Distracted Driving in New York
Distracted driving accident lawyers in New York specialize in helping victims who are injured by another driver’s negligence. Each year, thousands of victims—both pedestrians and other drivers—who are injured by distracted drivers hire attorneys to help maximize compensation for their damages, pain, and suffering.
Who is at Fault in a Distracted Driving Accident?
In short, the distracted driver who causes a collision will likely be found to be the main cause of the accident.
The main goal of injured victims in these circumstances will be to prove in court that the guilty party was in fact displaying distracted behaviors, and that their own driving habits played little to no part in the accident.
What Counts as Distracted Driving in New York State?
The following behaviors fall under the “distracted while driving” category of negligence in New York State, according to the National Highway Safety Association:
- Talking and texting on the phone
- Talking to passengers
- Driving while drowsy
- Eating and/or drinking
- Applying makeup
- Adjusting the stereo, as well as any navigation or entertainment system
- Any other behavior that distracts a driver from driving safely, and results in causing an accident
NYS Distracted Driving Accident Statistics
According to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Distracted driving is the leading cause of all motor vehicle accidents in New York State
- 9% of all fatalities from motor vehicle accidents were caused by distracted drivers
- Drivers aged 15-19 are the most likely to cause accidents related to distracted driving
- Each year, an average of 600 pedestrians and bicyclists are killed in distracted driving accidents
- 25% of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes are adults aged 20–29
Injuries Covered in Distracted Driving Accident Lawsuits
Injuries from distracted driving accidents can cause serious and long-lasting injuries depending on the angles of collision, the types of automobiles involved, and the speed of impact. Some of the most common injuries sustained from accidents caused by distracted drivers include:
- Spinal Damage: from being hit from the side, front or back, which in severe cases can lead to broken vertebrae and paralysis
- Broken Bones: especially in the hands, wrists, and arms, as people instinctively hold them out after impact to stop their momentum. Serious collisions may result in fractured legs
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): most commonly caused by the forehead hitting the steering wheel
- Cuts and Lacerations: from broken glass and debris
- Bruises & Internal Bleeding: even when drivers and passengers are properly secured, they may suffer internal injuries—most frequently to their ribs, hips and back—after car collisions
Distracted Driving Accident Settlements in New York
Compensation for distracted driving accidents can vary dramatically based on accident details and the total costs incurred. New York’s auto insurance requirements already dictate that insurance companies must provide up to $25,000 per person for any bodily injuries, and $50,000 per person for any wrongful deaths.
Beyond these no-fault provisions, compensation from successful lawsuits can result in settlements many times larger than those offered by insurance. It is not unusual for results to compensate victims up to hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in New York.
Costs Covered by Distracted Driving Settlements
Upon a successful lawsuit’s conclusion, compensation from any type of accident that results in injury could cover a victim’s:
- Past and future medical expenses related to the accident
- Damages due to pain and suffering
- Damages due to loss of ability if the victim was paralyzed or permanently injured in some way
- Compensation for loss of income if the victim was unable to work
However, winning a settlement many times larger than an insurance company’s initial offer is often only possible if an accident victim files a lawsuit within New York’s statute of limitations for car and pedestrian accidents (typically three years from the date of the accident).
Steps to Take Following a Car Accident Injury
Anyone involved in a car accident should follow these 6 steps to ensure safety and legal protection:
- Seek immediate medical attention, even if no injuries are apparent
- Remain calm when reporting the accident. IN ANY CASE, do not admit fault when stating facts. Later, even a simple apology can be used against a victim as an admission of guilt
- Take pictures of the accident scene, including the surrounding area (road conditions, environmental factors, etc.)
- Obtain any witness statements and contact information
- Report the accident to your insurance company
- Retain all documentation of all medical care received for injuries sustained from the accident. This will be critical evidence for attorneys to use when building a claim for compensation
- Consult with a car accident lawyer near you to discover the value of your case
Contact a New York Distracted Driving Lawyer
If you or someone you know was injured in an accident caused by distracted driving, contact the car accident attorneys at Sobo & Sobo online for a free consultation, or call 855-GOT-SOBO. At Sobo & Sobo we have over 50+ years of experience helping injured victims win settlements for distracted driving accidents across the Hudson Valley and New York City.
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