Distracted driving is a serious issue that can significantly increase the risk of motor vehicle accidents. Many types of distractions can take drivers’ attention away from the road for no more than a few seconds, but this is enough time for a driver to cause a serious accident.
Distracted driving accidents in Tampa and other cities often cause serious injuries and fatalities. If you or a loved one sustains injuries or dies because of a distracted driving accident, you may be able to recover compensation with the help of an experienced attorney.
At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, our Tampa distracted driving accident lawyers have the combined experience and resources to help victims and their families pursue the compensation they deserve from liable drivers.
Why Turn to Holliday Karatinos Law Firm?
Following a distracted driving accident, our team of reputable Tampa distracted driving accident attorneys can help you seek full compensation for injuries and other damages. In the process, we can help identify liable drivers and potentially other parties responsible for the accident.
The legal team at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm has over half a century of collective experience backing our services. Over the years, we have represented many clients in distracted driving and other cases.
Lead attorney James Wayne Holliday has received recognition for his legal work over the years, with national recognition as a Best Attorney Lifetime Charter Member in Florida, an honor award that less than 1 percent of the country’s lawyers receive.
Our other lead attorney, Ted Karatinos, has also received national recognition as a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum® and an author in The Young Lawyer, Barrister Magazine, The Florida Bar Journal, and The Federal Lawyer.
We provide personalized attention for each client we work with. We offer the convenience of location for residents in and around Tampa, with our office located in Lutz—just north of Tampa off of FL 597. If you cannot visit our offices for any reason, we also offer virtual representation to accommodate you.
Searching for a distracted driving lawyer in Tampa you can trust? We are here to help you determine your options with a free consultation. Reach out to Holliday Karatinos Law Firm today to discover how we can help you.
Types of Recoverable Compensation for Distracted Driving Accidents in Tampa
After a distracted driving accident takes place, victims may sustain injuries and other types of damages that may entitle them to compensation from the distracted driver. There are multiple types of damages that injury victims and their loved ones may recover from vehicle accidents, including a variety of economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
The amount of compensation you are able to recover will depend on multiple factors unique to your case. For example, your compensation will depend on the severity of your injuries and the other types of damages involved. The degree of liability among the parties involved will also factor into the case.
To determine how much your case might be worth, it is best to understand the differences between these types of compensation.
Also known as special damages, these are damages that account for the specific financial losses that victims or their families sustain from an accident. Injuries often account for most of these damages as they may require extensive treatment to facilitate a full recovery.
Some specific examples of economic damages in distracted driving accident cases may include:
- Medical bills that accumulate through medical care
- Ongoing care costs
- Care services resulting from a disability
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Vehicle damage and other types of property damage
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
Non-economic or general damages are not as easy to calculate as economic damages, but there are ways to quantify them in an accident case. These damages cover the pain and suffering victims experience following a distracted driving accident.
Here are some examples of general damages in accident cases:
- Physical anguish
- Mental distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship and support
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Some distracted driving accident cases may also involve punitive damages, but these are hard to recover in many cases and require sufficient legal knowledge and evidence to prove. The main goal of these damages is to discourage the defendant and others from engaging in similarly negligent or malicious behavior.
If you need clarification on what damages will go into your settlement, Holliday Karatinos Law Firm professionals are here to help. We can work with you to identify all relevant damages pertaining to your case and quantify the total dollar amount you should receive. We can then work to collect and organize enough evidence to help prove that distracted driving or another cause led to the accident and subsequent damages.
Why Tampa Distracted Driving Accidents Happen
Distracted driving accidents frequently occur across the country, with many of these accidents taking place in Florida.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), one recent year saw 333 fatalities resulting from distracted driving accidents, the state’s highest in at least eight years. FLHSMV data also found that more than 56,000 distracted driving accidents occurred in Florida within a year, translating to an average of 1,000 per week.
Distracted driving is one of many reasons accidents often occur in the Tampa area, too.
Some common accident sites in and around Tampa include:
- Waters Avenue and Himes Avenue North
- Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and Fletcher Avenue East
- Sheldon Road and Waters Avenue West
- Anderson Road and Waters Avenue West
Whether the accident resulted from distracted driving or another cause, accident victims only have a limited time to file a claim or lawsuit against negligent drivers and other parties. This time limit is the statute of limitations and varies depending on the state.
In Florida, the statute of limitations for accidents is four years from the time of the accident. After this time passes, you will be unable to recover compensation with rare exceptions extending this limit.
Although four years may seem like ample time to build a case, it is essential to get started on your case as soon as possible. Medical bills and other expenses are likely to mount, and you will want to recover compensation as quickly as possible to help cover those costs.
If you need help with a distracted driving accident case in Tampa, we understand what these and other motor vehicle accidents entail. We can work closely with you to understand the specific details of your case, identify all liable parties involved, and pursue total compensation from these parties.
Types of Distracted Driving Accidents and Injuries
The three main types of distracted driving that put drivers and others at risk include:
- Manual distractions. These distractions lead drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel to perform a particular action. For instance, drivers may eat or drink while driving, attend to passengers such as children in the back seat, smoke, and adjust knobs and buttons on the dashboard. As a result, the driver cannot react in time because of their hands’ lack of contact with the wheel.
- Visual distractions. When drivers encounter a visual distraction, their eyes may wander toward it and away from the road. Many types of visual distractions can grab and hold drivers’ attention. They may include texting and driving, looking at electronic devices, grooming by using the rearview mirror, gazing at billboards at the side of the road, and other distractions. What makes these distractions particularly dangerous is that the driver is unable to see hazards ahead of them or otherwise assess the situation ahead of them.
- Cognitive distractions. These types of distractions are somewhat different from visual and manual distractions in that they are more internally oriented. Drivers may be in a conversation with someone using a hands-free device, leading them to take their focus off the road when thinking about the conversation. They may also be distracted by events in their life and think about them while driving, or they could simply daydream while driving. They may also become distracted when listening to music or conversing with other passengers.
Like in other types of vehicle accidents, victims of distracted driving accidents may suffer a range of injuries, such as:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Internal injuries
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
The Risks of Negotiating With Insurers After a Tampa Distracted Driving Accident
Following a distracted driving accident and subsequent damages, you should seek compensation by filing a claim against the liable driver’s insurer. However, this could compromise your case if you neglect to first speak with an attorney with experience in these matters.
As friendly as insurance adjusters may seem during negotiations, they are working for an insurance company that wants to avoid paying out as much as possible. To avoid large payouts, adjusters will look for any valid reason they can find to deny your claim or, at the very least, minimize your settlement.
At some point during negotiations, your adjuster may make an offer that seems high but is considerably lower than the settlement you deserve. The right Tampa distracted driving accident lawyer can help determine your case’s worth and negotiate with insurers.
Another advantage of working with a distracted driving accident attorney is avoiding any other mistakes you may otherwise make during negotiations. For instance, you may be unknowingly inconsistent when talking about your injuries and your symptoms, along with the circumstances of the accident. If your statements are inconsistent, insurers may take this as proof that your injuries are not as serious as you claim and either deny or severely reduce your settlement.
The attorneys at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm can help you effectively negotiate with insurance companies and enable you to recover from your injuries in the process thoroughly.
What to Do After a Distracted Driving Accident in Tampa
If you or a loved one gets into a distracted driving accident in Tampa and want to pursue compensation from liable drivers, you must take certain steps to build a successful case. The first steps to take early on include seeking medical care and obtaining copies of medical records that prove the severity of your injuries. Once you complete these steps, you can strengthen your accident case further.
Collect Plenty of Evidence
One of the most critical steps to take is to collect sufficient evidence that proves that distracted driving caused an accident and resulted in damages.
This evidence may consist of:
- Police reports
- Medical bills and records
- Video footage and photographs of injuries, vehicle damage, and the accident scene
- 911 calls
- Invoices for repairs to vehicles and other property
- Maintenance records
- Proof of lost wages
- Witness statements
You may also be able to prove pain and suffering following an accident by documenting your symptoms and recovery in a journal.
If you do not have access to any of this evidence, a Tampa distracted driving accident attorney may be able to help obtain it.
Follow Your Treatment Plan
If your doctor advises you to stick to a treatment plan, you must follow this advice and continue treatment. Failing to appear at follow-up appointments or take various prescribed treatments could indicate to insurers and defendants that your injuries are not serious.
Stay off Social Media
Throughout your case, you should avoid posting on social media. Any image, video, or text post that might go against your claims could harm your case if insurance claim investigators see them.
Keep Copies of All Receipts
Additionally, maintain copies of receipts for medical treatment and other costs pertaining to your case. These documents could further support your claim.
After gathering as much evidence and documentation as you can, present it to the attorneys at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm. We also have the resources to get any evidence you are unable to get on your own.
Contact a Reputable Tampa Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
Have you or a loved one sustained injuries and other damages because of a distracted driving accident in or near Tampa? Consult the reliable Tampa personal injury attorneys at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm today. We can review your case during a free consultation and inform you of your options.
Call us at (813) 868-1887 or contact us online for your free consultation with one of our attorneys.
“James Holliday handled a case for my husband and I. He explained everything and spent a lot of time with us. He was professional, courteous, and very efficient I trusted him and he came through for us. We are very happy with the outcome, I would recommend him to anyone and have already referred my close friends to him. Thank you Attorney Holliday for all that you did.”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Joan H.
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