Every year in the United States, thousands of people die because of distracted driving and hundreds of thousands are injured. That's why these types of accidents have quickly become one of the most common driver error accidents in the country.
Knowing what to do after a distracted driving accident can be confusing. Fortunately, you're not alone. Our Central Florida car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Brent C. Miller, P.A. can help you every step of the way. We know how the legal system works here and we know how to get results. That's what sets us apart - our experience, our knowledge and our drive to succeed.
What qualifies as distracted driving?
Distracted driving is partaking in any activity that takes your attention away, even if briefly, from safe driving practices. Distractions could be any or all of the following:
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road
- Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: taking your mind off the task of driving
Sending text messages and emails
Many people frequently interact with mobile applications for instant messaging, email and social media while driving. Despite how common this is, it is one of the deadliest forms of distracted driving.
It is against the law to send or read text messages while driving in Florida. When drivers are caught texting, they will be subjected to fines and face points on their driving record. Even so, there's no guarantee you will be automatically compensated if you're a victim of a texting accident. That's why it's critical that you talk to an attorney right away after your accident.
Talking on cellphones
Using hands-free devices such as headsets to talk on the phone might not seem as bad because at least they let you keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. But studies have shown that hands-free devices do little to prevent car accidents. The best option is to not talk on the phone at all because the conversation itself could cause a cognitive distraction.
Eating and drinking
Taking your eyes, hands and mind off the road and steering wheel for a few seconds to grab a snack or drink, clean or prevent spills inside your car, wipe your hands or because you're choking on food could cause you to lose control of your vehicle or fail to react quickly enough to maneuvers from drivers around you.
Putting on makeup
Most times, putting on makeup implies you have to look at yourself in the mirror. This is not possible without taking your eyes off the road, which puts your life and others on the road at risk.
Talking to people in the vehicle
Even if you keep your hands on the wheel, turning your head to look at people in the passenger or back seat puts you at risk. Also, don't get distracted by using the rearview mirror to look at people in your vehicle instead of other cars or elements on the road.
Fiddling with navigation or entertainment systems
This includes tablets, stereos and GPS units, among other devices. If you need directions to your destination, try to travel with a companion and assign the task of navigation to your copilot. Passengers should be the only ones managing music playlists and any other entertainment media during road trips. Refrain from playing movies or other videos in the car. Avoiding visual distractions is easier if they are not there.
Distracted driving is illegal
When someone engages in illegal behavior behind the wheel, he or she is liable for the destruction caused, including serious injuries suffered by innocent drivers and passengers. Following a car accident, Florida personal injury lawyers will investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash and may find evidence of distracted driving. The best way to decrease the likelihood of being named the liable party due to distracted driving is to avoid all potential distractions during every ride.
If you or a loved one has fallen victim to a distracted driver, it is important to understand your right to compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. A personal injury law firm can help you navigate the legal system, collect evidence to support your case, file paperwork and fight insurance companies to obtain the amount of compensation you deserve.
At the Law Offices of Brent C. Miller, you will be represented by experienced trial lawyers who will go the distance to maximize your compensation and hold negligent drivers accountable. We have secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients in Central Florida, including tourists and "snowbirds."
Put our decades of personal injury trial experience on your side. Call us for a free case evaluation.
Full-service representation for accident victims
Accident attorneys in Central Florida with the Law Offices of Brent C. Miller can pursue compensation from all available sources in these cases, including the insurance policies of negligent drivers, personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. We will stand by your side at every step of the process as we strive to maximize your recovery.
Don't underestimate the complexity of your distracted driving accident. Contact our law firm for a free case evaluation. We have office locations in Tavares, Clermont, The Villages and Inverness. If you are unable to come to us, we will come to you at your home or hospital. We're here for you when you need us.