In today’s society, texting has become the preferred method of communication among many people, which has lead to an increase in car accidents caused by drivers who were driving distracted while texting. As these accidents become more common, the laws punishing those responsible have become harsher. In New Jersey, a state appellate court recently held that senders of text messages can be found liable if they know the recipient is driving and likely to read the message while doing so.
A personal injury lawyer can help you obtain monetary compensation if you were injured in a collision with a person who was texting while driving. They may also be able to help you file a lawsuit against the sender of the messages. In a recent case, a New Jersey appellate court dismissed a claim that Dale and Linda Kubert filed against a 17-year-old girl who texted 18-year-old Kyle Best, causing him to hit the motorcycle that the Kuberts were riding.
The Kuberts’ personal injury lawyer argued that because the girl and Best exchanged 62 messages that day, she was “electronically present” in the car and was therefore partially liable for the accident. The appellate court disagreed, stating that the Kuberts and their attorney did not present enough evidence that the girl knew that Best was driving and would read her texts while doing so.
However, the appellate court did state that other injured plaintiffs could recover from senders of text messages, as long as those senders knew that the recipient was driving and was likely to open and read the text message while still on the road. The attorney representing the Kuberts said that this opinion by the appellate court set new precedent, basically creating a new cause of action that has never been seen in the United States before. If this holding is adopted by other courts, a personal injury lawyer will be able to help injured plaintiffs recover damages not only from drivers who text, but also from the people who text them.
What do you think of the appellate courts statement?