How Much Does A Texting Ticket Cost in Florida

Florida’s Wireless Communications While Driving Law took effect on July 1, 2019. Florida Statute §316.305 makes it illegal for anyone to text while driving. Police officers may now pull a driver over and issue a traffic ticket for texting while driving.

What is the Penalty for Texting While Driving in Florida?

According to the statute, texting while driving is a non-moving traffic violation. The base fine for a first offense is $30, plus court fees and costs. There are no points assessed for the first offense.

A second offense of texting while driving carries a base fine of $60, plus court costs and other fees. Three points are assessed against the person’s driver’s license. 

There are only a few exceptions to the ban on texting while driving in Florida for emergencies.

A traffic ticket is not the only penalty that a driver might face for texting while driving. If a driver causes a car accident while texting and driving, the driver could also be responsible for damages caused by the car accident.

Distracted Driving Causes Thousands of Deaths and Injuries Each Year

Texting while driving is one of the worst forms of distracted driving. To text, a driver must take their eyes off the road. They must also use at least one hand to type. This combination of distractions can prove deadly.

In 2019, 3,142 people lost their lives because of distracted driving accidents nationwide. From 2012 to 2019, over 26,000 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers. 

The Distracted Driving Crash Dashboard from the FLHSMV reported that distracted driving caused 299 deaths and 2,747 serious injuries in Florida during 2020. Distracted driving accidents in Florida totaled a staggering 48,488 last year. 

A victim of a distracted driving accident may sustain numerous injuries, such as:

Some injuries caused by distracted drivers result in permanent disabilities. Innocent victims have their lives turned upside down. They may not be able to return to work, perform daily activities, or care for their basic needs.

Drivers who text while driving and cause accidents should be held liable for the damages they cause. Florida injury laws hold negligent drivers liable for causing serious injuries by allowing victims to seek compensation for their damages in a personal injury lawsuit.

Damages Caused by Texting and Driving in Florida

The types of damages caused by a driver who was texting and driving include:

  • The cost of diagnosing and treating accident injuries
  • The cost of personal care and in-home health care
  • Loss of salaries, benefits, wages, and other forms of income
  • Decrease in future earning potential
  • Physical pain and discomfort
  • Emotional and mental pain and suffering
  • Permanent disabilities, impairments, and disfigurement 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life and a decrease in the person’s quality of life
  • Psychological injuries, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD

Money cannot undo the damages caused by a distracted driver. However, a monetary award can help the accident victim pay for health care, personal care, and other needs. A large enough award may also deter the driver and other drivers from texting while driving. 

What Should You Do After a Car Accident Caused by a Distracted Driver?

Insurance laws in Florida can be confusing. Under the state’s no-fault insurance laws, your must first make a claim with your insurance provider under your PIP coverage to recover damages. If you sustained serious injuries in the accident, you might also be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver.  However, you must prove that your injuries meet the serious injury threshold and the other driver caused the crash.

A car accident attorney can assist with both hurdles. An attorney can review your case to determine if your injuries meet the serious injury threshold. Your lawyer also investigates the accident to determine how the crash occurred. 

While you continue to recover from your accident injuries, your lawyer gathers evidence and prepares a case against the other driver. Proving the other driver was texting while driving may not be sufficient to win your personal injury case. You must prove that the driver’s actions were the direct and proximate cause of the collision. Your attorney may retain experts to assist with the investigation, including accident reconstructionists.

The first step after a crash is to seek medical treatment and file your PIP claim. Then, seek legal advice before talking with the insurance company for the other driver. Make sure you know your legal rights before making decisions about your injury claim.