Determined Injury Attorneys Help Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents in NJ
Skilled and aggressive representation focused on positive results
Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle has a duty to drive with reasonable care. Unfortunately, too many drivers do not take that duty seriously. They don’t concentrate on the road, are too easily distracted, and often seem more interested in relieving their boredom than getting to their destination safely. The result is often a serious accident, made even more tragic because it was so easily avoidable. If you’ve been the victim of a distracted driver anywhere in New Jersey, the auto accident attorneys at Brach Eichler are prepared to help. We have a solid track record when it comes to investigating collisions and proving liability against careless drivers. We can help you obtain a fair settlement with an insurance company or fight effectively in court to win the compensation you deserve.
Common distracted driving behaviors that cause accidents in New Jersey
A State Police analysis of 2016 fatal crashes in New Jersey shows that driver inattention remains the leading cause of death on Garden State roadways, more than speeding or driving under the influence. Common behaviors that lead to distracted driving accidents include:
- Cell phone use to talk or text
- Eating and drinking
- Reaching for objects
- Personal grooming
- Adjusting the car stereo
- Carrying on animated conversations with passengers
- Yelling at children in the back of the car
Nationwide there were 3,450 people killed in distracted driving crashes in 2016. The worst offenders are young drivers, who have grown up with smartphones and have developed a dependency on the constant stimulus these gadgets provide.
New Jersey cell phone use law
New Jersey has one of the strictest cell phone driving laws in the country. NJ Rev Stat § 39:4-97.3 (2013) prohibits “the use of a wireless telephone or electronic communication device by an operator of a moving motor vehicle on a public road or highway… except when the telephone is a hands-free wireless telephone or the electronic communication device is used hands-free….” However, even when using the phone in this manner, the law requires “the operator” to drive with “a high degree of caution.” The law allows exceptions for drivers who use hand-held devices to contact police when they feel they are in danger of criminal activity or when they are reporting an emergency.
Fines for violating this law are as follows:
- First offense — $200 to $400
- Second offense —$400 to $600
- Third or subsequent offense — $600 to $800, three license penalty points, and a possible 90-day ban on highway driving
Drivers who violate this statute and, in doing so, cause an accident that kills or harms another person are liable for criminal prosecution and a lengthy prison sentence.
However, using a hands-free device to make a phone call still involves a potentially dangerous degree of distraction. Studies have shown that the conversation itself, not the manipulation of the phone in hand, is the most distractive element of this activity. All drivers should keep in mind the first rule of driving: Keep your eyes and your mind on the road.
Proving distraction in a New Jersey auto accident
If an injured party can prove that another driver was distracted just prior to the crash, it becomes much easier to establish legal liability for the accident and the injuries that resulted. When we investigate an accident, we look at physical evidence of a distraction, such as a spilled drink in the car’s interior. We also interview drivers carefully to get the distracted behavior on record. Victims of accidents often recall things the other driver said that suggest he or she wasn’t paying attention. We also subpoena cell phone records to see if there was a phone call or a text message made around the time of the crash. By assembling strong proof of liability, we build a compelling case to recover the full compensation you deserve.
Contact our accomplished NJ lawyers for your distracted driving accident
Brach Eichler Personal Injury provides capable and aggressive representation for victims of distracted driving accidents throughout New Jersey. Let us help you obtain the full personal injury compensation you deserve. Call us today at 973-364-8300 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.