Court Ruling Finds “Remote” Texters Who Send Messages to Drivers May Be Held Liable

September 23, 2013

Distracted Driving

remote texters liable for accidentsOn August 27, 2013, a New Jersey appellate court judge ruled in Kubert v Best and Colonna that a “remote texter” can be found to be liable for injuries caused in automobile collisions.

New Jersey has enacted a law entitled Kulesh, Kubert, and Bolis Law that makes injury causing vehicle collisions a criminal homicide or assault by vehicle when using a handheld cell phone. Conviction may include time in prison. Now the opinion in Kubert extends to make remote texters liable for accidents.

What is remote texting?

A remote texter is someone texting a motor vehicle operator from a remote location. In New Jersey, texting someone who is driving means the remote texter can be found liable for any injuries caused by the driver.

People who text and drive may face criminal charges in the event of an accident in New Jersey. Now, anyone who has sent a text message to a driver when an accident occurred may be liable as well.

Knowing or having particular reason to know

The Kubert opinion states the remote texter must either know or have special reasons for knowing the driver would view texts and answer while driving.

The opinion in Kubert is the first legal opinion to recognize the concept of remote texter liability. The liability applies when a review of the text messages show that the remote texter had knowledge that they were exchanging texts with a driver.

What this means for Florida

Florida has recognized the need for no texting laws to ensure the safety of its citizens. On October 1, 2013 the law entitled Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law will go into effect. The strong opinion issued in Kubert bears watching to see how this will impact legal decisions in Florida.

If You’ve Been Hurt, Call Us Today

Texting and driving is a proven danger that leads to death and serious injury. Texting causes over 1,060 injuries and kills 9 people each day. When victimized by drivers making this poor driving decision, it may be useful to talk with a Florida car accident attorney. The law offices of Abrahamson and Uiterwyk offer a free initial consultation. Call 727-472-4021 today for a no obligation case evaluation.

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