A driver who uses his or her cellphone behind the wheel should be prepared to face the consequences if he or she hurts someone in a crash. But what about the companies behind the smartphone apps the distracted driver was using? Should they bear some responsibility too?
A man who suffered brain damage in a car wreck with a distracted driver is suing Snapchat, a photo and video app company based in California. He and his wife say that the app encouraged the teen driver who caused the wreck to drive 113 mph before violently striking the man’s car.
According to KCBS-TV, Snapchat contains a “speed filter” that provides a visual record of how fast a user is travelling while recording inside a vehicle. The teenager allegedly had the filter on while driving, and was trying to get it to read 100 mph before slamming into the plaintiff’s car, sending it across the highway and into an embankment.
The teen survived the crash, but needed medical attention. Amazingly, she used Snapchat to take a selfie while EMTs worked on her, with the caption, “Lucky to be alive.”
The lawsuit claims that Snapchat reasonably should have known that users would run the speed filter while driving and become distracted from the road as a result. In response, Snapchat claims a warning message in the app “actively discourage[s]” this form of misuse.
A person, business or other party need not have been at the scene of a serious collision to be at least partly responsible. A personal injury attorney can investigate your crash and determine whom to hold responsible.