Ever since text messaging became a mainstay in today’s society, texting and driving has been a hot topic of conversation. We’ve all heard stories about people sued for causing accidents while texting and driving, but who else should be held accountable for the accident?
A question most haven’t considered is whether the sender of a text message, that directly causes an accident, should be held liable for sending the message.
A New Jersey court recently ruled that “a person sending text messages has a duty not to text someone who is driving, if the texter knows, or has special reason to know, the recipient will view the text while driving.”
These facts came before the court as the result of a 2009 accident involving a teenager who was texting her friend. While texting, the young woman crashed into a couple on a motorcycle, resulting in serious injury to the couple. Subsequently, the couple not only sued the driver, but also the friend who was texting the driver. The couple presented evidence that the driver and her friend texted each other 62 times each leading up to the accident.
Liability of the third party texter comes down to whether the third party knowingly distracted the driver thus causing the accident.
For example, if the driver texts someone letting he or she know they are driving, then the court considers that person to be on notice, and therefore, potentially liable for the damage.
In creating this new form of liability, the court hopes to put a stop to all texting and driving, as it has become increasingly dangerous in recent years. In fact, statistics show that each year more than 1.3 million accidents involve the use of a cell phone.
If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident as the result of someone texting and driving, you need to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373.
Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at [email protected] or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.