Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving

Every year, hundreds of New Yorkers are injured in auto accidents by drivers whose attention is anywhere but on the road. Devices like smartphones and other in-car entertainment systems take drivers’ eyes away from the road, resulting in serious crashes. At Gelber & O’Connell, LLC will help uncover whether distracted driving played a role in the collision and are dedicated to helping those who were harmed by such distracted drivers.

Distracted Driving Laws

As of 2012, the vast majority of states have enacted laws targeting distracted driving, with an emphasis on curbing texting while driving. New York passed its law in July, 2011 and currently has the strictest laws in the country. It is now a primary offense for drivers to use hand-held devices while the vehicle is moving. “Use of a hand-held device” includes talking on the phone, composing, sending, reading, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or retrieving email, text messages or Web pages and, additionally, viewing, taking photos or transmitting images and playing games. “Primary offense” means police can pull over and cite a driver simply for using a hand-held device, without needing to find another reason to pull over the driver. The current laws still allow drivers to use hands-free devices, although there are ongoing discussions in Albany to curb even hands-free usage, as it too can be distracting.

Penalties include fines ranging from $50 to $400 and an automatic penalty of 5 points on your driver’s license.

Effective in November, 2014, penalties were added for young and new drivers (under the age of 21), which are even tougher. In addition to the above, license suspension ranging from 120 days to one full year is required.

Despite the law, many drivers continue to drive while distracted. Accidents still occur at a high rate as drivers fail to comply with the law. As skilled personal injury lawyers, we will promptly investigate the accident, obtain cellphone records and analyze them to find out if the driver who hit you was on the phone at the time of the accident. If so, your claim immediately becomes stronger.

How Did the Accident that Injured You Happen?

While cellphone use is perhaps the most frequent form of distracted driving, there are many other behaviors that result in auto accidents every year. At Gelber & O’Connell, LLC, we have handled distracted driving claims involving:

  • Eating or drinking in the car
  • Adjusting the radio
  • Programming navigation systems
  • Arguing with vehicle occupants
  • Disciplining children
  • Putting on makeup or fixing your hair

When you turn to our law firm, you can be confident that our attorneys will fully investigate the crash, with the help of experts whenever necessary. Insurance companies know that we do not take on frivolous cases and are prepared to litigate to conclusion those cases we do accept. Our reputation for handling serious injury claims and taking them all the way through trial, if necessary, often leads insurers to offer maximum settlements to our clients.

Contact a dedicated and compassionate lawyer today

To arrange for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney at Gelber & O'Connell, LLC, contact us at 716-633-5050. Or, if you prefer, complete this form and one of our lawyers will contact you.