Despite the passage of a law in 2019 that prohibits sending and reading messages on cell phones while driving in the State of Florida, motorists continue to text and drive. The consequences of texting while driving car accidents can be serious, even deadly. If you were injured in a texting while driving accident in Florida, or a loved one was fatally injured in one, you could be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver.
The Boca Raton texting while driving car accident lawyers at Demand the Limits have seen first-hand the physical, psychological, and financial devastation a texting-while-driving accident can cause. Victims are frequently faced with the difficult task of navigating the legal system while also attempting to heal the physical injuries and emotional trauma suffered in the collision. At Demand and the Limits, our experienced and committed attorneys can help. Let us put our expertise and considerable resources to work for you to ensure that you are fully and fairly compensated and the at-fault party is held accountable.
Texting While Driving Accident Facts and Figures
Distracted driving has been a problem for as long as people have been driving motor vehicles. The advent of handheld electronic devices, however, dramatically increased both the prevalence and the dangers of distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 3,000 people nationwide are killed in an average year because of distracted driving accidents. Texting while driving is particularly dangerous because of the time a driver is visually, manually, and cognitively distracted while sending or reading a message. According to the NHTHA, sending or receiving a text message takes about five seconds. That is the equivalent of driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes closed, your hands off the wheel, and your mind not focusing on the roadway.
While the vast majority of drivers acknowledge the inherent danger in texting while driving, more than one in three admits to reading a text or email within the past month, and almost that many admit to typing a text during the same time frame. The same AAA study found that it takes up to 27 seconds for your eyes to recover and reorient to the road and for the mental distraction to end after using your cell phone to send or read a text message. Figures published by the NHTSA tell us that:
- Texting while driving causes 13% of fatal distracted driving accidents in the U.S.
- Almost 30,000 accidents (10 percent of the total) each year in the U.S. involve texting while driving.
- On average, someone dies every day in a texting while driving accident in the U.S.
In the State of Florida, 346 people were killed and another 2,729 were seriously injured in a distracted driving accident in 20201, according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). While other contributing factors in motor vehicle accidents have largely been on the decline over the last decade, the number of fatal accidents in which distracted driving was a cause increased by over 50 percent in Florida in a recent six-year period (2016-2021).
Florida’s Texting While Driving Law
In 2019, the State of Florida passed legislation making it illegal to text while driving. Specifically, Florida Statute 316.305 prohibits operating a motor vehicle while “manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data on such a device for the purpose of non-voice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, emailing, and instant messaging.” Florida’s texting while driving law only applies when a vehicle is being operated, meaning a motorist may send or read text messages while stuck in traffic or waiting at a red light. Texting is also allowed for things such as navigation, contacting the police, or checking weather alerts.
How Does Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Law Apply to Texting While Driving Car Accidents?
The State of Florida is one of many states that have a no-fault insurance law. The no-fault insurance law requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage that can be used to cover medical bills up to $10,000 without regard to the cause of the accident or who was at fault in the collision. If a texting while driving accident results in serious injury to a driver or passenger, the victim may be able to pursue a traditional personal injury car accident lawsuit. The “serious injury” threshold applies if the victim suffered:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function.
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability.
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Compensation in a Florida Texting While Driving Accident
The victim of a texting while driving car accident may be entitled to compensation for the physical and emotional injuries suffered in the crash. In a traditional car accident lawsuit, a victim may recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages compensate the victim for out-of-pocket expenses such as doctor bills and lost wages, while non-economic damages focus on the emotional trauma and subjective injuries suffered by the victim.
If you lost a parent or child in a texting while driving car accident you may also be entitled to pursue compensation in a Florida wrongful death lawsuit. In a wrongful death lawsuit, a claimant may be compensated for things such as the value of support and services, loss of companionship, guidance, and protection, and the loss of earnings as a result of the decedent’s death.
Get Help from Experienced Florida Texting While Driving Car Accident Lawyers
If you were injured in a Florida texting while driving accident or you are a surviving family member of someone who was killed in one, you should consult with an experienced car accident attorney right away to ensure that your rights are protected and the responsible party (or parties) is held accountable.
At Demand the Limits, we know how a few seconds spent sending or receiving a text message can forever change lives. Our experienced texting while driving car accident lawyers have the experience and commitment to successfully pursue compensation for injured victims. We will aggressively advocate for injured victims. Call (561) 600-3555 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation. Don’t delay – the sooner you have an attorney fighting for you, the better protected your legal rights will be.