Understanding Distracted Driving Liability After a New York Car Accident: Queens Auto Accident Lawyers Explain
Distracted driving is a huge problem throughout the United States, including New York. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 3,000 people are killed each year in distracted driving car accidents. In fact, news sources have reported some studies that indicate distracted driving is more dangerous than drunk driving. As Queens auto accident lawyers, we know that distracted driving car accidents are preventable and completely avoidable. We also know how devastating a distracted driving car accident can be because we represent victims of New York car accidents with serious or catastrophic personal injuries, including victims of distracted driving wrecks. Our law firm knows how important proving distracted driving liability after a New York car accident can be.
Here at COHEN & COHEN PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS, P.C. , we have handled many serious and fatal New York car accidents resulting from some form of distracted driving. We help victims and their families recover the compensation they deserve for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, lost future earnings, loss of consortium, and other damages related to a distracted driving car accident. Our Queens auto accident lawyers know that victims of a distracted driving accident have increased medical bills and decreased wages from lost time at work which is why we accept cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that victims only pay us a percentage of what we recover for them in any settlement or court award. As a result, this allows victims and their families to keep money in their pockets to pay for increasing medical bills and other essentials while they are out of work and we are fighting for their rights.
New York Law Prohibits Distracted Driving
There are two ways that New York law prohibits distracted driving. This is part of proving liability against a defendant-driver. Proving liability means that a defendant is culpable for a victim’s injuries. This allows victims to recover compensation under New York law. Without liability, a victim cannot recover damages. Often in distracted driving cases, liability is hotly contested. The two ways to establish distracted driving liability after a New York car accident include the following:
Negligence (Common Law) Standard
The first way is under the common law (judge-made law) standard of negligence. This is the most common way to prove liability in all personal injury cases. In a New York car accident case, all motorists owe a duty of care to others to exercise reasonable care in the use and operation of their motor vehicle to others on or around the roadways. Motorists that fail to use reasonable care while operating a motor vehicle may be found to have breached this duty. Any injuries or damages caused by this breach could result in compensation to victims.
Negligence Per Se: The Violation of a Statute To Prove a Case
The second way is through the doctrine of negligence per se by using the violation of statutory law (legislatively-made law) to automatically prove liability. New York has two applicable Vehicle and Traffic Laws related to distracted driving. They are the following:
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1225-c governs “use of mobile telephones,” and provides under subdivision (2) (a) that “no person shall operate a motor vehicle upon a public highway while using a mobile telephone to engage in a call while such vehicle is in motion.” There are limited exceptions to this such as calling the police or a hospital/ambulance.
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1225-d governs “use of mobile telephone” and provides under subdivision (1) that “no person shall operate a motor vehicle while using any portable electronic device while such vehicle is in motion.” The definition of “use” is broad as to mean any transmission of data, including text messages, e-mail, or even browsing the internet or social media. There are exceptions such as calling the police or a hospital/ambulance.
If a motorist violates either of these statutes and causes a New York car accident resulting in personal injuries, a motorist may be found to be negligent per se. This is an important tool that a Queens auto accident lawyer could use for a victim and his or her family to establish liability and ultimately recover compensation.
Injured by a Distracted Driver? Or Hurt by a Driver With No Good Excuse? Let Us Investigate and Help You
While there are times where distracted driving is obvious either due to an admission or observations, sometimes distracted driving cases require an investigation by counsel to uncover what happened. This is because most people know that distracted driving is a serious problem and admitting to this problem could result in significant legal issues. Thus, people lie about the cause of an auto wreck and make proving distracted driving liability after a New York car accident more difficult for victims.
This is why victims and their families need a law firm like COHEN & COHEN PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS, P.C. to represent them. There is no risk to have us start representing you and your loved ones in a distracted driving crash. Learn more about how we can help protect your rights to compensation by calling 800-247-8164 for a FREE case evaluation or use our convenient and easy-to-use contact us box available here.