Distracted Driving: A Common Cause of Accidents in New Jersey
NJ Accident Attorneys Represent those Injured by Distracted Drivers
Distracted driving kills and injures thousands of people each year. According to the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, nearly half a million people are injured in motor vehicle accidents each year, and distracted driving contributes to an appreciable number of these injuries in New Jersey. To that end, the Department has cited distracted driving as a “dangerous epidemic” in New Jersey and associates such driving with contributing to the over 804,000 motor vehicle accidents that took place in the state from 2011 to 2015. This article examines distracted driving and the dangers that this common practice presents to others on the road. If you have been injured in an accident with a distracted driver in New Jersey, it is vital to seek legal counsel and understand your rights. The experienced New Jersey Personal Injury Attorneys at our firm can help you pursue compensation for injuries caused by your collision. Contact us anytime at 732-825-6120 to speak with a lawyer about your case and potential legal options.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving refers to any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. This can include using a cell phone or smartphone to check your email on the road, to text, to write a note for yourself, to read the news, watch a streaming program, or even talk without the benefit of a hands-free device. Drivers can also be distracted by eating or drinking in the car, listening to earbuds that block out the sound of horns, sirens, or screeching brakes, and doing makeup while in a moving vehicle.
Since it is such a problem, New Jersey lawmakers and law enforcement officials have sought to crack down on those who drive while distracted by their cell phones. Using a phone in the car can result in significant fines ranging from $200-$800. A person can also receive multiple motor vehicle points that can result in a suspended driving privileges if they accumulate too many.
Injured by a Distracted Driver in New Jersey, What Can I do?
You may have a potential legal claim against someone who injures you based on distracted driving. All individuals who operate motor vehicles in New Jersey have a duty to drive reasonably safely under the circumstances, and if a person texts and drives or otherwise distracts themselves from driving, they have arguably failed to drive reasonably safely, and their negligent failure to drive safely likely caused your accident and resulting injury. If you are involved in an accident with a distracted driver, you may have grounds to pursue compensation in a civil claim against the person.
That said, New Jersey is a no-fault accident state, so it is important to check the terms of your insurance policy when exploring the potential for a personal injury lawsuit. Some basic policies include a “limited right to sue” provision that can bar you from bringing certain claims in court. In that situation, you would have to recover your damages from the accident with the distracted driver from your own personal injury protection (or “PIP”) insurance. If you are not limited by the terms of your insurance policy, you can file a lawsuit to recover damages from the other driver.
Contact a New Jersey Distracted Driving Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Case
If you have suffered harm in an accident in New Jersey and another driver’s use of a cell phone or other distracted driving behavior caused your injuries, you may be entitled to money damages, both economic and non-economic. Economic damages cover lost wages, medical bills, and damage to your vehicle, among other things. Non-economic damages cover your pain and suffering, which cannot be seen but is unquestionably felt when you have been injured. Contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney at our firm who can tell you more about your potential legal options and likelihood of recovering compensation. Call 732-825-6120 for a free consultation today.