Smartphones and built-in GPS systems in vehicles are just two examples of the luxuries made possible by today’s technology. However, it is important to remember that many of these amenities also come with a price: the potential for driver distraction. Distracted driving is a significant problem that endangers everyone on the road.
Several rules have been enacted in New Jersey to decrease accidents caused by drivers who were using electronic devices. But how do these statutes influence vehicular mishap litigation? A New Jersey personal injury lawyer can help.
Distracted Driving Laws in New Jersey: A Brief Overview
Regarding regulations against texting while driving, New Jersey has some of the toughest in the country. There are primarily three categories of diversions recognized by the state:
- Distractions that the naked eye can see include things like using a cell phone or a GPS while driving.
- Distractions that require you to take your hands off the wheel include eating and reaching for things.
- Daydreaming or chatting with a passenger are two examples of cognitive distractions that could lead to an accident.
Both texting and talking on a handheld phone while driving are illegal in the state of New Jersey. Police have the discretion to pull drivers over and issue tickets for these infractions even in the absence of any other traffic law being broken. For repeat offenders, license suspension may be imposed in addition to monetary fines and demerit points on driving records.
Implications for Establishing Fault in Auto Accident Cases
In the event of an accident, no matter who was at fault, your personal health insurance provider in the state of New Jersey will pay for your medical care. Proof of the other driver’s negligence is significant if you want to pursue a claim outside of the no-fault system. The prohibitions against texting and driving apply here.
Negligence Contributing Factor
Contributory negligence is another factor to think about. New Jersey’s comparative negligence statutes would apply if you were found to have contributed to the accident by, for example, being inattentive. If you contributed in any way to the accident, the law may reduce the amount of compensation you receive.
Damages and Compensation
If you can establish that the other motorist was careless, you may be entitled to financial compensation for:
- The Cost of Healthcare
- Income reduction
- Discomfort and agony
- Damage to property
Liability may be established, and the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled may be affected if a distracted driving offense occurs. Punitive damages are intended to punish the at-fault driver and discourage future incidents of reckless driving; they may be awarded in the event of a distracted driving infraction.