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Should Crash Photos be Banned From Facebook?

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents


It’s common for social media posts to be used as evidence in lawsuits. However, some individuals believe that this wrong and would like to outlaw recording images at crash sites in order to protect the grieving families of crash victims.

Dawn Valles of Downers Grove, IL started to receive condolence text messages even before the police informed her that her daughter, Miranda Valles, and friend, Matthew Summers, lost their lives in a motorcycle accident along Interstate 290. Miranda’s family and friends saw that she had been involved in an accident through a photo that someone posted on Facebook. The photo revealed the ghastly aftermath of the accident, capturing the remains of Miranda’s 21-year-old body and her friend Matt’s 41-year-old detached body.

Banning Crash Photos

Valles was horrified by the picture of her daughter’s remains that has circulated the internet. She decided to start a movement that seeks to outlaw the recording of these types of images at crash sites. However, her effort comes with many obstacles due to the fact that it’s difficult to enforce legal regulations on taking pictures and recording videos in public. Supporters of this movement understand the hurdles associated with it but are hopeful that people will think prior to taking or sharing such grisly crash photos or videos.

Valles explained that nobody should ever have to find out about someone’s passing through horrifying crash photos and videos online. She stated that people think that crash photos and videos are cool to look at but they are not so cool when your family is depicted in them.

Rob Summers of Spokane, Washington was in a similar situation to Valles. There was a photo of his brother, Matt, dead on the highway on the internet. Summers asked his other brother to show him this photo and has regretted seeing it ever since. Summers now sees the image of his dead brother every day.

Although Valles and Summers were able to get the tragic photos of their deceased loved ones removed from Facebook, these photos were eventually posted to another site featuring many images of gruesome car crashes. Valles and Summers are still able to find the frightful crash photos by performing a simple Google search.

Kaley Sullivan, Valles’ friend has recently started a petition online to help establish an Illinois law to prohibit this type of photography. Some individuals and legal scholars believe that everyone has a right to know what has happened and a law that prohibits these types of videos and photos from being taken runs the risk of restricting other forms of free speech. State Senator, Ira Silverstein, explained that it’s challenging to design a law that protects both freedom of speech and family privacy.

Contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Today

If you have been injured in a tragic car accident or lost a loved one as a result of one, you need an experienced lawyer to obtain a settlement for your losses. Contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900. We operate on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t owe us a penny until we are able to achieve a favorable outcome for your case.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900