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$8.8 Million Jury Verdict: The Cost of Texting and Driving

When someone is severely injured or killed in an auto accident, no amount of monetary compensation can bring back what has been lost. The civil justice system aims to rectify these harms by providing the injured, or families of deceased individuals, compensation to cover actual expenses and emotional damage. Often, in auto accidents, these civil penalties imposed on the responsible party are in addition to criminal violations.

A Case Close to Home

Alan Goldfarb recently helped a widowed father recover $8.8 million in damages after a 17-year-old that was texting and driving slammed into him and his wife’s vehicle. Cocaine, marijuana, and a partially-consumed bottle of cough medicine were also recovered by the authorities. Police charged the driver with speeding and reckless driving; the driver had to pay fees and had his license suspended for a period of six months. The accident occurred on September 11, 2008, but the aftermath is still ongoing for the deceased woman’s husband and their two young children.

The complaint at law, the document that initiates a civil action, summarizes the key events that led to the injuries. For example, the complaint explains how the youth “negligently and/or carelessly and/or recklessly and/or willfully and/or wantonly operated and/or maintained [the vehicle he was driving] so that it collided [with the father and the decedent]. The complaint made allegations not only about the decedent, but also the father’s injuries. These included “significant bodily injury, pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, expense of hospitalization, medical and nursing care and treatment, loss of earnings, loss of ability to earn money and aggravation of a previously existing condition.” The father was driving the car at the time of the accident and suffered internal injuries.

Texting and Driving

The accident brought awareness to the texting and driving crisis, prompting the National Transportation Safety Board to recommend a total ban on “all cell-phone and texting devices during driving.” A 2013 survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that there are 660,000 drivers utilizing cell phones to text or talk at any given moment. Distracted driving has become a killer, up in the ranks with drinking and driving. Most states’ legislatures have implemented texting and driving bans, some making utilizing a handheld device while driving a primary offense. A primary offense means that the offender can be pulled over simply for engaging in that behavior. A secondary offense, which is what texting and driving is in most jurisdictions, means that the officer must have a reason other than the texting and driving to pull someone over, such as speeding.

Auto Accident Attorneys in Miami, Florida

Alan Goldfarb’s recent success in compensating a widowed father for his loss is one of hundreds of successful verdicts he has worked for. As a practiced, experienced attorney in auto accident litigation, Alan Goldfarb P.A. knows how to navigate the civil justice system to ensure the most favorable outcome for you and your loved ones. If you or anyone you know has suffered a loss due to the recklessness or negligence of another driver on the road, you have rights under Florida law. To learn more about these rights, and to receive assistance in navigating the civil justice system, contact our Miami-based offices today.

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