Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys
Pensacola Cell Phone Accident Attorneys
There have always been distracted drivers, and they have always posed a risk of causing car and truck accidents. But with the growth of cell phone use, and of texting in particular, distracted driving accidents have risen to a higher level than ever before. People have a hard time staying off of their cell phones these days, and this insatiable desire to “stay connected” carries over into their drive time.
We are vigilant in our efforts to protect the rights of our clients. Our Pensacola accident lawyers conduct a thorough investigation into the accident and how the distraction played a role.
If you or a loved one suffered injury at the hands of a distracted driver, you need strong legal counsel by your side fighting hard for every dollar of compensation you deserve. Before you speak to anyone from the other side’s insurance company, call the experienced attorneys at Whibbs, Stone, & Barnett for a free consultation. We will meet with you to thoroughly review your case and advise you of your legal rights and options, so you can make the most informed decision on how you wish to proceed.
Common Distractions on the Road
Among the most significant accident-causing distractions we see are:
- Talking on a cell phone
- Texting or emailing on a smartphone or other wireless device
- Talking to a passenger
- Tuning a car radio or other music device
- Taking photos or videos
- Watching a video
- Eating or drinking
- Looking at maps
- Looking at a navigation system
- Reaching for an object inside the vehicle
- Looking at something outside of the vehicle
- Applying makeup/grooming
Driver distractions like these can be grouped into one of four general categories:
- Manual: A distraction that causes the driver to take one or both of their hands off of the wheel or clutch.
- Visual: A distraction that causes the driver to take their eyes off of the road.
- Cognitive: A distraction that takes the driver’s mind off of driving.
- Audio: A sound that distracts a driver from what is happening on the road.
The majority of driver distractions fit into one or maybe two of these categories, and any of them can play a major role in a motor vehicle accident under the wrong set of circumstances. Texting while driving and other types of electronic activity while behind the wheel are especially dangerous, however, because they distract drivers in three or four ways at the same time.
For example, sending a text or similar electronic message requires the use of your manual, visual, and cognitive capabilities. And if you are watching a video, you can throw audio in there as well. In other words, these types of activities require your entire focus, which greatly increases the likelihood that you will miss something important on the road.
Just how dangerous is texting while driving? If you are driving down the highway at 55 miles per hour and take your eyes off of the road for just five seconds to send a text, it is roughly the equivalent to driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes closed.
Florida Distracted Driving Laws
All Florida drivers are prohibited from writing, sending, or reading text messages while driving. Sending electronic messages while driving is now a primary offense in the Sunshine State, which means the police can pull over a motorist for texting without observing any other offenses. Drivers are also prohibited from holding cell phones while driving through a school or work zone.
Although texting while driving is a traffic violation, the penalties for this offense are minuscule compared to the damage suffered by those who are injured in distracted driving accidents. In the span of just a few seconds, the life of an innocent driver who is involved in a collision can be turned upside down.
Suddenly, they are faced with an injury that could keep them out of work for an extended period of time. On top of that, the cost to treat the injury could run into the tens of thousands of dollars or more, not to mention the untold pain and suffering, worry, anxiety, and stress over an uncertain future.
Recovering compensation from an auto accident injury is not always easy, however. These types of cases can be complicated, and the insurance company for the other side will do everything they can get away with to undermine your claim and pay out as little as possible. This makes it especially important to work with attorneys who have in-depth experience with cases like these and the proven ability to obtain full and fair compensation, either through strong settlement negotiations or litigation (when necessary).
Education about Distracted Driving Is a Key to Prevention
Driving while distracted is never safe, but it is even more risky for teens. As inexperienced drivers, they are even more greatly influenced by distractions and less able to respond to sudden events on the road. One in four American teen drivers admits to texting while driving, and 40% of 12 to 17-year-olds say they have been in a car where a teen driver used a cell phone in a dangerous way, according to the Pew Research Center.
Proving The Other Driver Was Texting in An Auto Accident
With the help of a proven Florida car accident attorney, you should be able to establish that the other driver was driving while texting and causing the accident.
Request for Cell Phone Records
The easiest way to prove the other party was indulging in texting while driving could be to obtain their cell phone records. Your attorney may be able to subpoena a copy of the phone records of the other driver. This will come with timestamps for all text messages and calls.
Statements Can Prove Negligence
The time following a crash is confusing, but it is also a crucial time to keep your wits about you. Often, drivers responsible for the accident say something that can be used for proving their fault. For instance, they may say “I was on the phone and not paying attention” or “I am sorry I was not looking”.
You don’t need to make a recording of the statement. If the driver made such statements, you could repeat them at trial to show the conduct of the other driver. This is an admission against interest or present sense impression.
You Need a Pensacola Texting Car Accident Lawyer You Can Trust
Each year, thousands of individuals are killed and hundreds of thousands more are injured in distracted driving motor vehicle crashes. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed because of the negligence of a distracted driver, contact a Fort Walton Beach or Pensacola lawyer at Whibbs, Stone, & Barnett to schedule your free consultation.
Call our office today at 850-500-1111 or message us through our online contact form. You may also stop by our office in person at your convenience. We look forward to serving you and fighting for the compensation you deserve!