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Car accident victims seek damages from third party who sent text

Car accident victims have a right to seek compensation from the person that caused the car accident. Sometimes this is another driver who crashed into them, but it could also be a third party who was not there at the time but intentionally or negligently created an obstacle that made it likely for the car accident to occur.

This theory is now being tested in a New Jersey case, where accident victims are suing both the driver who was texting at the time of the crash and the person who caused the crash. The question of whether the sender of the text message knew or should have known the person was driving is central to the victim’s case.

A negligence claim is available to an injured person when their injury occurred as a result of another person or party failing to exercise reasonable care. This means that one must act reasonably to protect other members of the public from harm. One of the important parts of answering this question is figuring out whether or not the injury to the victim was foreseeable.

The woman who is being accused of negligently texting said in a deposition that she “may have known” that her friend was driving at the time.

One big hurdle to recovery for these victims is that the woman was not in the car at the time, and she did not have control over whether or not the driver read the text message. If the woman is found to have been at fault for the accident, this may open the door for many other New Jersey distracted driving lawsuits.

Source: NJ.com, “N.J. judge to decide if text sender liable for car crash,” May 5, 2012

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