Man driving while on his phone

Distracted Driving and Head Injuries: Pursuing Claims Against Negligent Drivers

By David Hammond

Distracted driving is a growing concern on Syracuse roads, leading to many accidents each year. Among the most severe outcomes of these incidents are head injuries, which can have life-changing effects. At CDH Law, our Syracuse car accident lawyers understand the challenges those injured by distracted drivers face on the road to recovery. This blog will guide you through pursuing claims against negligent drivers, focusing on critical steps you can take to protect your rights and set yourself up for a successful case.

What Do You Have to Prove in a Distracted Driving Claim?

Plaintiffs need to prove a few key points in a distracted driving claim. First, they must prove that the driver was distracted, whether by texting, using a phone, eating, or any other activity that took their focus off the road. This involves gathering evidence like phone records, witness statements, or video footage.

Next, it’s crucial to demonstrate that the driver’s distraction directly caused the accident and resulting injuries. This means connecting the dots between the driver’s lack of attention and the crash.

Lastly, plaintiffs must clearly outline their losses from the accident, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Proving these elements is often a challenge, but it’s essential for holding the negligent driver accountable and securing the compensation you need for your recovery. Having a skilled legal team by your side can make all the difference in working through this complex process.

Common Causes of Distracted Driving Accidents

Driving distractions come in many forms, especially as automakers add new technological innovations to their vehicles. Some common causes of Syracuse distracted driving accidents include:

  • Texting while driving
  • Talking on the phone
  • Using GPS or navigation apps
  • Adjusting music or radio controls
  • Eating or drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming or applying makeup
  • Watching videos
  • Daydreaming or being lost in thought
  • Handling pets or children in the car

Evidence to Help Prove a Distracted Driving Claim

Proving a distracted driving claim hinges on presenting clear, compelling evidence of the other driver’s negligent behavior. Here are some common types of evidence used in these cases:

  • Cell phone records: These can show if the driver was texting, calling, or using data at the time of the accident.
  • Police report: Officers often make notes of their observations or any admissions of distraction at the scene, which provides an official account of events.
  • Witness statements: Bystanders or passengers might have seen the driver using a phone or engaging in other distractions, offering valuable insights.
  • Video footage: Dashcams, surveillance cameras, or traffic cams can capture the driver’s actions just before the crash, providing visual proof of distraction.
  • Physical evidence: Items found in the car just after the crash, like an open food container or a mobile device set up for a video, can suggest distracting activities.
  • Social media activity: Posts or activity logs can indicate whether the driver was using social media when the accident occurred.
  • Expert testimony: Specialists in accident reconstruction can help link the evidence to the driver’s distraction, reinforcing the case.

Potential Compensation in a Distracted Driving Claim

The value of a distracted driving claim depends on your injuries, medical bills, how much money you lose from not being able to work, and other factors. It’s essential to work with an experienced attorney who can help you pursue maximum compensation for your losses. Your distracted driving claim could include compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages and other income
  • Reduced future earnings due to a disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Psychological distress, including PTSD
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Damaged personal property

Deadline to File a Distracted Driving Lawsuit in New York

New York law allows only three years from the date of the accident for you to file a distracted driving lawsuit against the at-fault party. If you wait too long to act, you could lose your right to pursue compensation in court.

Contact Our Syracuse Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys Now

If you suffered head trauma or sustained other severe injuries in a distracted driving accident, the team at CDH Law could be your champions in your fight for justice. Call us today or complete our contact form for a free consultation.

About the Author
David is a former military prosecutor and defense lawyer with over a decade of experience fighting for service members and their families. He served nine years and two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer, then joined the Reserves and settled down in Syracuse to be near family. Now representing people across Central New York charged with serious felonies, misdemeanors, DWIs, and traffic offenses, he puts the same level of commitment into his civilian law practice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact David here.