Update: Can someone be electronically present in a car accident?
August 29, 2012
Earlier this year a New Jersey car accident happened because the driver of one of the vehicles was texting while driving. The result of the accident caused injuries to passengers on the other vehicle that was involved in the car accident. The other party was a couple who was riding a motorcycle at the time of the accident.
The couple on the motorcycle filed a unique lawsuit against the person who sent the text to the driver of the other vehicle and a lawsuit against the driver of the accident-causing vehicle. The lawsuit against the person who sent the text was dismissed, but other ramifications of the accident are still pending.
As a result of the accident the couple who was riding the motorcycle suffered severe physical injuries. The driver of the motorcycle lost his left leg when it was torn off above his knee and the driver’s wife had a leg amputated as a result of injuries incurred during the New Jersey accident.
The lawsuit that was filed against the driver of the other vehicle was recently settled for $500,000. This is the maximum amount of coverage the driver’s insurance provided. Although the lawsuit between the driver has been settled, and the lawsuit against the person who sent the text to the driver was dismissed, the injured motorcycle couple still intend to the appeal the judge’s decision to dismiss the case against the person who text the driver.
The couple continues to contend the person who texted the driver was electronically present during the car accident and should have known the driver was operating a motor vehicle at the time of the accident. This unique legal argument may be the first of its kind and has the potential to further affect the social concern over texting while driving.
Source: Fox News, “Two injured by New Jersey text-messaging driver settle lawsuit,” Aug. 21, 2012