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Three Types of Distracted Driving Accidents

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a serious problem on the roadways in New York. It can cause a hazard to other drivers on the road, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists — and lead to accidents that result in severe injuries. According to statistics collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,100 people were killed in accidents caused by distracted driving in 2019 — and 424,000 were injured in the same year. If you were injured in a distracted driving car accident due to someone else’s negligence, it’s important to understand that you may be entitled to file a personal injury action to recover compensation for your economic losses and pain and suffering.

What are the Three Types of Distracted Driving?

Anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road can be considered distracted driving. Importantly, a driver must always keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road in order to operate their vehicle safely. Talking on the phone, sending a text message, eating, grooming, or using a navigation system are all common examples of distracted driving. Critically, many types of distracted driving are illegal in New York. In fact, there are specific laws in place that prohibit a driver from using electronic devices — such as cell phones — while driving.

The three main categories of driving distractions while operating a motor vehicle include the following:

  • Visual distractions — This type of distracted driving involves a driver taking their eyes off the road.
  • Manual distractions — Manual distractions occur when a driver takes their hands off the wheel.
  • Cognitive distractions — This type of distracted driving happens when a driver takes their mind off driving.

Distracted driving can lead to severe accidents that cause catastrophic injuries. Whether the victim was inside a vehicle, on a bicycle, or struck by a distracted driver while walking in a crosswalk, they might suffer from broken bones, sprains, strains, disfigurement, traumatic brain injury, paralysis, debilitation, and permanent disability. These injuries may require significant medical treatment, including hospitalization, physical rehabilitation, and surgeries. A victim may also lose time from work as they recover from their injuries and incur various out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident.

Liability and Compensation for Distracted Driving Accidents

A driver who injures another due to distracted driving could be held liable in a personal injury action for the harm they caused the victim to suffer if negligence can be proven. However, if the driver’s actions violated the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL), they could be held strictly liable. To establish a claim based on strict liability, negligence does not need to be shown — it must only be proven that the driver broke the law, which caused the injuries.

A victim who sustained injuries due to a driver’s inattention, carelessness, or recklessness may be entitled to recover both their economic and non-economic damages in a personal injury action. Economic damages cover the financial losses a victim incurred due to their accident-related injuries, including medical expenses that were not reimbursed through no-fault, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses. Also referred to as “pain and suffering” damages, non-economic damages are meant to compensate a victim for the physical pain, emotional anguish, and other non-pecuniary losses they suffered due to their injuries.

Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney

If you suffered injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s distracted driving, you may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit to recover your damages. A skillful personal injury attorney can discuss your legal rights and fight for the maximum monetary recovery available in your case. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C., has represented victims of negligence for over three decades and provides adept advocacy to obtain the best possible results in each unique case. Contact us today for a consultation.