Hollywood Distracted Driving Accidents
With beautiful beaches lining its coastal border and splendid inland scenery as well, a driver traveling through Hollywood, Florida, might find it difficult to keep their eyes on the road at times. Still, there is no excuse for distracted driving. This is especially true when the “distraction” is a cell phone or another electronic device. Still, about one in four car accidents these days is caused by a distracted driver. The Hollywood distracted driving accident lawyers at Cohn & Smith can help people who have been injured by a negligent driver who cared more about a text message, a phone call, or a tweet than about keeping a proper lookout for other vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.
Distracted drivers are everywhere, not just on city streets but also all along I-95, I-595, and Florida’s Turnpike. With the ever-growing popularity of smart phones, it seems that someone is texting, talking, or checking out their social media account everywhere you look. Although texting while driving is illegal in Florida, police are limited in their ability to enforce the law because it a “secondary” offense. An officer may only issue a citation for texting while driving if the driver is pulled over for a separate “primary” offense, like speeding or running a red light. This is unfortunate because, when a driver looks down to read a text message, their level of distraction is equivalent to driving the length of a football field with a blindfold on. A lot can happen in those critical seconds. A traffic light could change from green to yellow, a car traveling in front of the driver could slow down to make a turn, or a pedestrian could enter a crosswalk.Holding Distracted Drivers Accountable for Traffic Accidents
Civil lawsuits arising from distracted driving accidents are pursued under the same basic legal theory as other automobile accident cases: namely, negligence law. A distracted driving accident attorney can help Hollywood residents seek to prove the elements of this claim. A driver is said to be “negligent” when it can be proven that they failed to behave in a reasonably prudent manner, thereby injuring another person. The plaintiff has the burden of proof in a negligence lawsuit and must prove four separate elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Although the vast majority of car crash cases are settled out of court, a jury determines any disputed factual issues if the case does proceed to trial. A judge rules on the legal issues, including any dispute over whether there are genuine issues of material fact or whether the case may be decided as a matter of law.
Typically, one of the most hotly contested issues in a distracted driving case is the amount of damages to which the plaintiff (the injured person) is entitled. In deciding the appropriate amount of damages, the jury may consider the plaintiff’s past and future medical expenses, their lost wages and loss of future earning capacity (if the accident resulted in a permanent disability), pain and suffering, and other factors. In some cases, punitive damages may also be a possibility, although punitive damages are only available in extreme situations.Talk to a Knowledgeable Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer in Hollywood
The sooner that you talk to an attorney about your distracted driving accident case, the sooner that you can begin to get your life back on track. Unfortunately, many people try to represent themselves when dealing with the defendant’s insurance company, hoping for a quick and fair settlement. This tactic usually backfires, since it just proves to the insurance company that the injured person does not take the case seriously enough to obtain professional representation from a car accident lawyer. In the meantime, the insurance adjuster and others are busy gathering evidence that will be used against the plaintiff later. If you have been hurt by a careless driver, call the Hollywood distracted driving accident attorneys at Cohn & Smith today at 954-431-8100 or contact us online. We are committed to helping victims and their families.