An angry Uber driver intentionally ran into a man riding a bicycle at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco earlier this month on a busy Sunday afternoon. The attack occurred after the bicyclist rode up to the Uber vehicle and began yelling at the driver and banging on his window. The bicyclist cursed at the driver and pushed in his passenger-side mirror.
The bike rider then pedaled off, and the Uber driver sped up, hitting the bicycle’s rear tire. The rider was knocked unconscious and suffered broken ribs and a busted clavicle. He was hospitalized for his injuries. The Uber driver voluntarily waited until police arrived and was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
This incident isn’t the only one involving an Uber driver that has made headlines in San Francisco. On New Year’s Eve 2013, an Uber driver struck a family crossing the street, killing a six year old girl. The family has filed a wrongful death suit against both Uber and the driver. Uber is denying liability, saying that the accident did not involve a vehicle that was making a trip on the Uber system. Instead, at the time of the accident, the driver was logged into the Uber app and was available to provide rides, but wasn’t providing a ride for Uber.
Uber is currently facing other legal problems. One driver filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, claiming that it stiffs its drivers on tips by not allowing customers to add an extra tip on to the fee. In Chicago and Boston, cab companies have filed lawsuits against Uber claiming illegal practices such as unfair competition and misleading marketing. In California, a woman has sued for her medical expenses for multiple herniated discs after she was hit by an Uber driver last year.
The legal liabilities of ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft are still being sorted out through the court system. Because companies like Uber use individual contractors as drivers, and those drivers are required to have car insurance when providing rides for Uber, the ridesharing companies try to avoid liability by claiming that the individual driver’s policy should cover the accident, not the company or its policy.
In this accident involving an irate Uber driver and a bicyclist, it’s unclear who will face responsibility – the driver personally, or the Uber company. In most cases, when a bicyclist is hit by a vehicle, the liability and damages are at least somewhat straightforward. In this case, since Uber is involved, it may be difficult to sort out which party is legally liable.
Regardless, when someone is struck by an automobile and injured, they can make a claim against the driver. The accident victim can recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. In a situation like this, the accident victim may also be able to recover punitive damages, which are designed to punish the wrongdoer.
In any accident involving serious injuries, it’s important for the victim to contact a personal injury attorney. At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that all accident victims who were injured by another party’s negligent or intentional actions should seek compensation. Call Micha Star Liberty, San Francisco automobile accident attorney, at 415-896-1000 or 510-645-1000 to learn more about how she can help you. She offers free initial consultations to potential clients, and you don’t pay her anything unless she obtains compensation for you. She works with clients in the Oakland-San Francisco area, including Hayward, Tracy, Fairfield, San Jose, Sacramento, and the surrounding areas. Call today to learn more.