If you sustained physical harm and property damages in New Jersey, you could sue the distracted driver. Still, you must establish the elements of a claim by showing that the other motorist had a duty of care. You should also present evidence connecting the incident and all claimed damages.
Continue reading to discover more about such cases and the recoverable damages.
What Is Distracted Driving in New Jersey?
Any activity that diverts a motorist's attention from the road and limits the ability to ensure safety constitutes distracted driving. For example, a driver is negligent if they use a hand-held mobile phone to call or text. You can also hold them accountable for accidents caused when taking photos or filming.
Other forms of distracted driving in New Jersey are:
- Eating and drinking when driving
- Fiddling with the GPS or the stereo system
- Handling pets
Some activities may engage a driver's mind and make it tricky to concentrate on the road. For example, talking to passengers can affect the ability to react promptly. Additionally, listening to loud music will prevent a motorist from hearing sirens or car horns.
New Jersey Laws on Distracted Driving
New Jersey prohibits motorists from driving while distracted. Parties that break this law must pay a fine of $200-$400 for the first offense. The state will also impose a penalty of up to $600 for second strikes and suspend licenses for subsequent offenses.
If a distracted driver causes a crash in New Jersey, they will be liable for damages. Hence, all affected parties may claim damages not covered by their insurance policy. They can also file a lawsuit before the statutes of limitations expire.
What Damages Can I Recover by Suing a Distracted Driver?
You may claim a wide array of damages when injured by a distracted driver in New Jersey. For example, you can sue them for various medical costs. Such include:
- Hospital admission
- Emergency care
- Rehabilitative care
- Cost of buying assistive medical devices like crutches
Road accidents are traumatic and may significantly affect your mental health. You could seek reimbursement if you sustained conditions like PTSD, anxiety, or depression. This measure can help you improve your quality of life and lower financial strain.
Another damage you may claim when suing a distracted driver is for pain and suffering. This injury will include emotional pain and anguish resulting from the incident.
For example, you may seek compensation for physical pain under this category. The law also allows you to claim reimbursement for the loss of life enjoyment.
If a distracted driver caused an accident damaging your vehicle, you could sue them for various charges. For instance, you can claim repair costs if the destruction was minor. However, if it was significant, pursue reimbursement for replacement expenses.
What Evidence Do You Need to Sue a Distracted Driver?
Before you sue a distracted driver, gather enough evidence. One item you can use to defend your case is a medical record. The file will outline all the injuries sustained from the crash. It may also mention your future medical needs and their estimated cost.
If you contacted the police after an accident, you could use the report as proof. This document may provide accounts of the incident by various parties at the scene.
Such may include eyewitnesses and other involved drivers. The report can also mention weather conditions during the crash and provide police observations.
More proof you may use when filing a personal injury lawsuit against a distracted driver are:
- Video surveillance footage
- Images of the injuries you suffered
- Pictures of vehicle damages
- Statements by an accident reconstructionist
Images of skid marks can help prove liability when filing a lawsuit in New Jersey. These will allow the court to assess the speed the motorist was using. They may simplify determining how fast the driver acted before the crash.
Precautions To Take After a Distracted Driver Hits You in New Jersey
After sustaining injuries in a New Jersey accident, contact 911. This step will help you get medical assistance and police officers at the scene.
When these parties arrive, receive treatment for injuries while filing a report. If you were hit while in a vehicle and your dashcam was able to capture the event, do not mention it until the police have arrived and are conducting interviews.
In case the negligent party lies and tries to blame you, the police would at least be aware of the lie. This could act in your favor when asking for more damages.
You should also get a checkup even if you don't have visible injuries.
Other key steps to take after a New Jersey crash are:
- Call your insurance company
- Contact a lawyer
- Gather evidence
Exchanging insurance information after an accident can help you when filing a claim. You should also get various details that can simplify contacting the motorist. Such may include addresses, vehicle registration numbers, and contacts.
Brandon J. Broderick, Car Accident Lawyers in New Jersey
Being vigilant can be difficult when you’re a victim of a distracted driver. Just remember these tips so you can obtain full redress of your grievances when the time comes to institute a claim for damages.
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, our legal team has recovered millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of car accident victims, including many who were injured in accidents caused by distracted drivers. Our legal team is available to review your case at no cost, and discuss how we can immediately begin working on establishing fault and liability, and pursuing the financial compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.