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Texting and Driving

Since cell phones hit the market they have become one of the most prolific pieces of technology in the United States, offering unparalleled communication in a very fast-paced society. Unfortunately, the convenience afforded by cell phones and smartphones accompanies some distressing trends.

Texting while driving has become a hot topic of public discussion due to the staggering number of injuries and deaths caused by texting and driving accidents. More than half of all road accidents in the U.S. involve cell phones and one out of every four car crashes in the U.S. are due to texting, so it’s important for Fort Lauderdale, Florida, drivers to understand the risks of texting and driving.

Understanding Distracted Driving

The term “distracted driving” may sound self-explanatory, but the real definition is more nuanced than you may expect. There are three types of distractions: visual, manual, and cognitive.

  • Visual distractions are anything that causes you to divert your eyes away from the road ahead. This could include turning to look at a roadside accident, looking at your navigation system or stereo, or using a smartphone.
  • Manual distractions include anything that causes you to move your hands away from the steering wheel (or shifter for manual transmission vehicles). This may include reaching for something inside the car or trying to type out a text message on a cell phone.
  • Cognitive distractions describe anything that causes a driver’s mind to wander away from the task at hand. This could include mulling over plans once you reach your destination, fretting about a stressful day at work, or any other stressors that divert your attention away from driving.

The reason that texting while driving is so dangerous is that it encompasses all three of these types of distraction: you must use your hands to operate the phone so at least one hand leaves its appropriate position, you must divert your eyes to the screen to read messages and type responses, and your attention turns to the text conversation and away from the road.

Building a Lawsuit

If you or a loved one suffers injuries and damages from a driver who was texting when he or she should have been paying attention to the road, it’s important to understand your rights and your options for legal recourse. Whenever a person harms another person in a car accident due to negligence, the subsequent lawsuit falls under the purview of personal injury law. The injured driver, or plaintiff, must prove that the at-fault driver, or defendant, was negligent. This requires showing the court that the defendant had a duty to act with reasonable care, violated that duty, and the plaintiff’s injuries and damages were the direct results of the defendant’s breach of duty.

Compensation in Personal Injury Cases

Plaintiffs can recover several types of compensation in most texting and driving cases. Once the plaintiff’s attorney proves the defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff can recover compensation for his or her medical expenses resulting from the accident including hospital bills, prescription costs, rehabilitation costs, any fees for subsequent surgeries or procedures, and emergency transportation costs. Plaintiffs can also recoup compensation for the pain and suffering caused by their injuries. The plaintiff’s attorney will call on expert witnesses to testify in court so the judge can award an appropriate amount.

Plaintiffs can also recover lost wages from the time they had to spend home from work due to their injuries. Additionally, if the plaintiff’s injuries prevent him or her from returning to work at all, the plaintiff may be able to secure compensation for the income he or she would have reasonably expected to earn in the future. Finally, plaintiffs can also recover compensation for any property damaged in the accident.

Texting and driving is never acceptable, no matter who is behind the wheel and how comfortable they are using their phones while driving. The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs believe in defending the rights of those who have suffered injuries and losses from the reckless actions of others. If a driver was texting behind the wheel and injured you or a loved one in Fort Lauderdale, Florida or the surrounding area, contact the Law Offices of David I. Fuchs to schedule a consultation about your case.

Types of Cases We Handle