Distracted Driving Accident Attorney Orlando
Have you been injured at the fault of a distracted driver? Orlando auto accident attorney, Jeremiah Jaspon is experienced with representing victims injured in distracted driving accidents in Florida.
Jeremiah Jaspon, Orlando Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
The privilege to drive is a big responsibility that many take for granted. Driving a vehicle involves the coordination of your vision and reflexes. Anything that interferes with your concentration, vision, and ability to respond can be considered a driving distraction.
When someone mentions distracted driving, we immediately think of texting while driving or talking on a cell phone while driving. But the truth is, a driver can be distracted in many other ways.
What Is Distracted Driving?
“Distracted driving” is a term used to describe a situation when a person who is driving a vehicle becomes unfocused or less attentive to the task of driving due to various activities or stimuli. These activities can divert their attention away from the road and driving responsibilities, making them more prone to accidents or unsafe driving behavior.
In simpler terms, it’s when someone behind the wheel isn’t giving their full attention to driving because they’re doing something else. This can include things like texting, talking, eating, drinking, adjusting the radio or music player, using a navigation system, or even having an involved conversation with passengers in the car.
The danger lies in driving, which requires a lot of concentration and quick decision-making. When drivers are distracted, their reaction time slows down, making it harder to respond to unexpected situations on the road. Even just a moment of distraction can lead to serious accidents, injuries, or even fatalities.
It’s important to stay focused and avoid engaging in activities that can take your attention away from driving to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
Texting While Driving Accidents
Driving While Using Cell Phones, Smart Phones, and Mobile Devices
A lot of attention is being given to distracted driving as the number of incidents nationwide continues to soar. Distracted driving has become a hot topic with lawmakers. Driving while using smartphones can hinder a driver’s reactions as much as driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent. With the advent of smartphones and similar mobile devices over the past decade, the problem has increased further. Individuals talk on cell phones while driving, text, email, watch videos, and other distracting activities.
Teen drivers are the most affected. According to the NHSTA, car crashes are the leading cause of wrongful death for teens between the ages of fifteen and twenty. Most car accidents occur when there are multiple teens in the car. Teen drivers are often overconfident, which means they feel comfortable texting while driving or engaging in other mobile phone activities. Unfortunately, the results can be disastrous, leading to serious automobile accidents and wrongful death.
Cell phone texting has become the preferred channel of basic communication between teens and their friends, and cell calling is a close second. Some 75% of 12–17-year-olds now own cell phones. Those phones have become indispensable tools in teen communication patterns. Fully 72% of all teens – or 88% of teen cell phone users — are text messages. That is a sharp rise from 51% of teen texters in 2006. More than half of teens (54%) are daily texters. — Pew Internet
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Some of the most common driving distractions are:
- Talking to other passengers in the vehicle
- Talking on a cell phone
- Adjusting vehicle controls (climate controls, navigation systems, and other settings)
- Tuning radio and media devices
- Reaching for objects in the vehicle
- Eating and drinking
- Rubbernecking and looking at something outside the vehicle
- Applying makeup
- Smoking or vaping
- Texting or emailing
Is today’s technology increasing drivers’ risks for distracted driving?
New vehicles today are becoming seamlessly connected with smartphones and the Internet. With wireless connections to smartphones, the added convenience of voice commands, and vehicle touchscreen controls, vehicles are loaded with technology intended to simplify operating a motor vehicle. But is it safer? The simple answer is that they distract drivers from the primary task at hand – driving the vehicle. The more technology that the driver needs to monitor distracts their attention from paying attention to driving safely.
Are drivers unaware that texting and operating a vehicle poses a risk?
Most motorists know that texting and other driving distractions are dangerous. So, you wonder why drivers do it anyway? The bottom line is that most drivers can’t put smartphones down. They have F.O.M.O. (Fear of Missing Out). They are afraid that they will miss something with contacts online. They are addicted to texting and refuse to put the phone down. Most drivers believe they drive better than others on the road. They continue to text and are willing to take the risk.
What Are The Legal Options After A Distracted Driving Accident In Orlando, Florida?
After a distracted driving accident in Orlando, Florida, you can consider several legal options to seek compensation for your damages and hold the at-fault party accountable.
File an Insurance Claim
Hire me, Jeremiah Jaspon, an Orlando Personal Injury lawyer at The Jaspon Firm, so I can hold the distracted driver’s insurance company liable for damages you suffered as a result of their driving.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If negotiations with the insurance company do not result in a satisfactory resolution, I will file a lawsuit as your lawyer.
Litigation and Trial
If we decide to proceed with a lawsuit, I will file a complaint outlining your claims against the at-fault party. Then, we will enter into a “Discovery” phase of the process in which both sides will exchange information and evidence. This may involve depositions, interrogatories, and document requests. The typical next step is “Settlement Talks.” There are further opportunities for settlement discussions. Then, the “Trial” will begin. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will determine the outcome.
Damages and Compensation
During the legal process, we can seek compensation for various damages, including medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.
In extreme cases where the at-fault party’s behavior was particularly reckless or intentional, we may be able to pursue punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer and prevent similar actions in the future.
Navigating the legal process after a distracted driving accident in Orlando can be complex. I highly recommend hiring a personal injury attorney to assist you with your case. As an Orlando personal injury attorney focusing on car accident cases, I am very familiar with Florida law and will lead you through your options, ensure you make informed decisions, and receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
What Damages Are Available For A Distracted Driving Accident In Orlando, Florida?
If you’re involved in a distracted driving accident in Orlando, Florida, and you’re seeking damages (financial compensation) because of the accident, several types of damages might be available:
- Medical Expenses – This covers the cost of your medical treatment, including hospital stays, doctor visits, medications, surgeries, and rehabilitation.
- Property Damage – If your vehicle or other property was damaged in the accident, you can seek compensation for repairs or replacement.
- Lost Wages – If your injuries prevent you from working, you can seek compensation for the wages you would have earned during the time you couldn’t work.
- Pain and Suffering – This includes compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress you experienced due to the accident and your injuries.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life – If your injuries have impacted your ability to enjoy life’s activities, hobbies, or daily routines, you might be eligible for compensation.
- Permanent Disability or Disfigurement – If the accident caused lasting disabilities or disfigurement, you could receive compensation for the long-term effects on your life.
- Emotional Distress – If the accident caused significant emotional suffering, anxiety, or trauma, you might be able to seek compensation for these psychological effects.
- Loss of Consortium – If the accident has affected your relationship with your spouse or partner, they might be able to seek compensation for the loss of companionship, intimacy, and support.
It’s important to note that the availability and amount of these damages can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case, the extent of your injuries, and the evidence. If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving accident in Orlando, Florida, I highly recommend you contact me, Jeremiah Jaspon, so I can review your case and help determine what steps you need to take next.
How You Can Prove a Distracted Driver Caused Your Accident in Orlando, Florida.
Proving that a distracted driver caused your accident in Orlando, Florida, requires gathering evidence demonstrating that the driver’s distraction was a significant factor in the collision.
Here is how we go about establishing liability:
- Scene Investigation
Gather Information – Collect details about the accident scene, such as the location, time, weather conditions, and road conditions.
Document Damage – Take photos of the vehicles involved, showing their positions, damage, and any relevant road markings.
Witness Statements – Speak to witnesses who saw the accident and ask them to provide statements describing what they observed.
- Police Report
Contact Law Enforcement – If the accident is serious or involves injuries, call the police to the scene. The responding officer will create an accident report that may include information about distractions.
- Cell Phone Records
Subpoena Records – If we suspect the other driver was using their phone at the time of the accident, we can request their cell phone records through legal means to see if calls or text messages were made or received.
- Eyewitness Testimony
Depositions – If necessary, we can depose the other driver and any witnesses to establish whether distractions played a role in the accident.
- Surveillance Footage
Look for Cameras – Check if any traffic, security, or dashcams in the vicinity might have captured the accident.
- Social Media and Internet Activity
Investigate Online – Social media posts, GPS data, and Internet history might provide evidence of distracted behavior before or during the accident.
- Expert Witnesses
Accident Reconstruction Experts – These professionals can analyze the evidence to recreate the sequence of events leading to the accident and determine if distraction played a role.
- Driver’s Admissions
Statements – If the distracted driver admits to being distracted or using their phone, this can serve as valuable evidence.
- In-Car Technology
Black Box Data – Some vehicles have event data recorders (EDRs) that capture information about vehicle speed, braking, and other data leading up to an accident.
- Medical Records
Link to Distraction – If your injuries are consistent with a distracted driving accident (e.g., rear-end collision at low speed), your medical records can help support your claim.
Proving distracted driving can be complex, as it often involves gathering various types of evidence and building a strong case. I am very familiar with dealing with these types of cases. I can lead you through the entire process, including negotiating with tight-fisted insurance companies to ensure you have the best chance of receiving the maximum compensation for your damages.
What Happens If I Am Partially To Blame For A Distracted Driving Accident In Florida?
If you’re partially to blame for a distracted driving accident in Florida, the legal concept of “comparative negligence” comes into play. Florida follows a pure comparative negligence system, which means that even if you are partly at fault for the accident, you may still be able to recover compensation for your damages. However, the amount you can recover will be reduced based on the percentage of fault attributed to you. – See Florida Statute on Comparative Fault
Here’s what happens if you are partially to blame:
- Determining Percentage of Fault – During the legal process, your responsibility level and the other drivers will be evaluated. Your actions and any evidence or witnesses will be considered in determining the percentage of fault assigned to each party.
- Calculating Damages – Let’s say the total damages from the accident are $100,000, and you are found to be 30% at fault while the other driver is 70% at fault. In a pure comparative negligence system like Florida’s, your compensation would be reduced by your percentage of fault. So, you would be eligible to recover 70% of the total damages, which would be $70,000.
- Receiving Compensation – Once fault and damages have been determined, you would be entitled to receive the reduced compensation amount. This could cover medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other applicable damages.
It’s important to note that Florida’s comparative negligence system allows you to seek compensation even if you are primarily at fault, as long as you are not 100% responsible for the accident. However, it also means that your compensation will be proportionally reduced based on your degree of fault.
Navigating the complexities of comparative negligence and recovering compensation can be very tricky. I recommend you contact my office to discuss your case in detail, I will protect your rights and determine the best course of action for your case and ensure you receive fair compensation. I provide free consultations and welcome the opportunity to assist you in your distracted driving case.
Florida Distracted Driving Laws
In Florida, texting while driving used to be considered a secondary offense. This means law enforcement could only issue a citation for texting while driving if the driver was pulled over for another offense, such as speeding or running a red light. However, this changed with the implementation of the Wireless Communications While Driving Law in 2019.
Under this law, texting while driving is now a primary offense in Florida, meaning law enforcement can pull over drivers solely for texting without needing another reason. Here are the key points of the Florida texting-while-driving laws:
- Texting Ban: The law prohibits drivers from manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless device for text communication purposes.
- Handheld Devices: The law also prohibits using handheld wireless devices for texting while driving in a school or work zone with active workers present.
- Exceptions: The law allows texting while driving in certain situations, such as when the vehicle is stationary (not moving) or when using a device for navigation purposes.
- Penalties: Violating the texting while driving law may result in fines and points on the driver’s license. Additional penalties may apply in certain circumstances, such as if the violation resulted in a crash.
Hands-Free Cell Phone Usage Laws
In Florida, the law says you can use your cell phone while driving, but there’s a catch – you’ve got to be hands-free. That means you can’t be holding your phone in your hand while chatting away or texting up a storm. It’s all about keeping your hands on the wheel and focusing on the road. Now, if you need to make a call, you can use Bluetooth, speakerphone, or other hands-free methods. They want you to be able to talk on the phone without taking your attention away from driving. Now texting — that’s a no-go. It doesn’t matter if you’re at a red light or stuck in traffic – if your car is in operation, you can’t be typing out messages. They want to make sure you’re not trying to juggle driving and texting at the same time.
There are a few exceptions to the rule. You can use your phone if your car is parked or not moving. And if you’re using your phone for GPS or navigation, that’s okay too. If you do get caught breaking these rules, there can be consequences. You might get a fine or even get points on your driver’s license. And if your distracted driving leads to a crash, the penalties could be more serious.
Is There A Deadline For Distracted Driving Accident Lawsuits in Florida?
The answer is yes, there is a deadline, known as the “statute of limitations,” for filing distracted driving accident lawsuits in Florida. The statute of limitations is a specific timeframe within which you must initiate legal action if you wish to pursue a lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you may lose your right to bring a lawsuit and seek compensation for your damages.
In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including distracted driving accident lawsuits, is generally four years from the date of the accident. This means you have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. If you do not file within this time frame, the court may dismiss your case.
It’s important to note that there can be exceptions or variations to the statute of limitations depending on the specific circumstances of your case. For example, if the accident resulted in a wrongful death, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit may differ.
To ensure you meet all necessary deadlines and protect your right to seek compensation, I highly recommend contacting me immediately after a distracted driving accident. I will guide you through the legal process, help gather the evidence, negotiate with the insurance companies, and ensure that your case is filed within the appropriate time limits.
Aggressive Orlando Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
I will fight aggressively for your rights and not stop for anything. My clients are extremely important to me, and you deserve to be treated fairly. Call my office if you or someone close to you has been injured or killed due to a negligent, distracted driver. I can help! (407) 513-9515