You Could Get Sued If You Send a Text to Someone Who Is Driving

Mallon & Tranger is a New Jersey personal injury law firm that offers thorough and experienced legal representation in all types of wrongful death and personal injury claims.  If you have questions about your rights after a New Jersey car accidentcontact us online or call us at (732) 410-6094).  We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency-fee basis – you do not pay costs or fees unless we successfully achieve a settlement for you.

If You Send a Text to Someone You Know Is Driving, the New Jersey Courts May Hold You Legally Responsible – if the Driver Crashes While Reading Your Text

At the end of August, the New Jersey state court of appeals stated that “third-party texters” may share legal liability for a car accident caused wholly or partly by texting-related driver distraction.  The appeals court issued the statement as part of an opinion dismissing such a claim against a teenage girl who sent a text to a driver who crashed into a motorcycle at about the same time the girl sent the texts.  The court stated that it dismissed the claim due to insufficient evidence against the girl in that specific case, but clarified that such claims could succeed if the plaintiff presented sufficient evidence.

The relevant part of the court’s opinion reads, “When a texter knows or has special reason to know that the intended recipient is driving and is likely to read the text message while driving, the texter has a duty to users of the public roads to refrain from sending the driver a text at that time.”  The opinion clarified that the court was not assigning general liability to third-party texters for the negligent acts of text recipients. We do not know, yet, whether other New Jersey appeals courts or the New Jersey State Supreme Court will uphold or follow this ruling — but it bears watching!

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