We all hear and see from the media the dangers of texting while driving an automobile. It doesn’t take much to imagine that having your focus on a small phone while driving a vehicle is a bad idea. However, did you know that doing so could lead to punitive damages being assessed against you? Punitive damages are not dischargeable in bankruptcy and will result in your driving privileges being permanently suspended until they are paid in full.
Still, want to text and drive? Think again, Palm Beach County Judge Brown has recently entered an order allowing an injured driver to seek punitive damages against a defendant who was texting while driving. The records from the cell phone company, 911 call recording, driver’s deposition, and police officer testimony all provided a sufficient basis for seeking such damages. What does this mean in the long run? No insurance coverage for punitive damages, no discharge of punitive damages in bankruptcy court, and a permanent lifetime suspension of driving privileges if the eventual award is not paid. Still, want to text and drive? Think again.