If a distracted driver caused your texting behind the wheel accident on Long Island, you may hold them legally responsible for your medical bills and other financial losses.
New York has complex car insurance laws and requires all drivers to carry no-fault insurance. However, those with serious injuries can often pursue damages from the at-fault driver in addition to the basic coverage their no-fault policy provides.
Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP provides free case consultations for those hurt in crashes caused by texting drivers. We also offer our services on a contingency-fee basis, so we only receive a payment if you do. Our Long Island car crash lawyers know how to build a strong case and recover compensation for your serious injuries. Contact us today to learn more.
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For a free legal consultation with a texting behind the wheel accidents lawyer serving Long Island, call 631-239-3965
Texting and Driving Causes Thousands of Deaths in the U.S. Each Year
Nationwide, 3,142 people died in distracted driving crashes in 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The agency calls texting behind the wheel “the most alarming distraction.”
Reading, typing, and sending a text takes your mind and eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel. At 55 miles per hour, you travel the length of a football field every five seconds. This is a lot of time to focus on something that is not the road in front of you. This is why many states, including New York State, work hard to reduce the rate of texting and driving.
According to the NY Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, the state’s “Operation Hang Up,” a crackdown on cellphone use by drivers through patrols and checkpoints, resulted in more than 16,000 citations and more than 2,000 for distracted driving alone.
Long Island Texting Behind the Wheel Accidents Lawyer
Handheld Cell Phone Use Is Illegal in New York, Including Texting and Driving
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), New York has long been a leader in banning cell phone use by drivers. It was the first state to ban all handheld telephone use by drivers in 2001. Today, it is one of 30 states that prohibits all handheld electronic device use by drivers. It is a primary enforcement law, meaning police officers can stop and cite drivers for this reason alone.
New York is also one of 48 states to ban texting while driving. This is also a primary enforcement law in New York.
How a Texting Behind the Wheel Collision on Long Island Happens
Texting and other distractions can cause a crash in many ways. Drivers looking at their phones may:
- Cross over the centerline
- Run off the road and overcorrect
- Drift into an adjacent lane
- Fail to stop for traffic, red lights, or stop signs
- Fail to yield when necessary or required
Some of these collisions are head-on or side-impact crashes, which frequently lead to severe injuries. These impacts are especially dangerous because:
- Head-on collisions at high speed exponentially increase the forces the occupants of each car experience.
- Side-impact, or T-bone, crashes involve the area of the car with the fewest features to protect the occupants, particularly when the front of one vehicle hits the door of another.
Common Injuries Victims Suffer in a Texting Behind the Wheel Accident
Different injuries suffered in a texting and driving crash could include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Neck and back injuries, with or without paralysis
- Loss of use of a limb
- Fractures and broken bones
- Internal injuries and lasting organ damage
- Other long-term injuries
Damages You Can Secure in Car Crash Claim on Long Island
When the victim in a texting and driving collision suffers serious injuries, they can pursue a fault-based claim. This is possible anytime their injuries meet the state’s definition of “serious,” or their expenses exceed their no-fault insurance coverage.
The compensation recoverable in these claims or lawsuits includes:
- Medical bills not covered by their personal injury protection (PIP) policy
- Future care expenses, usually estimated by experts
- Lost income and benefits
- Diminished earning capacity
- Miscellaneous related expenses
- Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering
Our attorneys also represent families in wrongful death actions. If your loved one died in a texting and driving crash on Long Island, we may be able to help. Special laws cover these cases, limiting who can act, who receives compensation from a settlement or verdict, and the types of damages available.
Our attorneys know how to work within these laws to seek and recover money to help our clients:
- Pay outstanding medical bills
- Cover funeral and burial costs
- Make up for lost income
- Provide for their intangible losses
We offer free consultations for families if their loved one suffered catastrophic injuries or passed away from a collision in Nassau or Suffolk County. Our attorneys may help you get justice for your family.
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Exploring Your Options for Damages After a Texting and Driving Collision
In general, your options for seeking compensation after any collision on Long Island depend on your injuries and medical treatment. This is because New York requires no- fault insurance, and you must first turn to that policy to cover your expenses of basic economic loss.
This PIP policy provides benefits for a crash victim’s basic expenses and losses, such as:
- Related medical expenses up to the policy’s limit
- A portion of your income losses due to the collision
- Other related expenses, with limits
Many victims find that their treatment costs quickly exceed the limits of this policy’s basic coverage. Our team may be able to help you file your PIP claim and explore additional options. Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP’s traffic collision attorneys have represented clients hurt on Long Island since 1982. We know how to determine your legal options and pursue compensation on your behalf.
Fault-Based Claim and Lawsuits
According to the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), there are several scenarios when a crash victim might be able to pursue a fault-based claim or lawsuit.
- Their medical expenses exceed their PIP coverage; or
- They suffer injuries that fit the description of serious under ISC § 5102
New York law defines “serious” injuries as those that cause:
- Dismemberment or loss of use of a significant body part
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- Loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system
- Permanent, consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of use of a body function of system
- Death or catastrophic injuries
- Any injury that prevents working and engaging in normal activities for at least 90 of the first 180 days after a crash
Anytime a victim suffers “serious” injuries, they can seek non-economic damages in a fault-based claim. This is true regardless of their medical expenses or other losses. Unless they meet this criteria or another exception to the law, pain and suffering damages are not available.
Our team can help you evaluate whether you may be able to pursue a fault-based claim and pain and suffering damages during your initial case review. We know what it takes to meet exceptions to this law and how to help our clients show they meet them.
How Will Our Car Crash Attorney on Long Island Can Handle Your Case?
At Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP, we handle all parts of pursuing legal action for you, take care of your claim, and fight for the compensation you deserve while you focus on healing from your injuries. You are not in this alone.
Our team can use the evidence we gathered to support your auto insurance claim. We contact the texting driver’s insurer and demand, usually via letter, a payout that fairly compensates you for your damages.
They generally extend a lower counter-offer, beginning the settlement negotiations process, which typically entails:
- Several rounds of back-and-forth negotiations
- Presenting evidence and documentation as needed
- Drafting the paperwork following a tentative agreement
- Having you sign that you will not pursue future compensation in the case in exchange for your payout
If We Need to Sue for Your Texting Behind the Wheel Accident Case
When we need to sue, it is often because of the specific circumstances of the case. The insurer denies the claim, does not agree to a fair settlement, the deadline is near, or there is another reason why our lawyers believe it is best. If we believe a lawsuit is necessary in your case, we can discuss the process and what to expect with you in detail.
Most lawsuits do not go to trial. We continue to negotiate with the insurance company, at-fault driver, and their legal team during this time. We may agree on a settlement amount or settle during mediation, which courts often encourage before setting a trial date.
How Quickly Do You Need to Explore Your Options for Collision Compensation?
You should consider your legal options for compensation as soon as your injuries are stable and you have a plan for treatment and rehabilitation. In some cases, you may receive medical bills and have to pay other expenses while you are still in the hospital.
Your missed income may begin as soon as you miss work unless you have paid time off or sick leave that can help.
You will want compensation from your case as soon as possible, so it makes sense to think about it and act as soon as your injuries allow. While quick action does not guarantee a quick resolution to your case or a financial recovery, it can help our team of attorneys build a stronger case.
Promptly Accessing Evidence of the Crash on Long Island
Evidence often disappears in car crash cases. The sooner we get to work, the more evidence that is available.
Examples of this lost evidence could include:
- Marks on the street from braking and impact wash away with rain
- Local businesses record over video of a crash
- Crews remove hazards such as overgrown hedges or clogged drains
- Witnesses move or change their phone numbers and cannot give a statement
We begin to lose evidence as soon as the tow trucks pull the vehicles from the crash scene. The sooner we can begin gathering evidence, the stronger the case may be against the at-fault driver.
Complying With New York’s Statute of Limitations
There is also another reason why you should let us know about your case quickly.
Under CPLR § 214, you generally only have three years from the day of the crash to file a civil lawsuit to hold the texting driver accountable. In some cases, you could have an even shorter filing deadline, such as if a municipality or state agency is legally liable for the collision. Wrongful death lawsuits may also have shorter deadlines, per EPTL § 5-4.1.
We need time to build a strong argument, determine the estimated settlement value of your claim, demand compensation from the insurer, and take other steps before we file the complaint and begin a lawsuit.
If you wait too long to contact our firm, we may risk missing the applicable deadline. In that case, you may have to cover the costs of your accident-related losses instead of the liable party.
Speak to a Team Member About Your Collision Injuries on Long Island Today
The Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP injury law team provides free case reviews for those injured in texting and driving crashes on Long Island. You can discuss your rights and options with a texting behind the wheel lawyer at no cost to you or your family. We know how difficult it can be to file your claims or take other steps to recover the damages you need following a serious injury crash. Our firm can help. We can speak with you in English or Spanish.
Contact us online or by calling our office today at (631) 994-1910.