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Deadly Accidents on the Rise in New York and Elsewhere Due to Tech-Related Distractions

Legal News GavelData from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration reveals that the United States has experienced a 14 percent rise in roadway fatalities over the last two years. It has also experienced the biggest back-to-back increase in motor vehicle death rates per mile driven in more than 50 years. In 2016, 37,461 people died in roadway accidents, including drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians. If you or someone close to you has been injured by a distracted driver in New York, you need to reach out to a Syracuse car accident attorney who can help.

The National Safety Council, however, challenges the official DOT figures, claiming that in 2016, cellphone usage was involved in 26 percent of all traffic accidents. In fact, the NSC states that due to the under-reporting of distracted driving crashes, the number of deadly crashes that actually take place each year could be double what is recorded in federal data. A study released by Cambridge Mobile Telematics, a company that creates apps to monitor driving and smartphone usage for insurance purposes, echoes this sentiment and found that about a quarter of drivers involved in crashes were on their phones during or in the minute prior to the accident.

Most car accident claims in New York are based on the legal theory of negligence. Negligence takes place when a driver causes an accident because he or she failed to use ordinary care behind the wheel. Ordinary care is defined as the level of care that a reasonably prudent person would have used in the same situation. For instance, a driver who causes a crash because he or she was texting and driving would be liable for the accident and any resulting harm. This is because a reasonably prudent driver would understand the risk of accidents and injuries that could result from such conduct.

It is important to note that New York is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that a plaintiff’s own negligence will not prevent him or her from recovering damages. In other words, even if a plaintiff is partially responsible or contributed to the accident in some way, that plaintiff will be able to recover damages, but the amount of damages will be lowered in proportion to his or her fault. For example, a jury could find that a defendant was 60 percent at fault and a plaintiff was 40 percent at fault for an accident. In such a case, the plaintiff would be able to recover damages, but the total amount would be reduced by 40 percent (i.e., the plaintiff’s share of fault).

If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our skilled Syracuse distracted driving accident attorneys can protect your rights throughout the entire legal process. With years of experience, we understand the physical, financial, and emotional toll such an accident can have on a victim and his or her family. You should know that we have offices in New Hartford, Rochester, Oneida, Watertown, Cortland, and Oswego. For more information, call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us online.

More Blog Posts:

Malpractice Claims for Surgical Errors in New York, Syracuse Personal Injury Blog, December 27, 2017

Brain Injuries as a Result of Malpractice in New York, Syracuse Personal Injury Blog, December 18, 2017

Rear-End Accidents in New York, Syracuse Personal Injury Blog, December 11, 2017

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