It is against the law in some states to operate a motor vehicle and use a smartphone at the same time, as some drivers tend not to exercise sound judgment. West Virginia residents may be interested to know that both drivers and the creators of certain types of technologies may be held liable for a vehicle accident. This is demonstrated by a lawsuit filed against Apple, accusing the company of not implementing a FaceTime patent that may have prevented the death of a young child.
On Dec. 24, 2014, a car driving slowly on a congested road in Texas was hit from behind by another vehicle that was traveling at 65 miles per hour. A father and his 5-year-old daughter who were in the first car were seriously injured. The young girl died as a result of her injuries.
The driver of the second car, a 20-year-old man, later stated that when the accident occurred, he was on Apple FaceTime, which was still on when law enforcement arrived at the scene. The plaintiffs of the lawsuit alleges that although the driver bears responsibility for the crash, Apple’s actions also contributed to the accident as a patent that the company obtained in 2012 could have been used to lock the driver out of FaceTime when his phone determined it was in a moving vehicle. In the lawsuit, Apple is depicted as a company that purposely disregarded the safety of its customers because of profit. The plaintiffs are seeking financial compensation for their losses.
A personal injury attorney may seek monetary damages on behalf of an injured client from individuals whose negligent driving behavior resulted in the accident. The attorney may also pursue damages against any parties that might bear some degree of responsibility.