Staying in constant contact has become the default, instead of something only expected of medical professionals and others in emergency-related careers. Employers at businesses ranging from restaurants to retail shops often expect their staff members to answer their mobile phones and respond to emails or text messages within minutes.
Additionally, your friends, family members and romantic partner may also expect quick responses. Some people will take it personally if you don’t immediately respond to a message. Between the pressure from their employers and their loved ones, some people don’t feel like they can leave their phone alone while driving.
Unfortunately, distraction caused by mobile phones is responsible for a significant number of collisions in Florida every year. If you have been the victim of a crash caused by someone texting at the wheel, you may find yourself wondering if texting constitutes negligence. After all, you need to establish either negligence, strict liability or an intentional act, often wrongful, on the part of the other party if you want to bring a successful personal injury claim against them.
Most reasonable people would agree that distraction is negligent
When you have direct control over a vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds, you have the potential to cause life-altering, even fatal, injuries to other people. You must take that risk seriously and do your best to remain alert and safe at the wheel.
When attempting to prove negligence in a court case, the standard is to explore whether a reasonable person would behave in the same manner in the same situation. Regardless of how prevalent texting while driving has become, most people readily acknowledge that it is dangerous to do. In other words, members of a jury or the judge presiding over a case will likely agree with the assertion that choosing to read or compose a text message while driving constitutes dangerous negligence.
In Florida, texting at the wheel is also an intentional wrongful act
In the event that people didn’t agree with the assertion that texting while driving is negligent, there is no question that using your hands to type a text message, dial a phone number or post something to social media while driving violates Florida state code.
That means that as long as you can demonstrate through records from the mobile phone company, statements made by the other driver, testimony from witnesses, security or traffic camera footage that the other driver had a phone in their hands at the time of the crash, you likely have grounds for a personal injury claim against that driver. You can seek compensation for your medical costs, your lost wages and the other consequences their negligent behavior has had on your life.