Living in California, many individuals have heard of ride service apps, such as Uber and Lyft. Recently, Uber has been a hot topic in the media across the state of California, but not for favorable reasons. In fact, Uber is one of the defendants in a wrongful death claim that has been filed by the family of a six-year-old girl who was reportedly a victim of a car accident caused by an Uber driver.
For those unfamiliar with Uber, it is similar to a taxi service. However, instead of calling for pick-up, an individual can use the app on their phone to request pick-up. An Uber service driver in the area would arrive and provide the customer a ride to their desired location.
The driver of the vehicle that struck the six-year-old girl and killed her, while injuring two family members that were with her, was reportedly logged into the Uber app at the time of the incident. However, Uber claims that because there was not a paying customer in his vehicle, that the man was not offering company services. Nonetheless, he was arrested by local police, but he has not yet been officially charged.
California has distracted driving laws in place, which raises the question as to whether a service like Uber is breaking the law, and is something that is addressed in the lawsuit. This particular wrongful death claim will set the foundation for similar lawsuits in the future. For those in California who have been injured in a car accident as a result of another person's negligence, it is important to never forget that there is legal recourse available to victims and their families to recover monetary compensation for damages related to the incident.
Source: SFGate, Uber sued over girl's death in S.F., Kale Williams and Kurtis Alexander, Jan. 28, 2014