With the ever increasing use of smart phones and text messaging, the number of distracted driving car accidents is on the rise. A driver who is distracted while driving as a result of their text messaging who gets into a New Jersey car accident faces potential liability for their careless actions. In a first decision of its kind in the United States, the New Jersey Superior Court recently extended this potential liability to not only the distracted driver in the car which caused the accident, but also to the individual with whom that driver had been texting regardless of the fact that the text sender may be miles from the scene of the accident. In the case of Kubert v. Best, a distracted driver was texting with his girlfriend shortly before crossing a center line and colliding with a motorcycle traveling in the opposite direction. The collision resulted in massive injuries to the two individuals riding on the motorcycle including leg amputations. The motorcycle accident victims brought suit against not only the distracted driver, but also against his girlfriend who was engaged in a text conversation with the driver at the time of the accident. The driver’s girlfriend was miles away from the auto accident scene at the time, but attorneys for the victims argued that she was “electronically present” in the car prior to the accident.
Text Senders can be Held Liable in Car Accidents
Although the New Jersey Superior Court did not find liability against the girlfriend in that case, the Court did recognize that there are potential situations where sending a text to a driver could result in the text sender being held liable. If a text sender knows that the text recipient is both driving and will read the text immediately, that text sender may be held liable in a car accident lawsuit to the extent that he or she took a foreseeable risk in sending the text and knowingly engaged in distracting driving conduct. The Court cautioned that the mere act of sending a text message is not enough to establish liability. The text sender must actively encourage the recipient to respond immediately.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates Assist Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver, the experienced Pennsylvania and New Jersey car accident attorneys at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates in Philadelphia are here to assist you. While we continue to wait for a New Jersey distracted driver accident case where such liability for a text sender actually has been established, it is clear that New Jersey courts are willing to impose such liability given the Kubert v. Best decision. If you have been involved in a distracted driving car accident in New Jersey or the Philadelphia region, you need an attorney with knowledge of the New Jersey law on distracted driving liability. The car accident attorneys at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates will fully investigate your claim and have the experience to identify all the negligent parties to be held accountable for your personal injuries or the wrongful death of your loved one. Our personal injury attorneys are here to assist you with offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Voorhees, New Jersey. Contact Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates today at 215-567-6600 or submit an online injury to schedule a free consultation.