If there is one thing that we have been taught over the years after seeing hundreds of cases, it is that driving while distracted is a big no-no. The imprudence may seem minor because at some point in the day, we all find ourselves distracted, with our minds somewhere, who knows where? Suddenly, in some corner of our childhood, or in that moment when we were once happy.
We find it hard to land in the present moment; our mind always wants more and always wants to go somewhere. But this way of going through life disconnected from the present moment has its consequences, and distracted driving accidents are one of those unfortunate consequences.
Considering also that these days the smartphone is something we find ourselves connected to most of the time, exchanging messages in real-time or watching new trends on social networks. More and more drivers can't stop paying attention to their smartphones while driving, which is unfortunate. Imagine you are going at a high speed on a highway, and you are distracted for sure to see a message when suddenly a vehicle larger than yours crosses your path.
Maybe if you had not been distracted, your reaction time could have been better, and you could have elaborated some spontaneous maneuvers to get out of the way and save your integrity. However, you were not fully attentive, and the impact took you by surprise. How could you have avoided it?
Suddenly the smartphone became an addiction. To the point that it does not allow you to discern that there are certain moments in which the only thing you should do is to be 100% focused on the act you are performing.
One of those acts is driving. You can't go around Queens driving and looking at your smartphone at the same time. In New York, this is routine, and unfortunately, the consequences are already being felt by citizens.
More and more Queens residents are visiting our offices to tell us that a distracted driver caused them an injury while walking around the city. Our advice in these types of cases is always to seek a competent attorney like all those who work in our firm in order to develop a legal strategy to help you obtain the necessary compensation for the bad time caused by a reckless attitude.
A Queens distracted driving accident lawyer from The Ward Law Group will evaluate your case for free and share the most important aspects of a possible legal strategy to pursue justice together. Contact us right now, and let’s move forward with this journey! Don't let the recklessness of others steal your happiness. You deserve to get around Queens safely and in peace.
Definition of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is engaging in any activity while operating a vehicle safely, dispersing the driver's attention from the task at hand. It puts the driver, passengers, pedestrians, and other road users in danger and significantly raises the risk of accidents. Among the frequent types of distracted driving are:
- The most hazardous distraction is texting while driving because it diverts the driver's visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the road. Texting for even a brief period of time can result in a serious accident.
- Talking on the Phone: Whether using hands-free or handheld devices, talking on the phone while operating a vehicle can cause a driver to lose concentration and hinder their ability to respond quickly to potential hazards.
- Using in-car entertainment or navigation systems: While driving, changing radio stations, choosing music, or entering navigational data can cause brief attention lapses.
- Eating and drinking while driving can cause drivers to take their hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road, which increases the risk of accidents.
- Talking to Passengers: Having animated conversations with other drivers can cause them to lose focus on the road, especially if they are difficult or call for a lot of concentration.
- Using social media while driving is a risky distraction because it requires the driver to take their eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel.
- Applying makeup, combing hair, or engaging in other grooming activities while operating a vehicle can reduce control and compromise safety.
- Reading or Writing: Driving while reading a book, a newspaper, or making notes puts the driver's attention off the road and could put them and other people in danger.
Distracted driving is a risky habit that seriously increases the likelihood of accidents. The safety of all road users depends on drivers maintaining total concentration while operating their vehicles and abstaining from distracting behaviors.
Distracted Driving Laws in Queens/New York
Having knowledge of the legal aspects surrounding an event in a given location will always help to understand how to proceed when such an event occurs. In this case, we are talking about the laws in New York regarding distracted driving.
While it would not be possible to cite all the legal texts that could refer to this type of situation due to their length, we have considered mentioning some of the most relevant points so that you can have valuable information and feel safer when moving around Queens:
- Distracted driving is punishable by stiff fines and other legal repercussions in New York. Drivers who commit a first offense may be subject to fines between $50 and $200. The maximum fine for a subsequent offense is $450, with higher fines possible.
- Hands-free Law in New York: Handheld electronic device use while driving is forbidden under New York's hands-free law. This law aims to reduce distractions brought on by texting, talking on the phone, looking up information online, or using apps. Drivers must interact with electronic devices using hands-free techniques, such as Bluetooth, voice controls, or speakerphones.
- Points on License: Distracted driving offenses can result in points being added to a driver's license in addition to fines. A license suspension is possible after racking up 11 points in just 18 months. Five points are assessed for distracted driving infractions, which may have a long-term impact on insurance costs and driving privileges.
Common Injuries from Distracted Driving Accidents
Have you ever wondered what the most common injuries resulting from this type of event might be? We have grouped some of them together:
- Whiplash is a sudden jerking motion of the head and neck following a collision that can cause pain, stiffness, and discomfort in the neck. Whiplash injuries may take time to manifest and can require ongoing medical attention.
- Fractures and broken bones can result from the force of a distracted driving accident. These injuries can be excruciatingly painful and may need surgery, casting, or extensive rehabilitation.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): Head injuries can occur in even small accidents brought on by distracted driving. Concussions to severe brain trauma can result in TBIs, which affect daily life activities, memory, and cognitive function.
- Accidents involving distracted driving can cause spinal cord injuries, which can cause paralysis or restricted mobility. These wounds have long-term effects and frequently call for intensive medical attention as well as assistive technology.
- Cuts, bruises, and abrasions can be brought on by the deployment of an airbag, broken glass, or collision with the interior of a moving vehicle. Even though these wounds might seem minor, they can cause pain and discomfort.
- Internal Injuries: In a distracted driving accident, the force of impact may cause internal injuries like organ damage or internal bleeding. These injuries might not be immediately noticeable, highlighting the importance of thorough medical assessments following an accident.
- Airbag deployment and collision impact can result in facial injuries such as fractures, lacerations, and tooth or jaw damage. These wounds might need both medical and dental attention.
- Muscles, tendons, and ligaments can be strained, sprained, or torn as a result of an abrupt impact. Pain, edema, and restricted range of motion are all possible side effects of soft tissue injuries.
- Trauma psychological: The psychological effects of a distracted driving collision should not be understated. Survivors may experience psychological problems that call for medical attention, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression.
How a Queens Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help?
As we have already mentioned before, navigating through a lengthy legal process without the advice of a competent professional could bring negative consequences for your interests. That is why we recommend contacting our professionals from our law firm so that your case can be evaluated from a comprehensive perspective and be able to determine the best strategy to follow to succeed in order to obtain possible compensation in the fastest time. Having a lawyer from our firm on your side could also help you in the following aspects:
- Establishing that distracted driving was the accident's primary cause necessitates a thorough investigation. A skilled attorney can gather proof of the negligent actions of the at-fault driver, including phone records, witness statements, and surveillance footage.
- Calculating Damages: Your damages go beyond just your medical expenses when determining their full extent. To make sure you seek full compensation for your physical, financial, and emotional losses, a skilled attorney can evaluate the effect on your quality of life, earning potential, and emotional health.
- Dealing with insurance companies can be difficult because their objective is to limit payouts. A knowledgeable attorney can handle negotiations on your behalf, upholding your rights and securing the settlement you deserve while defending your interests.
- Litigation: A lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf if a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation. Their litigation experience guarantees that your rights are upheld and that your case is effectively presented to obtain the settlement you require.
- Legal expertise is necessary because distracted driving laws and court cases can be complicated. An attorney with experience in this field will be aware of the particulars of your case and will be able to provide you with knowledgeable advice and strong advocacy.
How to File a Distracted Driving Accident Claim in Queens?
After a distracted driving accident in Queens, being ready and following the right procedures can have a significant impact on the outcome of your claim. Here is a step-by-step explanation of what to do:
- Ensure Safety: Immediately following the accident, make sure you and the other people involved are safe. Relocate to a secure area and seek medical attention for any wounds.
- Call Law Enforcement: Report the collision to the police. A police report will provide important details and be an invaluable source of support for your claim.
- Take pictures of the scene and, if it's safe to do so, collect evidence there. Take pictures of any visible injuries, vehicle damage, skid marks, and the state of the road. Obtain the names and addresses of any witnesses.
- Information Exchange: Share contact, insurance, and driver's license details with other accident participants.
- Do Not Admit Fault: Do not say anything that might be construed as admitting fault. When discussing the collision with the police, other drivers, and witnesses, stick to the facts.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if your wounds appear minor, see a doctor right away. A medical history will be crucial to your claim because some injuries may not manifest their symptoms for some time.
- Inform Your Insurance Company: Report the accident to your own insurance provider. Don't make any statements that could be used against you; just give accurate information.
- Speak with a Distracted Driving Accident Attorney: Get in touch with a skilled Queens distracted driving accident attorney as soon as you can. Talk about the accident's specifics, present any evidence you've gathered, and ask any questions you have regarding the legal procedure during your consultation.
- Investigation: Your attorney will look into the accident in great detail. This might entail getting hold of phone records, looking over police reports, speaking with witnesses, and gathering other proof to show who's at fault.
- Negotiations: In order to obtain a reasonable settlement, your attorney will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. They will work to maximize the compensation you receive while ensuring your rights are upheld.
- Potential Litigation: If negotiations fail to produce a satisfactory resolution, your attorney might suggest filing a lawsuit to take legal action. They will help you at every stage of the legal process.
As we see, addressing the issue of distracted driving allows us to identify several aspects involved. From a negligent attitude, the use of technology while driving, aggressiveness at the wheel, and not following the appropriate medical treatment, among others.
The topic makes for a long debate. However, being able to provide you with this valuable information helps us fulfill our purpose of serving others every day of our lives. At The Ward Law, we want to see those affected by these accidents smile after receiving the compensation they deserve.
Do not go through these moments alone and you know that we will be there to help you from the first moment. We want to make Queens one of the safest communities in which we can move without fear that some imprudence threatens our freedom.
Contact us right now to receive a free evaluation of your case from an expert queens car accident lawyer and indicate a possible legal strategy to help you obtain a satisfactory result.