Personal Injury Pulse: Instagram, Distracted Driving & Fraternity Settlement

In this blog, we’re going to give you some information that will help keep you updated on many things personal injury-related. We will discuss the findings of some new research, a recent settlement, as well as a possible major lawsuit. By making yourself aware of the goings-on in the broader world of civil litigation, you can be better prepared to deal with personal injury situations should you ever find yourself thrust into one.

Let’s start with some newly released research regarding distracted driving. According to information collected by State Farm Insurance Company, the modern form of distracted driving may not come in the form of simple text messages. No, as technology has progressed, so has our capacity for distraction. It is now commonplace to check email, research sports scores, read the news or pay bills—all from your cell phone—and all while driving! According to the report, for people between 18-29, the percentage of individuals who surfed the web on their smartphone, while driving, jumped from 29% in 2009 to a whopping 48% this past year. Specifically, more than 30% of people reported that they update their social media profiles while driving—that means updating Facebook statuses, posting edited photos to Instagram and “tweeting” 140-character or less messages (tweets). As technology becomes more and more ingrained in our everyday lives, the levels of distractions on the road are skyrocketing. With distractions on the rise, negligence will become even more prevalent on the roads—and this will lead to more and more avoidable auto accidents. Stay careful and stay alert out there!

Next, we have some news regarding a settlement in a case that has grabbed national headlines. On New Year’s Day of 2010, a college student died after falling over a stairway railing following a New Year’s Eve party at the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The attorney who represented the student’s parents had announced, after discovering a great deal of evidence, that the fraternity was certainly negligent and played a clear role in the events that led to the students death—and so was the beer store that sold alcohol to the underage student. According to the settlement, the fraternity Phi Kappa Sigma paid $3,000,000 to the parents of the deceased student and the beer store paid $375,000 to the parents of the deceased student. This settlement, while it does not right any wrong that was done, is an example of how negligent individuals and parties can, via constructive use of the law, be held responsible for their actions.

Finally, let’s talk about Instagram. The latest social media phenomenon is facing a possible large-scale lawsuit relating to its updated terms of service. Instagram, which is now owned by Facebook, has announced in its updated terms of service that the company reserves the right to sell user’s uploaded photographs without compensation and without having to request permission. After an initial outburst of outrage, Instagram has said that the issue was merely a misunderstanding and that they have no plans to sell user’s photographs. Nonetheless, the terms of service are in effect as of mid-January.

Keep yourself informed about personal injury news by checking out our blog. If you have any questions about these issues or any others, please contact us at 561-266-9191 or email us at

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