Were you hurt in a car accident because someone else wasn’t paying attention? A Clearwater distracted driving accident lawyer at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers can help you get back on track. We’ll fight to recover full compensation for your losses.
Contact our offices in Clearwater to learn more about options for filing an injury claim. Your first consultation is 100% free, so there’s no risk in taking action to protect your legal rights. Call us at (727) 787-2500.
How the Clearwater Personal Injury Lawyers at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help if You Were Hurt in a Distracted Driving Accident
That means police officers can pull drivers over for texting even if they aren’t breaking any other traffic laws.
You might think getting compensation after a crash would be easier if the police issued the other driver a ticket for texting. While that ticket might be useful as evidence, it isn’t always so straightforward. You have to prove the other driver was negligent to recover compensation–and it can be hard to discover the exact cause of your accident.
At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, we have a combined 65+ years of experience handling injury cases like yours. We’re also passionate about keeping the roads safe for our families. We approach every case with fresh eyes. You can expect a strategy tailored to your individual case or situation to maximize your compensation.
When you hire our personal injury lawyers to look out for your best interests, you can rest assured that we will:
- Dedicate ourselves to thoroughly investigating the circumstances of your accident
- Get the proof needed to support your claim, including witness statements, video surveillance, cell phone records, and more
- Take steps to reduce the effectiveness of insurance defense tactics, including the common “blame the victim” strategy
- Identify every party responsible for the crash so that we can hold each one accountable
- Negotiate with insurance companies and defense lawyers
Sometimes it’s necessary to work with experts and specialists to determine the fair value of your case. We’ll hire medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, and anyone else whose expertise might strengthen your claim. With our experience protecting Clearwater accident victims, we’ve developed relationships with these pros–and their opinion can often make a world of difference.
Ready to learn more about all we can do for you? Call our offices or connect with us online today.
How Dangerous is Distracted Driving in Central Florida?
Distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents in the United States. Cell phone use and texting while driving is a significant factor–if not the sole factor–behind most distracted driving accidents. While data shows that drivers aged 16-24 were most likely to use a cell phone behind the wheel, any driver is susceptible to distraction–regardless of experience.
In 2018 alone, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that over 2,800 people were killed and more than 400,000 people were hurt in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver.
One in five of those killed in distracted driving accidents were pedestrians or bicyclists.
This is actually a slight decrease from 2017. While 92% of drivers admitted to using a cell phone while driving in the past 30 days, Florida is the second-worst state in the nation when it comes to distracted driving.
Three Primary Forms of Driver Distraction
In today’s world, distractions are everywhere. Drivers face both external distractions and internal distractions–in the form of our anxieties and fears.
Research shows that there are three primary forms of driver distraction.
- Manual distraction, which happens when a driver takes one or both hands off the wheel
- Visual distraction, or taking your eyes off the road
- Cognitive distraction, which happens when your mind is simply somewhere else
It’s important to keep focused on the roads while driving. That can be a difficult thing to do. Here are just a few examples of the types of distractions drivers face every day:
- Cell phones
- Checking texts or writing texts/emails
- GPS and in-vehicle entertainment systems
- Conversations with passengers
- Eating and drinking
- Taking care of children in the vehicle
- Looking for dropped items
- Looking at social media
- Thinking about problems
- Smoking a cigarette or vaping
All of these distractions might be natural–but when they happen behind the wheel, it’s a form of careless driving. That type of negligence can leave accident victims seriously hurt. Texting is considered to be the most dangerous form of distracted driving. When a driver texts, all three forms of driver distraction come into play.
- Taking hands off the wheel to compose the actual message
- Thinking about the message
- Looking down at the cell phone
When you consider that the average person takes their eyes off the road for about five seconds while texting, the danger becomes more clear. A vehicle traveling at 55 miles per hour can travel the entire length of a football field during that time. And the driver has no idea what’s going on around them while it’s happening.
Distracted Driving Can Leave Accident Victims With Serious Injuries
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that 3,179 people were killed in fatal car crashes in Florida during 2019. 254,821 more people were hurt. At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, our car accident attorneys are here to stand up for victims of distracted driving.
We help clients get compensation for all of their injuries, including:
- Brain injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Chest injuries
- Whiplash injuries
- Crush injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Severe burns
- Broken bones
- Traumatic amputations and loss of limbs
- Catastrophic injuries
- Wrongful death of a loved one
Were you or a loved one injured in a distracted driving accident? You don’t have to go it alone. Call today to get the quality legal advice you deserve.
Statute of Limitations to File a Clearwater, FL For A Auto Accident Lawsuit
Things get put on the back burner when you’re hurt in an accident. While it’s always important to focus on your health and recovery, you don’t have unlimited time to file a personal injury lawsuit.
The Florida statute of limitations only gives you two years to begin the legal process. This deadline used to be four years, but Florida law was revised on March 24, 2023. Accordingly, distracted driving accidents occurring after that date are subject to the shorter two-year limit.
If the accident was fatal, the surviving family has two years from the date of death to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
Comparative Negligence: Can You Lose Your Right to Compensation if You’re Partly At Fault?
Even if driver distraction was the primary cause of your accident, it might not have been the only cause. Insurance companies investigate car accident claims. They might find out that you did something that could have contributed to the cause of the accident.
In Florida, they can use this information to reduce your overall compensation award or eliminate it altogether. This legal theory is known as shared responsibility, or modified comparative fault.
Florida victims who share more than 50% of the blame for a distracted driving accident will be barred from a financial recovery. However, if their share of blame is 50% or less, their compensation is reduced proportionately.
Comparative fault can be important. However, insurance companies usually try to use the law to scare you into backing down. You don’t have to accept a lowball settlement if the insurance adjuster tries to blame you.
Our lawyers at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers are experienced in protecting clients when shared fault is a factor. When we provide advice for any individual, we look at the whole picture. Just give us a call to see what we can do in your specific case.
We’ll Fight to Recover Full Damages if You Were Hurt By a Distracted Driver
Drivers have a responsibility to others when they choose to get behind the wheel. Driving while distracted is a breach of that duty. That’s the argument that will be key to getting you fair compensation for your injuries. At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, we’ll work to make the strongest argument possible for you.
Our personal injury attorneys will also work to identify all of your damages.
Victims of distracted driving accidents in Clearwater are often entitled to compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future medical expenses
- Lost future earning potential
- Physical therapy
- Rehabilitative care
- Long-term care
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of independence
- Property damages
- Damages for wrongful death
- And more
Intangible losses and future damage can be difficult to value. We’ll use our contacts in various industries to make sure your case is accurately valued. Once we establish the fair value of your case, we’ll aggressively pursue your right to receive every dollar from the responsible parties.
While our lawyers work to get the money you need to move forward with your life, you can focus on recovering. All you have to do is take the first step and call Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers today.
Contact an Experienced Clearwater Auto Accident Attorney to Learn More
Distracted driving laws are changing all the time. New technology often leads to new distractions. An experienced Clearwater distracted driving accident lawyer at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers can apply these laws to maximize your compensation award.