Tampa Car Accidents Involving Cell Phones
Texting and driving in Florida is prohibited and there are certain statutes that address Tampa car accidents involving cell phones. Distinguished car accident attorneys at Slater | Grant have seen that common accidents are being caused by people checking Facebook, texting, looking at YouTube videos, checking Instagram or taking selfies while driving. If you have suffered injuries due to another drivers illegal use of a cellphone, contact a car accident lawyer immediately to discuss the possibility of filing a claim for damages.
How do Cellphone Laws Apply to Novice Drivers?
Unfortunately, teenage drivers have grown up seeing his or her parents texting and checking Facebook while they are driving. Therefore, when a parent tells their child not to use their phone, they may not heed that caution.
Because novice drivers do not have considered experienced drivers, they may believe they can look down and play on their phone while maintaining control over the road. However, the reality is that most accidents can occur in the small time between glancing down at someone’s phone and looking back at the road.
That second it takes to look down at the phone and type a text message is a second that they do not have to react. If they do not have the necessary focus while operating a motor vehicle on the road, that in itself causes accidents.
Prohibitions for New Drivers
There are no prohibitions for new drivers relating to Tampa car accidents involving cell phones. There is nothing that an experienced driver can do with a cellphone as far as texting and driving, that a novice driver cannot do. In other words, both novice drivers and experienced drivers are prohibited from any phone-related activities while being behind the wheel.
Impact of a Cellphone in the Injury Claim
Driving while using a cell phone can impact the amount of potential fault that a plaintiff may be given by the jury. If a plaintiff was using a cell phone and that usage caused or helped contribute to the accident, then the defense will ask the jury to put a percentage of fault on the plaintiff. Any percentage of fault put on the plaintiff will reduce any damage award in proportion to that percent.
Collisions where Both Parties Used Cell Phones
Use of a cellphone by a defendant can increase the value of damages a plaintiff can receive. If he or she is distracted and they are not doing what they are supposed to do and they’re not paying attention, then those are all facts that the plaintiff can use to tell the jury why the accident was more hurtful or why it was more impactful. Cellphone use could potentially open the defendant up to punitive damages for a substantial amount of money.
Depending on the facts, Tampa car accidents involving cell phones by both parties could significantly limit the amount of damages the plaintiff can recover depending upon the percent of fault and the reasons why they were on their cellphone, meaning how them being on the cellphone contributed to the accident, if at all. It can open up the defendant to more exposure via punitive damages.