Could Apple be Sued for Distracted Driving Accidents?

Categories: Distracted Driving

distracted driving

Experienced Attorneys Holding Responsible Parties Accountable for Distracted Driving Accidents across Washington

Apple, the maker of the iPhone, Apple Watch, and other media devices certainly plays a role in distracted driving. However, those who have been injured by a distracted driver using an Apple device may wonder if Apple is liable for their injuries.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 20 percent of car accidents are caused by distracted drivers. This leads to over 3,000 fatalities each year and more than 400,000 injuries. Distractions, however, come in many forms – cell phones and media devices are certainly one of them.

Apple, Inc. and other companies are aware of the risks of distracted driving; therefore, some feel that they should be doing more to prevent accidents while individuals use their devices. There is a lawsuit against Apple right now in Texas, which alleges that the company is responsible for a traffic fatality associated with using a company device.

Can Apple Save Drivers from Themselves?

In this case, a young woman was checking messages on her Apple iPhone when her vehicle collided with another. The other driver and a passenger were killed, and a child in the vehicle was paralyzed. The young woman was sentenced to five years of probation, but surviving family members feel that Apple is equally responsible.

In their lawsuit, they claim that the company knew that its phones are a distraction on the road. However, the company has done little to stop distracted driving from occurring. The biggest piece of evidence presented in this lawsuit was the patent filed by Apple for technology that prevents drivers from texting while operating a vehicle – something that has not yet been included on the company’s phones. Apple even acknowledged the dangers of texting and driving in the patent application, notes the lawsuit.

Apple Working to Dismiss the Case

Apple has responded to the lawsuit based on the grounds that the young woman was responsible for her own actions, and that Apple is not responsible for how its customers use their devices. After all, Apple discusses the fact that car manufacturers are not liable for vehicle accidents with drivers who are intoxicated, because they are not required by law to install ignition interlock devices. Instead, the driver is required to install the device by the courts.

In this case, Apple may not be liable, but the company should do more to help drivers avoid distractions, especially while using their devices.

The Driver is Responsible

While Apple being held responsible is a stretch, the driver who caused the accident due to her distractions is liable. It was not reported if the family would be filing the lawsuit against the driver or not. However, in this type of case, the driver who was distracted at the time of the incident should be held responsible for injuries and deaths associated with his or her own negligence. This type of case would also qualify for a wrongful death claim if it occurred here in Washington.

Speak with an Attorney Regarding Your Injuries

If you or a loved one was injured or you lost a loved one because of a distracted driver, you still have options. While manufacturers of distraction-causing devices may not be liable, a driver owes a duty of care to pay attention to the road.

Contact the attorneys at Brett McCandlis Brown, PLLC regarding your injuries or accidents. Our personal injury and wrongful death attorneys are here to help you and your loved ones recover rightful compensation. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 800-925-1875 or completing our online contact form with your questions.