On May 25, 2012, a New Jersey Judge ruled that that a person who sends a text to a driver behind the wheel cannot be held liable for an accident the driver causes.
Last month, we told you that a New Jersey woman was sued for texting a message to her boyfriend who was driving and caused a car accident. The driver crossed the center line and crashed into a couple on a motorcycle.
There is no prior New Jersey case law on this issue. Further, no other state courts had dealt with this issue yet; therefore, this case was carefully followed by members of the legal community in many states because of its legal implications. If the Judge ruled the woman was responsible, all current and future distracted driving accident lawsuits could have included the sender of the text who was not physically present as a defendant.
Further, in cases involving talking on the phone when the accident happened, the Judge's ruling could have opened the door for injured parties to sue the person the driver was talking to on the cell phone when the accident happened.
Judge David Rand of the New Jersey Superior Court said, "Americans have become almost addicted to the wireless communication device. We’ve become so familiar with the text feature that it is a fact of life. Despite our dependence on the technology, a person who sends a text cannot be held responsible for an accident caused by a distracted driver."
Judge Rand further stated that it would be unreasonable to impose a duty on the sender of the text in this case.
In this day and age, we are not going to get away from texting on the phone. Research shows that 1 in 3 teens sends over 100 texts a day. However, a line must be drawn when it comes to driving. We have to make conscious decisions not to text on the phone while we drive in order to stop these senseless accidents.
If you were in a texting while driving accident and have questions about your accident, feel free to contact our Pennsylvania and New Jersey distracted driving accident lawyers. We would be more than happy to discuss your case and rights with you.
**DISCLAIMER: This website does not provide any legal advice or create any attorney-client relationship. Each case is unique and requires review by a qualified attorney. Discussion of prior outcomes or results is no guarantee of the same or similar outcomes in current or future cases.