In the first case of its kind in the United States, a personal injury attorney in New Jersey has argued that any driver who is engaging in texting and driving should be held accountable for the injuries that they subsequently cause, but also that the person on the receiving end should be held accountable for distracting the driver at the time that the accident took place. The case stemmed from a
motorcycle accident that took place in 2009, when David and Linda Kubert were struck by the distracted driver, Kyle Best. Reports of the incident explain that Best had been texting his girlfriend, Shannon Colonna when he had hit the couple on the motorcycle—causing each of the victims to lose a leg. As a result, the couple was awarded $500,000 in damages from the responsible individual, Kyle Best, but their pursuit of compensation from his girlfriend was denied.
Colonna's attorney argued that she could not be held accountable for contributing to the accident, as she was not present during the crash, nor was she aware that her boyfriend was driving at the time that they were engaging in a texting conversation. The legal representative of the victims asked a jury to decide whether or not she should be held liable, since he believed that her "electronic presence" was enough to warrant accountability, but the ruling was eventually decided in Colonna's favor. As a result, no new precedent has been set for texting and driving accidents, as it still stands that only the actual distracted driver can be held responsible for providing an accident victim with compensation. If you have been injured in an auto accident under similar circumstances, however, it is still your right to recover damages from the irresponsible individual. For more information on how to best proceed with your case, contact an lawyer from our firm immediately.