If you send a text message to a driver, and that person gets into a car accident, could you be sued?
Some lawyers around the country are bringing lawsuits against people that sent text messages which distracted another driver and caused an accident. The lawyers argue that the sender is partially responsible for the distractions which cause drivers to get into accidents.
While it might seem absurd to blame someone who is not even in the car for causing an accident, some legal experts say that the lawsuits are on firmer ground than you might think. The theory is that the sender is “assisting” the other driver in violating the law against texting while driving.
People are familiar with the notion of “aiding and abetting” a criminal act and the guilt that it brings. How about the man that knowingly holds the door open for a gang to rob a bank? He is just as likely to be convicted of bank robbery as the person that cracks the safe.
Lawyers argue that by sending a text message to someone you know is driving, it is similar to covering their eyes while they are behind the wheel. The text messages distract the driver from his obligations to keep his eyes on the road.
Tyler Tomlinson is a Shareholder in Stark & Stark’s Yardley, PA office, specializing in Accident & Personal Injury Law. For more information, please contact Mr. Tomlinson.