Texting, talking to a passenger, eating a quick lunch, searching for radio stations, and daydreaming all have something in common. They’re all common distractions we face when driving. You may have done a few of these yourself at one time or another. Many of us are susceptible to distracted driving, and some of those distractions lead to tragedy. If you’ve suffered damage at the hands of a distracted driver, you need to know your options.
As always, there are a few things you should do after an accident. Before you sue distracted drivers, make sure you check yourself for injuries, trade information, take pictures, file a police report, and call your insurance company. Once you’ve done all that, you can file your claim against a distracted driver.
Types of Distracted Driving
The state of Florida splits distracted driving into three distinct categories:
1.Manual Distraction: Taking hands off the wheel.
- Examples: Eating, adjusting the fans, texting, etc.
2. Visual Distraction: Taking eyes off the road.
- Examples: Reading a text, looking at the GPS, or adjusting a DVD player.
3. Cognitive Distraction: Shifting the main focus away from driving.
- Examples: Contemplating personal issues, daydreaming, or listening to music.
The Consequences of Distracted Driving
As you can see, almost anything can be considered a driving distraction. Under Florida law, even thinking about things other than driving can count as distracted driving. In fact, according to a study from a Pennsylvanian insurance company, more than half of all fatal car crashes are the result of cognitive distractions and daydreaming. By comparison, the study states that cellphone use is responsible for 1 in 7 fatal accidents.
The key to making a damages claim is demonstrating that the crash wouldn’t have happened if not for the distraction. In some cases, this is easily verifiable. A properly filed police report can provide evidence that the distracted driver was eating while driving. Lawyers can examine phone records to determine if the at-fault driver was texting while driving.
Can You Sue a Distracted Driver?
The most important step to filing a claim against a distracted driver is finding an experienced auto accident attorney. An attorney knows how to evaluate all the evidence and can help determine whether the at-fault driver was distracted at the time of the crash.
If you believe your car accident was the result of distracted driving and you’d like an experienced Stuart auto attorney to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (866) 675-4427 at your earliest convenience.