About Our Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys
Distracted driving is a factor in an increasing number of car collisions. The distracted driving attorneys at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC can provide the legal representation you need if you were injured by a distracted driver.
Our firm has helped car accident victims and their families pursue claims against the parties that caused them harm. We can bring our more than 50 years of collective experience in the law to fight for your personal injury claim. Contact our office today to see how we can help.
Distracted Driving Accident Statistics
Distracted driving contributes to a large number of traffic crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 10 percent of fatal crashes and 17 percent of injury crashes in 2011 were attributed to distracted driving.
What is Considered Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving consists of anything that takes a driver’s physical and mental focus off the safe operation of his or her vehicle.
Distractions inside and outside of the car that may potentially result in a crash include:
- Eating, drinking, or talking to other passengers.
- Reading a map or using a navigation system.
- Use of electronic or communications devices, such as a cell phone.
Cell phone use is major factor in distracted driving crashes. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that more than a fifth of all motor vehicle accidents (or 1.2 million crashes) in 2012 involved a driver talking on a handheld or hands-free cell phone.
An additional five percent of crashes involved a driver who was texting at the time of the crash. In total, the NSC estimates that 26 percent of all 2012 crashes involved a driver who was either talking or texting on a cell phone.
Distracted Driving is Considered Negligence
Distracted drivers in Florida can be held accountable for the injuries and damage caused by their actions. A victim can file a personal injury claim against the distracted driver. In order to recover damages for his or her injuries, the plaintiff must prove that the driver’s actions or inaction caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
Personal injury claims must be based on a theory of liability. Negligence is the basis of liability for many car accident cases. Negligence is the failure to act as a reasonable person would act under like circumstances. A plaintiff can hold a driver liable by establishing the elements of negligence:
- Duty of care – drivers in Florida are required to exercise due care;
- Breach – a driver who texts while driving, for example, breaches the duty of care;
- Causation – the driver’s breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries; and
- Damages – the plaintiff suffered damages for his or her injuries.
A plaintiff will be able to recover damages to the extent he or she did not cause his or her injuries. While some states bar a plaintiff from recovering damages if he or she is mostly at fault for an accident, Florida does not prevent recovery, regardless of the victim’s degree of fault. A court will apportion fault among all the parties and allow a plaintiff to recover in proportion to his or her degree of fault.
Recovering Damages After Being Hurt By a Distracted Driver
A victim of a distracted driving accident may recover damages from the at-fault party. Recoverable damages can include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. A car wreck victim has four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim in Florida.
Certain family members of a fatal car accident victim can potentially recover for the victim’s medical expenses, burial and funeral bills, and certain other damages, such as loss of consortium. Family members have two years to file a wrongful death claim.
Contact Our Florida Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers
The distracted driving accident lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC are dedicated to providing victims of distracted driving collisions with the legal representation and advocacy they need to seek compensation for their injuries.
Our attorneys have handled numerous car accident cases, and are prepared to effectively handle your personal injury or wrongful death claim. Our extensive negotiation and courtroom experience are invaluable to providing you with individualized legal representation in your case.
We serve clients throughout Hillsborough, Pasco, and Hernando Counties. Please call us or fill out our online form to connect with our office and schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys.