Uber has been in the news as of late, and not for a good reason. On March 18th, a pedestrian in Arizona was struck and killed by a self-driving car operated by Uber. This is the first pedestrian death linked to autonomous technology and raises serious questions about the safety of these vehicles. Uber immediately stepped in and stopped all test driving on self-driving cars in Tempe, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Toronto. This serves as a stark reminder that self-driving technology still has some kinks to work out and we should not get ahead of ourselves. While many are excited about the prospect of autonomous vehicles and believe it will make our roads safer, there is still a lot of work to be done.
After the death of the pedestrian this week, numerous questions have been raised regarding liability and whether or not Uber is responsible for accidents involving autonomous cars. Lawsuits involving Uber drivers in general are somewhat complicated, but self-driving Uber vehicles are unchartered territory for lawmakers and litigators alike. At this time, it is unclear whether the family of the Arizona pedestrian will be filing a lawsuit. However, Tempe police chief Sylvia Moir believes it will be unlikely that Uber will be held responsible for the accident.
Your Rights in an Uber Accident
We’ve talked a lot about the recent story of an autonomous Uber vehicle, killing a pedestrian in Arizona, but it is important to understand your rights following an accident with an Uber vehicle with a driver. We often field the question of whether or not you can sue Uber or Lyft in order to obtain compensation for your injuries, and the answer is yes. There are several different directions you may be able to go when filing a lawsuit against the driver. However, it is important to note that, in most cases, you cannot sue Uber itself. Drivers for rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are contract workers, not employees, which means you cannot sue the company. There have been cases where people have tried, but it never turns out in their favor. Both Uber and Lyft have denied liability for accidents, making it a difficult task to try and move forward with a lawsuit.
If you have sustained injuries as a result of an accident with an Uber driver and the driver is at fault, you will be covered under the company’s $1 million insurance policy. Unfortunately, Uber does not have a very strict process in place for onboarding drivers, which is one reason why accidents are so common. This means that mediocre drivers and even criminal offenders are often behind the wheel of an Uber vehicle. This is unsettling, to say the least, and is an important reminder for anyone involved in an accident with one of these vehicles.
Whether you find yourself involved in an accident with an Uber driver as a passenger or as the driver of another vehicle, please give Shamieh Law a call. We understand how stressful these types of accidents can be and will work with you to make sure you receive full compensation for your injuries. While you may not be able to sue Uber directly, you do have several other options that will ensure you are compensated for your injuries and any damages.