For as long as there have been cars, there have been distracted drivers.
At its simplest, distracted driving is anything that diverts the driver’s attention, whether visual, manual and/or cognitive, from his or her primary focus – driving.
When an automobile accident results from a distraction – because of a cup of spilled coffee, an unrestrained dog, a crying baby or a dropped item, it’s important to contact an experienced auto accident attorney who can help you navigate the consequences of that distracted driving crash.
Put differently, when the distraction causes a driver to crash, negligence has undoubtedly occurred and under such circumstances, the distracted driver should be held accountable for the damage and injury he causes to you, your loved ones and others.
Distracted Driving and Cell Phones
With our cell phones almost always within reach, car crashes involving drivers distracted by their cell phones have become all too commonplace.
Texting while driving is also against the law — since 2019, it has been a primary offense in Florida to text while driving plus handheld use of any kind in school and work zones has also been prohibited. Despite these bans, many drivers still try to drive and text.
Unfortunately, texting while driving is especially risky behavior due to the multiple distractions it involves:
- Manually distracted because it takes the driver’s hand(s) off the wheel;
- Visually distracted because the driver’s are not on the road; and
- Cognitively distracted because the driver’s thoughts are on other things than driving.
While the phone distraction may only be for a few seconds, a few seconds delay means that the driver’s ability to perceive the hazard, react to it and give the vehicle time to stop are also delayed.
Tragically, that is plenty of time for serious and even fatal accidents to result, particularly if a pedestrian, bicyclist or anyone outside of a vehicle is involved (recent CDC statistics revealed that 20% of the fatal crashes caused by a distracted driver involved victims not in automobiles).
Compensatory Damages & Sometimes Punitive Damages
In addition to recovering compensatory damages — which address past and future medical bills and lost wages as well as pain and suffering — a claim for punitive damages against the wrongdoer may also be appropriate.
Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are, as suggested, designed to punish a wrongdoer. With both drunk driving crashes and distracted driving crashes due to cell phone use, punitive damages are based on the reckless disregard for the safety of others that that conduct demonstrates.
We Fight for the Maximum Compensation
If you believe you or a loved one may have been the victim of a distracted driving crash, it’s important to act quickly. Let the experienced accident attorneys at Luhrsen Goldberg stand with you, look out for you and work to prove that distracted driving is behind the cause of your injuries. We’ll put our experience to work to help you recover your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering and as circumstances warrant also seek additional damages against the distracted driver for his reckless behavior.