Distracted and careless driving causes many accidents every year in Florida. Over 48,000 distracted driving crashes were reported in 2020. Of these reported accidents, there were 308 fatalities and over 2,700 serious bodily injuries. There are severe penalties for being careless behind the wheel. Anyone that faces these charges may also encounter a lawsuit for injuring another driver behind the wheel due to their negligent acts.
If you have experienced injuries in a Florida car crash due to another’s wrongdoing, you have the right to file a claim against the parties responsible. At Marsalisi Law, our legal team offers professional legal advice and representation in personal injury cases. Continue reading to discover more about careless driving in Florida and how an attorney can help you after an accident.
What Is Considered Careless Driving?
Careless driving under Florida law describes the lack of regard for safe driving and the act of disobeying the law by not obeying traffic rules and regulations. Many circumstances can result in a driver receiving a citation for careless driving, even if there is no evident damage, accident, or injury involved as a result of driving carelessly. If law enforcement determines you have failed to drive in a manner with regard to safety and to follow the law, you may face penalties.
Florida Statute 316.1925 states that careless driving constitutes as:
“Any person operating a vehicle upon the streets or highways within the state shall drive the same in a careful and prudent manner, having regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and all other attendant circumstances, so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person. Failure to drive in such manner shall constitute careless driving and a violation of this section.”
When carelessness behind the wheel results in damage to another vehicle or property and causes serious bodily injury, the person at fault is held responsible for their actions in the accident. Careless drivers are often using their phones, disobeying traffic laws, not paying attention, and operating a motor vehicle while distracted. These actions lead to many accidents with other drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and motorcycles.
Aggressive Careless Driving
Aggressive careless driving is also defined in Florida law but relates to driving carelessly and disobeying the law. Being aggressive behind the wheel is very dangerous and can easily lead to an accident on the road.
Under Florida Statute 316.1923, aggressive careless driving entails committing two or more of the following actions:
- Driving over the speed limit;
- Changing lanes incorrectly or when it is not safe to do so;
- Following other vehicles too closely;
- Failing to yield to the right of way;
- Improper passing;
- Violation of traffic control and devices.
Aggressive driving remains a significant emphasis of Florida’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan, which works to enforce the laws and penalties for disobeying rules behind the wheel in an effort to make streets and traffic safer. It is important to note that although careless and aggressively careless driving may lead to many accidents, these also differ from reckless driving.
How Does Careless Driving Differ from Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving entails driving under the influence, excessive speeding, fleeing from law enforcement, and more erratic behavior while driving. You can face charges for reckless driving when you have broken the law, endangered others within your surroundings, and increased the risk of death, bodily harm, and property damage while you were behind the wheel of a car.
Florida Statute 316.192 states that reckless driving is
“Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving…Fleeing a law enforcement officer in a motor vehicle is reckless driving per se…”
There are severe consequences for reckless driving, including financial penalties and jail time, depending on how many offenses and damage result from your driving. Anyone facing reckless driving charges that have caused bodily injury to another while behind the wheel can face a lawsuit with enhanced punitive damages according to the law.
What to Do After an Accident with a Careless Driver
If you have been involved in an accident at the expense of another’s carelessness behind the wheel, you have the legal right to file a personal injury claim against the driver at fault. It can be frightening and worrisome to pursue compensation against the party responsible for your injuries. However, you will feel at ease with a skilled legal team and an expert car accident lawyer.
After an accident, injured individuals should not postpone getting treatment. No matter what the damage looks like on your vehicle, get checked out by a physician as soon as possible after an accident. Often, many people avoid getting an evaluation and later discover injuries resulting from their accident. Seeking medical help after being in a car crash helps ensure that you are evaluated and treated right away. With the help of an attorney, you can gather all the information needed for your claim.
Call Marsalisi Law for a St. Petersburg Car Accident Attorney
At Marsalisi Law, our legal team is dedicated to helping our clients and providing the best legal representation in any case. If you have experienced injuries in a car crash due to another’s careless driving or even reckless driving, you have the right to file a personal injury claim and pursue compensation for damages and costs. Attorney Frank P. Marsalisi is committed to our client’s rights. Fill out our contact form or give us a call at (727) 800-5052 to speak with our legal team and schedule a free consultation.
Marsalisi Law is Where Law Gets Personal!