The parents of a little girl killed by a distracted driver filed suit against Apple in December 2016, according to an ABC News report. In the suit, the couple accuses Apple of failing to disable its FaceTime video calling app when the phone is moving at highway speeds, despite the ability to do so.
The 5-year-old died on December 24, 2014 in a Dallas car accident. A distracted driver struck the family’s vehicle while allegedly using the FaceTime app. According to the suit, Apple patented technology that would limit use of FaceTime and similar apps at highway speeds in 2008.
How common is distracted driving?
Distracted driving is more common than you probably realize. In 2014 alone, more than 3,100 people died in distracted driving crashes nationwide, and another 431,000 suffered injuries, according to Distraction.gov, the U.S. government’s official site on distracted driving.
Still, this does not adequately paint the portrait of just how widespread the issue is. At any given time during the day, there are about 660,000 motorists on America’s roads who are talking on a cell phone, texting, or using a smartphone app. Take a look around you on the highway, and you are sure to spot several of these drivers yourself.
Who is liable for distracted driving crashes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey?
Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey have laws making it illegal to text and drive, and victims of distracted driving crashes can hold distracted motorists liable for serious injuries. However, the laws in each state differ:
Pennsylvania has a ban against texting while driving, or other actions that require more than a single touch of the screen. It is legal for drivers with a regular driver’s license to make phone calls while in motion, as long as they do not need to press more than one button.
New Jersey passed strict distracted driving laws in 2016. The state now classifies distracted driving as any action that takes a driver’s attention off the road. This includes all cell phone calls, texts, and apps that require manipulation while driving.
In most cases, the victims of distracted driving crashes involving smartphones file a claim against the distracted motorist and recover compensation from his/her insurance company. While the Texas lawsuit, filed in Santa Clara Superior Court, will not directly impact claims in Bucks County, Philadelphia, or New Jersey, it could open the door for other similar suits against tech companies in other states.
What do I need to do if I suffer injuries in a crash caused by cell phone use?
If you suffered injuries in a Bucks County, Philadelphia, or New Jersey distracted driving crash, you should discuss your options for compensation for your losses with a qualified car accident attorney. The car accident lawyers at Cordisco & Saile, LLC can help you get the compensation due to you for medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Call us today at 215-642-2335 to schedule a free consultation and case review with one of our lawyers.