In New Jersey, New York and throughout the United States, distracted driving is the most common cause of car accidents, accidents that result in serious or catastrophic injuries, or even fatalities. At Levin & Malkin, our highly respected personal injury attorneys are dedicated to the principle that distracted drivers should be held accountable for the devastation they cause and that their innocent victims should be awarded the damages they deserve. Over our 40 years in practice, we have won millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts. If you have been injured in a distracted driving accident, contact us as soon as possible so that we can begin fighting for you.
Why choose Levin & Malkin?
Levin & Malkin has a well-earned reputation for winning cases, regardless how complex the cases may be. Over the decades, we have provided our clients with the aggressive legal presentation, moral support, and compassion they need to see them through what is no doubt one of the most difficult periods in their lives.
Beginning with your first free consultation with one of highly skilled attorneys, we will take over all logistical legal and insurance matters so you can process the trauma you have been through and concentrate on recovery. Because we understand that your recent incapacity has probably lowered your income and earning power at the same time that your medical bills are skyrocketing, we will not charge you any attorneys’ fees until we win your case.
The Disturbing Statistics on Distracted Driving
When automobiles were a new invention, drivers had to concentrate on driving because there were more actions to be taken to make the car run. There were also far fewer vehicles on the road to collide with and no distracting devices built into the car itself. Nowadays, with the presence of radios, TVs, smartphones, adjustable seats, mirrors, temperature dials, etc., there are too many temptations to take your eyes off the road or your hand off the wheel.
Statistics on distracted driving illuminate the extent of the problem. Two that stand out are:
- Texting drivers increase their risk of having an accident by more than 2,000 percent.
- Cell phone users, even with their hands on the wheel, are over 5 times more likely to crash than fully attentive drivers.
If you have been harmed by a distracted driver in New Jersey, you are entitled to substantial compensation for your physical pain, emotional stress, and financial losses related to the car accident.
Too Many Driving Distractions
Researchers have isolated three types of distracted driving:
- Visual distraction during which the driver’s eyes leave the road
- Manual distraction in which the driver’s hand leaves the wheel
- Cognitive distraction when the driver’s thoughts stray from driving
Any of the following reasons for distracted driving can lead to a serious accident:
- Eating, drinking, reaching, unwrapping, wiping up a spill
- Adjusting the heat, air-conditioning, seat, sunroof, radio, GPS
- Checking out a text message or trying to write one
- Speaking on a cell phone, gesticulating while speaking
- Smoking or taking medication
- Grooming (e.g. combing hair, shaving, applying makeup)
- Looking at a map or GPS device, reading written directions
Of course, there are other, unavoidable distractions that may also contribute to accidents, such as:
- An animal on the roadway
- Debris blowing against the windshield
- A medical event and/or injury of the driver or a passenger
- A wasp in the vehicle
Responsible drivers always pull off the road, if possible, to avoid the possibly disastrous consequences of an unavoidable distraction and do not indulge in voluntary distractions. As we all know, however, not all drivers are responsible. If you have been the victim of an irresponsible distracted driver, you are entitled to substantial damages. Levin & Malkin will fight vigorously to see that you get them.
Damages You May Be Awarded in a Distracted Driving Accident
The distracted driving accident lawyers at Levin & Malkin have the knowledge and strategies to provide you with excellent legal counsel both in and out of the courtroom. We know that our job is to protect your financial interests so that you can move forward into a secure and comfortable future. You can depend on us to use our insight and energy to strive to obtain compensation for you and your loved ones, including:
- Medical and rehabilitation costs
- Lost income, current and future
- Property damage
- Long-term nursing or home care for disability
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Permanent disfigurement
- Loss of limb
- Loss of fetus
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of quality of life
If you have gone through the tragedy of losing a family member in a distracted driving accident, Levin & Malkin’s attorneys file a wrongful death suit to get you compensation for final medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of income, companionship and support.
Also, you should be aware that the court may, in situations in which the defendant’s behavior was especially reckless or malicious, award you punitive damages over and above the compensatory damages listed above. Such damages are designed to further punish the defendant and to deter others from similarly egregious behavior.
NJ Laws Surrounding Insurance Claims: No-Fault and Modified Comparative Fault
New Jersey is a no-fault state, meaning that, unless your injury reaches a certain threshold, you must file a claim with your own insurance carrier under your PIP benefits no matter who is to blame for the accident. This insurance will cover you only for economic or survivors’ benefits. Our savvy attorneys, however, know precisely how to help you reach the level of eligibility for a third-party claim.
New Jersey also has a law to deal with situations in which each party bears some responsibility for the accident. This law is based on the concept of modified comparative fault. Though different states have varying laws concerning comparative fault, in New Jersey such cases will be handled by having the court assign a percentage of fault to each party. That percentage will then be deducted from the sum awarded to the injured party.
So, if you are awarded $1,000,000 in damages for your injury, but found to bear 10 percent of the blame, you will actually receive $900,000. What the word “modified” means in this context is that if the court assigns you more than 50 percent of the blame, you will not receive any compensation at all. The complicated laws relating to distracted driving accidents in New Jersey make it all the more important for you to engage the services of a first-rate attorney.
Contact Levin & Malkin as Soon as Possible
Battling with insurance companies and opposing attorneys is a job for experienced professionals. Once you get in touch with us, you will have the peace of mind that comes from having superior legal representation. You can depend on our distracted driving accident attorneys to fight hard and long for your well-being and financial security.