Texting and driving is a bad idea no matter who you are. However, can there be legal ramifications if you text someone who is driving and a crash occurs? The personal injury attorneys at The Gil Law Firm strive to answer this and many other complex legal questions for their clients in Dothan, AL. With more than 17 years spent providing dependable guidance on a range of issues, attorney Rafael Gil III offers the following insight on the hot button topic of texting liability.
Previous Ruling Sets the Stage
While liability for drivers who are texting is relatively clear cut, in recent years there has been a push to hold the person texting a driver responsible in the event a crash occurs. This was the case with a ruling that took place in 2009. A driver struck another vehicle and caused significant amounts of bodily injury. As a result, the injury victims not only brought a personal injury claim against the driver, but also the driver’s girlfriend, with whom he was texting at the time.
Although the initial ruling was in favor of the sender of the texts, on appeal the court agreed with the assertion that the person sending a text to a driver could hold some responsibility. However, the court also stated that the sender must have sufficient knowledge that a driver would read the text while operating a vehicle, and in this particular case there was insufficient evidence to that end.
How This Ruling May Be Applied
Because this ruling is fairly recent, how it will be applied to subsequent cases is yet to be seen. The main question seems to be: does the sender of the text know for a fact that the driver will read the message while operating a vehicle? It can be difficult to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt; while this is a standard in most criminal cases, for civil actions, evidence may need to be less stringent.
Whether you need assistance filing a personal injury claim, have questions about bankruptcy, or require help navigating Social Security issues, The Gil Law Firm has the skill and ability to serve your legal needs. Schedule a consultation in Dothan today by calling (334) 673-0100. You can also visit this firm online to access their complete listing of practice areas.