A New Jersey Appellate Court recently determined, “that the sender of a text message can potentially be liable if an accident is caused by texting, but only if the sender knew or had special reason to know that the recipient would view the text while driving and thus be distracted.”  Read that again, just in case you missed it.  This new court ruling is not just about texting while driving, it makes a remote sender of a text potentially liable for distracting a driver who causes a motor vehicle accident.

texting while driving

Photo by viviandnguyen_

So what does that mean for the thousands of us who text every hour of every day?  It means that if you know someone is driving when you want to fire off a risque picture of Miley Cyrus at the MTV Music Awards because you’ve never seen something so stupid and embarrassing in your life, do not disrupt them by sending a text.  Instead, send an email that can be opened after they safely reach their destination.

Think you can get away with one quick text to your buddy to pick up something while en route to your place?  Think again.  Text messages are time stamped and tracked by your phone company, and call history and text message records can be discovered by an attorney during litigation.  If the phone records show that you received a text from a friend just before you called 9-1-1 to report the accident, both you and your friend can be in serious trouble under this new legal precedent.

My free legal advice for the day?  Don’t risk it and wait to send that text until your distracted companion is safely off the roads.  If not, you may be in need of the services of a Las Vegas auto accident attorney. Oh, and in the event you want to share this information with your friends, please do so via social media or email.  Do not share via text.

Regards, Jon