Uber's Driverless Cars Were Not Programmed to Stop for Jaywalkers
A 23-year-old man has filed a personal injury lawsuit against Uber after losing both legs in an Orange County car accident while helping his Uber driver push his vehicle onto a freeway shoulder. According to a Fox 11 news report, Brendan Brock has filed the lawsuit naming Uber Technologies and Uber driver Gregory Raymond Lopez, Uber’s insurance carriers and Jonathan Aukusotino Tavita, the driver operating another vehicle that struck Brock. The lawsuit alleges negligence and infliction of emotional distress.
Brock has apparently moved back home after the accident where he is rehabilitating and getting round-the-clock care from his parents. Brock was a passenger in Lopez’s 2016 Jeep Compass early morning on March 7 when the vehicle ran out of gas on the 5 Freeway. Lopez coasted toward the right shoulder, but the Jeep stopped in one of the freeway lanes. Lopez and Brock got out and started to push the vehicle onto the right shoulder when Tavita lost control of his vehicle and hit Brock.
He suffered such severe crushing injuries and both his legs had to be amputated, the lawsuit states. The complaint also alleges that Lopez was “unfit to operate” the Jeep, which was a substantial factor in causing Brock’s injuries. The lawsuit also states Lopez put Brock in a dangerous situation. Uber has not commented on this lawsuit.
Uber and Liability Issues
When it comes to Uber and other rideshare companies, liability has been a somewhat tricky issue. Uber brands itself not as a transportation company, but as a Web platform that connects those who need rides with those who provide them. Uber drivers are independent contractors as opposed to employees. The company does carry $1 million in liability insurance, which should apply to passengers who are injured while riding an Uber vehicle.
There are several complex issues in Uber car accidents. For example, if the driver was not online at the time of the crash and not logged into the app, Uber’s insurance may not cover injuries or losses. At this point, the Uber driver’s auto insurance policy may have to cover the victim’s injuries or losses. The same applies if you are a pedestrian who has been struck and injured by an Uber vehicle. In some cases, victims may have to rely on their own uninsured motorist coverage if the Uber driver was offline at the time or if he or she is underinsured.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Uber car accident, it may be in your best interest to contact an experienced Orange County car accident lawyer who has successfully handled these types of cases and understands the nuances.