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Recent Escambia County Court Order allows for punitives damages for smart phone just prior to wreck

Last week, an Escambia County Circuit Court Judge entered an order in a car wreck case permitting punitive damages against a driver who was using her cell phone at the time of the wreck. This particular driver testified that she was going 20 mph over the speed limit while using her smart phone to check Facebook, emails and text messages and that she never saw the Plaintiff prior to colliding with their car. Circuit Court Judge Ross Goodman found that these factors were sufficient to permit the plaintiff to amend their complaint to add a count for punitive damages against the defendant driver.

This is the first Escambia County order that Zarzaur Law, P.A. is aware of which permits a plaintiff to request punitive damages from a jury for the defendant’s use of a cell phone. Moral of this story is don’t speed and/or use your cell phone while driving. Zarzaur Law, P.A. has handled many cases where defendant drivers have been proven to be using their cell phones just prior to a wreck. In fact, studies suggest that driving while using a smart phone is as bad as driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

If you or a loved one has further questions about car wreck involving distracted drivers, please feel free to call on Zarzaur Law, P.A. at 855-hirejoe or on the web at