Is it Necessary to Prove a Driver is Distracted to Get Compensation?

If you are injured by a distracted driver in Central New York, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. New York’s no-fault insurance laws allow you to seek reimbursement for your injury expenses regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

However, if your expenses exceed your no-fault insurance coverage, you may want to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver to recover additional damages. Hiring one of the Syracuse car accident lawyers at Catalano Law can increase your chances of receiving the financial compensation you deserve.

What is Distracted Driving in New York?

The NY Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR) reported 109 fatalities and over 41,600 injuries due to distracted driving accidents in 2019. Besides mobile device use, distracted driving can refer to doing the following while behind the wheel:

New York amended the Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1225(d) in 2011. The new version lists texting and driving as a primary offense and includes using hands-on mobile devices for other purposes like email or voice calls.

Can I Get Compensation Without Proving Negligence?

New York is a no-fault state, allowing you to file a claim with your auto insurance before filing against the other driver. Under your selected PIP benefits plan, you receive financial coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and other reasonable costs relating to your injuries. 

Even if you’re partially at fault for an accident, you can still try to recover damages under the state’s pure comparative negligence rule. However, the amount of your claim is reduced based on your percentage of accident liability.

Suing for Additional Compensation

If your PIP insurance doesn’t cover your accident expenses sufficiently, consult an auto accident attorney to file a claim against the negligent driver.

New York Vehicle & Traffic Law § 1212classifies distracted driving as a type of reckless driving, a misdemeanor offense. You can file a claim against a distracted driver for financial compensation if they injure you in an accident.

In New York, you can seek economic, non-economic, and punitive damages, depending on the severity of your injuries.

To sue for non-economic damages in New York, you either need to meet the serious injury threshold or have medical and lost wage expenses totaling more than $50,000.

Personal injury lawyers use the following methods to prove that a distracted driver’s negligence caused a vehicle crash.

Contact Catalano Law for Help With a Distracted Driver Claim

If you’re in Syracuse, Albany, Ithaca, Elmira, Binghamton, Utica, or Watertown, schedule your free consultation with the personal injury attorneys at Catalano Law. We know how to prove negligence and build your case with over 50 years of combined experience and more than 12,000 cases. 

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