Balzarini & Watson
Local: 412-471-1200
Toll Free: 866-316-2111
Home and Hospital Visits / Contingency Fee BasisFreeConsultation

Over 135 Years of Combined Experience In Personal Injury and Wrongful Death

Sending text messages to drivers could lead to lawsuits

Motorists who cause an accident while using mobile electronic devices while behind the wheel may face both civil and criminal sanctions, but recent court rulings indicate that those who send text messages to drivers could also be sued. A Pennsylvania court ruled in March 2016 that a lawsuit could proceed against defendants that included two men who sent text messages to a driver that may have led to a fatal crash.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the estate of a motorcyclist who was killed after being struck by a motorist who was allegedly reading text messages at the time. The two men who sent the text messages in question were also named in the litigation. The court ruled that the lawsuit could proceed because the Pennsylvania laws regarding sending text messages to drivers was unclear. A New Jersey court made a similar ruling in 2013.

The Pennsylvania ruling does not mean that the two men who sent the text messages are culpable, but only that the lawsuit may proceed. Legal observers say that the plaintiffs in the case must now establish negligent behavior by showing that the two men either knew, or had good reason to believe, that the recipient of their text messages was driving and would likely respond to the text while still behind the wheel.

Wrongful death lawsuits filed on behalf of the dependent family members of those killed in traffic accidents may sometimes include defendants in addition to the negligent driver involved. The attorneys in this case named the men who sent text messages to the driver involved, but bartenders or hosts who serve alcohol to an obviously intoxicated individual who they know, or should know, will be driving may also be named in this type of litigation.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information