Snapchat has come under fire after being named in a car accident lawsuit for its alleged involvement in a car crash in Atlanta.
On September 10, 2015, a teen driver was involved in a catastrophic car accident, resulting in traumatic brain injuries to the other driver. Available reports show that at the time of the crash, the teenager was using the Snapchat’s speed filter to share with her friends how fast she was driving.
Uber Driver Sustains Serious Injuries
Christal McGee, 18, was driving her Mercedes at 107 mph in a suburb of Hampton, Georgia. The teenager had recently finished her shift at work and was driving her co-workers home. She took out her cell phone to use the filter and told her passengers that she wanted to post a picture of herself driving fast. The smart filter displays the speed at which the person is traveling over the photograph that can be taken as a “selfie” or in camera form.
A passenger in the teenager’s car allegedly saw the Snapchat filter display 113 mph when she decided to post it, and moments later, her car collided with a Mitsubishi Outlander driven by Uber driver, Wentworth Maynard. Maynard suffered serious injuries in the accident and spent five weeks in the hospital where he received treatment for traumatic brain injury. He continues to suffer difficulties in communication, chronic pain, depression, and memory loss. After the accident, McGee again posted a Snapchat image of her bloodied face from the ambulance gurney with a caption “lucky to be alive”.
The Role of Technology in Car Accident Lawsuits
The complaint states that “Snapchat’s speed filter facilitated McGee’s excessive speeding. McGee was motivated to drive at an excessive speed in order to obtain recognition through Snapchat by the means of a Snapchat trophy”.
This particular case is garnering a lot of attention, because an app maker is being sued for the action of a user. However, Snapchat has an in-app warning that deters users from using the speed filter while driving. The terms of service say, “Do not use our Services in a way that could distract you from obeying traffic or safety laws. And never put yourself or others in harm’s way just to capture a Snap”.
According to lawyers, Snapchat has the “responsibility to act reasonably to take steps to eliminate risks associated with their products”. They claim it failed to do this by not removing or restricting the speed filter.
Chicago Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, seek legal help from a Chicago car accident lawyer. Call Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation.