Joe Osborne & Greg Francis, Personal Injury Lawyers & Founders of Osborne & Francis

Boca Raton Distracted Driving Lawyers

It’s easy to take operating a motor vehicle for granted. Millions of Americans drive a car every day, and using the roadways is so central to daily life that we often don’t even think about it. Despite this familiarity, car accidents are unfortunately common and often occur due to distracted drivers. On average, over 3,000 people are killed and nearly 425,000 are injured due to the actions of distracted drivers every year.

While some distractions on the roadways are inevitable, many are the fault of those behind the wheel. No matter what pulls a driver’s attention away from operating a vehicle, the consequences of their negligence can be permanent and devastating for those around them.

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed due to a distracted driver’s actions, don’t wait. Contact Osborne & Francis today to set up a free case consultation. Our experienced team of personal injury attorneys wants to help you get the justice and compensation you are owed. Contact our Boca Raton office or by calling us at 561-293-2600.

Video Transcript

So you've been in a car accident. What happens next? There are many things that you should do but here are the three most important:

Number One: See a doctor immediately. 

A broken bone is easy to see, but some injuries are not. The most common injuries from car accidents happen in the neck, back, or head. The only way to diagnose and treat them is by seeing a doctor. A doctor can help ease the pain, provide medication, reassure you of how your injury may impact your daily life, and tell you what not to do to make it worse.

A visit to the doctor can also give you legally protected time off to recover and rest your body after an accident, and it documents and provides the evidence you may need for your case. Even a five-mile-per-hour car accident can cause a serious injury. So whether you've had a severe accident or a minor collision, see a doctor. And if you don't have medical insurance, let us know and we'll make sure that you receive the proper care. 

Number Two: Write everything down.

Even if it seems small, during times of stress or injury it is common to forget the little details. Make sure you keep note of the pain that you're in. With neck, back, and head injuries, sometimes simple activities such as walking up the stairs or picking up a toddler may cause severe pain. 

You may not be sleeping well at night. Documenting how much you sleep and how often you wake up due to pain is also very important. And lastly, if you have any cuts or bruises, take daily photos as you heal. This will provide visual evidence of the injuries that you've suffered. 

Number Three: Do not speak to an insurance company until you've spoken to a lawyer.

Please understand that the insurance adjuster works for a billion-dollar corporation and not for you. Their interests are solely for their insurance company, and their goal is to provide you with the least amount of financial settlement as quickly as possible. When you do speak with them, remember they will record the conversation. Why do they do this? Because they've been trained to ask questions that may confuse you. So talk to us before you talk to them. 

So remember: See a doctor, document everything, and call us before calling the insurance company for your free private consultation. We are here for you. Real tough lawyers fighting real tough issues.

Florida Distracted Driving Laws

Much of Florida’s distracted driving law falls under existing personal injury law. However, in 2019, Florida passed a “Ban on Texting While Driving Law” that specifically pertains to the use of a cell phone behind the wheel. The law made texting while driving a primary offense, which allows police officers to pull over drivers exclusively for cell phone usage while driving. 

The Ban on Texting While Driving Law comes with penalties of its own in the form of minor fines and points added to a driver’s record. However, the penalties for injuring another person fall under the purview of other personal injury law and are treated the same in a civil case.

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Dangers of Distracted Driving in Orlando and Across Florida

Distracted driving kills Americans every day, and in the state of Florida, the chances of death due to distracted driving are substantially heightened. 514 Floridians were killed from 2019 to 2020 due to the actions of distracted drivers, putting Florida among the nation's highest rates of distracted drivers. 

While fatalities are indeed the worst outcome of distracted driving, injuries also shouldn’t be discounted. Injuries sustained in a car accident can last a lifetime, with the consequences potentially including disfigurement, loss of limb, permanent disability, and loss of income potential. These consequences are also life-altering circumstances and should be treated with the same seriousness as fatalities. 

Types of Distractions That Can Cause Car Accidents

Drivers can become distracted by any number of sources, but most distractions typically fall into one of the following three categories

Manual Distractions

Manual distractions include anything requiring a driver to take a hand, foot, or both away from the task of controlling their vehicle. Eating and drinking behind the wheel, changing clothes, or adjusting air conditioning or radio settings qualify under manual distractions. By having hands or feet otherwise occupied, a driver creates the possibility that they may not be able to react to split-second changes in the environment as needed. 

Visual Distractions

Visual distractions are any distractions that encourage drivers to direct their focus away from driving their own vehicle. Pets or other animals in the environment, other cars, flashy environmental features, and even children in the vehicle can all become visual distractions. Cell phones mounted on the dashboard can also create visual distractions, even if they are hands-free, as text, email, application, or call notifications may still be very visible. 

Visual distractions create the danger of a driver directing their focus away from driving. This phenomenon, sometimes known as “rubbernecking,” is one of the leading causes of distracted driving accidents.

Cognitive (Mental) Distractions

Cognitive distractions are distractions that compete for space with the task of handling a motor vehicle in the driver’s mind. Sometimes, cognitive distractions can be as simple as a driver being too focused on maintaining the correct route to their destination and not attending to their surroundings. Other cognitive distractions could include a heightened emotional state as the result of an argument or other emotionally intense experience. 

Whatever the cause of the distraction, cognitive distractions cause drivers to only devote a portion of their attention to the task at hand, which slows reaction times when the environment suddenly changes.

Proving Your Accident was Caused by a Distracted Driver

Unfortunately, one of the challenges of filing a claim of distracted driving lies in proving that the driver was distracted at the time of an accident. One of the best ways to start is to request a copy of the police report filed at the time of the accident. Though it may not always include the details of a distraction, it may contain a mention that lends credibility to your claim.

Most of the heavy lifting of proving a driver was distracted at the time of an accident will be handled by an attorney, though. Attorneys are able to request things like the at-fault party’s phone records, which can show that a driver was using their phone at the time an accident occurred. Evidence that a phone distracted a driver at the time of an accident is typically the most successful means of proving fault. Other methods can be more challenging to prove. 

C. Smith

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“I am so thankful for EVERYONE, the entire staff at Osborne & Francis Law, for mentoring me through the mediation process with my hip replacement failures. I didn't realize how MUCH pressure they relieved me of by helping me deal with the reality of this traumatic time in my life, as it was OVER so quickly with a positive result. My family is grateful to have their mom HAPPY & FOCUSED on the future, rather than worrying over what happened in the past! FAST FORWARD, we are LIVING LIFE to the fullest once again!”

E. Holland

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Dennis and the other Osborne & Francis staff were amazing! Our case was HUGE and required tender loving care. Everyone on our case did their part by putting all the puzzle pieces together. We were given step by step updates and put at ease when our nerves got the best of us. For every inquiry we made we received a timely response...You are appreciated!

T. Andrews

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“Attorneys Greg Francis and Ryan Fletcher at Osborne & Francis Law Firm represented me in my personal injury case.The defendant drew a line in the sand and was adamant on a settlement amount I was almost willing to accept. After the dust settled and the smoke cleared, we settled for 3 times that amount!!! When they say ‘Real Tough Lawyers,’ they mean it.”

J. Davis

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“I couldn’t have asked for a better lawyer/ firm — everything was done professionally exactly how I wanted. Due to COVID my personal attorney Mr. Garcia was still able to make things work in a timely manner and he never made me feel like he wasn’t working. Overall I’m happy with how my case turned out and I would recommend him and this law firm to anyone. 100% satisfied.”

Erica F.

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"Best personal injury attorney around, I could not be happier! I was seriously injured in a car accident and Osborne and Francis helped me through the entire process. I was blown away by how knowledgeable the staff and attorneys are at this incredible law firm. I would not hesitate to recommend this law firm to friends and family!"

Alfred

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Quick and fair resolution to a unique case. On advice of my own attorney, I engaged Joseph Osborne of Osborne & Francis of Boca Raton, FL. Mr. Osborne had considerable experience in cases such as mine and the results showed that. Mr. Osborne and his staff were very helpful, kept me up to date, and listened to my input. The settlement was very fair as far as I am concerned.

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Should I Hire a Lawyer for my Injuries Caused by a Distracted Driver?

Hiring an attorney is almost necessary if you intend to file a claim in a civil court. Personal injury law can be convoluted and difficult to navigate, and representing yourself without the experience and knowledge to do so will likely produce an unsatisfying result. A capable attorney will not only know how to pursue the correct legal pathway, but they will have the necessary experience to prove fault or distraction to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. 

Contact Osborne & Francis for a Free Case Evaluation 

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, there’s no time to delay. The sooner you approach a lawyer about your accident, the better your chance of success. Osborne & Francis have an experienced team of real tough lawyers that want to help you get compensation for the consequences of your accident. You can schedule a free case evaluation with Osborne and Francis today by contacting us online at our Boca Raton office or by calling us at 561-293-2600.

Frequently Asked Questions