Over the past few years, there has been a push towards the prevention of texting and driving. The majority of efforts have been aimed at drivers—but what about the people sending the texts on the other end?
Earlier today, a New Jersey appeals court released an opinion that in the event of an individual causing a crash because they were texting and driving, not only can the driver be held liable—but the individual on the other end of the text may also be liable to third parties who are injured.
However, this is not a steadfast rule for all cases. As the opinion states,
“We hold that the sender of a text message can potentially be liable if an accident is caused by texting, but only if the sender knew or had special reason to know that the recipient would view the text while driving and thus be distracted.”
In this particular case, there was insufficient proof to determine that the remote “texter” knew that the recipient of her texts was driving. The fact remains, though, that this opinion marks an important step towards preventing texting and driving, and it does so from an angle that hasn’t yet received much attention.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).