State Of Florida Considers Stiffer Penalties For Texting While Driving
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes three forms of distracted driving. The first is when a driver takes their eyes off the road. The second is when a driver takes their hands off the wheel. The third is when a driver takes their mind off the process of driving. Texting while driving effectively accomplishes all three.
Despite that fact, Florida has not enacted a complete ban on texting while driving. Unlike many other states, it’s considered a secondary offense. Individuals cannot be ticketed unless they are breaking some other traffic law.
Meanwhile, Florida has some of the nation’s most dangerous roads and highways. In order to combat drivers endangering their own lives and others, Florida’s legislature is considering the wholesale banning of texting while driving. This will make texting while driving a “primary” offense and enable police to ticket motorists for that alone.
Civil Liability and Texting While Driving
As the Florida legislature ponders the benefits of making texting while driving a primary offense, there are civil penalties that a driver can be held liable for if they cause an accident as a result of texting.
All personal injury suits come down to a question of negligence. For a plaintiff to prove that another party is legally culpable for their injury, they must be able to prove that party was somehow responsible for it. Responsibility does not simply mean that they took some action that directly resulted in another’s injury. It can also mean that they did not take a sensible precaution in order to ensure other parties were not injured.
That being said, texting while driving is a form of distracted driving. The driver, in this case, makes a conscious choice to behave in a manner that endangers the lives of other motorists and pedestrians. Even though they do not intend to injure anyone, their choice can lead to direct harm. In Florida, and in most other states, this means that they are legally liable for any personal injuries another person incurs as a result of the accident they cause.
Texting While Driving Constitutes De Facto Negligence
If an individual involved in a car accident can be proven to have been texting while driving, this constitutes de facto negligence. This means that they committed a negligent act simply by virtue of having texted while driving.
In other words, they are responsible for your medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of work, damage to property, and any other harm caused to you in an auto accident.
The office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. of Miami has handled numerous cases in which an injured party recouped damages from a distracted driver. While insurance may cover much of the damage to your car and your medical expenses, there are limits on insurance liability coverage that an insurance company will pay out. You may be entitled to more.
Give us a call at 305.371.3111 and we’ll ensure that you don’t get shortchanged by an underinsured driver or their insurance company.