Editor’s note: This is the first in an occasional series of articles on the law. It’s offered for informational and educational purposes only; you should consult with an attorney about personal legal matters.
By Steve Loewenthal
Car accidents caused by distracted or negligent drivers can have devastating consequences. New Jersey car accidents caused by texting have been a serious problem for some time. What may seem like a quick glance or minuscule distraction in looking at a text message could unleash an emotional downpour of grief and despair when people are injured or killed in a resulting crash.
Last month, it was decided in a New Jersey court that potential responsibility for car accidents could in fact land on the person who sent a text to the driver.
The campaign to end texting and driving has now stretched even further with the potential to eradicate the practice altogether. A national cell phone service provider has launched information programs to educate drivers on the dangers of texting and driving, including the opportunity to make a pledge against the practice.
This New Jersey decision for shared liability in texts and car accidents was instigated by a 2009 collision in Mine Hill. The injured party apparently sought restitution not only from the driver of the other vehicle, but the person who was texting him at the time of the crash.
Perhaps the threat of legal action will allow people the opportunity to question if they should send a text to someone they know is on the road.
A report released by the National Highway Transportation Administration shared that a person who is operating a motor vehicle while texting is similar to a person driving after having four alcoholic drinks.
When fatalities or serious injuries are associated with New Jersey car accidents caused by texting, taking proactive action to gain civil justice may help victims or their families during such a stressful situation.
The ability to respond quickly may be paramount should legal discourse be necessary. This may include interviews of those involved in the accident and research of insurance benefits in addition to restitution for the liable party.
Steve Loewenthal graduated from the Columbia University School of Law in 1996 and is a partner at Nusbaum Stein, where he represents people in Morris County who have been injured by automobile negligence, hazardous workplace conditions, defective consumer products and medical malpractice.
‘From One Second to the Next,’ by Werner Herzog, sponsored by AT&T