Distracted driving accidents are one of the most common crash types. In 2016, distracted driving took 3,450 lives in the United States. Drivers who text, eat, and drink behind the wheel put everyone’s lives in danger. The damage to your vehicle because of a distracted driver could be costly, while personal injuries can take a long time to heal.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a collision caused by a negligent driver, contact a qualified Long Island distracted driving accident lawyer at Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP, to discuss your case.
Why Hire Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP for Your Distracted Driving Accident Claim?
Car accident claims can get quite complex at times. Here are just some of the reasons why clients come to us for representation:
- We have represented New York personal injury clients since 1996.
- We use highly-trained and dedicated attorneys and support staff.
- We have the financial capacity to pay the price of litigation and increase the odds of recovery.
- We have long-standing relationships with members in the medical community on distracted driving cases.
- We are thorough, diligent, and pay attention to detail.
Above are just some of the reasons why you should trust a Long Island car accident lawyer at our firm to handle your case. Learn more by scheduling a free consultation today at (631) 451-7900.
Compensation for Distracted Driving Accident Victims
As the victim of a distracted driving accident, you may be eligible for compensation. New York civil laws give crash victims the ability to seek financial recovery for their damages following a car accident. New York is a no-fault state, meaning you will seek initial recovery from your own insurance company, even if a distracted driver caused your accident. If your insurance company accepts your claim, you could receive compensation from your personal injury protection or other coverage.
- You could receive medical bill reimbursement. This can include payments for your past and future hospital stays, surgeries, treatments, medications, medical devices, live-in care, and other accident-related medical expenses.
- You could receive compensation to repair or replace your vehicle. You could receive compensation for the value of your vehicle (if the accident totaled it) or the price of repairs, based on a mechanic’s estimate.
- You could receive compensation for lost wages. If you had to miss work, lose wages, or use vacation time because of your distracted driving accident, you could qualify for reimbursement of your lost income.
You may step outside the no-fault insurance system if you suffered serious injuries, such as significant disfigurement, broken bones, permanent disability, or long-term limited use of a body organ, member, function, or system. In these cases, you could file a personal injury claim against the distracted driver who caused your accident. You may qualify for additional compensation if you win your case.
- You may receive compensation for your pain and suffering. The New York courts permit recovery for physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish after a serious car accident. These intangible losses could extend for a victim’s lifetime, and the victim could be eligible for financial compensation accordingly.
- You may receive compensation for other non-economic damages. Additional non-economic damages that may be available with a third-party lawsuit include lost future earning capacity, lost quality of life, lost enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and loss of a loved one’s companionship, love, support, and guidance (for wrongful death claim).
- You may receive compensation for punitive damages. The courts may award additional punitive damages to punish a distracted driver for his or her wanton disregard for the safety of others. Punitive damages serve to provide further compensation for a seriously injured victim, and/or to punish the defendant for his or her misconduct.
A skilled Long Island distracted driving accident lawyer at Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP, can estimate the value of your specific distracted driving accident case. We have the experience and resources to obtain fair compensation for our clients after devastating auto accidents. A free consultation about your case could give you an idea about your options.
Time Limits for Filing a Distracted Driving Accident Claim in New York
Call your car insurance company and report the distracted driving accident as soon as possible after the crash. Most insurance companies have a rule in place that requires claimants to call and file as soon as they are able. Waiting too long could give your insurance company cause to deny your claim. If your injuries are serious and you wish to file a third-party claim or personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault distracted driver, abide by New York’s statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations, or deadline for filing a personal injury claim in New York, is three years from the date of the injury. This may correspond with the date of the car accident, or it may be a later date if you discover your injuries after the fact. If you suffered a traumatic brain injury with delayed symptoms, for example, you would have three years from the date of your diagnosis rather than the date of the collision.
Property-damage-only claims also come with three-year statutes of limitations in New York. If you lost a loved one in a distracted driving accident, you have two years from the date of his or her death to file a wrongful death claim in New York. A wrongful death claim could result in similar compensation as a personal injury claim, in addition to unique damages for surviving family members.
If the distracted driver in your case was a government employee, the federal employer may be your defendant in a personal injury case. In this situation, you would have a shorter time limit to file a personal injury claim: 90 days. Pay attention to your time limit for filing a distracted driving accident claim in New York, as missing your deadline most often results in losing your right to file. Speak with a Long Island distracted driving accident attorney to learn more information about your specific deadline.
Types of Distracted Driving
Many forms of distracted driving exist. Anything that removes a driver’s attention from the driving task could qualify as a form of distraction. This includes passengers, food and drink, personal grooming, GPS devices, radios, exterior distractions, and mental distractions. Today, cell phones are the most frequent cause of distracted driving accidents. Cell phones are so dangerous to drivers because they fulfill all three types of distracted driving, manual, visual, and cognitive.
- A driver needs both hands on the wheel to properly react to changing roadway situations. A manual distraction is anything that removes one or both of the driver’s hands from the wheel. They can include getting something from the passenger seat, fiddling with the radio, or holding a cell phone.
- Keeping both eyes on the road always is imperative for fast reaction times and the ability to prevent a collision. A visual distraction takes the driver’s eyes away from the road. Looking at passengers, electronic devices, or at roadside distractions such as a car accident or billboard could all cause an accident.
- A driver’s mind should always be on the task of operating the vehicle. Thinking about something else could delay reaction times and impair judgment. Cognitive distractions include ongoing or past conversations, emotions such as road rage, drowsy driving, or preoccupation with personal issues.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that reading or sending a single text message at 55 miles per hour removes a driver’s eyes from the road long enough to equal crossing a football field blindfolded. Cell phone use while driving has become such a pervasive problem that most states – New York included – have passed distracted driving laws specifically regarding talking and texting on an electronic device. Breaking the state’s cell phone laws and causing a distracted driving accident is negligence and may make the at-fault driver liable for damages.
New York Distracted Driving Laws
New York has several laws in place to help prevent distracted driving. The most prominent are the state’s mobile phone and portable electronic device laws. It is against the law for any driver to use a portable electronic device behind the wheel to talk, text, view or take photos, or play games. This includes composing and reading electronic data (such as texts, emails, or web pages), transmitting images, and talking on a handheld mobile phone.
Texting while driving is illegal for drivers of all ages in New York. Commercial drivers cannot make phone calls or interact with portable electronic devices at all while driving. The exceptions to New York’s cell phone laws include using a hands-free device, using a handheld device affixed to the vehicle, or using a phone to contact authorities in an emergency. The state’s cell phone laws are primary, meaning law enforcement does not need another reason to conduct a traffic stop.
Breaking the state’s distracted driving laws can result in five points on the driver’s license, as well as a fine that reflects the number of violations on the driver’s record. First offenses result in fines of $50 to $200. Second offenses within 18 months can yield fines of up to $250. Stricter penalties apply to learner’s permit drivers, who may face a 120-day license suspension. Subsequent convictions for novice drivers within six months will result in at least one year of license revocation.
If someone breaks the state’s distracted driving laws and causes a car accident, that person may be liable for damages. A personal injury claim for serious injuries could result in the at-fault driver’s insurance company compensating victims for their losses. Hiring an aggressive Long Island distracted driving accident lawyer can help crash victims go up against insurance agents and fight for fair compensation.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with a Long Island Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
The lawyers at Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP can help you after a distracted driving accident in Long Island, New York. We understand the related laws and have experience negotiating fair settlements with insurance companies. Our attorneys care about our clients and are committed to claim success. If a distracted driver caused your recent accident, serious personal injuries, or the death of a loved one, contact us for a free consultation. We can let you know if your case has merit and what it may be worth. Call (631) 451-7900 to request your case review today.