Skip to Content

Call Us - Problem Solved

Judge Rules Texter Not Liable in Car Accident

June 25, 2012 | Posted In Criminal Law - Motor Vehicle Accidents

New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers Discuss Liability by Proxy

A new case that has been closely watched by New Jersey personal injury attorneys raises the question of how to balance safe driving with distracting mobile devices. A judge has ruled that a woman who was texting her boyfriend while he was driving a car was not liable in an accident caused by the motorist’s distracted driving.  The judge has dismissed claims against the woman that were filed by the injured victims in this accident.

On the day of the accident, a motorcycling couple was struck and seriously injured by a car whose driver was texting his girlfriend at the time of the accident.  The cell phone records of the driver indicated that he had sent and received several messages in the minutes leading up to the crash.

The injured couple retained a New Jersey personal injury lawyer andfiled a lawsuit against the texting motorist. The plaintiffs also named the driver's girlfriend in the suit, claiming that the girl knew that her boyfriend was texting while he was driving and that texting increased his risk of an accident.

Lawyers for the girlfriend have insisted that she was not responsible for the accident because she was not physically present in the car and could not have prevented her boyfriend from sending or reading her text messages.  The girlfriend testified in her deposition that she was not aware that her boyfriend was driving at the time of their text conversation. 

The motorcyclists’ attorneys argued that, although she was not physically present in the car, the girlfriend was “electronically present,” and therefore, should be held liable in the accident.

The judge agreed with the girlfriend’s lawyers and dismissed the charges against her.

As we reported earlier, New Jersey was one of the first states to enact laws against the use of texting devices while driving.  However, studies show that such laws have not been effective in reducing cell-phone -related traffic accidents.

The New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons injured in auto accidents across New Jersey.

Call Us - Problem Solved

Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

Time is of the Essence

Don’t let your rights be jeopardized.