Distracted Driving Accidents
There was a time when drunk drivers were the most serious threat to highway safety across New Jersey and elsewhere. While drunk drivers still pose a significant risk of harm to others, people who engage in “distracted driving,” such as texting while operating a motor vehicle, are rapidly becoming an equally dangerous threat to those with whom they share the road. A frequently cited study has suggested that taking the time to send a text while driving at highway speeds is similar to driving the length of a football field blindfolded. If you have been hurt in a Middlesex or Mercer County accident caused by a distracted driver, the Middlesex County distracted driving accident lawyers at Siegel & Siegel, P.C., can help you assert your legal rights against the responsible party.Proving the Liability of a Distracted Driver in New Jersey
In car accident cases such as those arising from a rear-end collision or side-impact crash, it is the plaintiff (the injured person) who bears the burden of proof at trial. This usually is based on the theory of negligence when a distracted driver is at fault. In a negligence case, the plaintiff must prove four separate elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. In a New Jersey distracted driving accident case, the plaintiff may be able to satisfy the duty element by citing the general obligation that drivers have to keep a proper lookout. If it appears that the defendant was looking at his or her phone instead of at the road, for example, the jury probably will be convinced that the defendant breached the duty of care, since this is not something that a reasonable, cautious driver would do.
A distracted driving accident attorney in Middlesex County must also be able to prove that the victim was injured as a result of the defendant’s conduct in order to receive compensation for his or her injuries. This element (proximate causation) is often contested in car and truck crash cases. Sometimes the defendant may admit that he or she was acting carelessly at the time of the crash but argue that this was not the cause of the accident. Instead, the defendant may insist that it was the plaintiff’s own negligence that caused or substantially contributed to the collision. Under New Jersey’s modified comparative fault law, only plaintiffs who are less than 50% responsible for an accident are eligible for compensation. They will be able to recover damages that are proportionate to the degree of fault attributed to the defendant.
The amount of money that a victim is due for injuries suffered in a distracted driving accident varies widely. Our Middlesex County distracted driving accident attorneys can help you gather evidence to present a compelling claim. Some of the factors taken into consideration include the amount of medical expenses incurred, the victim’s lost wages and loss of future earning capacity, any disfigurement or scarring, and the amount of pain and suffering that the accident caused the plaintiff to endure. Although compensatory damages are not capped in New Jersey, a practical limitation to the amount that a plaintiff can recover may be the policy limits under the defendant’s automobile accident liability insurance policy. In some cases, however, the plaintiff may seek additional compensation through his or her own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or through attaching the personal assets of the defendant.Get Advice from a Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer in Middlesex County
People who have been hurt in a crash caused by a distracted driver in Middlesex or Mercer County have a limited time for filing suit, so it is important to contact an attorney if you or a loved one has been hurt in a crash. You can schedule a free appointment to discuss your case with one of the experienced attorneys at Siegel & Siegel, P.C., by calling 609-799-6066 or contacting us online. We represent people in Plainsboro, Cranbury, South Brunswick, North Brunswick, New Brunswick, Edison, Piscataway, Trenton, Princeton, Hamilton, and West Windsor, as well as throughout Middlesex, Mercer, Burlington, Monmouth, and Union Counties.