Have You Been Struck By A Distracted Driver?
Florida roads can be dangerous at times, but one of the most insidious hazards facing road users is distracted drivers. Instances of distracted driving have shot up in recent years, with over 3,000 fatalities linked to the practice in 2020. This may not seem like many, but each of those deaths could potentially have been avoided if one person had not chosen to drive distracted. If you have been injured in an accident with a distracted driver, you may be lucky to be alive – and you have the right to seek money damages for the harm you have suffered.
Many Different Types of Distractions
A person is driving distracted if they take their attention off the road for any significant length of time – in as little as 5 seconds, for example, a vehicle can travel as long as an entire football field at 55 miles per hour. There are three types of attention – visual, manual, and cognitive – and while texting and driving is arguably the most dangerous distraction (it can affect all three types), other behavior may also be seen as negligent. Some other behavior that can push someone into distracted driving includes:
- Reading anything, from your e-mail to maps;
- Grooming, such as putting on makeup or brushing your hair;
- Talking (and especially, turning around to talk!) with passengers;
- Eating or drinking; and
- Assisting young children, such as refereeing quarrels or retrieving items.
This is not to say that all of these behaviors will always cause accidents – but that it is in your best interest to minimize doing them while you are driving. It only takes seconds to cause an accident, or to fail to take steps to avoid an accident.
If You Are Injured
If you have been injured due to the alleged negligence of another person, and your injuries are “significant and permanent,” you have the right to file suit against that person in court. (If your injuries are more minor in nature, you will likely have to file a claim with your personal injury protection insurer, as Florida is a no-fault state in terms of auto insurance.) If you can establish that the other driver was distracted, and that their distraction was the direct cause of your injuries, you have a good chance to prevail on your claim.
In addition, be advised that if the other driver was texting while operating their vehicle, Florida has made texting and driving a moving violation. If a person breaks a law, and in doing so, harms a person the law was meant to protect, this immediately establishes what is known as negligence per se. If negligence per se exists in your case, this can make it even easier to recover damages from the defendant.
Contact An Orlando Distracted Driving Attorney
If you are injured by a distracted driver, it may feel too overwhelming to seek out the damages you deserve. An Orlando car accident attorney from the Hornsby Law Group can help to smooth out the legal process, and make sure that your rights are protected in court while you focus on your physical recovery. We are ready and willing to try and assist you with your case. Contact our office today at (407) 499-8887 for a free consultation.