Melbourne Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
Distracted & Texting Driver Accidents in Brevard County
Every year, distracted driving causes thousands of motor vehicle accidents in Florida. According to a recent study, Florida was the second-worst state for distracted driving, second only to Louisiana. While cell phone use—particularly texting—while driving is one of the most common examples of distracted driving, there are all types of distractions that put motorists at risk.
If you or someone you love was involved in a car accident with a distracted driver, reach out to Nance Cacciatore. You could have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the distracted driver and seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, among other damages. We encourage you to contact our Melbourne distracted driving accident attorneys as soon as possible so that we can begin immediately investigating your claim and building your case.
What Constitutes Distracted Driving?
When most people think of distracted driving, they think of someone using a cell phone or GPS device behind the wheel. Texting, talking on the phone, using social media, and looking at navigational systems are some of the most common types of distracted driving, but they are not the only examples.
Some of the most common examples of distracted driving include:
- Reading, typing, or sending text messages
- Daydreaming and “highway hypnosis”
- Using a cell phone or handheld electronic communications device
- Reaching for something that has fallen to the floor of the vehicle
- Looking at or posting on social media
- Taking pictures or recording videos
- Using a GPS or navigational device or system
- Eating or drinking
- Talking to passengers in the vehicle
- Attending to a child or pet
- Adjusting temperature controls, radio/music, and other systems
- Looking at billboards, scenery, and accidents along the roadway
These and other common driving distractions generally fall into three categories:
- Manual Distractions: Anything that causes a driver to take their hand(s) off the wheel
- Visual Distractions: Anything that causes the driver to take their eyes off the road ahead
- Cognitive Distractions: Anything that distracts a driver’s attention from the task of driving
Many driving distractions fall into two or three categories. For example, texting while driving is particularly dangerous because it involves all three types of distracted driving: the driver has at least one hand off the steering wheel to hold the cell phone/type the text, the driver’s eyes are off the road and on the cell phone, and the driver is thinking about the contents of the text message, not the road ahead.
Is Texting While Driving Illegal in Florida?
As of January 1, 2020, texting while driving in Florida is a primary offense, meaning a driver can be ticketed solely for using a handheld electronic communications device while driving. Police officers are permitted to conduct traffic stops if they suspect drivers of texting behind the wheel.
The new ban extends beyond just texting and driving; motorists can also be ticketed for any form of typing on an electronic device while driving. This includes emailing, taking notes, and posting to social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.
Filing a Claim After a Distracted Driving Accident
Because Florida is a no-fault state, most car accident victims can turn to their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other monetary losses after a crash. This means that you will typically file a claim with your own auto insurance provider, not the other driver’s. However, there are some instances in which it may be appropriate and necessary to step outside the no-fault system and file a lawsuit against a distracted driver.
PIP coverage is relatively limited; you are only required to carry $10,000 in PIP in Florida. If you are hit by a distracted driver and sustain severe, catastrophic injuries, such as a spinal cord injury or brain injury, your expenses are very likely to exceed the $10,000 limit. The good news is that you have the option of going around the no-fault system and seeking supplemental compensation from the at-fault driver if you can prove that your injury meets the state’s definition of a “serious injury.”
In Florida, “serious injuries” are defined as:
- Broken bones/fractures
- Significant disfigurement
- Injuries resulting in significant/permanent impairment of a limb, organ, or bodily function
- Injuries resulting in substantial disability for a period of at least 90 days
If you are eligible to bring a claim against the distracted driver, you will need to prove that they were at least partially at fault for the accident. Typically, this can be done by establishing that they were driving while distracted.
Our Melbourne distracted driving accident attorneys work with an in-house investigator who is also a former police officer with strong connections to local law enforcement agencies. We know how to evaluate cell phone records, witness statements, accident reconstructions, and other key pieces of evidence to build a powerful case on your behalf. And, because our attorneys are all board-certified by the Florida Bar, we have the expertise needed to navigate these complex claims.
We Have Recovered Millions for Our Clients
At Nance Cacciatore, we are known for our aggressive approach and our willingness to take cases to trial when necessary. We are also recognized for our commitment to integrity, ethics, and the highest levels of client service and support. When you choose our team, you choose a team of legal experts who have what it takes to fight for your maximum recovery.
From our office in Melbourne, we serve clients in and around Brevard County. We are happy to discuss the specifics of your case with you during a free, no-obligation consultation, and we do not collect any attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you.