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Everything You Need to Know About Florida’s Careless Driving Laws

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Navigating Florida’s roads can be a challenge, especially when faced with the legal complexities of careless driving laws. Careless driving in Florida is a common traffic offense, defined by the state’s statutes as driving in a manner that is careless or without regard for the safety of others. This might include behaviors such as speeding, weaving between lanes, or failing to yield. Understanding these laws is crucial for all drivers to ensure safety and compliance.

At McPherson & Thomas, we understand the impact of accidents caused by careless driving. Our firm is dedicated to helping you navigate the legal system if you have been injured by a careless driver, providing knowledgeable advice and representation. We are committed to offering personal service, ensuring your case is handled with the utmost care and attention. Let’s delve into the specifics of Florida’s careless driving laws and how they might affect you.

What Constitutes Careless Driving?

Careless driving in Florida is defined under Florida Statute 316.1925. According to this statute, a person is guilty of careless driving if they operate a vehicle in a manner that disregards the safety of people or property. This is a broad definition that can encompass a variety of driving behaviors. For instance, failing to maintain a single lane, tailgating, or speeding can all be considered careless driving if they endanger others.

The difference between careless driving and reckless driving is often misunderstood. While both involve unsafe driving, reckless driving requires proof of willful and wanton disregard for safety, which is a higher standard. Careless driving, on the other hand, does not require intent, only that the driver’s actions were unsafe. This distinction is important because it affects the severity of the penalties involved.

Penalties for careless driving in Florida can vary. Typically, a first offense is considered a non-criminal traffic infraction, punishable by a fine. However, if careless driving results in an accident causing injury or significant property damage, the penalties can be more severe, potentially including higher fines and points on the driver’s license.

How a Careless Driving Charge Impacts a Personal Injury Case 

While a traffic citation for careless driving is not admissible in a Florida personal injury trial as evidence of liability, it can play a significant role in the insurance company’s pre-lawsuit liability determinations. This can influence the settlement process and the overall outcome of your personal injury claim.

In a personal injury context, while the citation itself cannot be used as evidence, proving liability relies on physical evidence, testimony from the parties involved, independent witnesses, and possibly expert opinions. Ensuring all these aspects are thoroughly examined is critical to building a strong case.

How McPherson & Thomas Can Help You

At McPherson & Thomas, we are committed to providing personalized legal services to our clients. We understand each case is unique, and we tailor our approach to meet your specific needs. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and provide initial advice on how to proceed. 

With our extensive experience and dedication to personal service, you can trust McPherson & Thomas to handle your personal injury case with care and expertise. If you are hit by a driver who is charged with  careless driving in Florida, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Call us at (727) 848-8892 or visit our contact form to schedule your free consultation today.

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