If you are driving, it is vital that you avoid checking your phone until you are at a complete stop. Distracting driving is a serious problem that can have shattering…
Miami Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
Have you or a loved one been injured in a distracted driving accident? You deserve justice; however, you may have to fight for the claim you need. That’s where we come in. Backed by over 19 years of substantial experience with personal injury law, we can help you recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, and the pain you have suffered. From filing an initial claim, answering all of your questions, to negotiating with insurance adjusters on your behalf, our team can help you navigate every step of the insurance process. When you need to know your legal options, call the accident attorneys at Suarez & Montero Today! Don’t let the insurance company convince you that your claim is worth less than you deserve.
Distracted Driving Statistics
Distractions are everywhere on today’s roads. From billboards, to passengers, to the plethora of in-car entertainment options, it is almost impossible to keep ourselves completely focused on the road while driving. But perhaps the most distracting is our cell phones, in today’s world, if you are not constantly checking your email, text messages, or just browsing the internet, you are in the minority. By now, most of us have heard that using a cell phone while driving is roughly equivalent to driving drunk. Yet, the majority of us still do it.
According to a 2015 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 391,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver and 3,477 people were killed due to distracted driving. Other Studies have shown that texting, which simultaneously involves manual, visual, and cognitive functions, is among the worst of all distractions for drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sending or reading a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of five seconds, which at 55 miles an hour is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed!
State Laws to Prevent Distracted Driving in Miami, FL
On May 17, 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that makes it a primary offense to text while driving, meaning violators can be pulled over and cited. Texting was already a secondary offense under the Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law, but drivers could be cited only if they were pulled over for another violation. The new law takes effect July 1, but only warnings will be given until January 1, 2020, when police officers can begin writing citations that carry fines of about $30 plus court costs and fees as well as three points on your driving record for a first offense.
What is the Wireless Communications While Driving Law in Florida?
Section 316.305, Florida Statutes allows law enforcement to stop motor vehicles and issue citations to motorists that are texting and driving. A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers or symbols into a wireless communications device to text, email and instant message. Section 316.306, Florida Statutes, is a prohibition on using wireless communications devices in a handheld manner in school and work zone. A person may not operate a motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device in a handheld manner in a designated school crossing, school zone or active work zone area. Active work zone, as it pertains to Section 316.306, Florida Statutes, means that construction personnel are present or are operating equipment on the road or immediately adjacent to the work zone area.
For purposes of the ban on texting while driving, the term “wireless communications device” means any handheld device used or capable of being used in a manner that is designed or intended to receive or transmit text or character-based messages, access or store data, or connect to the Internet or any communications service and allow text communications. The new law amends the existing law to allow police officers to stop motorists simply for texting. It also requires law enforcement officers who stop a motor vehicle to inform the driver of her right to decline a search of her wireless communications device and prohibits officers from accessing the device without a warrant. Therefore, if a driver is pulled over and the officer asks to see the driver’s cell phone, she can decline.
Injuries in Texting and Driving Accidents
Every car accident you may be involved in has the potential to cause life altering injuries, even death. In most accidents, however, people hurt in distracted driving accidents suffer from soft-tissue injuries and serious back injuries. Whiplash is one of the most common symptoms experienced by victims of distracted driving accidents. Whiplash is a term used to describe pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulder area that occurs when the neck, shoulders, and spine suddenly and violently move, or “snap” well beyond their normal range. Also referred to as hyperextension and hyperflexion, the neck movement is like the motion of a whip as it snaps, giving the condition its name. The force of impact during a distracted driving accident depends on a lot of factors. For example, the speed of the vehicles involved in the crash is important because high speeds can result in compression of your spine and the disks located in the lower back area of the spinal column. Distracted driving accidents can also lead to herniated or bulging disks. Additionally, if your airbags fail to deploy in a distracted driving accident, you can suffer injuries to your face or head trauma.
Damages Available to Accident Victims of Distracted Driving
You may be wondering who will pay for your injuries after a distracted driving accident. Below you’ll find a guide to on what you need to know to get fair compensation from the insurance company. After a distracted driving car accident, you expect compensation for your property damage and personal injuries. In legal terms, your financial losses after a car accident are called “damages.” In Florida, personal injury law states that a victim can get compensatory damages with the goal of making them “whole” again or returning him or her to the financial status enjoyed before the motor vehicle accident. Compensatory damages include both economic and non-economic items.
Economic damages you may be entitled to after an accident include:
- Vehicle repair and car rental
- Lost wages due to time off work
- Medical care not covered by insurance
Non-economic damages are awarded for pain and suffering. In some cases, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. This is a financial award beyond the amount necessary to make the victim “whole” financially. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the driver who caused the accident. Punitive damages may be available in car crash cases involving drunk driving. Since Florida is a no-fault insurance state, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to get your car fixed, but you may be limited to your auto policy’s med-pay or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to pay for your injuries. Even in Florida, you may be able to pursue the at-fault driver for injury compensation if your damages exceed the no-fault limit. Don’t hesitate to speak with a personal injury attorney about the value of your claim.
Contact Our Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Understanding Florida law and a personal injury case are best left to the experts. Factors such as the state’s no-fault law when it comes to insurance and medical expenses are tricky. Navigating the legal process alone is confusing and downright stressful. When you’re involved in a car accident or another crash caused by negligent driving, talk to a car accident attorney about your options going forward. There is no replacement for quality legal advice after being involved in a car accident. The car accident attorneys at Suarez and Montero would love to have an opportunity to explain the law in Florida to assist you in presenting a strong claim against the at fault party. Every firm is distinctive and auto accident victims have needs that are also distinct. needs are different.
The Florida auto accident attorneys at Suarez & Montero encourage you to reach out so that we can explain more about the different ways that our law firm and attorneys can provide legal help and guidance after an auto accident. Make an appointment with us at one of our many locations. Remember, we work on a contingency basis so you will owe us nothing If we are unable to obtain successful results for your case. The attorneys at Suarez & Montero can meet with you to discuss further and always available to talk with you and answer your questions. Our skillful attorneys are genuinely committed to our clients. We will fight to make sure that you get the maximum amount of compensation owed to you. Let us help you get the medical care you need and fight to make sure you are compensated for your injuries! Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights. We are available 24/7 to give you a free, no risk case consultation.
The Law Offices of Suarez & Montero Car Accident Attorneys represents accident victims injured in various types of accidents including:
According to a NHTSA study, on average, drivers who send, or read text messages while driving, take their eyes off the road for about five seconds, which at 55 mph…
Since the advent of cell phones, we—as a society—are more distracted than ever. We stare at our phones when we’re at the gym, waiting in line at the grocery store…
Frequently Asked Questions
Distracted driving is anything that takes your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road or mind off driving. It is extremely risky behavior that puts everyone on the road in danger.
Most car accident attorneys are hesitant about providing a conclusive legal opinion on a case after an initial consultation. Your lawyer’s opinion on liability and damages recoverable on your case is subject to change once your case is investigated and the extent of your injuries are documented. Regardless of the type of injury at issue, to get a clearer picture of the strengths and potential weaknesses of your case, your attorney must first look at the accident scene, review any pertinent documents, and find out what the other involved parties have to say.
In a basic sense, every car accident is the same from a legal perspective. The accident victim receives compensation first from his or her own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy and then from the insurance policy of the at-fault driver. However, the percentage of financial compensation the accident victim receives will be determined by their own level of fault.
When an injury is aggravated by a later car accident, the original tortfeasor may be liable for the entire extent of the damage, if the second accident is a natural result that flowed from the original injury. Accordingly, if the tortfeasor is liable for an injury that impairs another’s physical condition, the tortfeasor is also liable for harm sustained in a subsequent accident that would not have occurred had the injured party not been impaired.
The car accident lawyers at Suarez & Montero review the facts and circumstances of your case and persistently check for updates about any new information or evidence that can be used to further assist with your case. We want to build the strongest case for you and secure the settlement that you deserve. Settlement negotiation times can vary depending on the facts and circumstances of your case.
Under Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) statutes, you must have $10,000 in medical and disability benefits and a $5,000 death benefit on your auto policy. If you’re injured in a car accident, you have to submit an insurance claim for your medical bills and expenses as well as any wage loss claims to your own insurance carrier for payment.
As a general rule, the attorney and client may structure their contingent fee agreement as they choose. But Florida law sets limits for the percentage of recovery that an attorney may charge. If the agreement exceeds those limits, it will be presumed to be excessive unless prior court approval is obtained. Through the time of filing an answer or a demand for appointment of arbitrators, the contract may provide for a recovery of 33 1/3% up to 1 million dollars. For any portion of a recovery between $ 1million and $2million, the attorney may collect 30% and for any portion exceeding 2 million dollars the attorney may collect 20%. If a recovery is obtained from the time of filing an answer or demand for appointment of arbitrators through the entry of judgment, the attorney may recover 40% of any recovery up to $1 million.