Less than a month after a San Francisco driver employed by the web-based transportation company Uber struck and killed a six-year-old girl on New Year’s Eve, the child’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company, citing negligence. Like in Illinois, use of a non-hands-free mobile device while driving is illegal in California, and Uber drivers use the company’s official smartphone app to connect with clients.
Uber Address the Accident
Uber provides a taxi-like service that allows consumers to order rides using a phone app, and bases its fare costs on factors like distance and volume of customers—on busier nights, rides cost more. On the night of the accident, the driver was logged in to the Uber app—the company had previously been vocal about the potential for surging prices on New Year’s Eve—when he struck a woman and her two children, killing her daughter.
Though the company released a statement the next day stating that the driver “was not providing services on the Uber system during the time of the accident,” the family has contacted a personal injury attorney and filed a lawsuit regarding the car accident.
The Personal Injury Attorney Responds
The personal injury attorney notes that car accidents caused by mobile phone use while driving are a violation of California’s distracted driving laws. California’s distracted driving laws are similar to those in Illinois, and wrongful death can result from negligence and failure to adhere to those laws.
In this case, Uber alleges that because its driver was not carrying any passengers at the time of the accident, the company is not liable. The family’s personal injury attorney has commented that Uber is not extending insurance protection to the driver or the victim’s family.
Wrongful Death, Negligence and Personal Injury
Any vehicle accident resulting in a serious injury or death is a tragedy, but when a wrongful death is caused by negligence, the situation is all the more serious. If the actions or policies of a person or company result in the wrongful death of an innocent victim, justice can mean more than criminal charges alone.
In Illinois, our personal injury attorneys see cases like this California tragedy all the time—the negligence of one party results in the wrongful death or injury of another. And like in the case filed against Uber just last week alleges, sometimes the responsible party isn’t just the individual or individuals directly involved, but the company they represent.
If you know someone who has been injured or even killed in an accident that was not their fault, contact one of our personal injury attorneys in Illinois today, and get one step closer to the justice they deserve.