Uber car accident liability is generally based on a claim of negligence via vicarious liability. Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care to prevent harm to others. Under the theory of respondeat superior, an employer is vicariously liable for an agent’s negligent acts that are committed within the scope of the agency.
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Uber | Car Accident
An Uber driver, just like any other driver, must use reasonable care in driving their vehicle. They must keep a lookout for pedestrians, obstacles, and other vehicles. They must also control the speed and movement of their vehicle. A failure to use reasonable care in driving an Uber ride share vehicle is negligence.
Example Scenario 1: Johnny is an Uber driver. He picks up Katie in Golden Hill, on 24th and Broadway, for an Uber fare. Katie is headed to Petco to watch the Padres. While driving to the game Johnny takes his eyes off the road to look at his phone’s GPS and slams into the back of a food delivery truck at 20-mph. Katie suffers severe whiplash and is knocked unconscious. She has a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and suffers from residual headaches. She is unable return to work for 2-months and loses wages. Johnny is liable to Katie for failing to use reasonable care while driving his Uber car.
Uber | Vicariously Liability
Ride share (taxi) companies are responsible for the harm caused by the wrongful conduct of its drivers while acting within the scope of their employment (or authority). This is called vicarious liability. Vicarious liability flows from the responsibility that a business entity (such as Uber) has for the acts of its employees under the principle of respondeat superior. Respondeat superior is based on a deeply rooted sentiment that it would be unjust for a business enterprise to disclaim responsibility for injuries occurring in the course of its business.
Example Scenario 1 (cont’d): Katie suffers $35,000 in medical bills, loses $6,000 in lost wages and is still receiving neurological, medical follow-up treatment for her TBI. She is seeking well over $100,000 for her injuries, medical bills and lost wages. Johnny has only a limited $15,000 / $30,000 car insurance policy. This means that the most Katie can recover from Johnny’s personal insurance is $15,000. This is a prime example where a claim against Uber would be made.
Ordaz Law, APC | Uber
Juan J. Ordaz Jr. provides candid, hardworking and personal legal representation to individuals seeking a personal injury lawyer in San Diego County. We help victims suffering from a variety of injuries, who have sustained their injuries through different types of injury producing events. We believe that it is a necessity to represent people who have sustained traumatic and debilitating injuries, and suffered ultimate losses.
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Blog: Personal Injury
Blog: Car Accidents
Ride Share Liability | Personal Injury