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Parents Seek to Sue Text Message Sender in Accident

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In spite of laws banning the use of cell phones and texting while driving in California, Thousand Oaks car accident lawyers have found that the practice continues. An interesting case out of New Jersey that is being widely watched across the country could have a dampening effect on the practice of distracted driving in that state.

Two persons, who were seriously injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a driver who was sending and receiving text messages while driving, are suing not just the driver, but also the person who was sending the text messages.

The couple was riding a motorcycle in 2009, when the motorcycle collided head-on with a truck. The driver of the truck was texting with a friend at the time. He was 19 years old.

The driver pleaded guilty to charges of using a hand-held cell phone, a practice that is banned in New Jersey. He was also charged with several other offenses, and was sentenced. The 2 motorcyclists meanwhile filed a civil lawsuit against him, claiming damages. However, they have now also added the girl who was texting with the truck driver at the time of the accident, to their lawsuit.

According to their lawyer, the girl can be held liable for damages in the accident, because she probably knew that the truck driver was texting while driving, and continued to text anyway.

Her attorneys insist that she cannot be held liable for any text messages that she sent to the driver because she wasn't the one driving the vehicle. She was not physically present in the vehicle, and she assumed that her text messages would be read only later when it was safe do so.

A judge will soon decide on the merit of the lawsuit. If the judge decides that the couple can sue the young girl for sending text messages to the driver, then it would send an entirely new precedent for action against persons accused of causing distracted driving accidents.


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