Texting While Driving Yields Disasterous Results

Date: July 20, 2011
Posted In: DLP Law

               Paul and Lois decided to take their two children out for some ice cream. Lois had often reprehended Paul for texting while he was driving but it was a habit Paul simply could not break. Paul received a text and was in the process of answering it at the same time that he was driving. In the blink of an eye, the car in front of Paul came to an unexpected stop because of a deer crossing the road. Paul slammed his car into the back of the stopped car causing a violent collision. Fortunately Paul and the driver that Paul struck were uninjured. However, Paul\’s wife suffered serious injuries as did one of Paul\’s two children.

ISSUE:          Does Paul\’s wife and his child have a claim against Paul for his negligence?

ANSWER:     Yes. Despite the family relationship here, Paul\’s wife and child will be able to bring an action against Paul\’s insurance company to recover for their pain and suffering as well as medical coverage above and beyond that which is already contracted for under Paul\’s insurance policy. This will be important because both Paul\’s wife and his one child will have medical bills far in excess of the $5,000.00 coverage that Paul has.

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive.  Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column. 

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.