Distracted drivers cause major accidents every day. Whether it is texting, talking on the cell phone or food, distractions can lead drivers to serious injuries, even death. Recently, a truck accident in New York involving numerous vehicles led to the death of one person and serious injuries for more than 30 individuals.
According to police, a semi-tractor trailer crashed into cars, causing a chain-reaction that involved more than 30 vehicles. According to reports, the truck was carrying debris from Hurricane Sandy when it rear-ended and plowed through vehicles. Police say that 33 people were injured as a result of the crash and were taken to a nearby hospital. One woman was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
Whether distracted driving played a role in this horrendous crash isn’t yet known. The investigation continues. But legal claims may still be made for injuries resulting from car accidents. A legal claim may allow the injured individuals to receive monetary damages for medical expenses, income loss and compensation for pain and suffering. Generally, those injured or their loved ones may bring a suit against the driver for being negligent. Negligence in a car accident case is defined as failing to use reasonable care when operating the vehicle in the circumstances.
To be successful, plaintiffs must prove that the driver failed to use reasonable care, that this negligence was the proximate cause of the accident and that the plaintiff’s injuries are a result of the accident. Courts may consider factors such as failing to follow traffic signs, failing to use car signals when turning and driving above or below to speed limit.
All drivers should strive to be attentive at all times. Cell phone calls, text messaging and other distractions should be avoided. While a legal claim may not take away the pain and suffering of those injured in a car accident, it may provide a sense of peace of mind for those concerned about the financial consequences of a car accident.
Source: CBS New York, “1 Dead, 33 Hurt in Multi-Vehicle Crash On Long Island expressway,” Dec. 19, 2012