The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set very strict guidelines that commercial drivers and their employers must abide by. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see these drivers doing their own thing anyway — such as using their cellphones while operating their vehicles. Anyone in the state of New York who has been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident resulting from cellphone use may have legal recourse.
Using a cellular device while driving a motor vehicle is a known safety hazard. It takes a person’s mind and eyes off the road and hands off the wheel. This form of distracted driving contributes to a number of injuries and deaths in the United States every year.
Truck drivers are allowed to use cellphones while driving but in a limited capacity. According to the FMCSA, they can only use their phones if they have hands-free capabilities in their trucks or if a hand-held device is mounted within easy reach and they can place calls or answer calls with the push of just one button. Drivers who are found using hand-held devices can be fined up to $2,750 and their employees may be fined up to $11,000 for the offense. If this activity results in an accident, the consequences can be far more severe.
Following a distracted driving-related truck accident, the victim or — in the event of fatality — his or her family members may seek compensation for any resulting losses by filing legal claims against the driver and his or her employer in a New York civil court. The type of claims one will be able to file will depend on the specific details of his or her case. With the assistance of legal counsel, such claims can be either settled out of court through the negotiations process or through litigation.