What Are My Legal Options After a Crash Caused By a Driver Filming a Tik Tok Video?
More and more people are choosing to react to viral news or videos behind the wheel to get on Tik Tok trends as soon as possible. This is increasing the number of distracted drivers on the road, which could have deadly consequences.
If you are injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver who was filming a Tik Tok video, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages.
Below, our car accident lawyers in New Jersey discuss your legal options for recovering compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other damages.
Is Filming Yourself While Driving Illegal in New Jersey?
Technically, filming yourself behind the wheel is not illegal in New Jersey.
There are laws preventing drivers from texting or talking on a hand-held device. However, there is no specific law that prohibits cell phone use behind the wheel if you are not holding it in your hand.
To avoid getting into legal trouble, people who film themselves in the car will use a dashboard mount to hold their cell phones while they speak into the camera.
Dangers of Filming Tik Tok Videos While Driving
Even though it is not illegal to film yourself behind the wheel, it is still a dangerous distraction.
A lot of the content on Tik Tok is people reacting to someone else’s video. This means the person doing this behind the wheel must take his or her eyes off the road to watch a clip, so he or she can react to each segment of the video. This is extremely dangerous.
There are also some Tik Tok videos depicting individuals providing their opinion about some recent news story or celebrity gossip. Even if the person does not take his or her eyes off the road, the person’s mind is not focused on driving. This is called a cognitive distraction, which could lead to a decrease in reaction time.
If the person filming the Tik Tok video is fired up enough about the subject of the video, he or she may use hand gestures that could take his or her hands off the wheel.
All these distractions may be dangerous enough on their own. But put them together and there is potential for a serious accident t occur.
Can I Sue a Driver Who Caused a Crash While Recording a Tik Tok Video?
If a driver who was filming a Tik Tok video causes an accident, he or she should be held liable for your damages.
However, New Jersey auto insurance laws could make it more complicated to file a lawsuit against the driver.
First, accident victims must file a claim through their own New Jersey Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance to have their medical expenses paid for. PIP insurance also covers some other economic damages, like lost wages.
If your PIP insurance limit is not enough to cover the full extent of your damages, you may be able to file a third-party claim with the liability insurance of the driver recording a Tik Tok video. It is important to note that bodily injury liability insurance in New Jersey is not mandatory, but most drivers do carry it.
Once you file a claim with the liability insurance, you can start the process of negotiating a settlement for your compensation. If the insurance company refuses to settle, then you may be able to file a lawsuit to force them to pay your damages.
However, New Jersey law also makes this a little more complex. Drivers who have a basic insurance policy do not have the right to sue except under certain circumstances. While drivers who have a standard insurance policy may or may not have the right to file a lawsuit, it depends on whether they have a limited or unlimited right to sue option selected when purchasing auto insurance.
Our lawyers are prepared to review the facts of the accident to determine your legal options. If we determine you have the right to pursue legal action, then our attorneys can start the process of building a strong case for compensation.
One of the first steps in the process is proving the driver was recording a Tik Tok video that distracted him or her and resulted in a collision.
How Can I Prove Someone Was Filming a Tik Tok Video While Driving?
To prove someone was recording a Tik Tok video before a collision, you may need to get witnesses to provide a statement. For example, if other drivers observed the individual talking into his or her dashboard-mounted cell phone, this could help establish the driver was at least distracted by his or her phone.
The police report may also include whether the responding police officer suspects the driver who caused the crash was distracted by his or her cell phone.
If you do file a lawsuit, your attorney may be able to subpoena phone records to determine whether the driver was using the Tik Tok app at the time of the crash.
Call an Experienced Attorney Today
Because filing a lawsuit against a driver who caused a crash while recording a Tik Tok video can be complicated, it may be in your best interest to discuss your case with a knowledgeable attorney.
We offer a free consultation to see what legal options may be available to you. There are also no upfront fees if you choose to work with us, so there is no risk.
Call 800-518-0508 today to schedule your free consultation.