Cell Phone-Related Accidents
Knowledgeable Car Crash Attorneys for Victims in New York
No matter how confident someone may feel in using a mobile phone while driving, the inattention that often results can lead to a serious collision. New York is one of several states that prohibit the use of handheld cellular telephones behind the wheel. In addition, people may not text or use the Internet while operating a vehicle. If you or a loved one was injured in a collision that was caused by a driver who was distracted by his or her cell phone, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your harm. For more than a decade, the Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC has proudly represented individuals who were hurt in a car crash in New York City and across the state of New York. Let our lawyers help you explore your options and pursue any claims that you may have against a driver whose careless actions harmed you.
Cell Phone-Related Collisions in New York
According to data compiled by the National Safety Council, over 1.6 million automobile collisions in New York and across the nation are caused by motorist cell phone use each year. In fact, nearly one-quarter of all traffic crashes that occur in a given year result from distracted drivers who are talking or texting on a mobile device. Since 2012, New York’s law against the use of cell phones behind the wheel is a primary offense. This means a law enforcement officer may stop and ticket a driver for talking on a handheld device, texting, emailing, or viewing the web while driving. Although the ban includes an exception for emergency situations, ignorance of the law is not a defense.
Despite such statewide laws banning the use of handheld devices, cell phone-related crashes occur across New York at an alarming rate. In fact, about 50,000 of the nearly 300,000 motor vehicle collisions that occurred in our state in 2012 resulted from cell phone use or other distracted driving. Regrettably, such collisions can result in serious, long-term harm or even a tragic death.
Hold Distracted Drivers Accountable for Your Injuries
In general, proving fault following a cell phone-related collision is based on negligence. In such a context, negligence may occur when a motorist does not exercise the same level of care that a reasonably prudent driver would use in a similar situation. To prove a distracted motorist was negligent, a victim must show that he or she owed the victim a duty and breached that duty. It is also necessary to prove that the defendant’s breach directly resulted in a foreseeable injury and that quantifiable damages arose from it. For example, all drivers are required to comply with traffic laws, such as the rule against cell phone use while driving. If a person who is distracted while texting a friend from behind the wheel causes a collision, there is likely a negligence claim to be made. The at-fault motorist may be held financially responsible for the harm suffered by anyone who was hurt in the crash.
Since New York is a pure comparative fault state, a victim may be eligible to receive financial compensation even if he or she was partly responsible for his or her own harm. When a cell phone-related crash victim is considered to be a contributing cause to the accident, a judge or jury will typically assign a percentage of liability to each party in the collision. The victim’s financial recovery will then be reduced by his or her percentage of fault. For example, someone who is assigned 30% of the responsibility for the accident can collect up to $140,000 if he or she receives a damages award of $200,000 following a successful negligence claim.
When a person is hurt in a traffic wreck that was caused by someone else, the individual may be entitled to recover both economic and non-economic forms of compensation. In general, economic damages include current and future lost earnings, property damage, and medical bills, among other out-of-pocket expenses. Non-economic compensation normally includes more subjective harm, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.
The time frame during which a person who was hurt in a cell phone-related car accident must file a personal injury lawsuit in a New York court is normally three years. If a victim fails to file a claim within this time, he or she will normally be barred from recovering any damages.
Discuss Your Auto Accident Claim with a New York Lawyer
An unexpected crash can be a devastating blow for victims and their families. If you were hurt in a cell phone-related collision in New York, you deserve to have an experienced auto accident attorney advocating on your behalf. The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC vigorously represents individuals in New York and throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Call us toll-free at (877) 580-6636 or contact us online today.