Distracted driving by people using cellphones to talk, text, check messages or otherwise engage in social media remains the cause of too many vehicle accidents, despite state laws throughout the country prohibiting these activities. Often these crashes involve serious injuries or even fatalities. Certainly, drivers who are responsible for such accidents can be held liable by their victims.
However, one crash victim is going further. He's suing Snapchat, the company responsible for the filter that he says encouraged the teen driver who hit him to drive her car at over 100 miles per hour last September. According to the lawsuit, the victim, also a teen, was left with permanent brain damage.
Snapchat Filter Lets People Post Their Speed Over Their Picture
The Snapchat filter that the young woman was using allows people to apply a filter to photos that indicates how fast they were going and then gives them a "trophy." According to one of the victim's attorneys, the driver who hit their client with her Mercedes admitted to attempting to post a selfie showing herself driving at 100 mph when the crash occurred.
Snapchat claims that it posts a warning message to discourage people from using the filter while they are driving. However, one of the lawyers representing the victim says that the filter is "encouraging teenagers to drive at fast speed(s) for social status."
Crash Reportedly Didn't Stop Driver from Taking Selfies
The driver using the filter was also injured in the crash. However, even that apparently didn't get her to put down her phone. According to the victim's attorneys, she took a photo of herself bloodied from the accident and captioned it "lucky to be alive."
The victim's lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for his medical costs. According to the suit, he can no longer walk on his own, take care of himself or work. He was hospitalized for five weeks and reportedly lost 50 pounds.
Even if this Snapchat filter supposedly isn't intended to be used by drivers, it's difficult to see what use it could have besides encouraging people -- mostly young people -- to exceed the speed limit. It's now up to a judge and/or jury to determine whether the company should be held responsible for the outcome of their product.
Personal injury attorneys can help victims not only pursue claims against at-fault drivers responsible for injuries. They can look further to see if any other person or entity can and should be held liable.
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