In August 2012, a New Jersey court ruled that people who knowingly send text messages to drivers could be held liable for injuries caused by the distracted driver. The case arose from a terrible motorcycle accident caused by someone who was "texting and driving." The driver in that case is obviously liable for the catastrophic harm he caused the motorcycle riders. Distracted driving is unacceptable, as it creates needless danger on our public roadways and to our families.
Avoiding Texting and Driving is the Responsibility of the Driver
Conversely, I disagree with the court's ruling as it relates to the individual who was texting the driver. To hold someone liable for texting a driver would be like holding a grocery store liable for selling someone who drove to the store an unopened case of beer or bottle of wine. It is not the grocery store's responsibility to keep the driver from opening the bottles until he gets home.
If someone buys a 6-pack at Publix, and proceeds to drink & drive, it is the irresponsible driver, not Publix, that should be on the hook for any accidents. Likewise, it is the driver who opens the text message, takes their eyes off the road, and crashes into someone who must account for the harm they cause. The driver chose to endanger our community. The person sending the text did not force them to open the message anymore than a grocery store requires you to open a bottle of wine before leaving the parking lot.
We Must Hold Wrongdoers Accountable After a Wreck
I handle lots of car and motorcycle accidents in Columbia and throughout the state. I believe in personal responsibility and strict enforcement of the roadway safety rules that are in place to prevent harm. In fact, I believe South Carolina's legislature should ban "texting and driving." However, we must draw lines and only hold actual wrongdoers accountable for accidents.
Get Legal Help After a Car Accident in South Carolina
If you were injured in a auto wreck in the Columbia area due to someone texting and driving—or any other reason—you should contact the Law Office of Kenneth Berger for a free consultation. A car accident lawyer can help injured people after an accident by handling the crash investigation, negotiating your insurance claims, and representing you in any lawsuits that you need to claim a full and fair recovery.
The attorneys at the Law Office of Kenneth E. Berger have years of experience handling cases like yours, and would be honored to help you and your family with the legal recovery process while you focus on healing. Our offices are conveniently located in Columbia and Myrtle Beach, and we proudly serve the Sumter and Florence areas, as well as the entire state of South Carolina. Call us today at 803-790-2800 (Columbia, SC) / 843-427-2800 (Myrtle Beach, SC), or start a live chat 24/7 with a real, live person to arrange a free and confidential consultation.