Long Island Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
Distracted driving accidents are rampant on Long Island, throughout New York, and across the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that, nationwide, more than 3,100 people died because of distracted drivers in one recent year alone. Closer to home, the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR) in Albany found that police reported more than 68,000 distraction-related crashes in another recent year. Another ITSMR report shows 15 people died and 3,272 others suffered severe injuries from crashes caused by cell phone usage over a recent five-year window.
Getting back to normal life can be challenging after a collision caused by a distracted driver. The injuries and financial losses can be overwhelming, and you may not know how you will pay your bills or make ends meet while you’re receiving medical treatment and unable to work. Your no-fault insurance may not be enough to cover your accident-related expenses, leaving you in need of another path forward.
The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., wants to help you find that path. Our four decades of legal experience mean we know the New York legal system inside and out. We have secured more than half a billion dollars in awards for our clients and will do everything we can to maximize your financial recovery. We’re prepared to handle all aspects of your case so you can rest easy and focus on your health.
Contact our Long Island distracted driving accident lawyers today for a free consultation
Why You Need to Hire a Proven Law Firm
Hiring the right car accident attorney is crucial to maximizing compensation after a distracted driving crash. Some of the things an experienced distracted driving accident lawyer can help with include:
- Proving liability – Establishing how a distracted driver is liable for your injuries can be difficult after a collision. There is no medical test for distracted driving like there is for drunk driving. That means you will need other evidence to substantiate your case. A distracted driving accident attorney will know what evidence to look for and how best to use it.
- Documenting your injuries – In most cases, you have just one shot at recovering compensation for a distracted driving crash. You need to make the most of this opportunity, or else you may not have the money you need for medical bills and other expenses. The key to maximizing your compensation after an accident is thoroughly documenting all your eligible losses. A car accident lawyer can help you with that.
- Filing your claim – You have a short window to file a claim after a distracted driving crash. If you wait too long, critical evidence might disappear, or the statute of limitations could expire and you could lose your right to compensation. At the same time, it is crucial to file your claim correctly to avoid unnecessary legal hurdles. A distracted driving accident attorney can file your claim quickly and correctly so you can get the money you need as soon as possible.
- Handling settlement negotiations – It is unlikely your distracted driving accident case will end in a dramatic courtroom battle. Instead, the most likely outcome is a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company. But the insurance company will want to keep their costs as low as possible. Knowing how they think is critical to obtaining a fair settlement. Your lawyer can handle settlement negotiations on your behalf and fight for fair compensation.
- Preparing your case for trial – Trials are relatively rare in distracted driving cases, but they do happen, usually because the insurance company refuses to offer a reasonable settlement. Trials are risky and unpredictable. You want a sound strategy prepared beforehand. Court proceedings are what lawyers train for. Your attorney can help you develop your strategy.
The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., has extensive experience with distracted driving accident cases and will aggressively protect your rights. We know how insurance companies operate and will use every tool at our disposal to help you claim compensation for your injuries.
What Is Distracted Driving?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines distracted driving as doing something that takes your focus away from safely operating your vehicle. Driver distractions fall into three categories:
- Cognitive distractions – A cognitive distraction prevents a driver from mentally focusing on driving. If a driver does not focus on driving, they will have a more challenging time anticipating and reacting to potential hazards. Talking to passengers and daydreaming are two common examples of cognitive distractions.
- Manual distractions – A manual distraction takes one or both of a driver’s hands off the steering wheel. Without both hands on the wheel, it is more difficult for drivers to respond to emergencies. A driver who does not have both hands on the wheel may also lose control of their car while reacting to a potential crash.
- Visual distractions – A visual distraction takes a driver’s eyes off the road and the environment around them. Drivers who are not watching the road and other drivers around them are more likely to cause a crash because they cannot see the potential danger.
Many driver distractions fit into more than one of these categories. For example, texting while driving combines all three types of distractions. According to NHTSA, a driver traveling at 55 mph will travel the length of a football field in the time it takes to send a text.
Common Distracted Driving Accidents on Long Island
Some of the common types of accidents caused by distracted drivers include:
- Rear-end accidents – Distracted drivers frequently cause rear-end collisions because they do not see other drivers in front of them because they are texting or talking on the phone.
- Head-on collisions – Distracted drivers sometimes cause head-on collisions because they drift out of their lane. Drifting can put them in the path of oncoming traffic, setting the stage for a crash.
- Sideswipe accidents – If a distracted driver leaves their lane and does not collide with oncoming traffic, they could hit a vehicle next to them and cause a crash. Distracted drivers can also cause a sideswipe crash if they are not paying attention when merging or passing.
- T-Bone accidents – Distracted drivers who do not notice a stop sign, yield sign, or traffic light might enter the intersection as other drivers are crossing. In some cases, this means the front of a distracted driver’s car hits the side of another vehicle from a perpendicular direction.
Injuries Sustained from a Distracted Driving Crash
Distracted driving accidents often happen at high speeds and cause severe injuries.
Some common injuries from Long Island distracted driving accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- External head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries and internal bleeding
- Severed, crushed, or amputated limbs
- Broken bones
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Cuts and puncture wounds
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional distress
Proving Negligence for a Long Island Distracted Driving Accident
Due to the state’s no-fault auto insurance system, distracted driving accident claims are more complicated in New York. Under New York’s no-fault system, you must file a claim with your insurance first before filing a claim with the distracted driver’s insurance company. To get around the no-fault system, you must exhaust your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits and show you meet the “serious injury” threshold under New York law.
According to the law, serious injuries include things like:
- Significant disfigurement
- Permanent loss of a bodily organ, member, system, or function
- Broken bones
- Loss of a fetus
- Any injury that prevents you from performing your typical daily activities for 90 days during the first 180 days after the crash
Once you establish that you suffered a serious injury, you must prove the other driver acted negligently to recover compensation from their liability auto insurance. In a personal injury case, negligence means the defendant did not take reasonable steps to prevent your injuries. Distracted driving is usually considered a form of negligence.
Some of the evidence you could use to support your claim includes:
- Cellphone records
- Police reports
- Surveillance videos
- Eyewitness testimony
- Physical evidence from the other driver’s vehicle
Compensation from a Distracted Driving Accident Claim
Depending on the circumstances, a successful distracted driving accident claim could provide you with compensation for:
- Your medical expenses related to the crash
- Your lost wages and reduced future earnings
- Your reduced quality of life due to your injuries
- Your pain and suffering
- Your emotional distress
Long Island Statute of Limitations on Car Accident Claims
The statute of limitations for Long Island car accident claims allows three years from the crash date to file your lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you have no way to force the other driver and their insurance company to compensate you for your injuries through the court system. =
It is in your interest to meet with a lawyer immediately after the accident. That way, they can get started on your case immediately to avoid any issues with the statute of limitations.
How to Prevent Distracted Driving Accidents
Here are a few warning signs that you are near a distracted driver:
- The driver drifts in their lane.
- The driver follows other cars too closely.
- The driver lingers at stop signs and intersections.
- The driver makes sudden stops and starts
- The driver comes close to colliding with curbs or stationary objects.
- The driver’s turn signals do not match what they are doing.
If you notice a distracted driver, pull over safely and call the police right away.
Contact Our Experienced Distracted Driving Attorneys on Long Island
The Long Island distracted driving accident attorneys of The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., want to help you find justice after a collision. We will stop at nothing in our pursuit of fair compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.