New York law broadly bans the use of portable electronic devices while driving. Motorists who are caught texting behind the wheel could face a fine of $200. They could also receive five points on their driving record (accumulating at least 11 points in an 18-month period can result in a license suspension).
Although many states have introduced strict penalties for cell phone use while driving, an alarming number of motorists still choose to take the risk. Nationwide, distracted driving is responsible for roughly nine traffic fatalities and more than 1,000 injuries every single day.
If you were injured or lost a family member in a car accident with a driver who was texting, you may be entitled to compensation for the resulting damages. Unfortunately, winning a fair settlement often involves an uphill legal battle, and if the damages are extensive, you can expect the insurance company to invest considerable resources into disputing your claim.
Read on to learn the answers to some frequently asked questions about distracted driving accident cases:
- How Can I Prove a Motorist Was Texting While Driving?
While there aren’t any tests that can be conducted at the scene to determine if a driver was texting, there are many other kinds of evidence your attorney might use to prove negligence such as:
- Eyewitness testimony;
- Social media posts published just before the wreck;
- Cell phone records;
- Dash cam footage;
- Recordings from surveillance cameras near the scene; and
- The official police report.
- What Kinds of Damages Can I Pursue Following a Distracted Driving Collision?
If you were seriously injured and you bring a claim against the liable driver, you may be able to recover compensation for the following damages:
- Past medical expenses;
- Future medical expenses;
- Lost income and benefits;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Home and/or vehicle modifications;
- Domestic help;
- Home care;
- Child care;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish;
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Loss of enjoyment in life;
- Alternative transportation; and
- Property damage.
Depending on the nature of the injury, your spouse may also be entitled to damages for loss of consortium, which refers to the loss of care and companionship.
- Should I Seek Legal Counsel Before Filing My Claim?
Although you have the right to take on the insurance company alone, it’s almost always a good idea to hire an attorney if you bring a personal injury or wrongful death claim. These proceedings are complicated, and there are countless opportunities for you to make a mistake that jeopardizes your case. Your attorney can help you avoid critical errors, estimate a fair settlement amount, and ensure your claim is as strong as possible before settlement negotiations begin. With a seasoned litigator by your side, the insurance company will know that you have the means to go to trial if they refuse to settle.
Speak with a New York City Car Accident Attorney
If you were hurt in a wreck with a distracted driver, contact Charnas Law Firm to determine the most strategic way to proceed. Scott Charnas represents clients throughout both New York and Massachusetts. Call 212-980-6800 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a car accident lawyer in New York City.