Could the sender of a text be held liable for a car crash?

That negligent behavior has prompted some lawmakers to consider a new law, where the senders of a text could be held liable for texting with a recipient whom they know is driving. The approach is similar to dram shop laws that encourage business owners or even hosts to think twice about serving a visibly intoxicated guest.

The rationale behind the proposal is public safety: Lawmakers want to minimize conditions that might encourage the choice of negligent or distracted driving. Until behaviors change, however, the reality is that motor vehicle accidents will continue to affect our lives.

If a negligent driver’s insurance company advances a settlement offer, our personal injury law firm recommends a consultation with an attorney, for several reasons. First, the other driver’s insurance company has a financial motive for settling a car accident claim at the cheapest price. Yet a crash victim may not even realize that some damages should be included in his or her compensation, such as future medical expenses, lost earning capacity or even a diminished quality of life.

An attorney can also evaluate the reasonableness of a settlement offer. For example, an attorney might evaluate the offer against the litigation potential of a client’s claim. Although the majority of cases settle, just the very act of filing a personal injury lawsuit may prompt fairer settlement discussions.

Source: Market Watch, “Soon you could be sued for texting a driver that gets into a car wreck,” Bob Sullivan, May 5, 2016