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Texting and Driving in Florida

Florida remains just one of four states that consider texting and driving to be only a secondary offense. Meaning, if law enforcement officers see you texting and driving, they cannot legally pull you over unless you are breaking another law as well.

In other words, if you are a Florida driver, you can only be cited for texting if you were first stopped for speeding or not wearing your seatbelt. Texting and driving contribute significantly to distracted driving and can be dangerous.

It is important that you retain focus and attention while you are driving, and this cannot be done if your eyes are on your phone, rather than the road. If you are cited for texting and driving as a secondary offense in Florida, then you can expect no points for the first offense, two points are added to the primary offense if the texting was happening in a school zone, and six points may be added if the texting resulted in some kind of crash. Drivers may also be fined $30 for texting while driving.

A bill is currently making its way through Florida Legislature that would finally make texting and driving a primary offense, so law enforcement officials can cite anyone they see engaging in this behavior.

 

Dangers of Distracted Driving


 

Distracted driving is very risky behavior and is the leading cause of fatal car accidents. In any instance that your eyes, mind, or hands are off the wheel, you are increasing your chances of becoming involved in an accident or seriously injuring someone else.

Distracted driving is also caused by eating and drinking, talking, and daydreaming. Anything that can cause you to lose focus of the road ahead of you. Approximately 600,000 people are texting and driving at any given time and this is an alarming amount considering how many accidents we hear of happening each day as well.

 

Liability for Distracted Driving


 

If it is found that the person responsible for an accident was texting while driving, then that person may be held liable for any and all damages as a result. They may be held liable under the negligence theory for accidents caused by distracted driving as long as the plaintiff can prove that the defendant was not acting responsibly as a reasonable driver, they breached their duty of care, the breach resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries, and the injured party suffered damages due to the injuries.

Florida is considered a comparative negligence state which means even if you are also partially to blame for the accident, you may still be able to collect damages based on the percentage of fault.

Damages can include compensation for medical bills, loss of wages, property damage, and loss of earning capacity due to the injuries sustained in the accident. There are also cases in which you can collect for pain and suffering as well.

 

Seeking Help from an Attorney


 

If you have been involved in an accident due to distracted driving, then you should seek the help of a knowledgeable attorney to help you file your claim and collect the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

These cases can sometimes prove to be very complex and requires a lot of documentation and evidence to help prove the case. Therefore, it is important to seek the services of a qualified attorney to help you through each.