A pivotal court ruling about your rights when sending a text message to a driver could be just around the corner. In a hearing scheduled for May 25th, a New Jersey Superior Court judge must decide whether Shannon Colonna is responsible for a text message she sent to then 19-year-old Kyle Best that led to his distraction while driving back in 2009. The lawsuit filed David and Linda Kubert claims that the text message directly contributed to the car accident that resulted in each spouse losing a leg.
Best was driving the pickup truck in 2009 that crossed a double-yellow line in Mine Hill and side-swiped the Kuberts who were riding together on a motorcycle.
If the judge in this case rules in favor of the Kuberts, it could set a precedent for all future cases involving distracting driving. Imagine a world where you send a text message to a driver who causes an accident, and you get the bill – sounds extreme right? That could be a reality, if the rulings in this case lead to the judge laying a portion of liability on Colonna for the accident.
This case isn’t the only legal maneuvering currently in the works for drivers caught texting behind the wheel. Proposed legislation in the New Jersey Senate would increase penalties for those who cause accidents while using handheld devices, including cell phones. The penalties would be on par with those who drive while intoxicated or reckless driving. That means drivers who cause injuries while texting could face assault by vehicle charges. Those who cause fatalities could face vehicular homicide or manslaughter charges.
What do you think? Should drivers who text behind the wheel receive treatment on the same level as drunk drivers? And what about those who text the drivers? How can we possibly know where everyone is every second of the day to make sure we don’t inadvertently text someone who’s behind the wheel?
Those who sustain injuries in accidents still retain their rights to pursue those responsible for compensation. If you or someone you loved has suffered injuries at the hands of another driver, contacting a team of knowledgeable New Jersey car accident attorneys is an important part of your legal strategy. Don’t allow the insurance company to take advantage of you or delay your rightful claim.