Snapchat has been hit by a growing number of car accident lawsuits involving people who were severely injured or died while using the controversial Speed Filter.
Need a Texas Snapchat Car Accident Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was injured or died in a car accident that was caused by Snapchat Speed Filter, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
What is the Problem?
Snapchat is a multi-billion dollar social media company with over 300 million daily active users, mostly teenagers and young adults. As the popularity of Snapchat has grown, so has the problem of young drivers being distracted by their phones, doing dumb things on the road, and causing devastating car accidents.
What is the Snapchat Speed Filter?
In 2013, Snapchat introduced the “Speed Filter,” which let users post their current speed on photos and videos to get virtual trophies.
Not surprisingly, inexperienced young drivers on their phones started driving like they were in a video game, attempting to hit 100 mph to get trophies and recognition from their peers.
Tragically, some of them died or killed innocent people in horrific car accidents due to reckless driving at high speeds.
In response to public outrage and a surge in lawsuits, Snapchat finally removed the Speed Filter in June 2021. But the damage was already done. Over the course of 8 years, many young drivers, their friends, and innocent people and were killed or left permanently disabled.
Examples of Deadly Snapchat Car Accidents
It is not hard to find examples of deadly Snapchat car accidents:
- Uber driver hit by a girl using Snapchat Speed Filter at over 100 mph+
- Teenage girl in Georgia who crashed into a tree going 106 mph and killed her friend
- Three women posted a Snapchat Speed Filter video just before they died in a fiery car accident — “A witness on the scene said he could hear people screaming from inside the car, but he couldn’t get to the vehicle due to the flames.”
- Five people died in a car accident minutes after posting this Snapchat Speed Filter video at 115 mph
Snapchat Car Accident Lawsuits
Until now, car accident lawsuits against Snapchat have been tossed out by the courts. Snapchat’s lawyers simply claim immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields tech companies from lawsuits involving things that users post on their sites.
Furthermore, distracted driving is nothing new, and neither are car accidents caused by people on their phones. The courts have generally struck down lawsuits involving drivers on their phones.
But this time around, the 9th Circuit has found that these “Speed Filter” lawsuits were not a case of distracted driving — instead, they are a problem of the app itself — and therefore, the immunity provided by Section 230 may not apply.
9th Circuit Allows Car Accident Lawsuit Against Snapchat to Proceed
In a decision in early 2022, U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald with the Ninth Circuit wrote that the problem is not user-posed content, but rather the inherent design of the Snapchat Speed Filter, which gave users with “trophies, streaks, and social recognition” for driving at recklessly fast speeds.
The decision involved a deadly car accident in Wisconsin where 3 teenage boys died when they hit a tree going 113 mph while using the Snapchat Speed Filter.
Judge Fitzgerald allowed the case to move forward against Snapchat, writing:
“There is realistically no purpose for the Speed Filter other than to encourage users to travel at high speeds and record themselves doing so. It is common sense that adding a speed-sharing feature to a social media application used predominantly by minors and young adults would encourage such users to record themselves while driving at high speeds.”
Need a Snapchat Car Accident Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our law firm for a free case review.