After the rideshare service first expanded outside of San Francisco in 2011, the number of Uber drivers on the road shot up quickly. It is no surprise that the number of Uber accidents also increased.
The Tragic Death of Sophia Liu
One of the earliest Uber accidents to make national headlines took the life of six-year-old Sophia Liu, and injured her brother and mother. The trio were in a San Francisco crosswalk when Uber driver Syed Muzaffar struck them.
At the time of the December 2013 accident, Muzaffar did not have a passenger, but was currently available for fares. After investigations uncovered that Muzaffar had a previous conviction for reckless driving, the family sued both the driver and Uber for wrongful death.
This lawsuit prompted Uber to change its policies. The company now offers contingency insurance coverage for drivers any time they were on the app. Uber never admitted responsibility for Liu’s death, however, and the family settled the suit.
Other Pedestrian Accidents
Many other people have also suffered serious injuries in car-pedestrian collisions with an Uber driver. Like Liu, some succumbed to their injuries. One of those pedestrians was Wesley Manning. Uber driver Aliou Diallo struck Manning and his girlfriend Erin Sauchelli while they legally crossed a Manhattan street. The accident killed Manning and left Sauchelli with serious injuries.
Sauchelli filed a lawsuit against Uber. She claimed the app requires drivers to use their smartphones in a way that violates New York State’s distracted driving laws. Diallo was on his way to pick up a fare at the time of the accident.
Whether the app or other parts of the job played a role in distracting drivers and causing accident is a question in a number of other cases.
Rival rideshare company Lyft was the first to have a rider pass away after an accident. Several Uber passengers also suffered this tragic fate. This includes:
- Corey Allicock, 28, who died in December of 2015 when his Uber driver collided with a deputy from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office in Orlando
- Pablo Sanchez Jr., 20, who died just a few weeks after Allicock, died on the scene after his Miami Uber driver violated the right of way and an intoxicated driver slammed into their vehicle. Sanchez’s family filed litigation against the intoxicated driver and Uber.
Today, Uber provides liability coverage when its drivers are “on the app.” However, the amount of coverage varies greatly based on whether they have a fare. Winning a case against Uber or another rideshare company requires the right attorneys. You need an advocate who will hold the company responsible for its drivers’ negligence.
If you or a loved one was in an accident involving an Uber vehicle, we can help. Call Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers at (484) 351-0350 for help.