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Typing, texting, sending and reading messages while behind the wheel is against the law in Pennsylvania. A driver who is caught using a hand-held mobile device while behind the wheel can be fined $50. Pennsylvania became the 35th state to ban texting-while-driving.
A New Jersey judge recently had to consider whether the person who sends a text message to another person who is behind the wheel could be held responsible for a distracted driving crash that results from the driver reading the text. A couple injured in a 2009 crash caused by a driver who was distracted by an incoming text message has sued the driver’s girlfriend for her role in causing the motor vehicle accident.
The girlfriend was the sender of the text message(s) the driver was reading when he hit the couple and caused them serious personal injury. Both lost a leg as a result of injuries sustained in the distracted driving motor vehicle accident.
The attorney for the couple argued that although “She [the girlfriend] may not have been physically present, but she was electronically present,” and should be at least partly responsible for the crash.
The girlfriend asserted that she had no control over when her boyfriend would read her text messages and so should not be financially responsible for the injuries to the couple. Her attorney argued that “The sender of [a] text has the right to assume the recipient will read it at a safe time.”
In a case believed to be the first of its kind in the United States, a New Jersey judge agreed that she was not to blame for the crash.
If you are injured in a Pennsylvania crash, contact Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyers today for immediate help.