A lawsuit is going viral, as a man is suing both a teenage driver and Snapchat for negligence in a case that could set a legal precedent for the kinds of liability apps have for their users. A snapchat driving accident like this is, unfortunately, common in this generation and present serious risks for all members involved.
Christal McGee, 18, was driving at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour when she and three other friends collided with another car, containing Wentworth Maynard. Maynard suffered severe injuries as a result of the crash. McGee Snapchatted a picture of herself strapped to a gurney, blood running down her face, with a caption that read, “lucky to be alive.”
Now, Maynard is pursuing damages from McGee and the social media service for the severe traumatic brain injury he sustained and the side effects he experiences daily. He was in intensive care for five weeks.
How Is Snapchat Responsible?
The lawsuit alleges that McGee was using a Snapchat lens that clocks the speed of vehicles. She and her friends were pushing their Mercedes Benz to higher and higher speeds, according to the plaintiff’s lawyer. An accident reconstruction estimates that she was traveling at approximately 107 miles per hour when she drifted out of her lane and into Mr. Maynard’s vehicle.
The case has become a high profile one—both as a poster incident for the dangers of Snapchat as well as distracted driving and as a potential precedent for other such cases involving social media. Supporters of Mr. Maynard maintain that distracted driving like McGee’s should be punished like driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
The lawsuit claims that Snapchat effectively motivates drivers to speed and take selfies by awarding “trophies” or in-app badges that users earn by completing certain tasks. The social media giant maintains it has never awarded trophies for speeding.
A statement Snapchat released states that no snap is worth someone’s safety. The company also says that it actively discourages distracted driving by posting warnings in the app not to snap and drive.
So What Happens Next?
Right now, the case is still in the fact-finding phase of development. The Lovejoy Police Department is conducting a thorough investigation into the snapchat driving accident. McGee has yet to face any charges, partially because conflicting reports about the accident are surfacing. After learning the teen may have been using Snapchat, the department has opened a case to see if distracted driving actually played a part in the crash.
Chief Mark Harris also reported that Maynard may have committed a moving violation by failing to signal when changing lanes. If this is true, he would be partially at fault for the snapchat driving accidents .
What’s the Likely Outcome?
It’s hard to predict how this will play out in court. Maynard’s case will hinge on proving that McGee acted negligently and that negligence directly contributed to his accident (and subsequent injuries). If he did commit a moving violation, it will affect the amount of damages he will be able to recover.
Georgia (where this incident took place) is known as a comparative negligence state. If Maynard is less than 50% at fault for the accident, he will be able to recover damages, but minus his percentage of fault. For example, if the courts determine he is 40% at fault and he is trying to recover $1 million in damages, he would only be eligible to receive $600,000.
Have You Been Injured by Someone Else’s Negligence?
The physical and emotional scars from an accident can follow you around for a lifetime. If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation. To see if you qualify, contact a Las Vegas car accident attorney at our firm today for a free case evaluation today. The lawyers at De Castroverde Law Group will fight for the compensation you deserve.