1 Killed, 2 Injured in Car Accident on Garden State Parkway in New Jersey | NJ Accident Lawyer

NBC New York reports that at approximately 3:45 a.m. on Sunday, March 09, 2014, a Linden, NJ man was killed and two other people suffered injuries in a three-vehicle car accident on the Garden State Parkway in Clark, New Jersey.

The Star-Ledger reported that the man, Hector Gomez (22), was found in the roadway when State Police arrived at the scene. Unfortunately, Gomez died approximately an hour after arriving at University Hospital in Newark.

The other drivers, who were hospitalized but suffered non-life threatening injuries, were Brittany Echevarria (18) of Cranford, NJ and Jason Star (37) of Asbury Park, NJ. Echevarria was airlifted and Star driven by ambulance to University Hospital.

How many people die in car accidents each year in New Jersey?

In 2013, car accidents caused 548 deaths in New Jersey and 72 already in 2014 (source: NJ State Police). The 2013 total is 6 more than the 2012 total. That is a lot of people to die in an auto accident which turns into a lot of insurance claims and a lot of personal injury/wrongful death lawsuits.

What causes these accidents? Read below to find out more about the

The 5 Most Common Causes of Car Accidents

  1. Drunk Driving. People who were driving under the influence caused 31% of all traffic deaths in the United States in 2011 which amounted to 9,878 fatalities (source: National Highway Transportation Safety Administration).
  2. Speeding. At a national level, those who drove their vehicles too fast caused 30% of all car accident deaths in 2011 (source: National Highway Transportation Safety Administration).
  3. Distracted Driving. Distracted drivers caused 3,360 deaths in 2011, which is slightly more than the 3,328 in 2012 (source: Distraction.gov). Distracted driving takes many shapes, from texting while driving to changing the radio station to eating your favorite fast food burger to swatting the fly on the inside of your windshield. The most common accident caused by distracted drivers is rear-end accidents. Rear-end crashes accounted for 29% of all car accidents in the United States in 2007 (source: National Highway Transportation Safety Administration). When people take their eyes of the road for any reason, all drivers and passengers around them are at risk of losing their lives.
  4. Driving Tired. Exhausted drivers accounted for 16.5% of all car accident fatalities in 2010 in the United States (source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety). The test for drowsiness, however, also included the use of sedatives, drinking alcohol, and driving long distances without taking a break.
  5. Running a Red Light. In 2012, those who ran a red light caused 683 traffic deaths and approximately 133,000 injuries (source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety).

How the Law Offices of Apicelli, Costanzo & Russom can help you:

If you were seriously injured because of someone else’s negligence, call us today! Because there are time limitations on how long you have to file a lawsuit, it is very important that you do not sit on your rights. If the accident lawyers here at the Law Offices of Apicelli, Costanzo & Russom take your personal injury case, we will begin work right way to make sure that we preserve as much evidence as possible to help you recover a settlement for your damages.

Our NJ car accident attorneys are experienced in dealing with insurance companies and can help you obtain an award that adequately compensates you for your injuries and suffering. As a client-focused law firm, we will not hesitate to pursue your rights in court if the responsible party refuses to make you a reasonable offer in satisfaction of your injuries.

No fees unless we recover money for you. If you retain the NJ injury lawyers here at the Law Offices of Apicelli, Costanzo & Russom to represent you on a personal injury matter, we will not charge you a fee for our services if we do not recover money for you.

Contact us today to tell us about your case and see how an experienced NJ personal injury attorney can help you.

Sender of Text to Driver Liable for Injury

It is well known that New Jersey has banned the general use of cell phones while driving (N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.3). This includes texting, talking and even web surfing on your mobile phone. While the law allows the use of a cell phone under limited circumstances, the law is clear that cell phone use is no longer tolerated in this state.

A recent case has put further limits on the use of cell phones even if the person isn’t driving at all. In Kubert v. Best, it was held that the sender of a text message can be liable for injuries if a driving accident was caused because the driver of the automobile was distracted by the texting, but only if the sender knew or had special reason to know that the driver-recipient would read the text while driving and thus be distracted.

In this case, David Kubert and his wife, Linda, both lost their left legs as a result of being hit by a pick-up truck driven by Kyle Best (18 years old), who crossed the double center line of the road and traveled into the Kuberts’ lane. Best called 9-1-1 15 seconds after 5:49 p.m., which was 17 seconds after Best sent a text to Shannon Colonna, a girl he had been texting all day. It was inferred that this text to her was in response to a text he received from Colonna 25 seconds earlier.

After settling their claims against Best, the Kuberts brought suit against Colonna, arguing that she is liable to them if her text to Best was a proximate cause of the accident. Colonna was not held liable, as the evidence was insufficient against her.

It is not enough to establish that the text sender sent the message to a specific person, even if the sender knew the recipient was then driving. It was concluded that proof of liability is sufficient where the text sender knew the text recipient was then driving, that the text sender knew or had special reason to know that the driver would read the text message while driving, and would thus be distracted from attending to the road and the operation of the vehicle. A text sender can safely assume that the driver-recipient will view and read the text message when it is safe to do so. However, if the text sender knows that the driver-recipient will view and read the text message immediately upon receipt, then the text sender has distracted the driver and can be fairly held liable for the results.

The way to avoid a result like this is easy: DO NOT SEND TEXT MESSAGES TO PEOPLE YOU KNOW ARE CURRENTLY DRIVING. Otherwise, a text sent to a driver can make you just as liable for causing an accident as the one behind the wheel.