I Was Injured By a Distracted Driver – Can I Sue?
Drivers have more distractions than ever before. While manufacturers have implemented numerous vehicle features to cut down on distracted driving, many accidents each year are still due to drivers not paying attention.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is operating a vehicle while engaging in any other activity that takes your attention away from the road. While many people immediately think that distracted driving is texting and driving, it can include many other actions.
It includes things like:
- Changing the radio station
- Adjusting the vehicle’s thermostat
- Reaching into the backseat
- Applying makeup
- Focusing on a passenger
- Eating while driving
- Putting an address into the GPS
- Talking on the phone
Each of these activities draws the driver’s attention away from the road, reducing their reaction time and, increasing the likeliness of an accident. So, what happens if another driver’s distractions result in you being in an accident?
Consequences of Distracted Driving
Most states, including New Jersey, have passed laws to reduce the occurrence of distracted driving. New Jersey’s most recent laws make it illegal to use a handheld phone while driving. If you are caught driving while using your handheld phone, you could face expensive fines up to $1,000, points on your driver’s license, and even a license suspension.
Drivers who drive distracted, and cause an accident in which there are injuries or fatalities, could face reckless driving or vehicular homicide charges. This does not include the additional financial liabilities that someone may be responsible for if they cause an accident while distracted driving.
Seeking Compensation For Your Injuries
If another driver is using their phone when an accident occurs, it may be enough evidence to deem them at-fault. However, it is not actually illegal to complete other tasks while driving, like adjusting the vehicle’s thermostat, or even fixing your makeup. This means that distracted driving would likely not be considered when determining who is at fault.
Additionally, it can be difficult to prove cell phone usage at the exact time of the auto accident. It is often one person’s word against another’s. While certain phone tasks like texting or making a phone call are time-stamped, not all actions are, including scanning social media sites.
Important Elements of a Personal Injury Case
Distracted driving does meet one of the important elements of a personal injury case. A personal injury needs to include the following:
- Duty of care: Drivers owe a legal duty of care to other drivers on the road. This means driving in a safe manner, at all times.
- Breach of duty: Negligent activities, including distracted driving, is often considered a breach of that duty of care.
- Causation: Distracted driving can cause an accident and injuries.
- Damages: Individuals who are injured due to someone’s negligence must have damages that can be compensated, like medical bills or lost wages.
If distracted driving was a part of an accident that left you with injuries, then it is important to work with a knowledgeable New Jersey car accident lawyer. We will help you gather the necessary evidence to demonstrate the real cause of the accident. If another driver acted negligently, such as participating in distracted driving, then it is only right that they cover your damages.
Contact an Atlantic City Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a distracted driving accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Brown Law represent clients injured because of distracted driving accidents in Egg Harbor, Atlantic City, Galloway Township, Hamilton, and throughout New Jersey. Call (609) 344-8270 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3123 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 201, Atlantic City, NJ 08041.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.