Long Island Distracted Driving Lawyer
Skilled Distracted Driving Attorneys Serving Long Island, NY
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the task of driving. It is one of the leading causes of serious car accidents. The statistics are staggering. According to the National Highway Safety Administration over three thousand people died as a result of distracted driving in 2016 and over three hundred ninety thousand were injured. Whether someone is driving while talking on the phone (without a headset or bluetooth), texting, playing with their phone, eating, rubbernecking, reading, etc., they are not paying full attention to the road. If you need representation in a distracted driving case, our Long Island Distracted Driving Lawyer can help.
When a driver cannot devote his or her full attention to controlling the car, the result is a safety hazard and an increased risk of a motor vehicle accident. Texting while driving is a particularly scary type of distraction because sending or reading a message takes the eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. To put that in perspective, if a person was moving at 60mph and had their eyes off the road for 5 seconds, they have traveled 440 feet without looking at the road. The distracted driver has traveled a distance farther than a football field without looking at the road.
Drunk driving is also an incredibly dangerous form of distracted driving. Alcohol obviously has the ability to impair judgement. The more you drink, the worse your decision making is, and could lead to a person making potentially dangerous choices. If you hold drunk drivers accountable for damages, it does more than just help you pay your medical bills and accident related expenses. Your legal stand helps make a statement. And statistics show that fewer alcohol-related accidents occur when we take the necessary measures to deal with drunk driving. Our injury lawyers are diligent about gathering evidence and considering all possible avenues for recovering compensation on your behalf, especially when the accident was caused by a distracted driver.
Take Action After An Accident With a Distracted Driver
If you have suffered injuries in Suffolk County, Long Island because of a distracted driver, it is a good idea to consult with a car accident attorney as soon as possible. Hiring an attorney early on in the process will help protect your legal rights, ensure your medical bills and lost wages are paid and give you an advantage building a strong personal injury case. An early investigation will also help preserve key evidence in your case.
Important deadlines to know for your car accident case:
Medical bills and lost wages are paid through no-fault insurance. All no-fault insurance carriers require a no-fault application be filed within thirty days. Failing to do so may result in denial of your no-fault benefits and may make you personally responsible for the bills.
In car accident cases there is generally a three-year statute of limitations to initiate a lawsuit. However, that time period may be reduced to as little as 90 days if your car accident involves a municipal, state or federal entity. So, it’s best to check with a qualified car accident attorney as soon as possible.
How Much Is My Long Island Car Accident Case Worth?
The value of an injury suffered in a car accident is an accumulation of several different factors. These include any accident related economic expenses such as lost wages and damage to your car as well as non-economic losses such as pain and suffering and mental anguish. At Palermo Law, our experience in handling thousands of car accident cases allows us to accurately assess the value of your case to determine the fairest settlement or jury award. In cases of long-term injuries, we partner with experts in the fields of medicine and economics to make sure that your compensation is adjusted for future inflation. This allows you the peace of mind knowing that you will be compensated for years to come.
Three types of distractions that impair drivers
Manual – Manual distractions are diversions that cause the driver to take one or both hands off the steering wheel. Types of manual distractions include eating, smoking and searching for a wallet or purse. It is best to take care of these types of distractions before driving if possible. If already driving it is recommended that a person pull over if there is a need to search for something.
- Visual – A visual distraction is something that keeps a driver’s eyes off the road. So looking at a phone, or putting on makeup can be considered visual distractions. Drivers should keep their phone on “Do Not Disturb” so as not to feel tempted to look at their phone.
- Cognitive – Cognitive distractions are things that impair a person’s ability to focus and pay attention to driving. The worst offense here would be a driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. But road rage and daydreaming are also cognitive distractions. Even being fatigued or drowsy is a form of a cognitive distraction.
Texting and Driving
Texting is the most common, and perhaps most dangerous form of distracted driving. Texting encompasses all three types of distractions mentioned above. If a person texts while driving, their hand is off the wheel, their eyes are off the road, and their focus is somewhere else.
- Engaging in texting increases the risk of a collision by double as compared to what the NHTSA refers to as “model” driving.
- On average, text messaging takes a driver’s eyes off the road for a total of 23 seconds.
- The CDC reports that 31% of drivers aged 18-64 had read or sent text messages while driving at least once during the previous month. Three-quarters of drivers admit that they’ve seen others do so as well.
- Of all drivers under the age of 20 that were involved in fatal crashes, 10% admitted to being distracted by text or phone use.
- Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the US.
- On average, 7 teens die in car crashes every day.
- A transportation research study found that up to 25% of teen drivers respond to texts one or more times, every time they drive. Twenty percent of teens and ten percent of parents admit that they have extended text message exchanges while driving.
- The FCC found that 11% of motorists in the 18-20 age group who were involved in a car accident admitted that they were texting at the time of the collision.
Distracted Driving FAQs In Long Island
Who is at fault when in an accident with an intoxicated driver?
In some drunk driving accident cases, more than one party is liable. Aside from the intoxicated driver, liquor liability may be a factor. In other words, the restaurant, bar or other establishment that served alcohol to the inebriated or underage individual is in violation of New York dram shop law. When car accidents involve multiple vehicles there are frequently a number of liable parties. It’s best to take in as much information as possible at the time of the accident so your attorney can recover as much compensation as possible from all liable parties.
The best way to protect yourself is to pay attention to the best of your abilities to signs of a dangerous driver and take the necessary defensive driving measures. Teach your children who may now be driving as well so they can learn to drive defensively as well. A driver may be distracted if he/she is:
- Abrupt turns
- Driving over center lane marker
- Delayed response to traffic signals
- Swerving or zigzagging
- Nearly colliding with objects/cars
Additionally, a drunk driver may also show signs of:
- Driving 10 mph or more below the speed limit
- Drifting between traffic
- Signaling incorrectly
- Illegal maneuvers
- Quick acceleration
- Driving without headlights
- Driving somewhere other than the road
What do I do if I think I see a distracted driver?
- Slow down or pull over. It might be tempting to want to speed past the driver but it is better that you are aware where the driver is rather than hoping you got far enough away to be in danger.
- Record information. Try and remember the vehicles make, color and model as well as the license plate. Don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation trying to get this information, but this is what the police needs to get the dangerous driver off the road.
- Do NOT try to get the driver to pull over yourself. This greatly increases your risk of getting in a car accident. Remember an average of 29 people die every day from a drink driver. Do not put yourself at risk, just get information if you can safely do so.
- Report the driver. If you were able to get information, pull over and call 911 and report what you saw. Even if you missed a detail you can still give additional details like what road you are driving on and what intersections the driver passed.You should also explain what you saw that made you think that the driver was dangerous.
Is Drowsy Driving a Form of Distracted Driving?
When we think of impaired or distracted driving, we often think about people who drive while drinking, texting or under the influence of drugs. However, driving while feeling drowsy is just as dangerous. And unlike other driving impairments, feeling drowsy behind the wheel is something that can happen to anyone. According to the American Sleep Foundation, about 20% of drivers have admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel. In the US, about 800 people died from a drowsy-driving related accidents in 2017 and about 91000 accidents were caused. So not only is drowsy driving common, but it can be fatal.
Drowsiness and fatigue occurs when our body hasn’t been given enough rest. We do our best to get through our daily routines even if we are sleep deprived, but the effects of sleep deprivation will eventually begin to affect our cognitive functions. To be a safe driver, a person needs to be visually focused, have manual control, and normal cognitive function. Anything that impairs these elements are dangerous distractions. A cognitive distraction causes the driver to lose the ability to focus. Drowsy driving being a cognitive distraction falls under the same category as someone who drinks or is under the influence of drugs while driving. Even if the person doesn’t actually fall asleep at the wheel, being drowsy is enough for them to lose their ability to drive safely.
I was Injured from a distracted driver, how much does Palermo Law cost?
There is absolutely no cost to hire our law firm. We work on a contingency basis. That means that if we are not able to win your case there is no charge. If we are successful in winning your case, we earn a fee of 1/3 of the recovery for your bodily injury claim. We never charge additional fees for handling No-Fault and property damage issues. We also will lay out all of the litigation expenses in the case. This way there is no financial risk to you.
Finally, we always offer a free initial consultation at any of our six locations throughout Suffolk and Nassau Counties. Further, we offer in home or hospital initial consultations for our Suffolk County Car Accident Clients and our Nassau County Car Accident Clients. It is always our goal to be the best car accident law firm in Suffolk County and Nassau County. Therefore, we’re always willing to go the extra mile for our clients.
Why Hire Palermo Law?
- We always offer a free no obligation consultation.
- We never charge a fee unless we win your case.
- We provide personal one on one attention to every client.
- We handle all no-fault insurance communications and paperwork for you free of charge.
- We have over two decades of experience litigating car accident cases on Long Island.
- We have obtained numerous million dollar verdicts and settlements for our clients.
About Our Suffolk County Car Accident Law Firm:
Palermo Law was founded in 1994 as a general practice. In 1997, Steven Palermo joined the firm and by the early 2000’s the law firm shifted it’s primary focus to personal injury law. Steven Palermo focuses his entire practice on Personal injury law, with a large majority of those cases being Suffolk County car accidents. He personally oversees every car accident case that the firm handles. He brings to each case over twenty years of experience, numerous successful trial verdicts and a passion for helping Suffolk County car accident victims in their fight for justice against large insurance companies.
While Steven and his team are proud of their record of achievements in the court room, they are equally excited about how their clients feel about their experiences with the law firm. The firm has over two hundred positive reviews from former clients on various websites such as Google, Lawyers.com, Avvo and Facebook. Palermo Law takes particular pride in the fact that they have some of the best reviews in Suffolk County. If you would like to set up an appointment for a free initial no obligation consultation with an experienced Suffolk County car accident attorney, feel free to call today.
Service We perform:
- Identifying all potential sources of recover including no-fault insurance limits and all bodily injury insurance limits.
- Complete investigative services including gathering of all relevant documentation such as accident reports and witness statements, medical records and reports. We often engage the help of experts in the field of accident reconstruction, medicine and economics to help support your claim.
- We will handle all no-fault insurance communications and paper work free of charge.
- We litigate your case. If your case cannot be settled we will litigate it in court. It is always our goal to obtain fair compensation for our clients without the need for trial. But rest assured, if your case does not settle we will be prepared to take your case to trial
Trial Ready Strategy
Most personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court at some point before a trial. Many personal injury law firms on Long Island don’t fully prepare their cases for trial when anticipating a settlement. This weakens their position when it comes time to negotiating a settlement. At Palermo Law, we always fully prepare every case as if it is going to trial. This level of preparation gives us the leverage to negotiate the highest possible compensation for our clients and puts us in a strong position should a trial become necessary.
Focused on Helping the Injured
We realize that being really well versed in any one area of law takes focus. Personal injury law is no exception. That’s why our Long Island personal injury lawyers only handle personal injury cases. Steven Palermo, our managing partner, has been exclusively handling personal injury cases for the last two decades. We handle all types of personal injury cases for the injured, including car accidents, slip and falls and work related accidents. We have never represented an insurance company and never will. We do what we do because we love helping people.
We offer every potential personal injury client a free, no obligation consultation at any of our five locations throughout Long Island. During the consultation, we will discuss your case in detail and give you our opinion on the chances of success. We will also discuss our potential strategy and our process for handling your case. If after fully discussing your case we feel it is a good fit for our Long Island Personal Injury law firm, we will discuss our fees and give you the option of moving forward with us as your lawyers.
Additional Distracted Driving Resources
- The Dangers of Texting and Driving for Teens
- The Dangers of Drowsy Driving
- New York’s Dram Shop Law
- Be Safe on Your Night Out
- What Is No-Fault Coverage?
- How To File Your New York State No-Fault Application
- What To Know Before Handling Your Own No-Fault Claim
- Understanding New York State’s “Serious Injury Threshold” Statute
- Additional No-Fault Coverage (“APIP” & “OBEL”)
- Understanding MVAIC – For Victims Of Motor Vehicle Accidents With No Access To No-Fault or Bodily Injury Coverage
Contact a Long Island Distracted Driving Lawyer
We have litigated hundreds of accident cases over the last two decades. As a result, we’ve become very proficient in handling all aspects of accident litigation including no-fault and property damage claims. We know all the ins and outs of Long Island accident claims and will use our experience to make sure you receive full compensation. We handle all Suffolk county accident cases on a contingency basis. This means we never charge an upfront fee and only get paid if we win your case.