New York City Distracted Driving Lawyers
Distracted driving is a pervasive and dangerous issue that puts everyone on the road at risk. With the constant allure of smartphones, navigation systems, and even food and drinks, it’s easier than ever to divert one’s attention away from the road. The Orlow Firm’s experienced New York City car accident lawyers understand the complex challenges that victims of distracted driving face and offer specialized legal services to help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.
- Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents in NYC.
- The Orlow Firm specializes in representing victims of distracted driving.
How The Orlow Firm Can Help Maximize Your Case
Navigating the legal complexities that follow a distracted driving accident in New York can be an overwhelming experience. This is where The Orlow Firm steps in to make a difference. We understand the unique intricacies of distracted driving cases, and our specialized approach aims to maximize your claim every step of the way.
One of the key elements that set us apart is our use of expert witnesses. In distracted driving cases, proving that the other party was indeed distracted can sometimes become a complex matter requiring more than just eyewitness accounts. We employ accident reconstruction experts who can accurately recreate the events leading up to the collision, offering irrefutable evidence that strengthens your case.
Additionally, we consult with medical experts to fully understand the extent of your injuries, and financial analysts to quantify your losses, ensuring you are fully compensated for both tangible and intangible damages like medical bills, loss of wages, and emotional suffering. This multidisciplinary approach ensures a well-rounded, robust representation aimed at securing the highest possible compensation for you.
By entrusting your case to The Orlow Firm, you are not just hiring a lawyer; you are assembling a dedicated team of experts committed to fighting for your rights. With us, you get more than legal advice; you get a strategic partner committed to helping you rebuild your life post-accident.
Types of Distracted Driving
In New York City, the bustling environment and constant sensory input make distracted driving a critical issue with dangerous consequences. Distracted driving takes many forms, all of which can drastically increase the risk of an accident. Here are some types of distracted driving that commonly lead to accidents:
Texting and Driving
This is one of the most hazardous forms of distracted driving. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for at least five seconds, a period long enough for a fatal accident to occur. Texting while driving is against New York law, making it easier to establish liability if you’ve been hit by a texting driver.
Smartphone and GPS Use
While many people use GPS to navigate New York’s complex roadways, fumbling with a smartphone or GPS system while driving can be just as dangerous as texting. New York law prohibits the use of portable electronic devices, including using a GPS app, while the vehicle is in motion.
Eating or Drinking
Though it might seem innocuous, eating or drinking while driving can take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road, leading to unexpected accidents.
Conversing with Passengers
Engaging in deep or emotionally-charged conversations with passengers can divert your attention and impair your ability to make quick, rational decisions on the road.
Each type of distraction carries its own set of dangers, but all ultimately lead to the same outcome: an increased risk of an accident. If you’ve been a victim of a distracted driving accident in New York, understanding these types can be crucial in establishing liability and receiving the compensation you deserve.
Who’s Legally Liable?
Determining legal liability in distracted driving accidents in New York can be a complex process, often requiring thorough investigation and expert legal insight. New York follows a “no-fault” insurance system, which means that your own insurance should cover your basic expenses irrespective of who was at fault. However, in cases of serious injury or death, you have the right to pursue a claim against the distracted driver for additional compensation.
The most straightforward case of liability is the distracted driver. If it can be proven that the driver was texting, using a GPS, eating, or otherwise distracted at the time of the accident, they are likely to be held legally responsible for any damages and injuries caused.
If the distracted driver was operating a vehicle for work-related activities, the employer could also be held liable. This is particularly relevant in New York, a hub of various commercial activities involving fleet vehicles.
Although less common, there are instances where the vehicle or phone manufacturer may share some liability. For example, if a car’s built-in infotainment system is proven to be overly distracting and directly contributed to the accident, the manufacturer could be held accountable.
Understanding who’s legally liable in your specific case can dramatically influence the amount and type of compensation you may receive. With a detailed investigation, The Orlow Firm will identify all parties that may be liable to ensure that you are fully compensated for your losses.
What Can You Be Compensated For?
In New York, if you’ve been the victim of a distracted driving accident, various types of compensation are available to you. These are often classified into two categories: economic and non-economic damages.
These are quantifiable costs that can be easily calculated and include:
Covers the cost of medical care related to the accident, including but not limited to:
- Emergency room visits
- Doctor consultations
- Physical therapy
- Assistive devices like wheelchairs or crutches
Future Medical Expenses
If the injuries require ongoing medical treatment or rehabilitation, you may be entitled to future medical expenses, sometimes calculated as a lump sum based on medical expert evaluations.
Compensation for the time you’ve been unable to work due to your injuries, calculated based on your average earnings prior to the accident.
Loss of Earning Capacity
If your ability to earn in the future has been impaired due to the accident, you may be compensated for that loss based on your age, skills, occupation, and other factors.
Costs associated with repairing or replacing your vehicle and any other personal property damaged in the accident, such as smartphones or personal belongings inside the car.
Reimbursement for miscellaneous costs directly related to the accident like:
- Towing charges
- Rental car expenses
- Home modifications (e.g., ramps, handrails)
- Travel expenses for medical appointments
Cost of Services
If you require help with household tasks that you used to perform (e.g., cleaning, yard maintenance), you can claim these costs as well.
Costs associated with training for a new occupation if you can no longer perform your previous job due to injuries sustained in the accident.
Long-term Care Expenses
For severe injuries that require long-term care or assisted living facilities, you can claim these expenses as part of your economic damages.
In the tragic case of fatal accidents, surviving family members can claim funeral and burial expenses.
Pain and Suffering
Compensation for the physical pain and discomfort endured as a result of the accident, both immediately after the accident and into the future.
Compensation for psychological impacts such as anxiety, depression, or stress that can be directly attributed to the accident.
Loss of Consortium
If the accident adversely affects the relationship between spouses or domestic partners, compensation may be awarded for the loss of companionship, sexual relations, and emotional support.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
If the accident has impaired your ability to enjoy your regular activities and pleasures of life—like hobbies, exercise, or other recreational activities—you may be compensated for that loss.
Disfigurement and Scarring
If the accident results in permanent scars or other forms of disfigurement, additional compensation may be warranted, especially if the disfigurement is in a highly visible area.
Loss of Reputation
In rare cases where the accident has led to a loss of reputation, possibly due to media coverage or defamation, you may be entitled to compensation for that loss.
Loss of Parental Guidance
If the victim was a primary caregiver to minor children, the children might be entitled to compensation for the loss of parental guidance and upbringing.
Loss of Limbs or Bodily Functions
Compensation may be provided for the loss of use of body parts or bodily functions, like sight or hearing, due to the accident.
Humiliation and Embarrassment
If the accident or the resulting injuries cause humiliation or embarrassment, such as needing help with personal hygiene, you may be eligible for compensation.
Wrongful Death and Survival Damages
In cases where the victim does not survive, families may receive non-economic damages for the emotional pain and loss related to their loved one’s death.
Relevant Laws in New York
In New York, several laws specifically address distracted driving, underscoring its severity and the commitment to holding offenders accountable. The most pertinent is the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1225-C and Section 1225-D, which makes it illegal to use a portable electronic device while driving. The law covers texting, emailing, and even simply holding your phone while the vehicle is in motion.
Violation of these laws can result in fines and points on the driver’s license, enhancing the culpability of the distracted driver in a civil case for damages. Moreover, New York follows a “No-Fault” insurance system, meaning that your own insurance company will often pay for your medical expenses and lost wages regardless of who was at fault. However, for serious injuries, victims can step outside the No-Fault system and pursue a lawsuit against the negligent driver.
Another significant law is the Comparative Negligence rule, as outlined in New York Civil Practice Law and Rules § 1411. This law allows victims to recover damages even if they were partially at fault, although the compensation will be reduced by the percentage of their fault.
Understanding these laws is crucial in a distracted driving case, as they form the backbone for any legal action you may wish to pursue. With the expertise of The Orlow Firm, you can navigate these complexities to maximize your compensation.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a critical aspect to consider if you are a victim of a distracted driving accident in New York. According to New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules Section 214, you have a limited period—specifically, three years from the date of the accident—to file a personal injury lawsuit. This three-year window is stringent and generally does not provide exceptions, except for certain circumstances such as the victim being a minor or mentally incapacitated.
Failing to file within this timeframe can result in the court dismissing your case, eliminating your opportunity to seek any compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and other damages. Because of this, it’s crucial to act promptly and consult a qualified legal team like The Orlow Firm, who can guide you through the complexities of New York’s legal landscape.
In cases of wrongful death resulting from a distracted driving accident, the statute of limitations is even shorter—just two years from the date of death. This makes it crucial for surviving family members to seek legal counsel as soon as possible to preserve their right to seek justice and compensation.
Understanding the statute of limitations and its implications on your distracted driving case is essential for safeguarding your rights and maximizing your potential for recovery.
Preventing distracted driving accidents is a shared responsibility that starts with individual awareness and extends to community action. In New York, various measures are in place to curb this growing issue, and knowing them could potentially save lives.
Education and Awareness: Public awareness campaigns, often run by state agencies and nonprofit organizations, aim to educate drivers about the risks associated with distracted driving. Schools and colleges also frequently host seminars and distribute materials highlighting the dangers.
Enforcement: New York law enforcement agencies actively participate in initiatives like the annual “Operation Hang Up” campaign, which targets drivers using handheld electronic devices. Violators face steep fines and points on their license, deterring would-be distracted drivers.
Hands-Free Technology: Utilizing hands-free technology like Bluetooth can help drivers focus better on the road. However, it’s important to note that hands-free does not mean risk-free, so such technologies should be used sparingly.
Safe Driving Apps: Apps like DriveSafe.ly read text messages and emails aloud, enabling drivers to stay connected without diverting their attention from the road. Parental control apps can also limit smartphone usage for younger drivers.
Legislation: Constant updates to New York’s driving laws reflect the seriousness with which the state treats distracted driving. Keeping abreast of the latest laws and regulations can make drivers think twice before engaging in risky behavior.
By adhering to these prevention methods and taking the issue of distracted driving seriously, not only can you protect yourself, but you can also contribute to making New York’s roads safer for everyone.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What should I do immediately after a distracted driving accident?
Immediately after a distracted driving accident in New York, prioritize your safety and the safety of others by moving to a safe area if possible. Call 911 to report the accident and seek medical attention for any injuries, even if they appear minor. It’s crucial to then consult with an experienced law firm like The Orlow Firm to preserve evidence and guide you through the legal complexities that follow.
- How long will it take to settle my case?
The time it takes to settle a distracted driving accident case in New York can vary widely depending on the complexities involved, such as the severity of injuries and the number of parties liable. Generally, straightforward cases might settle within a few months, but more complex cases could take years to reach a resolution. Consulting a specialized law firm like The Orlow Firm can help expedite the process while ensuring you receive the maximum compensation you’re entitled to.
- Can I still claim compensation if I was partially at fault?
Yes, under New York’s Comparative Negligence law, you can still claim compensation even if you were partially at fault for the distracted driving accident. However, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of your fault as determined by the court. Consulting The Orlow Firm can help you navigate this aspect of the law to maximize your claim.
- What are the most common causes of distracted driving?
The most common causes of distracted driving include texting or talking on a cell phone, adjusting the radio or GPS, eating and drinking, and conversing with passengers. Other forms of distraction can also include grooming activities like applying makeup, or even looking at something outside the vehicle, like an accident or scenic view. These activities divert the driver’s attention from the road, significantly increasing the risk of an accident.
- How much are most distracted driving settlements?
The value of distracted driving settlements in New York can vary widely based on factors such as the severity of injuries, the extent of property damage, and the level of fault attributed to each party. While some minor injury cases may settle for several thousand dollars, more severe cases involving long-term injuries or fatalities can reach into the millions. For a tailored assessment of your case’s potential value, consult with an experienced law firm like The Orlow Firm.
Why Choose The Orlow Firm
Choosing The Orlow Firm means opting for seasoned expertise and personalized attention for your distracted driving accident case in New York. Our dedicated team works relentlessly to investigate every aspect of your case, negotiate with insurance companies, and if necessary, litigate to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve. With our proven track record, you can trust us to prioritize your well-being and deliver exceptional results.
Contact The Orlow Firm Today (646) 647-3398
Don’t let a distracted driving accident derail your life. Contact The Orlow Firm today to discuss your options and take the first step towards justice and recovery.