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Social media app implicated in alleged distracted driving accident, P.2

Last time, we began looking at a case in which a Georgia man is suing a teen he accuses of using Snapchat immediately prior to the accident. The man—who suffered a traumatic brain injury—is also suing Snapchat. As we noted, the teen and her friends say the man actually pulled into their lane, not giving her enough time to stop.

For its part, Snapchat denies that it encourages its users to use the app while driving, and that it displays warnings to users to not use the program while operating a motor vehicle.  Police have, so far, chosen not to cite the teen for speeding partly because of conflicting accounts from her passengers about the speed of the vehicle. Police have said that the man may also have committed a moving violation by failing to signal before changing lanes. 

The case is an interesting one not only from the standpoint of social medial use and distracted driving, but also with respect to the issue of negligence in personal injury cases. First of all, there is the issue of comparative negligence, if both parties are found to be partially at fault. Then there is the issue of third party negligence for Snapchat.

Ordinarily, people think of motor vehicle accidents as involving the liability of one of the parties, perhaps both in some cases, but people don’t usually think about third party liability, at least not immediately. Third party liability is an important possibility to explore, though, in car accident cases where actors other than the drivers involved in the crash may have contributed to the incident. Having an experienced advocate in such cases can help ensure an accident victim has the best possible chance of adequate compensation. In a future post, we’ll look further at the issue of third party negligence. 

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