Third-Party Texting Liability in Car Accidents

Posted by on Dec 23, 2014 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

It may seem a stretch, but a New Jersey court found that a person who texts someone who is driving may be held liable for personal injury or property damage if doing so leads to an accident.

Vehicular accidents can be simple and straightforward to complex and convoluted. It depends on many factors, and any criminal defense lawyer will confirm this emphatically. It seems simple enough to find fault with a driver who acts recklessly and irresponsibly by texting while driving when it results in an accident, but not many people would lay blame on a person who is not even on the scene. Technically, however, it does make sense.

In the case of third-party texting liability, there are two things to consider in determining if it has merit: the driver was distracted by a text at the time of the accident, and the third-party texter knew or had reason to believe that the receiver would be driving when he or she receives a text.

According to the Public Health Law Research, engaging in any mobile-related activities while driving increases anyone’s risk of having a car accident by 28%. But the logic is, if you don’t receive calls or texts while driving, you won’t get distracted. If a third party continues to text a driver even while knowing that the receiver is currently operating a vehicle, this constitutes negligent behavior. Read more about this on an attorney’s website if you need to.

The legal ramifications of such liability are still unclear, but with the increasing number of incidents of mobile-related traffic accidents, it is the logical next step in accident prevention. Currently, most states penalize drivers who are observed using their hand-held device while driving, although it is not yet considered a criminal act. If you are involved in an accident result in injury to a third party, you and your text mate may be held criminally and civilly liable and may be sued, depending on the circumstances.

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