West Palm Beach Texting While Driving Accidents

Despite repeated indications of its danger, more and more drivers choose to text while driving. Since cell phones are used for everything from communicating to navigating, motorists feel as if texting is second nature, and they believe that they can maintain control when distracted from the road. However, drivers who focus their attention on a text or call are more likely to be unable to react in time to avoid a collision, to swerve out of their lane, or to otherwise make careless maneuvers and cause a serious texting while driving accident. The knowledgeable West Palm Beach car accident lawyers at Donaldson & Weston assist victims injured in a crash with ensuring that they receive proper compensation from the driver responsible for their harm. If you have been hurt as a result of a driver distracted by a phone, you should contact us to find out about your next steps.

Texting While Driving Accidents Are a Widespread Hazard

In 2013, texting while driving became illegal in Florida. However, it is only classified as a “secondary offense,” which means that a driver must be pulled over for another traffic violation in order to also be issued a citation for texting. Because of the lack of legal consequences, many drivers are still using their phones to text, call, or check social media while behind the wheel.

The Palm Beach Post has reported that from 2015 to 2016, injuries and collisions linked to distracted driving in Palm Beach County rose by nine percent. Many of these accidents involved drivers who were texting at the time of the crash. Injuries caused by texting while driving rose almost 50 percent in Palm Beach County in 2016, with deadly crashes increasing as well. Across the state, these types of accidents are also on the rise, with a 16 percent increase in injuries as well as a 13 percent increase in fatalities in 2016, compared to the previous year. Victims involved in an accident caused by a texting driver can be faced with long-term medical treatment, rehabilitation, and sometimes injuries so severe that they require a shift in lifestyle.

Pursuing a Personal Injury Case Following a Serious Car Crash

Drivers who decide to text instead of paying attention to the road should be held liable for the harm that they cause. Victims of these collisions can pursue personal injury lawsuits based on a texting driver’s negligence. To establish negligence, a victim, or plaintiff, must prove that a driver breached their duty to act as a reasonable person would act under the given circumstances. Texting while driving is generally an unreasonable action, especially if a driver is doing so at high speeds or in heavy traffic. The plaintiff must also show that the driver’s actions were a proximate cause of the injuries that were sustained and that damages were incurred as a result.

If liability is shown, victims may be awarded damages in the form of property loss, past and anticipated medical costs, loss of income, diminished earning capacity, and pain and suffering, among others. The timing of any personal injury claim is important, however, since Florida imposes a four-year statute of limitations, after which these claims are barred.