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Court Holds that Someone Texting a Person Who Is Driving Can Be Held Partially Responsible

Distracted driving accidents killed 3,092 people in 2010 according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. It is estimated that an additional 416,000 people were injured in automobile crashes involving a distracted driver.

 

Consulting a Clayton County attorney after an auto accident involving a distracted driver enhances a victim's ability to receive a reasonable settlement. If you have been injured in an automobile accident involving a distracted driver in Clayton County you should discuss your case with an auto accident attorney at the Law Offices of Shane Smith.

 

According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) section 40-6-241.2, drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. A case in another state took the novel approach when the victims sued a girl who was texting a driver when he was involved in an accident.

 

The 18-year-old driver was texting while driving his pickup truck on a rural highway. Court documents indicated that the two texted each other over 60 times daily. A couple was traveling on a motorcycle in the opposite direction when the truck crossed into their traffic lane. Phone records indicated that the truck's driver was texting the girl just before the accident. The victims were severely injured and both had their legs amputated. The truck's driver called 911 immediately after the accident.

 

The driver and the couple reached a settlement. However, the victims also sued the girl who was texting the truck's driver. The court held that a "person sending text messages has a duty not to text someone who is driving if the texter knows, or has special reason to know, the recipient will view the text while driving."

 

The court asserted that there was insufficient evidence to prove that the girl knew the truck's driver was driving while texting. However, the court was clearly setting a precedent: "We hold 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."

 

If you or someone you know has been hurt by a distracted driver, meet with a Clayton County auto accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Shane Smith.

 


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia