney regarding filing a lawsuit.

How an Attorney Can Help You Following a Florida Distracted Driving Accident

An experienced Florida distracted driving accident attorney at Cohen and Cohen Law can provide invaluable assistance following a distracted driving crash. Here’s how our law firm can help you following accidents with distracted drivers throughout Florida:

  • Case Evaluation: Your distracted driving accident lawyer can review the details of your case and help determine the right course of action.
  • Claim Filing: Your attorney can help you file the claim with your insurance company, working to ensure that all necessary information is included and deadlines are met.
  • Evidence Gathering: Your distracted driving lawyer can gather essential evidence such as police reports, medical records, and witness testimonies to strengthen your case.
  • Negotiation: Our lawyers have the requisite experience and skills to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, aiming to secure the maximum compensation appropriate for your case.
  • Representation in Court: If the case goes to court, our trial attorneys will represent you, presenting a compelling argument backed by substantial evidence.
  • Legal Advice: Our experienced car accident lawyers can offer legal advice and guidance throughout the process, explaining your rights and options at every step.

It is wise to protect your case and identify your case strategy by promptly requesting a free consultation with a distracted driving accident lawyer at Cohen and Cohen Law. We will help you determine the right next steps to help you recover.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Cohen and Cohen Law to Evaluate Your Florida Distracted Driving Accident Case and Plan Your Strategy

In the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident caused by distracted driving behaviors, you need a knowledgeable legal team to help you seek the compensation you need for medical treatments, vehicle repairs, lost income, and other losses. Our experienced Florida distracted driving accident attorneys can guide you through the legal process, accounting for your damages and negotiating to seek a fair and appropriate settlement while you focus on what’s important — your recovery and resuming your normal life.

Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation with a Florida injury attorney at Cohen and Cohen Law by calling (800) 332-6436(800) 332-6436 or by filling out our online form. You will retain access to your lawyer via their cell phone number. When you work with us, you will be treated like family.

During the first call, we will gather the important details of your case and guide you regarding the right way to proceed. This first meeting is always free, with no obligation or pressure. There is no fee unless we win.

Experience Matters — Serving Florida for Over 50 Years

Frequently-Asked Questions Regarding Distracted Driving Accidents in Florida

What is considered distracted driving in Florida?

Distracted driving includes any activity that diverts attention from driving, such as talking or texting on your cell phone, eating and drinking, personal grooming, or fiddling with the stereo or navigation system. Distracted drivers can be held liable for their negligent behavior through a personal injury claim. A distracted driving accident lawyer at Cohen and Cohen Law can guide you to pursue compensation if you suffered injuries or losses due to the at-fault driver’s careless behavior while driving.

What types of damages can be claimed in a distracted driving personal injury claim in Florida?

Damages can include medical expenses, lost income, future medical costs, and in some cases, pain and suffering. Discuss your injuries and losses with your attorney to determine what financial compensation you may be able to seek in personal injury claims.

How do you prove distraction in an accident case in Florida?

Evidence such as phone records, witness statements, and police reports can be used to prove distraction in an accident case.

What are the unique issues associated with distracted driving accident cases in Florida?

These cases often involve proving the distraction, understanding the specific laws pertaining to distracted driving in Florida, showing the distraction was the cause of the accident that caused injuries or losses, and negotiating with insurance companies.

Are there any specific procedures for officers investigating a distracted driving accident in Florida?

In Florida, an officer investigating an accident must document whether any driver was distracted by an electronic device in their police report. Consult an injury attorney at our law firm to determine how the use of a cell phone to text message or make phone calls may have contributed to the accident. The cell phone records of the negligent driver may further corroborate your claim that a distracted driver caused the accident.

Questions or Schedule An Appointment? Call Us: (800) 332-6436

Questions or Schedule An Appointment? Call Us: (800) 332-6436

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