Distracted driving is a common factor in motor vehicle accidents across the country. According to 2012 statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 3,000 deaths and 400,000 injuries were caused nationwide by this type of behavior. If you have been hurt, or someone you love has tragically died in a crash caused by a distracted driver, consult the car crash attorneys at the Cassisi Law Firm to find out how we can help you seek compensation for your harm.
Based in Queens, John Cassisi has spent more than three decades asserting the rights of injured individuals in areas such as the Bronx, Brooklyn, Suffolk County, and Nassau County. Contact our Queens distracted driving accident lawyers today.
It is commonplace to see people performing other tasks while behind the wheel, but the frequency of this activity should not blind us to how dangerous it can be.
Distracted driving may include:
- Manipulating audio and video controls;
- Using the navigation system;
- Looking at maps or reading directions;
- Talking on a cell phone or to other passengers;
- Consulting a smartphone for information;
- Combing hair or putting on make-up;
- Eating and drinking; and
- Looking at billboards or rubber-necking at accidents.
When a driver causes an accident because he or she is distracted, the victim may be able to file a claim based on the theory of negligence. As applied to car crashes, negligence is constructed on the widely accepted notion that all motorists have a duty to everyone else on the road to use the requisite amount of care to avoid foreseeable and needless risks of harm to others. This is usually defined as the level of care that an ordinary person would use in similar circumstances.
A breach of the duty could arise from a practically infinite number of careless or reckless actions. In addition to running a red light or failing to yield at an intersection, distracted driving is one of the ways in which a person can fall short of the required standard of care. To assert the right to compensation when suing a driver, however, a victim must not only identify the careless conduct but also draw a causal link from the breach to the accident in which he or she was hurt. If the injuries would have happened even if the defendant had acted with reasonable care, compensation will not be available. As a related matter, it is also essential to show that the crash was a foreseeable result of the other driver’s breach. Finally, the victim must identify actual damages arising from his or her harm that can be compensated.
If each of these elements is shown by a preponderance of the evidence, the defendant likely will be held liable for damages. These typically include economic forms of harm, such as lost wages, hospital bills, the costs of future treatment, and damage to a vehicle. They often also extend to more subjective types of injuries, including the pain and suffering that a victim experienced during the accident and while recovering from it. To protect your right to compensation, you must make sure to file a negligence claim within the applicable statute of limitations set by New York law. This means that you should not delay in contacting an attorney as soon as you are able after a crash.
Failing to pay appropriate attention to the act of driving can constitute a breach of an individual’s duty of care when operating a motor vehicle. As a result, you may have legal options to consider if you have been hurt near Queens in a crash involving a distracted driver.
Contact the auto accident lawyers at The Cassisi Law Firm for a free consultation to find out if you may have a viable negligence claim.