Texting Liability in Florida
Who is Responsible for Texting that Causes an Accident?
Driving while distracted is a form of negligence that contributes to thousands of injuries each year. Motorists who carelessly send and read texts while driving can be held accountable for the damages they cause. Recently, an appellate court in New Jersey determined that people who send texts to drivers could be held responsible as well, if the driver causes a crash while reading the message.
At Farah & Farah, our Jacksonville car accident lawyers represent people who have been injured due to the negligence of another motorist, particularly if that other motorist was driving while texting or using their phone in some way. Distracted driving due to phone use can take on a variety of forms, so it’s important that you compile as many details as possible about your accident to help strengthen any case you may bring against the other party. If you’ve been involved in a texting while driving accident, you might want to try figuring out answers to the following questions:
- At the time of the accident, was the other driver paying attention to the road or looking at a cell phone?
- Was the other driving talking on their cell phone when the accident occurred?
- Did it look like the driver might be texting before they hit me?
In all cases involving cell phone use and car accidents, distraction plays a significant factor. For example, in September 2009, a teenage boy crashed his pickup truck into a motorcycle that was carrying a couple. Moments before the crash, the boy received a text from a teenage girl, which is why officials said he was distracted at the time of the collision. The victims of the crash suffered major leg injuries, and they decided to file a claim not only against the teen driver, but also against the girl who sent the text that led to the distraction. In the first ruling of its kind, the judge decided that the girl could not have known that the driver was on the roadway, but that people sending text messages do have a duty to not text someone who they know is driving.
Regardless of what the details of your car accident case might be, it’s important to discuss what you remember as soon as possible with a car accident lawyer who can properly guide you and your case. To receive immediate assistance from the car accident lawyers at Farah & Farah, please contact our office for a free consultation.
When You Can Text
If you are driving, it is vital that you avoid checking your phone until you are at a complete stop. Distracting driving is a serious problem that can have devastating consequences. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 171.3 billion texts are sent in the United States every month. Furthermore, 3,328 traffic deaths in the year 2012 were caused by distracted drivers.
Drivers have been liable for the damages they cause while texting for many years now. The recent texting case in New Jersey, however, could affect whether or not text senders can be held accountable for collisions, as well. The appeals court did not hold the text sender liable for the accident in question, but the court’s decision did establish a precedent for when a text sender could be held accountable.
Holding Text Senders Accountable in Florida
If you have suffered an injury because of a distracted driver, you have the right to file an injury claim to recover losses. As long as you can prove that the driver’s negligence contributed to the crash, you should be able to seek support for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, the cost of rehabilitation services and a number of other related damages.
To increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for your losses, it may be in your best interest to file a claim against other potentially liable parties, as well. For example, it may be advisable to file a claim against the text sender if you can prove:
- The text sender knew the recipient was driving
- The sender had reason to believe that the driver would read the message while on the roadway
It is the responsibility of all drivers to behave in a reasonably safe manner. It is within the right of all injured victims to pursue compensation from whoever is responsible for their suffering. An experienced Jacksonville injury lawyer at Farah & Farah will be able to analyze all these different aspects of a case and ensure that the negligent parties are held accountable. Call (904) 263-4610 to speak with a legal professional about your claim.