Distracted Driving Lawyers: Lawsuits & Compensation
Distracted driving has become a major problem on our roads, with drivers increasingly using their smartphones and other electronic devices while behind the wheel. This behavior not only puts the distracted driver at risk, but it also endangers the lives of other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and other damages. However, pursuing a claim against a distracted driver can be a complex and challenging process, which is why it’s essential to work with an experienced distracted driving lawyer.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at what distracted driving is, the different types of distractions that drivers face, and the laws in place to combat this problem. We’ll also explore how distracted driving lawyers can help victims of this type of accident, and what you can do to protect yourself if you’re involved in a crash caused by a distracted driver.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the road. This includes using a smartphone or other electronic device, eating, drinking, applying makeup, and even changing the radio station.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is responsible for thousands of deaths and injuries each year. In fact, in 2019 alone, distracted driving was a factor in over 3,000 fatalities and an estimated 400,000 injuries.
3 Main Types of Distracted Driving
There are three main types of distractions that drivers face: visual, manual, and cognitive.
- Visual distractions occur when a driver takes their eyes off the road. This can happen when a driver is using a smartphone or other electronic device, reading a map, or even looking at something outside of the vehicle.
- Manual distractions occur when a driver takes their hands off the wheel. This can happen when a driver is using a smartphone or other electronic device, eating, drinking, or adjusting the radio or climate control.
- Cognitive distractions occur when a driver’s mind is not focused on driving. This can happen when a driver is tired, stressed, or thinking about something other than driving.
Penalties for Distracted Driving in NY
In New York State, the penalties for distracted driving can vary depending on the severity of the offense. Drivers who are caught using a handheld device while driving can face fines of up to $200 for the first offense, with subsequent offenses carrying higher fines. In addition to the fines, drivers who are caught using a handheld device can also receive points on their driver’s license. These points can add up and may result in the suspension or revocation of the driver’s license.
If a driver is involved in an accident while using a handheld device, they may face more severe penalties. If the driver causes an accident that results in serious injury or death, they can face criminal charges and may be sentenced to time in jail. Even if no one is injured, the driver can still face penalties such as fines and license suspension.
In addition to these penalties, drivers who are caught texting while driving can face even higher fines and points on their license. For a first offense, drivers can receive fines of up to $250 and five points on their license. For a second offense within 18 months, drivers can receive fines of up to $450 and an additional five points on their license.
Compensation for Injured Victims in Distracted Driving Accidents
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver in New York State, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The first step to seeking compensation is to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand your rights and guide you through the legal process. In general, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering resulting from the accident.
The settlement amount that you may receive will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries and the extent of your financial losses. For example, victims who suffer permanent disabilities or injuries that require long-term medical treatment may be entitled to higher compensation amounts.
In addition, victims who suffer emotional trauma or loss of enjoyment of life may also be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering. Ultimately, the amount of compensation that you receive will be determined through negotiations with the insurance company or through a court trial if necessary. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand what to expect in terms of potential settlement amounts and help you fight for the compensation that you deserve.
Wrongful Deaths Caused by Distracted Driving
When a distracted driving accident results in a wrongful death, the surviving family members of the victim may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent driver. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action that seeks to hold the driver accountable for their actions and provide compensation for the losses suffered by the victim’s family.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the family may be able to recover damages such as funeral expenses, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In some cases, the family may also be able to recover damages for the loss of companionship and emotional distress caused by the death of their loved one.
In order to prove negligence in a wrongful death case, the family will need to show that the driver was engaged in a distracting activity at the time of the accident and that this distraction caused the accident. This can be difficult to prove and may require the help of an experienced attorney.
It’s also important to note that, in some cases, there may be multiple parties liable for the wrongful death. For example, if the driver was on the job at the time of the accident, their employer may also be held liable. An experienced wrongful death lawyer will be able to identify all potential liable parties and hold them accountable.
How Distracted Driving Lawyers Can Help
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, it’s essential to work with an experienced distracted driving lawyer. These lawyers specialize in helping victims of distracted driving accidents and can provide the following services:
- Investigating the accident: Distracted driving lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to gather evidence of the driver’s negligence. This may include interviewing witnesses, reviewing police reports, and analyzing data from the driver’s electronic devices.
- Filing a claim: Distracted driving lawyers can help you file a claim against the driver and their insurance company. They’ll be able to advise you on the types of damages you can claim and how to calculate the appropriate amount of compensation.
- Negotiating a settlement: They will also help to negotiate a settlement with the driver and their insurance company. They’ll be able to advise you on what a fair settlement would be and help estimate the amount of compensation you will be owed.
- Representing you in court: If the case goes to trial, a distracted driving lawyer will represent you in court. They’ll be able to present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make arguments on your behalf to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
- Advising on laws and regulations: Distracted driving lawyers are experts in the laws and regulations surrounding distracted driving accidents. They can advise you on the laws in your state and how they may affect your case.
- Navigating the legal process: Pursuing a claim or lawsuit against a distracted driver can be a complex and challenging process. A distracted driving lawyer can guide you through the legal system and help you understand the steps involved.
- Helping with medical and financial issues: A distracted driving lawyer can also help you with any medical or financial issues that may arise as a result of your injuries. They can connect you with medical professionals and financial experts who can assist you with your recovery.
Contact a Distracted Driving Lawyer in New York
The distracted driving lawyers at Sobo & Sobo offer free consultations to all victims injured in distracted driving accidents, and to family and friends of those who were killed. With over 50 years of experience helping victims of distracted driving accidents across New York and the tri-state area, they know what it takes to win the compensation and justice they deserve. Call 855-GOT-SOBO or contact them online to get started filing your distracted driving injury or wrongful death claim today.