When driving on New York City’s congested streets and highways, it’s extremely important to stay aware of your surroundings at all times. Even a minor lapse in attention has the potential to cause a serious auto accident, which could have lifelong consequences for one or more of the drivers and passengers involved. When a driver causes an accident because he or she failed to keep both hands on the wheel or wasn’t paying full attention to the road and the cars around them, other parties involved in the accident may have the option to file a personal injury claim.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), distracted driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents in the United States. In 2015, 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 were injured in distracted driving accidents. This means that just under 10% of traffic fatalities and about 16% of traffic injuries were related to various forms of distracted driving. If you or a loved one is among these victims, our lawyers can help you seek financial compensation.
Common Forms Of Distracted Driving
Any activity which takes your eyes off the road, one or both of your hands away from the wheel, or distracts you mentally in some way is considered distracted driving. Some of the most common examples of distracted driving include:
- Cell phone use – We’ve all seen the public service announcements warning against the dangers of texting while driving. But any type of cell phone use behind the wheel qualifies as a dangerous distraction. This includes texting as well as using social media, surfing the web, fiddling with a navigation program, taking phone calls, and more. Even a hands-free phone call can be dangerous because your focus is divided between the road and the phone call.
- Eating and drinking – Eating food and drinking beverages while driving is dangerous since it forces you to take at least one hand off the wheel. People who eat or drink while they drive also frequently look away from the road to take bites or sips and may be mentally distracted.
- Applying makeup, grooming, etc. – Most of us have seen at least one fellow driver applying lipstick, combing their hair, or engaging in other forms of grooming while looking in their overhead mirror. This type of multi-tasking is extremely dangerous, as people who groom behind the wheel are not paying full attention to the road.
These and other forms of distracted driving all have the potential to cause a serious or even deadly accident. A few seconds of taking your eyes away from the road is all it takes.
Proving Fault After An Accident With A Distracted Driver
In any car accident, the police and lawyers will investigate to determine who was at fault. While distracted driving may be one of the most common causes, it’s not always obvious right away that the driver was distracted.
Most people know not to admit fault following an accident, but with help from our experienced Queens personal injury law firm, there are ways to prove that distracted driving was to blame for your accident. Pedestrians and other motorists may have noticed that the driver was distracted in some way, it may be possible to obtain phone records which prove that the driver was using their smartphone during the accident, and traffic cameras may have captured the distraction. In any case, it’s not up to you to prove negligence on your own. It’s highly advisable to instead seek legal guidance from an experienced personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accident lawsuits.
Damages Covered In A Car Accident Lawsuit
Anyone who’s been seriously injured in a car accident understands how difficult recovery can be. These accidents don’t just affect the drivers involved – they affect entire families. Injured drivers usually require expensive and sometimes longterm medical care, may be unable to return to work for extended periods (or even permanently), and suffer from a variety of personal difficulties and setbacks in their quality of life. And each year, thousands of families are forced to grieve when a loved one passes away following a car accident caused by distracted driving.
While a lawsuit may not erase these difficulties, it can help provide financial support to make recovery easier. Victims of distracted drivers are eligible to recover financial compensation for all damages related to their accident, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death damages for families of fatal accident victims (including funeral and burial expenses, loss of consortium and material support, medical bills, etc.)
Will I Need A Lawyer?
In most cases, yes. When you file a personal injury claim, you’ll be going up against the other driver’s insurance company. These insurance companies have teams of highly skilled attorneys who specialize in limiting and denying claims. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Lipsig Queens understand how to gather evidence, how to build a successful case, and how to anticipate and respond to the insurance company’s attempts to deny coverage. We’re prepared to help you build a solid case, seek an out-of-court settlement, and if necessary, represent you through each aspect of filing a lawsuit and taking the matter to civil court. To find out more about your legal rights following a car accident with a distracted driver, contact us today for a free consultation.