Distracted Driving Car Accidents
Car accidents happen without warning–in the blink of an eye, as the expression goes. When a driver takes their eyes off the road for even a moment, your life can change forever.
Distracted driving is a form of driver negligence–in other words, it amounts to careless driving. Victims of distracted driving accidents, which are almost always preventable, have the right to fair financial compensation for the damage caused by these dangerous accidents.
At Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C., our personal injury lawyers help clients put their lives back together after a crash. If you or a loved one were hurt, call to speak with an experienced New York City car accident lawyer today.
Table of Contents
Why it’s Important to Hire a Lawyer if You Were Hurt by a Distracted Driver
Much of the technology designed to make our lives easier has actually made the roads more dangerous for drivers and passengers. While it seems clear that distracted driving is dangerous driving, it isn’t always easy to prove what caused an accident. When you’re seriously hurt, pursuing your right to compensation can be the most important way to protect yourself.
That makes it important to have someone who knows the system by your side. An experienced NYC personal injury attorney will fight to get a fair settlement or verdict to protect your future.
At Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C., we have over 40 years’ experience helping accident victims in NYC. It can be challenging to get the evidence you need to prove that driver distraction caused your crash. We know what it takes to succeed.
When you choose us to look out for your interests, we will put in the hard work needed to fully research your case. That includes:
- Subpoenaing cell phone records
- Locating video surveillance footage showing the accident
- Visiting the accident scene
- Working with experts in science, medicine and technology to build the strongest case possible
- Handling all negotiations with the insurance company so you don’t have to
- Building a case designed to win in court if necessary
Knowing that an accident could have been prevented by the simple use of a hands-free device can be difficult to swallow. You shouldn’t have to shoulder the financial burden after an accident because another driver didn’t keep their eyes on the road.
Our lawyers have already recovered millions for our clients over the years. Call our trusted personal injury attorneys to see how we can help in your case.
Distracted Driving is the Leading Cause of New York Motor Vehicle Accidents
Driver distraction is one of the leading causes of accidents nationwide. It is by far the most common cause of New York City car accidents in recent years. In June 2020, NYPD data reports that 2,127 motor vehicle accidents were caused by driver distraction or inattention (29% of all reported accidents).
In June 2019, when the city was not dealing with the aftermath of the global pandemic, driver distraction accounted for 6,245 accidents in the city (32% of all reported accidents).
By comparison, tailgating was the second-leading cause of NYC car accidents in both June 2019 and June 2020, causing 2,226 and 577 accidents, respectively.
Common Distractions Causing NYC Accidents
Distracted driving is dangerous at any speed. At higher speeds, it can be deadly.
CDC data shows that sending a single text takes the driver’s eyes off the road for an average of five seconds–the time it would take to travel an entire football field at 55mph.
Texting is, of course, not the only form of driver distraction. Common distractions for drivers include:
- Texting while driving
- Making a call using a hand-held cell phone
- Using GPS devices
- Playing games
- Scrolling through an electronic medium looking for music or videos
- Taking a photo or video
- Eating and drinking while driving
- Passenger negligence
- Talking to children or passengers
- Checking the weather or traffic reports
- Reaching something that fell between or behind the seats
- Using eBooks
- Personal grooming or changing clothes while driving
Texting while driving is perhaps the most dangerous form of driver distraction out there. There are three primary types of driver distraction:
- Cognitive distraction, which happens when a driver is mentally distracted and not focusing on the roads
- Visual distraction, which happens when the driver takes his or her eyes off the road
- Manual distraction, which happens when the driver takes his or her hands off the wheel
Texting involves all three forms of driver distraction. Not surprisingly, the legislature has taken action to prohibit texting and other cell phone use while driving.
New York Cell Phone Laws: It’s Illegal to Text While Driving
New York law limits the ability of drivers to use their smartphones and other electronic devices while driving. Like in most other states, it’s illegal under New York state law to hold a mobile device and:
- Talk on the phone while holding the device
- Compose, send, read, assess, browse, save or retrieve any electronic data, including e-mails, texts or websites
- View, take or send images
- Play games
In other words, a driver violates NYC traffic laws if they use their cell phones, or any portable electronic device, for anything while driving. The law applies even to people who only read a text while driving. Penalties for violations increased dramatically after 2014, as follows:
- First offense: a minimum $50 penalty and a maximum $200 penalty
- Second offense: between $50 and $250 in penalties
- Third (or subsequent) offense within 18 months: between $50 and $450 in penalties
Drivers cited for violating the New York cell phone law will also receive five points on their driving record (three points prior to June 1, 2013).
Distracted Drivers Cause Serious Injuries
The penalties for using a device while driving in New York are substantial for a reason.
Victims of serious motor vehicle accidents in New York City often sustain severe, sometimes life-changing, injuries.
Distracted driving accidents can cause:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Serious head and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Burn injuries
- Nerve damage
- Soft tissue injuries
- Organ damage
- Chest injuries
- Catastrophic injuries
- Wrongful death
Our lawyers have the skills to handle even the most complex injury cases. It’s easy to get help. If you were hurt in a New York distracted driving accident, call and set up a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer today.
Time Limits for Filing a New York City Distracted Driving Accident Lawsuit
Victims of NYC distracted driving accidents must file a lawsuit within three years after the accident happened. The time limit can’t be extended if your injuries are serious or if it’s hard to find out what caused the accident. That’s why it’s so important to call a lawyer quickly.
At Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C., our lawyers work quickly to evaluate your case and help you get fair compensation. Give us a call to learn more today.
New York Negligence Laws and Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is a form of negligence, which is the legal basis for a personal injury claim. To get compensation, you have to show that your claim satisfies the legal definition of negligence. That means proving:
- A duty of care existed (the duty is implied–all NYC drivers owe others a duty to drive carefully)
- The distraction amounted to a breach of that duty, meaning a mistake that a reasonable driver would not have made
- The breach caused the accident
- You suffered damages, or harm, as a result
Accident cases are always fact-intensive. Our lawyers know how to get the evidence you need to prove your case and get the money you need to move on.
Comparative Fault: What if the At-Fault Driver Blames You?
Distracted driving is the leading cause of NYC car crashes, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way accidents happen. Two parties can share in the responsibility. While this is true, insurance companies sometimes use the threat of shared fault to scare accident victims out of pursuing their right to fair compensation.
In New York, you can recover compensation for an accident even if you were partly to blame. If, for example, the other driver was distracted by texting, they might be responsible for 75% of the accident. If you were impaired driving, you might be responsible for 25%. Your compensation award would simply be reduced by your 25% of shared fault.
Of course, this is an overly-simplified example. In reality, apportioning fault is a complicated process and you need an experienced lawyer by your side.
Learn More About Getting Full & Fair Compensation for Your Injuries
New York personal injury law is designed to make accident victims “whole” again after an accident. That’s obviously impossible if you’ve suffered serious injuries–but it is your best option for holding the at-fault driver responsible.
- Hospital and ER room expenses
- Future and ongoing medical expenses
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Lost employment benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Property damage
- Damages for wrongful death in fatality cases
Our injury lawyers know how important it is to get a fair award if you’ve been seriously hurt in an accident. Contact our law firm today to learn more about what we’ll do to help.
Contact an Experienced NYC Auto Accident Lawyer for Help Today
At Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C., our lawyers offer a free case review so that we can discuss options in your case. We also work on a contingency basis. That means we only collect attorneys’ fees out of a verdict or settlement that we secure in your case. To learn more, call to speak with an experienced NYC distracted driving accident lawyer today.