Uber is facing a lawsuit after one of its drivers crashed while leaving a hotel in Miami Beach.
This collision caused massive brain damage to a nurse visiting from South Carolina.
The lawsuit is the latest against ride-sharing services involved in traffic crashes in Miami-Dade, and comes as the county commission is considering legislation to regulate the business of Uber and its smaller competitor, Lyft.
The suit was filed by the nurse and her husband who were in town for a medical conference back in December. That afternoon, the couple used Uber for a ride from a driver who drove a 2009 Nissan Murano.
According to a police report and the lawsuit, the driver crashed into another car immediately after turning into traffic along Collins Avenue after leaving the hotel. She was cited for failing to yield to oncoming traffic.
The nurse, who specializes in the administration of anesthesia, suffered injuries to her brain and has undergone several surgeries. The nurse’s husband broke his leg in the crash.
According to reports, for now, the woman must wear a helmet to protect her skull before another surgery scheduled later this month.
The popularity of Uber and Lyft – which contract with drivers who use a smartphone app to accept requests for rides – have definitely increased in South Florida and across the country in recent years. However, this is not the first lawsuit that has come up regarding the rideshare apps.
The nurse’s lawsuit is at least the third against a ride-sharing service involved in a crash in the past six months. Each of these cases centers on drivers paying attention to their smart phones, and not the road.
In January, Uber was sued by the relatives of a Miami-Dade College student who was killed in a crash in Kendall. The Uber driver was not faulted in the crash.
Back in November, Lyft was slapped with a lawsuit by the family of a 29-year-old who was thrown off his motorcycle and killed after a crash with a ride-sharing driver in Wynwood.
In the nurse’s suit, the lawsuit alleges Uber failed to realize that the driver “was not qualified, had not received sufficient training and was not being supervised” properly.
The rise in popularity of Uber, as well as Lyft, has spurred much controversy from taxi drivers as local governments have struggled with how to legalize the operations. Miami-Dade county regulators say Uber drivers violate for-hire rules, but the popularity of the service has put enormous pressure on commissioners.
Both companies require a good amount of part-time drivers to provide both the blanket coverage and competitive rates that have made the services so popular.
Broward County initially required fingerprinting drivers, but backed after both Uber and Lyft made threats to leave the market last summer. By the fall, Broward had adopted legislation pushed by the companies.
After a Michigan Uber driver was arrested and charged with fatally shooting six people, Miami-Dade commissioners have threatened to impose a fingerprint requirement. The commission will vote in May.
It will be interesting to see how this suit plays out in the court system as it is likely that this issue will to continue to be a problem.
Remember, if you have been injured or have lost someone you care for as a direct result of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, our South Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melto are ready and able to assist you with your case. Your personal injury and wrongful death consultations are free of charge, and we are always happy to discuss what we can do for you.