In Florida, drivers may not type or read messages on smartphones, cell phones, or any other type of wireless electronic device while operating a motor vehicle. If the other driver was texting during a car accident, that individual has committed a crime under state law.
Beyond the criminal aspects of this act, however, a driver who causes an accident while texting and driving is subject to civil action to hold them responsible for any damages or injuries they cause. If you suffered damages because the other driver was texting during a car accident, The Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can help you recover compensation.
Call us today at 800-747-3733 for a free case evaluation with a car accident attorney.
What Are the Florida Laws About Texting While Driving?
Florida laws make it a crime to manually type or enter text or characters into a wireless communication device while driving. This involves composing, reading, or sending text messages, emails, or instant messages on any type of handheld electronic device—including a smart phone.
How Dangerous Is Texting and Driving?
According to data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), almost 200 crashes occurred in 2016 due to texting. These accidents caused incapacitating injuries and even death for victims.
According to the Miami Herald, Florida drivers are the second-worst in the United States—ahead only of Louisiana—when it comes to distracted driving. This statistic is due in large part to the fact that Florida regards texting and driving as a secondary offense. In other words, police officers cannot pull drivers over for texting and driving. They can only ticket drivers for this offense if they were also breaking another traffic-related law.
Can Law Enforcement Obtain Cell Phone Records for Someone Who Texted Behind the Wheel?
Florida law enforcement officials can obtain the cellular telephone records of any person involved in a car accident that resulted in in injuries or property damage. That means if you sustained injuries or damage to your vehicle in your wreck with a distracted driver, we can obtain their cell phone records to verify whether they were texting while driving. This can help us establish their liability for your damages.
What Are My Rights If a Distracted Driver Caused a Wreck?
Whether or not the police can cite a distracted driver for texting relates to the potential for criminal charges. The police can only issue a citation to a driver who texted behind the wheel if they pulled that individual over for another offense.
If you sustained injuries because another driver was texting, you have the legal right to pursue financial compensation through civil action—whether or not the police issued a citation.
However, to pursue additional compensation outside of your personal injury protection (PIP) policy, we will need to show you suffered serious injuries in the crash. Then we can submit a claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If the insurance company refuses to negotiate a fair settlement, we can help you file a civil lawsuit.
How Can I Prove the Other Driver Was Responsible?
To prove that the at-fault party is liable for injuries and damages sustained in an accident due to texting, we must demonstrate the four legal aspects of negligence.
This requires demonstrating that the at-fault driver had a duty of care to others on the roadways to drive in a safe manner. We must then demonstrate that the at-fault driver violated or breached their duty of care by doing something that put others at risk—such as texting and driving.
We must also prove that the at-fault driver’s breach of duty caused your accident. Finally, we can demonstrate that you had actual damages by providing documentation for your medical care costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma.
To prove each of these key points, we will assemble important documentation to substantiate your claim for compensation. This evidence may include the police or accident report, witness statements, cell phone records, medical bills, and testimony from accident reconstruction specialists.
We may also use medical reports and medical expert technology to document your future needs for care and treatment, medication, rehabilitation, or physical therapy. We can use employment statements to document the income you lost during your recovery. If the accident left you permanently disabled, we may estimate your future lost income and lost ability to earn a living.
How Can I Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer—For Free?
If the other driver was texting during a car accident, the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can help hold them responsible for the damage they caused. We understand state texting statutes and can use the law to our advantage to establish liability for your injuries, property damage, and pain and suffering. Contact our office today at 800-747-3733 to schedule a free meeting with one of our South Florida attorneys.