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Can the Person on the Other End of the Phone be at Fault for a Distracted Driving Accident?


It is well known that texting, or using a cellphone for any purpose, is one of the most dangerous things a person can do while driving. In cases of distracted driving accidents, liability is almost always associated with the person who was texting and driving. Regardless of what the other driver was doing, a person who is texting and driving is clearly negligent and at least partially responsible for the collision.

There is a third party in cases of texting and driving who is not either of the drivers, and may have been nowhere near the area where the accident occurred: The person who was texting the driver or talking to them on the phone. Is that person liable if the driver they are speaking to is involved in an accident? Often, the answer to that question will be dependent on if the person on the other end of the phone was aware that the person they were talking to was driving.

If that person did know that they were texting someone who was driving, it is possible that they could be partially liable for the accident. The driver would be negligent by responding to their texts of phone calls, but it can be argued that the other person contributed to the damages by essentially supplying the distraction, or assisting the behavior.

A person who is texting or calling someone and does not know they were driving, in most cases, will not be liable. Although they did supply the distraction, they were not negligent because they could not have known their text or call would cause damage.

These cases are similar to cases of drunk driving accidents, and the question of whether or not the supplier of the alcohol can be liable. A person who knowingly provides alcohol or drugs to someone they know will be driving could be at fault, because they are aware that driving under the influence is dangerous. Even a person who does not know that someone will be driving can be partially at fault for accidents. For example, there are some cases in which bartenders are liable because they overserved the driver who caused a collision.

Contact Belushin Law Firm, P.C. if you were injured by a negligent driver. Our lawyers examine the details of your case and understand the complexities of a car accident claim. Our goal is to recover the compensation you deserve!

Fill out our contact form or call (888) 918-9890 to schedule a no-cost case evaluation.
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