Almost all states across the U.S. now having texting while driving bans. New York State law banned texting early on, in 2009. In other words, it is illegal to text while you are driving a vehicle. A person who texts while driving is engaging in a form of distracted driving. Furthermore, research shows that distracted driving is a significant factor in car accident injuries and deaths.
In fact, from a legal perspective, distracted driving is a form of negligence. The concept of negligence is a core concept in personal injury law. Negligence assumes that when an individual is careless and their actions harm someone else, they are responsible for the damage they caused.
States laws differ in determining how much responsibility a negligent party bears. In some states, injury victims cannot recover any compensation at all if they in any way contributed to causing the accident. However, this is not the case in New York. Under New York comparative negligence law, injury victims may recover compensation even when their actions contributed to their own injury. However, the court reduces their compensation in proportion to their percentage of contribution.
Prior to the ban, attorneys would have to prove that a driver who was texting and driving posed a safety hazard. They would have to convince an insurance company or jury of this fact by presenting research statistics and using strategic arguments. However, after texting and driving became illegal, attorneys only had to prove the other driver was texting, which violated the law. The legal violation itself establishes negligence.
If you noticed the other driver was texting when your accident occurred, it is vital to mention this to your attorney. Sackstein, Sackstein & Lee, LLP offers a free consultation to explain your legal rights and determine whether grounds exist to sue. Call our toll free number at (888) 519-6400 or reach out to us through our contact form