If you were hurt in a motor-vehicle collision with a distracted driver, contact Donaldson & Weston to determine the most strategic way to proceed. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the crash and do everything in our power to obtain the evidence needed to prove your claim.
Texting & Driving Laws in Florida: What You Need to Know
Texting behind the wheel is especially risky since it affects your visual, manual, and cognitive faculties simultaneously. This is why 47 states including Florida have made it illegal to text while driving.
Let’s explore a few facts about Florida’s texting and driving laws:
- Texting Is a Secondary Offense
Florida law prohibits drivers from typing or reading texts, emails, or instant messages while operating a motor vehicle, but it’s a secondary offense. That means police cannot stop your vehicle and cite you just for texting while driving. But if you’re pulled over for speeding or another violation and you were texting and driving at the time, you may be cited.
- The Penalty Is a Small Fine
The current penalty for texting and driving in Florida is a $20 fine. Compared to the penalties for other traffic infractions, this fine is relatively small.
- The Laws May Change Soon
Because the consequences of texting and driving can be deadly, lawmakers in Florida are considering imposing harsher penalties. A bill has already been proposed that would make texting and driving a primary offense. If it passes, police will be able to pull over motorists solely for using their phones while behind the wheel, even if they weren’t committing other infractions.
What Should I Do If I’m Involved in a Wreck with a Distracted Driver?
After any accident, your first priority should be your health. Even if your injuries seem minor, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible for an official diagnosis.
Once your condition stabilizes, it’s wise to seek legal counsel. Gathering evidence to support your claim may be challenging without the help of a lawyer. It’s unlikely that the at-fault motorist will release their cell phone records voluntarily, but your attorney can apply legal pressure to obtain them. There may be other evidence that’s time-sensitive, so you should speak to a personal injury lawyer at the earliest possible point in time.
You should also start a personal injury journal to document the recovery process and the ways your injuries are affecting your quality of life. This journal may help your attorney develop a more compelling argument to justify a non-economic damages award.