Snapchat and Personal Injury Claims

Personal Injury Lawyers Say Snapping Is Distracting

In the past several years, texting while driving has been a huge issue in the world of personal injury law. Personal injury lawyers often use texts to prove that the defendant was distracted when driving and is at fault. However, the increase in the number of people using social media apps when driving has led to the targeting of specific apps by personal injury lawsuits.

Snapchat, a popular application which allows you send video and picture messages that are no longer available after viewing, is in a lot of trouble. Snapchat has a feature which allows its users to include a “speed filter” which mentions how fast they were moving when the video or picture was taken. The speed filter inspires some users to make use of it when driving, which is clearly a great distraction. Blogs and press releases are increasingly drawing attention to the dangers of Snapchat’s speed filter feature.

Nonetheless, the speed filter feature is not the only issue in Snapchat personal injury claims. The videos and selfies taken by drivers when driving are also another great issue. Personal injury lawyers are starting to wonder if Snapchat might have been involved, particularly due to the fact that these videos and pictures are no longer available after few seconds. The fact that the videos and photos disappear soon after viewing implies that they call for complete and immediate concentration, thus making them more dangerous compared to other electronic images. This disappearing act makes it more difficult to prove that the application was used when the accident occurred, unless a screenshot of the video or photo was taken and saved to the mobile phone before getting sent.

Just imagine driving and viewing a Snapchat video or picture at the same time. This simply means that you are totally distracted, and as we all know, it only takes a second of distraction for an accident to occur.

Major accidents linked to the use of Snapchat were reported last year. In Philadelphia, for instance, a car collided with a trailer carrying chemicals and three people ended up getting burnt alive. The driver of the car was allegedly using Snapchat. Another accident took place in Georgia where an 18-year-old girl smashed into another car while she was moving at a speed of 100mph as per the Snapchat speed filter that she was using when the accident occurred. During her moment of distraction, her vehicle smashed into the victim’s car, resulting in the victim suffering serious brain injuries. After the accident, the woman used Snapchat to post a selfie accompanied by the caption, “Lucky to be alive.” To make matters even worse, the young woman at fault appeared to have only minimal car insurances which were barely enough to cover the injured party’s medical costs. This was part of the reason why the lawsuit was placed against Snapchat, a company that clearly has deeper pockets than the woman at fault for the accident.

Even though Snapchat is not making any direct comments regarding the lawsuit, it issued this comment: Snapchat and Personal Injury Claims

No Snap is more important than someone’s safety. We actively discourage our community from using the speed filter while driving, including by displaying a ‘Do NOT Snap and Drive’ warning message in the app itself.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident that is as a result of distracted driving, or if you have suffered any injuries caused by another person’s negligence, receiving medical attention should be at the top of your priorities. After that, consult with experienced and skilled personal injury lawyers to establish what your best options are moving forward.

Last Updated: 03-24-2017