Visitor Question

At Fault Driver was Texting While Driving…

Submitted By: Jane (South Plainfield, NJ)

I was a passenger in a car accident. The woman who was driving the car I was in was texting while driving and caused the accident. I’m wondering if I can pursue her auto insurance policy for compensation since she was texting?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Jane,

Yes you can. Recent studies have shown the reflexes of a driver texting while driving are about the same as those of an intoxicated driver. To be successful in a claim against a driver and their insurance company you must have “damages”. Damages most often include physical injuries suffered as a result of the driver’s negligence. The physical injuries must have resulted in medical bills, called “Hard Costs”.

Damages can also include any of your out of pocket expenses, such as bandages, prescription and over the counter pain medication, and the like. Lost wages are also considered damages. If you have to miss work while treating for your injury, those lost wages should be compensable.

The most difficult hurdle you’ll have to get over before any of the above comes about will be acceptance of liability by the texting, or “at-fault”, driver’s insurance company. If the police were called to the scene and your friend received a citation showing her texting was a contributing factor in your injuries, her insurance company will probably not have a problem accepting liability for the driver.

If the police weren’t called out, and your friend is willing to contact her insurance company and admit her texting was the cause of the collision, her insurance company will probably accept responsibility as well.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: August 22, 2011

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