Distracted Driver Accident Attorneys
Personal injury attorneys advocating for an end to distracted driving in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and throughout New York.
The Long Island car accident lawyers of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye have decades of experience successfully litigating motor vehicle accidents, including those caused by cell phone use. If another driver was texting, dialing, or otherwise distracted because of cell phone usage, they may be legally liable for your damages, including medical expenses, lost income, and in tragic cases of fatality, funeral expenses.
Victims of car accidents often face a lengthy road to recovery. You may have serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, that require extensive medical treatments, perhaps even surgery. You may need to undergo physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other types of rehabilitative care. While you’re recovering, you’re likely losing wages because you cannot work and you may be dealing with psychological trauma caused by the crash.
When you choose Edelman, Krasin & Jaye, you’re choosing a partner in your recovery. We’ll work with you every step of the way, listen to your concerns, and explain your legal rights and options thoroughly. Our New York personal injury attorneys have the knowledge and resources necessary to fight for justice on your behalf.
Does cell phone use while driving affect you?
Experts tend to agree that cell phone-related car accidents are a growing epidemic in Long Island, the greater New York area, and across the nation.
Distracted driving because of electronic device usage encompasses the following activities:
- Sending or receiving text messages
- Talking on a cell phone (with or without hands-free headset)
- Checking email on a cell phone
- Reaching for a cell phone (taking hands off wheel, eyes off road)
- Dialing a number on a cell phone
Many drivers who engage in cell phone use while driving mistakenly believe that if they’re only using their cell phone for just a few seconds, it won’t affect their driving. In fact, studies that shown that sending or receiving a text message takes an average of 4.6 seconds for a driver. While this may not seem like a great deal of time, a motorist driving at 55 mph will go the length of an entire football field without once looking at the road. In that brief span of time, a horrific accident can occur that can change a person’s life forever – or take that life away.
Furthermore, research has demonstrated that the use of hands-free headsets is not substantially less dangerous than the use of a cell phone without one. In fact, hands-free headsets may give a driver the illusion of safety, perhaps even encouraging greater cell phone use while driving. Studies have also shown that any manual-visual activity – including reaching for a cell phone – can result in a car accident. Research has shown that texting while driving increases the risk of a car accident by 23 times.
Long Island texting and driving stats
The growing epidemic of cell phone use while driving is alarming – at any given time, about 660,000 motorists are distracted by their cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. In New York State, 1 out of every 5 car crashes is caused by distracted driving, and 30,000 tickets were issued for texting and driving in NY in 2012 alone.
Nassau and Suffolk counties are no exception: From 2004 to 2009, approximately 50 teens died in texting-while-driving accidents on Long Island, 10 every year on average, according to data from the Department of Transportation. In the summer of 2013, NY’s Governor Cuomo approved a $1 million crackdown on cell phone-related car accidents on Long Island. The crackdown incorporated increased police patrols, including operations using unmarked state police SUVs. Over the 2013 July 4th weekend alone on Long Island, 486 tickets were issued for distracted driving.
In recent years, the penalty for distracted driving in NY has increased from 3 to 5 points on a drivers license, license suspension and revocation has become more frequent, and monetary fines have been hiked up. But the prevalence of texting and driving on Long Island has not abated, prompting Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice, in 2014, to propose the development of “kill switch” technology to automatically disable the cell phones of teen drivers–and distracted driving offenders–when they are inside their cars.
Rice stated, “Research suggests that driving while texting can be as dangerous as driving while drunk, and even more pervasive, especially among young people.”
Any driver or passenger can be affected by this dangerous trend without warning. That’s why the Long Island auto accident attorneys of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are ready and waiting to step in when needed.
When you call us after a car accident, our legal team springs into action to obtain police reports and other evidence needed to build a case. By calling us and taking immediate action, you can obtain compensation for your injuries and lost wages that much sooner.
Motorists protected by laws in NY
In New York, laws are in place to protect motorists from the dangerous use of cell phones while driving.
New York’s strict cell phone laws prohibit the following forms of distracted driving:
- Holding any portable electronic device
- Talking on a handheld cell phone
- Playing games
- Taking, transmitting, or viewing images
- Typing, transmitting, receiving, accessing, browsing, saving, or retrieving any type of electronic data, including text messages, emails, and websites
One of the few exceptions to this strict law is when a motorist uses a cell phone to call for emergency responders.
For residents of New York City, well-known for its pedestrian lifestyle, residents have another problem to worry about: the rampant use of cell phones by cabbies.
The city has banned cell phone use by taxi drivers, even with the use of a headset. However, one recent crash involved a collision of two cabs because one driver was busy looking at his cell phone and did not see the traffic light turn red. A passenger sustained a serious neck injury.
Proving liability in NY car accidents
It can often be difficult to prove that the other driver was using a cell phone while driving. The experienced LI car accident lawyers of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye can prove liability in texting and driving accidents in a number of ways. We may obtain cell phone records from the other driver by issuing a subpoena during the discovery process. We can scour police records, which may show illegal cell phone use at the time of the car accident. And we may locate and question witnesses, who may have seen the driver using a cell phone. These types of evidence can be used to show that the other driver should be held liable for compensatory damages as a result of the accident.
Compensation may be available to you
At Edelman, Krasin & Jaye, we are keenly aware of the devastation a cell phone related car accident can cause, with its serious personal, emotional, medical, and financial implications. By representing you in a Nassau or Suffolk car accident lawsuit, We can hold the responsible party accountable for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
You could be entitled to compensation for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Ongoing rehabilitative needs
- Pharmaceutical expenses
- Loss of wages and loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Permanent disability
- Wrongful death
Your compensation may be determined by a jury or via a settlement negotiation. A number of factors go into the final figure, such as the extent of your injuries, the loss of any personal property (i.e. the total loss of your car), whether your loved one was fatally injured, and whether your injuries will cause permanent disability.
Our lawyers recently obtained the following compensation for our clients:
- $915,000 settlement for a motorist involved in a Nassau County accident
- $750,000 settlement for a Nassau County resident who underwent spinal surgery after a car crash
- $325,000 settlement for a Nassau County resident involved with a motor vehicle accident, who subsequently required spinal surgery
Filing a cell phone car accident lawsuit on Long Island
Regardless of whether you were driving when a car struck yours, or you were a passenger or pedestrian, you could be entitled to a significant monetary jury award or settlement if the other driver was texting and driving, or otherwise distracted or impaired in any way.
Contact Edelman, Krasin & Jaye right away and we’ll get to work for you to prove the other driver’s liability and hold him or her accountable. Our team of LI distracted driving accident attorneys will thoroughly investigate your case, and explain your legal rights and options. Schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation by calling us at (800) 469-7429 or (516) 742-9200.
- Governor Cuomo Details Summer Texting-While-Driving Crackdown on Long Island, http://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-details-summer-texting-while-driving-crackdown-long-island
- News 12 Long Island, 12 Making a Difference: Texting Awareness Foundation, http://longisland.news12.com/multimedia/12-making-a-difference-texting-awareness-foundation-1.9731871
- Long Island Press, Schumer: L.I. Leads In Texting-Driving Deaths, http://archive.longislandpress.com/2009/10/04/schumer-l-i-leads-in-texting-driving-deaths/
- NY State DMV, Cell phone use & texting, http://dmv.ny.gov/tickets/cell-phone-use-texting
- PBS, Texting while driving? Long Island DA wants to disable your phone, http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/texting-driving-long-island-da-wants-disable-phone/
- The New York Times, Cabbies Stay on Their Phones Despite Ban, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/04/nyregion/04taxi.html
- American Association for Justice, Danger on the Road, http://www.justice.org/cps/rde/justice/hs.xsl/20054.htm
- Distraction.gov, What is Distracted Driving? http://www.distraction.gov/stats-research-laws/facts-and-statistics.html
- SafeNY, Distracted Driving, Talking & Texting, http://www.safeny.ny.gov/phon-ndx.htm