Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale
When you drive a car, you should be focused on one thing only: Driving. You should not be talking on a phone, texting a friend or looking for directions on Google Maps. You also should not be turning around to talk with a passenger or deal with your dog in the backseat. If you allow these or any other distractions to take your focus away from driving, then you put yourself and everyone else on the road at risk.
Sadly, too many drivers in Florida do, in fact, allow distractions to interfere with their driving. If one these drivers caused a car accident that left you with serious injuries, then you have the right to demand maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. The skilled and experienced car accident attorneys of Englander Peebles can go to work for you today and aggressively pursue the compensation you are due.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you after a distracted driving accident in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Hollywood or elsewhere in Florida. We will provide a free consultation. If you can’t come to us, we’ll come to you and meet at your home, the hospital or wherever is most convenient for you. Outstanding client service is the hallmark of our law firm.
What Is Considered Distracted Driving?
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Distracted driving occurs when a driver allows anything to take his or her attention away from operating a vehicle in a safe and responsible manner. These distractions can be:
- Manual – Taking your hands off the steering wheel. For instance, reaching to pick up a phone, typing a text message or drinking from a coffee mug.
- Visual – Taking your eyes off the road and vehicle controls. Looking at your phone to dial a number or get directions is an example.
- Cognitive – Taking your mind off driving. If you talk with someone on a phone – even a hands-free device – it is dangerous because you are not fully focused on driving.
As you can see, texting, talking on a phone and using electronic devices, in general, are the most obvious forms of distracted driving. However, it can also occur if you drive while:
- Smoking, eating or drinking
- Playing with the radio, a GPS unit or other controls
- Putting on makeup or grooming
- Interacting with passengers or pets
- Staring at something outside of your vehicle like a billboard.
Most drivers know that distracted driving is dangerous. In fact, in a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey, 87.6 percent of respondents said they would support laws that banned texting or e-mailing while driving, and 73.4 percent said they would back legislation against using a hand-held phone while driving.
Yet, as the survey shows, many people continue to ignore the dangers of distracted driving and do it anyway. In the same AAA survey, 44.9 percent of drivers admitted that they had read a text or e-mail within the previous 30 days, while 34.6 percent said they had typed a text or e-mail.
Does Florida Have Any Distracted Driving Laws?
Because talking on a phone and texting while driving are so dangerous, state and federal laws have been enacted to put an end to it. For example, under Florida law, drivers of all ages are prohibited from texting while driving.
If you are engaged in interstate trucking in Florida, you must also follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s more restrictive distracted driving rules. The FMCSA bans drivers from texting while driving. The agency also prohibits talking on a phone if it involves:
- Using at least one hand to hold the phone
- Pressing more than a single button to dial a number
- Getting out of a seated driving position to reach for the phone.
These laws can play an important role in a car accident claim.
What Can You Do If a Distracted Driver Hurts You in Fort Lauderdale?
If you are involved in a car accident in Florida, you have the right to file a claim for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits regardless of who was at fault. You may also have a right to bring a claim against the driver who caused your crash. For your claim to succeed, you would need to establish that the driver was at fault.
Distracted driving is a form of negligent driving that amounts to fault in a crash. For this reason, it is important to work with a law firm that will know how to gather evidence and establish whether driver distraction caused a crash that injured you or caused the loss of a loved one.
The car accident attorneys of Englander Peebles know how to thoroughly investigate crashes and how to identify whether negligence such as distracted driving played a role. When we take on your case, we can examine evidence such as:
- Crash scene photos
- Video footage
- Driver cell phone records
- A driver’s social media use and other Internet activity before impact
- Black box data (showing, perhaps, no braking or change of speed before a crash because the driver was too distracted)
- Witness statements (including passengers who saw what the driver was doing just before the accident happened).
Our car accident lawyers at Englander Peebles are strategic negotiators and sharp litigators who will fight for maximum compensation for you. If an insurance company refuses to accept liability and/or challenges the amount of damages you are owed, we will be ready to take your case to court. When an insurance company knows your attorneys are serious about going to trial, the insurer often will be more likely to make a full and fair settlement offer.
Get Help from Our Fort Lauderdale Distracted Driving Accident Law Firm
Our attorneys at Englander Peebles have earned a reputation for standing up to insurance companies that try to bully and ignore the rights of car accident victims. These insurance companies know that when our attorneys are on the case, there is no backing down. We can and will go to court if that’s what it takes to pursue maximum compensation for our clients.
If your loved one died, or if you suffered serious injuries due to a distracted driver, we are ready to go to work for you today. Call or reach us online now to get started with a free consultation through our offices in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton or Hollywood.