Distracted Driving Accidents

Car Crash Lawyer Advocating for Residents of Greater New York

In the spring of 2017, the Governor of New York announced that there would be a crackdown on distracted driving across the state. Distracted driving occurs when a driver is drawn to something other than the road and its surroundings. These days, it often includes talking on the phone or texting while driving. However, it can also include instances when a driver is putting on makeup, eating, reading, writing, talking to passengers, rubbernecking, or using a GPS navigation system. Looking away from the road at something else can be extremely dangerous and result in catastrophic injuries or even death to someone else. If you are seriously injured in this type of crash, you should retain Rockland County distracted driving accident lawyer Valerie J. Crown to bring a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. She provides each client with personal attention, making herself available on her cell phone 24/7. Our staff takes satisfaction from helping victims move forward from devastating accidents and holding accountable those who have harmed them.

Claims Based on Distracted Driving Accidents

New York follows a no-fault system, such that regardless of fault, you turn to your own insurer for economic losses after suffering injuries in a car accident. Your insurer is usually supposed to pay up to $50,000 in basic economic expenses like hospital bills, lost wages, ambulance bills, prescription drugs, diagnostic tests and imaging, and physical therapy. There is no compensation for pain and suffering in ordinary cases. However, if you suffer serious injuries, you can sue for pain and suffering and other noneconomic losses.

In most cases, to recover damages following a car or truck accident, you will need to show the distracted driver's negligence. You will need to prove that the other driver owed you a duty, breached that duty, caused your injuries, and caused you to suffer actual damages. In most cases, if a driver was distracted while driving, they have breached the duty to use reasonable care. Whether the driver was writing a text message or eating an ice cream, their attention was diverted from the road, thereby increasing the likelihood of getting into an accident that could hurt others. A distracted driving accident attorney in Rockland County or beyond can help you gather evidence to prove that a driver was distracted.

It may be possible for someone who is injured to recover compensation under the doctrine of negligence per se if the defendant was texting while driving. In New York, it is prohibited to hold a portable electronic device, talk on a portable electronic device, compose or send messages in the form of emails or texts, play electronic games, or take photographs while driving. Portable electronic devices can include mobile telephones, personal digital assistants, laptops, electronic games, pagers, two-way messaging devices, and broadband personal communication devices. There are certain exceptions, such as when the purpose of the call is to make an emergency call to the police or fire department.

Negligence per se can be used by an injured plaintiff if they can show certain elements:

  • The defendant violated a safety statute or regulation;
  • The statute or regulation was designed to protect a class of people from harm;
  • The plaintiff was in that class; and
  • The defendant's actions caused the sort of injury from which the statute was supposed to protect the plaintiff.

A Rockland County distracted driving accident attorney may be able to shift the focus of a personal injury case to damages and away from liability if they can show that negligence per se applies. It can help to establish negligence per se if the defendant received a citation for violating a safety statute or regulation. This makes it important to call the police to the scene of an accident so that a citation can be issued as appropriate and so that the police report can include a reference to the violation. If you are able to establish liability, you may be able to recover compensatory damages, such as pain and suffering, through a verdict or settlement.

Consult a Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer in Rockland County

You may be able to recover damages if you are hurt in a distracted driving accident that was somebody else's fault. Call the law firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C. Our firm can provide personalized attention that you would not receive from a large corporate firm. You can call our office at 845-708-5900 or call Valerie’s cell phone at 845-598-8253 at any hour of day or night. We can also be reached online. We provide representation to car crash victims in Rockland, Westchester, Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange Counties, and New York City as well as to people who have been hurt in falls or other accidents.