Motor Vehicle Collision Lawyers Helping Residents of West Palm Beach
Texting while driving may be a difficult habit to break. Several years ago, Florida enacted a “Ban on Texting While Driving” law. The law prohibits texting while driving, but it is a secondary offense. This means drivers cannot be pulled over for texting while driving, but if they are pulled over for another offense, they can be cited for texting while driving as well as the other offense. Texting while stopped at traffic lights is permitted. Drivers can continue to use their cellphones for other purposes. Police officers have found this law difficult to enforce, and recently other bills have been introduced to further penalize the use of wireless devices while driving. If you have been hurt in a car accident caused by a careless driver in West Palm Beach, the attorneys at Anidjar & Levine can guide you through the process of pursuing compensation.
Protect Your Rights against a Texting Driver Through a Negligence Claim
If you are in an accident with a driver who is texting while driving, you generally will need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence the defendant’s duty, a breach of duty, causation, and actual damages. This is a standard that means there has been enough evidence submitted to make it more likely than not that whatever fact you are trying to prove is true.
Texting while driving does not give rise to an action for negligence per se, but texting can be evidence that the driver breached a duty of care to the plaintiff. All drivers owe a duty to others on the road to drive reasonably under the circumstances. Accidents are more likely to occur when a driver is looking down instead of looking around for hazards. Unexpected circumstances are likely to throw off a distracted driver more than they would a driver who was fully alert and paying attention to potential dangers.
Once you establish negligence by a texting driver, you can possibly recover both economic and noneconomic damages. These are compensatory damages that are not intended to punish the other driver for texting while driving, but simply compensate you for your losses. Economic damages are tangible damages that remain unchanged no matter who is performing an evaluation, such as medical bills, lost income, vocational rehabilitation, or household services. Noneconomic damages are intangible damages that can vary dramatically, depending on who is evaluating them. They often include pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of activities.
In some cases, both drivers are partially to blame. If, for example, you and someone else are both texting while driving and crash into each other, but you are the only one who is hurt, the other driver may ask the jury to apply the doctrine of comparative negligence. The jury would evaluate the total damages, but your damages would be reduced to the extent you were found to be at fault for your injuries. For example, if the total damages were $200,000, and you were 50% responsible, you could potentially recover up to $100,000 from the other driver.
Explore Your Options with a West Palm Beach Attorney after a Car Accident
West Palm Beach is a mid-sized city in South Florida. It is considered a hub for nightlife in Palm Beach County, and it is common for friends going out together to text each other to confirm meet-up times and places. People who have been involved in a collision in West Palm Beach or a nearby city can reach out to the injury lawyers at Anidjar & Levine. Call our firm at 800-747-3733 or complete our online form to arrange a free consultation. We also represent injured individuals in cities throughout Palm Beach County, including Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, and Royal Palm Beach.