Last month, we told you that a New Jersey woman was being sued for texting a message to her boyfriend who was driving and caused a car accident.
On Friday, May 25, 2012, the Judge ruled that the woman cannot be held liable for the injuries and accident caused by the driver. The Judge stated that it would be unreasonable to impose a duty on the sender of the text in this case.
This case was closely watched by the legal community because it could have changed legal theories and defendant parties in current and future distracted driving lawsuits.
There has been a lot of debate on the Judge's ruling and I personally agree with the ruling. If the Judge ruled that the sender of text was liable, then virtually everybody could be sued in a distracted driving case. It could involve other types of cases not involving phones or blackberries.
For instance, if a driver sees a big billboard on the road, it is likely that the driver could cause an accident when he takes his eyes off the road for 2 seconds to read the billboard. Injured parties can argue that the company or entity behind the billboard can be held responsible because the billboard distracted the driver and caused an accident.
In this day and age, drivers are bombarded with all types of distractions every day. There are blackberries, GPSs, DVD players etc. It is the driver's responsibility to avoid distractions and pay attention to the road.
To decrease accidents and fatalities due to distracted driving, drivers just need to put the phone away when driving. Distracted driving accidents due to talking or texting on the phone are completely avoidable. No text or phone call is worth your life or someone else's life.
Do you agree with the Judge's ruling? Share your comments.
If you were injured in a distracted driving accident in Pennsylvania or New Jersey and would like to know your legal rights, feel free to talk to our car accident lawyers at White and Williams.
To learn more about distracted driving laws in PA, see the following related articles:
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