Could a Social Media Outlet Be Liable for Distracted Driving Accident Injuries?

social media, distracted driving accident, Hinsdale car accident lawyerThe warnings are all around us. “Arrive Alive; Don’t Text and Drive.” “Dnt txt n drv.” “Texting and Driving…It Can Wait.” Crash statistics from across the country indicate that texting while driving and other forms of cell phone-related distracted driving are extremely dangerous. Each year, distracted driving contributes to thousands of accidents, many of them causing serious injuries and even death.

Social Media and Distracted Driving

As you probably realize, texting and driving does not just refer to the exchange of traditional text messages, or SMS—Short Message Service—messages. Interacting on social media while driving is equally dangerous, if not more so, as many social media outlets offer features that can be even more distracting than a simple conversation. One such feature is the basis of a lawsuit now pending in Georgia, the outcome of which could lead to serious changes to the understanding of distracted driving accident liability.

Filters and Temptations

According to reports, a Georgia man has filed suit against the social media photo-sharing service Snapchat for injuries he sustained in a serious crash last fall. The suit alleges that, at the time of the accident, the at-fault driver, an 18-year-old young woman was using a Snapchat filter—an automatic overlay that appears on a photo to send to a friend—that displayed her current rate of speed. The woman was allegedly “just trying to get the car to 100 miles per hour to post it on Snapchat,” lawyers for the plaintiff claimed. The complaint specifies that the woman’s car was traveling 107 mph when the crash occurred, nearly twice the posted 55 mph speed limit.

The plaintiff claims that the woman’s obsession with the app and the allure of posting her speed directly led to the accident and, therefore, his injuries. Even in the aftermath of the crash, it seems the woman could not help herself, apparently posting a photo of her bloodied face while she laid on a gurney in the ambulance. The caption allegedly read, “Lucky to be alive.”

Representatives from Snapchat would not comment on the pending lawsuit but pointed out that the app includes a warning against using it while behind the wheel.

Liability in Auto Accidents

Attorneys for the plaintiffs indicate that they are pursuing the case on the grounds of product liability. They claim that Snapchat was aware of previous accidents involving the use of the app at high speeds, yet continued to offer the tempting filter.

If you have been injured in a distracted driving accident, you may be able to collect compensation from more than just the at-fault driver. Manufacturers of dangerous products or defective auto parts may share in the liability for your injuries. To learn more about your options, contact an experienced DuPage County car accident lawyer. Call 630-920-8855 to schedule a free initial consultation at Martoccio & Martoccio today.


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