Florida’s legislative crackdown on texting while driving has helped to raise awareness about this deadly epidemic. More than 50,000 accidents in 2015 were attributed to distracted driving, many of which involved cellphone use.
The aftermath of such a wreck is a confusing time. You may be asking questions like: How do I start the claims process? Should I hire an attorney? What damages might be recoverable? What can I do to strengthen my claim?
The best way to get the answers you seek is to schedule a consultation with a car crash lawyer. Fortunately, most accident attorneys offer free case evaluations, so you won’t have to pay anything to get the advice you need to make informed decisions.
Below we’ve addressed three FAQs about texting while driving car accident claims:
What Evidence Might Be Used to Prove the Other Driver Was Texting?
It’s unlikely that the at-fault driver voluntarily told the responding officers that he or she was texting while driving. Even if the police report does not contain such an admission, there are many other kinds of evidence that might be available to prove that cellphone use was a proximate cause of the accident. Such evidence may include:
- The liable driver’s cellphone records;
- The liable driver’s social media content—i.e. posts and comments that were published just prior to the collision;
- Deposition from eyewitnesses;
- Recordings from surveillance cameras near the scene; and
- Evidence that indicates the brakes were not applied before the collision—such as photos of skid marks and property damage, and the deposition of an accident reconstruction expert.
What Compensatory Damages Might Be Recoverable?
Compensatory damages refer to the non-economic and economic damages that might be recoverable in a tort case. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the facts surrounding your claim, it may be possible to recover compensation for:
- Past and future healthcare bills;
- Lost income;
- Lost earning capacity and benefits;
- Property damage;
- Other economic damages;
- Lost enjoyment in life;
- Emotional distress; and
- Pain and suffering.
If your spouse has suffered a loss of sexual relationship, companionship, society, fellowship, or affection as a result of your injuries, he or she might be entitled to damages for loss of consortium.
Are Punitive Damages Available After a Texting While Driving Collision?
Punitive damages may be available in Florida personal injury cases that involve a defendant who acted with gross negligence or intentional misconduct. Because the risks of texting behind the wheel are so well known, choosing to engage in this dangerous behavior may constitute a conscious disregard or indifference to the rights, life, and safety of others (i.e. gross negligence). A skilled attorney can review the circumstances of your collision to determine if punitive damages might be worth pursuing.
Discuss Your Case with a Knowledgeable Lawyer in Florida
Even if you’re certain that another driver was responsible for a texting while driving car crash in Florida, there’s no guarantee that the insurance company will pay a fair settlement without dispute. At Emerson Straw, we can serve as your aggressive legal advocate through every stage of the claims process, fighting relentlessly for the highest possible recovery. To arrange a free case review, call (727) 821-1500 or send us a message.