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Is Texting and Driving Illegal in Florida?

Manuel Belisario Bonet never got to finish his text message. The 29-year-old Tampa resident died in November following a single vehicle car crash in St. Petersburg. The incident occurred when Bonet was driving on Gandy Boulevard near the Gandy Bridge. He lost control of the car, slamming into a pine tree before being thrown from the vehicle.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers report that they found a cell phone with an incomplete text message inside of the car. This suggests that Bonet was trying to send a text message when he lost control of his vehicle. Florida is one of only a handful of states in which texting while driving is not yet illegal. There are a number of proposals before the state legislature to change the law, including one which would charge drivers who cause fatalities due to their texting with murder, however none have been passed as of yet.

While Florida law does not allow for specific charges to be filed in relation to texting while driving, it does allow for comparative negligence to be assessed. What this means is that if you were texting while driving and got into an accident, any award you might get could be reduced even if the accident was mostly not your fault. The theory is that by engaging in something which distracts you, you have contributed to your own injuries.

If you have been involved in a car accident here in the state of Florida, whether texting was involved or not, it is time to contact a car accident lawyer. An attorney can help you to file claims with the insurance company and fight for your rights under the law.

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