Distracted Driver Accident Lawyers
There are multiple ways a driver can cause a car accident. For instance, accidents involving texting while driving are still a widespread issue in Florida, causing thousands of motorized collisions each year. Unfortunately, for car crash victims, the state laws governing distracted driving are continuously changing as lawmakers take additional factors and public pressures into consideration. The uncertainty of these regulations — coupled with bold efforts from the insurance industry to limit liability — can leave injured car crash survivors at a loss when seeking medical and property-damage compensation. Fortunately, we’re here to help!
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, contact a personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Michael B. Brehne, P.A. right away for dependable legal counsel and representation you can trust. As one of Orlando’s leading personal injury law firms, we’ll use our extensive litigation experience and resources to fight fearlessly for the compensation you deserve.
Florida Distracted Driving Law
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Because Florida is a no-fault state, all parties involved in a car accident must seek compensation through their own PIP (personal injury protection) insurance provider — regardless of who was at fault — before filing any insurance appeals or personal injury lawsuits. In Florida, PIP benefits may cover up to:
- 80 percent of all medical bills (including out-of-pocket expenses);
- 60 percent of all lost wages (subject to a $10,000 limit); and
- $5,000 of total funeral and burial expenses.
Please note that insurees may only receive PIP benefits if they receive medical treatment for their injuries within 2 weeks of the date of the accident. In addition, if an insuree’s injuries do not qualify as an “emergency medical condition,” they may only receive up to $2,500 in total benefits. Florida law defines an emergency medical condition as an ailment that requires immediate medical attention and could reasonably be expected to result in serious jeopardy of a patients’ health.
To ensure you obtain maximum PIP compensation following an accident, keep the following guidelines in mind and contact our personal injury law firm for reliable legal counsel and representation.
- Keep all prescription receipts — your insurance provider will need these to determine your compensation amount.
- To receive compensation for lost wages, you must submit a wage and salary verification form, which your employer must complete and then submit to your insurance provider. Your attorney may deal directly with your employer and ensure the verification is filed with your insurance provider in a timely manner.
- If you expect to be out of work for an extended period of time, your doctor may also need to complete a disability form to be filed to your insurance provider.
- If undergoing an independent medical examination requested by an insurance company, do not sign any paperwork or discuss any legal matters with the doctor unless your lawyer has advised you to do so.
Unfortunately, Florida’s no-fault regulations and limited PIP coverage requirements have made it difficult for injured car crash victims to obtain fair compensation. In addition, most insurance companies try to limit how much compensation they award by tricking insurees into accepting unfair settlement offers or by categorizing their injuries as temporary or non-serious in nature.
The best way for injured car crash victims to obtain maximum compensation is to enlist the help of our experienced personal injury lawyers. We have ample experience helping clients get the compensation they deserve — we know how to negotiate and challenge insurance companies and are ready to take your case to court if necessary.
Filing A Personal Injury Lawsuit
Under most circumstances, Florida’s PIP rules and regulations protect at-fault drivers from lawsuits and other forms of legal action. However, car crash victims with serious and permanent injuries may still seek additional compensation by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Examples of eligible injuries include the following.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Permanent Scarring
- Spinal Cord Injuries
If you are unsure whether you can sue a distracted driver, or if you are unsure about how to do so, contact a personal injury lawyer to help you. While a lawyer is not required to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver, it is highly recommended in order to obtain maximum compensation.
Leveraging our extensive litigation and insurance dispute experiences, we can help you through every step of the lawsuit process including negotiating, collecting evidence, submitting the required paperwork, and representing you in court, all while ensuring your rights are protected and your needs are taken care of. Don’t wait to get back on your feet — contact us today to get the compensation you rightfully deserve!
What Counts As Distracted Driving?
In Florida, distracted driving may encompass a wide range of behaviors and actions that may be broadly classified into the following three categories. It’s important to remember that distracted driving may occur even when a driver has both hands on the steering wheel.
Manual distractions occur when drivers use their hands for something other than driving. Common examples include:
- Eating & Drinking
- Personal Grooming
- Adjusting The Radio
As their name suggests, visual distractions involve drivers looking at something other than the road. Common examples include:
- Reading Text Messages
- Viewing Phone Notifications
- Looking At A Map Or A GPS
- Checking The Backseat
- Watching Video Content
- Staring At Roadside Places & Events
Cognitive distractions can be more difficult to categorize and prove. They occur when drivers are mentally distracted even when their eyes are on the road and their hands are on the wheel. Common examples include:
- Focusing On A Phone Call
- Focusing On A Conversation
- Focusing On A Stressful Situation
- Daydreaming Or Zoning Out
What To Do After A Car Accident
While predicting a car accident may be impossible, knowing your rights and what to do following a car accident can go a long way in helping you during an emergency. The following includes the most important steps drivers should take in the event of a motorized crash incident.
- Check yourself and others for injuries. As soon as you regain your senses, check yourself first and then assist others with injuries — if you’re able to. Avoid moving anyone injured to prevent causing additional injuries and pain unless necessary. Remember, Florida law requires abled parties to assist others in need in the event of a car accident.
- Call the authorities. Regardless of the severity of the incident, contact the local authorities as soon as possible and request medical assistance for anyone injured. Police reports are often the most useful pieces of evidence when filing for compensation. Also, remember that PIP coverage will not cover your medical bills if you do not receive treatment within 14 days of the accident.
- Exchange basic information. In the event of a car accident, Florida law requires all drivers to exchange basic information, including insurance information.
- Gather evidence. If possible, record the details of the car accident by taking pictures of the crash scene and jotting down any details provided by the other drivers, passengers, and the authorities.
- Call your attorney. Contact your lawyer right away before giving any statements to yours, or to the other driver’s, insurance company. Your attorney can deal with the insurance company on your behalf so you don’t accidentally say the wrong thing or agree to accept an unfair settlement offer.