Suffolk County Texting While Driving Car Accident Lawyer
Safe driving in Suffolk County requires a person’s full attention. Unfortunately, with the growth of cell phone use over the past fifteen years, there may be more distractions for drivers to avoid than ever before.
The use of cell phones to send and read text messages became such a problem in Suffolk County that the state legislature specifically outlawed this behavior. While a conviction for this offense cannot result in a jail sentence, it is a moving violation that can also serve as powerful evidence of fault in a car accident claim.
A Suffolk County texting while driving car accident lawyer could help people who have suffered harm because of another person’s poor decisions. Seasoned attorneys could explain the state’s texting while driving laws and the impact they can have on a claim for damages.
Suffolk County Laws Against Phone Use While Operating a Vehicle
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law §1255-d is the statute that prohibits the use of a cell phone to read, send, or type text messages while operating a motor vehicle. More specifically, the law forbids operating cell phones, laptops, electronic gaming devices, or any other portable electronic device while behind the wheel. However, this law provides an exception for people communicating with an emergency response service, such as 911, an ambulance, or a hospital.
A violation of this law is a traffic infraction. A first violation could result in a maximum penalty in the form of a $200 fine. Subsequent convictions only increase the potential maximum fine. A Suffolk County texting while driving car accident attorney could explain the state’s laws concerning using a device while operating a car and how they contribute to safe driving practices on the road.
Pursuing Claims for Damages
Every plaintiff seeking compensation from an at-fault driver must prove the defendant was negligent in the incident leading to the injuries. Normally, this involves a comparison of the actions of both parties in the moments before the collision. Suffolk County is in a state that uses the doctrine of pure comparative negligence to assign blame, meaning that fault could fall on both parties.
Fortunately, evidence that a driver was illegally using a cell phone at the time of the accident could dramatically shift this concept in favor of the plaintiff. Courts allow proof of criminal activity to serve as evidence of the fault in a personal injury claim. Even though a conviction for texting while driving cannot result in a person going to jail, it is still a violation of state law. Courts will accept proof of a conviction in traffic court as evidence per se of fault for an injury. A Suffolk County texting while driving car accident attorney could help track a traffic court case to use as evidence against the defendant to prove their negligence.
Contact a Suffolk County Texting While Driving Car Accident Attorney to Seek Recovery for Damages
Recent changes in state law make it a traffic offense even to hold an electronic device in one’s hands while behind the wheel of a car. Police officers could pull these drivers over and issue tickets. While not overly serious in and of themselves, these violations could play a role in establishing a personal injury claim arising out of a traffic accident.
Proof of texting while driving is powerful evidence in a claim for damages. Civil courts can assume the defendant’s guilt in these matters when there is proof of a conviction in traffic court connected to the incident. A Suffolk County texting while driving car accident lawyer could help leverage a conviction in traffic court into a successful claim for compensation. Reach out to a lawyer today to discuss your case.