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Staten Island Texting While Driving Accident Lawyer

Were You Injured by a Driver Texting? Our Staten Island Texting While Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help You

Distracted driving is a huge problem in the United States and in New York. According to statistics, each year in the United States there are over 3,500 traffic fatalities and roughly 424,000 traffic injuries caused by distracted driving. Of distracted driving accidents, crashes caused by using a hand-held cell phone have increased over 127% over recent years. This includes texting while driving, which contributes to approximately 1,000 of those traffic facilities each year – including more than 560 of those fatalities to pedestrians or bicyclists. Despite the fact that texting while driving is entirely preventable, it continues to occur at an alarming rate. Although liability for these texting while driving accidents is often clear, far too many insurance adjusters and defense lawyers will not fairly compensate victims and their families. That’s why victims need to retain an experienced Staten Island texting while driving accident lawyer.

At the O’Connor Law Firm, our compassionate and skilled legal team will not let insurance companies and defense lawyers protect dangerous drivers. Texting while driving is both illegal and dangerous, often leading to fatal consequences for innocent people. Our Staten Island texting while driving accident lawyer will fight back to ensure that victims recover compensation for conscious pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. To learn more about your rights under New York law, schedule a FREE consultation with the O’Connor Law Firm.


Why is Distracted Driving So Dangerous?

Distracted driving is dangerous for several reasons, which texting while driving contains all of these risks. Specifically, the three types of main distractions include the following:

  • Manual distractions – caused when a driver takes his or her hand off the wheel
  • Visual distractions – caused when a driver takes his or her eyes off the road
  • Cognitive distractions – caused when someone’s focus and attention are pulled away from driving and shifted to focus on something else.

Even when a driver is using a hands-free system to dictate a message, texting while driving easily involves at least two of these three types of distractions. However, most instances of texting while driving involve all three.


Common Types of Accidents Due to Texting While Driving in New York

A Staten Island texting while driving accident lawyer can help victims and their families recover compensation for many different types of accidents caused by distracted driving. This includes types of accidents that are unique to distracted driving, such as those due to inattention. Some of the most common examples of motor vehicle accidents caused by texting while driving include the following:

  • Rear end collisions
  • Sideswipe crashes
  • Running a stop sign
  • Driving out of a lane/drifting accidents
  • Jumping a curb or sidewalk
  • Losing control
  • Failing to yield
  • Running a red light
  • Speeding
  • Driving too fast for the conditions
  • Taking a turn too fast
  • Rollover accidents, and
  • Other types of similar types of motor vehicle accidents that our Staten Island texting while driving accident lawyer could assist you in handling.


Is it Illegal to Text While Driving in New York? 

Yes, under New York law it is illegal to text while driving. In fact, it is illegal to use a hand-held cell phone in many different ways – including making a call, reading/sending emails, checking news, games, messages, or any other transmission of data from your mobile device.

Specifically, the use of a portable device is governed by New York Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1225-d, which prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle while using any portable device while a vehicle is in motion or temporarily stationary on a public highway (like at a traffic light). This specifically includes texting or sending any messages. There are only limited exceptions to this rule, including in an emergency situation to contact 911, a hospital or doctor, or another type of emergency service provider.


How to Prove a Texting While Driving Accident Case in New York

Generally, there are two ways that a Staten Island texting while driving accident lawyer can prove your case in New York. This is done by asserting a cause of action, or claim, against the defendant. This includes asserting claims for negligence and negligence per se.

Each method is based on negligence principles which require four elements to be proven. These elements are:

  • Duty
  • Breach of Duty
  • Causation, and
  • Damages

All four of these elements are required in order to recover compensation from a defendant under New York law.


Negligence Claims

Nearly all personal injury cases are based on negligence in New York. This is the common-law principle (or judge-made law) which requires all motorists to exercise reasonable care in the use or operation of a motor vehicle. A defendant may be negligent when he or she operates a motor vehicle in a reckless or careless manner and causes foreseeable harm to another.

When a driver is texting while driving, it is very likely that this driver will be negligent if he or she causes a motor vehicle accident. That is because a driver exercising reasonable care would not take a hand off the wheel, would not shift his or her eyes from the road, and would not take his or her attention off of driving. Motor vehicle crashes due to texting while driving therefore could result in a finding of negligence.


Negligence Per Se

Although not all personal injury cases involve a claim for negligence per se, most motor vehicle cases do. That’s because the doctrine of negligence per se involves the violation of a statute which causes a victim’s harm as a way of proving liability against a defendant. Said differently, a victim can use the violation of a statute to automatically find a defendant liable for a traffic accident. This means that a victim will only need to prove causation and damages.

In order to use the doctrine of negligence per se, a victim will need to establish the following elements:

  • The defendant violated a statute
  • The victim was in the class of persons that the statute sought to protect, and
  • The harm suffered by the victim was the type of harm that the statute sought to prevent.

If these three elements are met, it is likely that a defendant may be found to be negligent per se in a texting while driving accident.


A Special Rule for Regulatory Violations

Although the violation of a state statute results in an automatic finding of liability against a defendant, that is not true of a regulatory violation. Rather, a regulatory violation is just “evidence” of negligence. This still allows a victim to use the violation of a regulation to help prove a case, but it is not an automatic finding of liability.

A violation of a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FCMSA) regulation is the most common example. These regulations also prohibit drivers of commercial vehicles, such as bus drivers or tractor-trailer drivers, from texting while driving. If a truck driver is texting while driving and causes an 18-wheeler wreck in New York, the FMCSA regulatory violation is only evidence of negligence and not an automatic finding. 


Common Damages from Texting While Driving Accidents in New York

 Victims and their families may be entitled to compensation for their damages after a texting while driving accident in New York. There are many different types of damages that may be available to a victim, including the following:

  • Past pain and suffering
  • Future pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Lost future earnings
  • Home or vehicle modification
  • Loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages (in rare cases)
  • Wrongful death expenses including burial costs and funeral expenses
  • Property damage, and
  • Other types of serious personal injuries or other damages that an experienced Staten Island texting while driving accident lawyer may be able to recover for you and your family.


Hurt by a Distracted Driver in New York? Call Our Staten Island Texting While Driving Accident Lawyer for Help

If you or a loved one were hurt by another motorist texting while driving, you have rights under New York law to recover certain compensation for your damages. These damages include pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and the other harm caused by a defendant. Although liability and your damages may be clear, it is unfortunately true that insurance adjusters and defense lawyers will undermine or even deny valid claims.

When this happens to you, call the experienced Staten Island texting while driving accident lawyer at the O’Connor Law Firm. We offer free consultations and case evaluations to help victims and their families learn more about their rights to compensation. There is no obligation to sign up at the consultation but, if you do choose our law firm and if we accept your case, there are no upfront fees or out-of-pocket expenses. That’s because we pay all upfront costs, and these expenses and our legal fees are only reimbursed after we make a recovery for you. To get started today, call to schedule your appointment by dialing (866)-927-3809 or by sending us an email through our “Contact Us” box available here.