Distracted driving is one of the biggest dangers motorists and pedestrians in St. Petersburg face. Even those who make it a habit never to text behind the wheel may still take their eyes away from the road to check GPS, change music, or dial a call on their phones.
This use of a phone while driving can result in serious car accidents that cause severe injuries. If you suffered harm in an accident that a driver using a handheld phone caused, it may be a good idea to consult a St. Petersburg texting while driving car accident lawyer. A dedicated car accident attorney could explain how you may be entitled to compensation to offset the effects of the accident.
How the State’s “Texting While Driving” Law Affects St. Petersburg Wrecks
The section of the Florida code officially referred to as the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law” prohibits any operation of a motor vehicle while “manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data on such a device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication.”
As per Florida Statutes §316.305, the prohibition does not apply while a vehicle is stationary, or when a portable communications device is used for activities such as reporting criminal activity or emergencies, or for navigation, or receiving safety information. However, other uses of a phone or personal communications, while they may not violate the texting while driving ban, may constitute distracted driving.
Those driving while distracted who cause an accident may be held liable for negligence. If this is the case in a prospective plaintiff’s case, a St. Petersburg texting while driving car accident lawyer could help file a lawsuit to seek appropriate financial restitution.
When May a Lawsuit Be Filed for an Accident?
In many situations, the no-fault insurance rules in Florida bar lawsuits for traffic accidents involving drivers who were texting behind the wheel. Even if a driver is not at fault for the accident, they can still only file a claim with their own insurance company to recover compensation for medical bills and lost wages if injuries were minor.
However, if serious injuries occur because of a texting while driving car accident, it may be possible for the injured party to file a lawsuit for damages. Serious injuries include those with permanent effects including significant scarring or loss of a bodily function, according to Fla. Stat. §627.737. If liability is established, the injured party may be entitled to receive compensation for not only medical costs and lost income, but also pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Establishing Liability in a Case Involving Texting While Driving
In any case, where someone seeks to prove that the negligence of another person caused them to suffer harm, it must be shown that the person owed a duty of care to others, that they failed to exercise that duty of care, and that their failure caused harm. Proving the presence of all these qualifying elements is often best handled by an experienced texting while driving car accident lawyer in St. Petersburg who has undertaken such efforts in previous cases.
Drivers automatically owe a duty of care to others in the road to operate vehicles in a safe and responsible manner. If a driver is violating the ban on texting while driving, that may be considered sufficient evidence of negligence to establish liability for an accident that results.
Talking to a St. Petersburg Texting While Driving Car Accident Attorney
Every car accident is unique, but there are certain factors that are often similar in cases involving texting behind the wheel. So, if you were injured in an accident involving a driver who was texting, it may be advisable to work with an attorney who understands how to best establish liability in these types of cases.
An experienced St. Petersburg texting while driving car accident lawyer could analyze your unique situation, outline your options for recovery, and help you work toward achieving the compensation necessary to move forward with your life. To learn how such a lawyer could work for you, call today to arrange a consultation and case evaluation.