3 FAQs About Car Accident Claims Involving Texting While Driving
Distracted driving was responsible for 3,450 traffic fatalities in 2016 alone. There are countless distractions vying for your attention whenever you get behind the wheel, but texting is one of the most dangerous.
Reading or sending text messages takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your attention off the traffic around you. In other words, for those who regularly text while driving, causing an accident isn’t a question of if but, rather, of when.
If you were hurt in a collision caused by someone who was texting while driving, you may be wondering how to prove it. To discuss your case and determine the most strategic way to proceed, contact Donaldson & Weston. Call 772-266-5555 to schedule a free case evaluation with a car accident lawyer in Florida.
Read on to learn the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about car accident claims involving texting while driving:
How Can I Prove a Motorist Was Texting Behind the Wheel?
Proving someone was texting while driving can be challenging. Valuable evidence might include eyewitness testimony, surveillance recordings, and cell phone records. Some of this evidence can be difficult to gather without applying legal pressure. This is where an attorney can help.
What Kinds of Damages Might Be Recoverable After a Distracted Driving Accident?
If you get hurt in an accident with a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for economic, non-economic and, in some cases, punitive damages. Economic and non-economic damages may include:
- Hospital bills;
- Ongoing medical expenses;
- Transportation to and from appointments;
- Lost income and benefits;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Property damage;
- Home care;
- Domestic help and/or child care;
- Home and vehicle modifications;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of consortium;
- Loss of enjoyment in life; and
- Pain and suffering.
Punitive damages are only available when a defendant acted with intentional malice or gross negligence that demonstrates a wanton disregard for the rights of others. Because the dangers of texting while driving are so well known, doing so may constitute gross negligence and warrant a punitive award.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After an Accident with a Distracted Driver?
In the state of Florida, accident victims typically have four years from the date on which the incident occurred to file a formal lawsuit. This may seem like a considerable amount of time, but in cases involving texting while driving, some of the most valuable evidence is often time-sensitive. Also, the sooner your attorney can investigate your accident, the stronger your case will likely be during settlement negotiations.