The roads in New York can be a dangerous place. It only takes a few seconds of questionable behavior on the part of one driver to cause serious misfortune for many others. A single drunk or distracted driver could potentially cause an accident that impacts the lives of a number of other people.
If you recently got into a crash that you believe was the result of a distracted driver texting at the wheel, you probably feel upset that someone else made a bad decision that impacted your life. Don't just feel bad about it though. Take action. Under New York law, you can hold a distracted driver accountable if they cause property damage or personal injury to you or one of your passengers.
You have the right to seek compensation for losses after a collision
Even a minor car crash can cause major complications. You might have to spend thousands of dollars to repair your car. Sometimes, you might have to replace it. Then there are the medical costs. You might incur tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses from even a moderate injury.
New York understands that the victims of accidents caused by someone else shouldn't have to bear the burden of that person's mistake. You have the right to file a civil lawsuit for compensation in the amount of the damages caused by the crash. Those damages include medical bills and repair costs, as well as lost wages that you didn't receive while you recovered from your injuries.
Texting at the wheel is illegal in New York
The state of New York doesn't take too kindly to people who don't focus on the road while driving. There is a state statute that prohibits manually holding a phone for just about any purpose. Whether you are dialing a number or talking to someone, that is a violation of state law. The same is true of reading, typing or sending a text message or email.
Basically, if you have to take your hands off the wheel to do it, you it's against New York law. If you can prove that the other party in a crash was engaged in a wrongful act, such as the violation of a state law, at the time of the crash, that will make it easier for you to obtain a positive outcome.
Civil cases involving distracted drivers who hurt others on the road are not only a way for victims to protect themselves but also a deterrent for future distracted drivers. As more people get held accountable for making this questionable decision at the wheel, more people will think twice before driving distracted.