In 2013, the Florida Legislature enacted Florida Statute § 316.305, which created penalties for drivers who are texting or reading text messages on phones while operating a motor vehicle. The statute calls for penalties in the form of fines for drivers caught texting after being stopped for a violation of another traffic law free project management software.
But, if you are injured by a driver who you suspect was texting, this statute doesn’t provide much recourse for you.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor vehicles, there were 1,958 accidents attributed directly to distracted drivers in Pinellas County in 2015. However, since the statute was enacted on October 1, 2013, there were only 91 texting citations issued in Pinellas County through the end of 2015! So, clearly, the texting statute is minimally used or effective to deter this behavior.
If you are injured and bring a civil case against the at-fault driver, you do have tools at your disposal to uncover whether the other driver was engaging in this bad behavior. You have the ability to subpoena that person’s phone records to reveal incoming and outgoing messages, including the times they were sent/received. The use of this discovery subpoena is effective and virtually impossible to defend against. So, regardless of the extent of your injury, encourage your lawyer to utilize this tool because it can make a huge difference in the case and to the jury.
While not every case ends in a lawsuit, sometimes it is necessary to file one. In cases where it is disputed as to who caused the accident, think about how powerful evidence that the other driver was texting or on the phone can be. These phone records can destroy the credibility of the other driver and can win the case for you. However, your lawyer needs to be aggressive and press the issue. We subpoena these records as a matter of course in every one of our lawsuits because the results can only help our claim. We take all of our lawsuits seriously and you can trust that we leave no stone unturned in order to help our clients.