Who is responsible when a driver seriously hurts or kills someone? Is it the fault of the driver or the fault of the company that they drive for?
Those are likely to be some of the questions asked following an accident in North Philadelphia involving an Uber driver. One woman was left dead after she stepped in front of the vehicle he was driving.
According to police, the fatal accident occurred when a woman walked out of a delicatessen in the early morning hours. She stepped out from between two parked vehicles into the street where she was struck.
Officers arrived at the scene and found the victim lying on the ground with head trauma. She was taken to the hospital, where she later died as the result of the injuries she received in the incident.
Police say that the woman had not used the crosswalk in attempting to cross the street. The Uber driver, who also was not identified, was driving a 2016 Honda. He stopped his vehicle near the crash site and was interviewed by law enforcement investigators.
Police said that the driver was sober and that the incident appears to be a tragic accident.
The crash is still currently under investigation.
When someone gets into a car accident and someone is hurt or killed, the case will often end up in court. Uber’s car services, unlike those of a taxi company, are accessed mainly through an app that allows users to use the ride-sharing service. There are two potentially liable parties in an Uber accident and that is the driver involved and Uber, the company.
In response to a 2014 case involving a 6-year-old girl who was killed by an Uber driver, the company changed its liability policies. Sofia Liu was in the crosswalk in San Francisco with her mother and younger brother when she was struck and killed. Sofia’s mother and brother were also injured in the incident.
The surviving family members filed a wrongful death suit against Uber.
Uber drivers are required to have their own insurance that carries a liability policy of $50,000. Initially, Uber claimed that because the driver in this case was not on the clock at the time of the incident, they were not liable. Since the case, however, the company now offers up to an additional $1 million in liability coverage.
As a company, Uber has demonstrated reluctance to acknowledge any responsibility in these types of cases, denying liability for as long as possible. In several incidents involving its drivers, Uber has either taken the tack to deny that drivers were on the clock, or the company has simply left drivers on their own when a lawsuit is brought against the company.
Time and the courts will tell if Uber’s business model will be able to withstand the scrutiny and maintain its market share in light of these very public lawsuits.
If you or someone you care about has been injured by an Uber driver, where can you turn? The Aventura personal injury lawyers at Neufeld, Kleinberg, and Pinkiert can assist you and tell you whether you have a case. Give us a call for your free no-obligation consultation.