Ride-sharing service Uber is facing down yet another personal injury lawsuit in Miami after one of its drivers reportedly caused a car accident on Miami Beach, soon after departing from the Eden Roc hotel.
The accident caused massive brain damage to a nurse, a passenger in the vehicle who was visiting the city from South Carolina. Her husband, a physician, was also a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the crash, according to The Miami Herald.
This lawsuit is just the latest against Uber after a string of Miami-Dade car accidents. Meanwhile, the county is weighing legislation to consider regulating the business of Uber and Lyft, a smaller competitor.
Plaintiffs in the case, the doctor and his injured wife, were in town for a medical conference in December. They arranged for an Uber driver to pick them up from the hotel, and the driver arrived in a 2009 Nissan Murano.
Police investigators say that as soon as the driver turned into traffic along Collins Avenue, she immediately crashed into another vehicle. She was cited by authorities for failure to yield.
Plaintiff’s husband, a gynecologist, suffered a broken leg in the car accident. His wife, who specializes in giving anesthesia to patients, suffered severe personal injuries to her brain, for which she has had to undergo numerous surgeries.
Prior to her most recent surgery last month, she had to wear a helmet full-time over her head in order to protect her skull. According to her personal injury lawyer, plaintiff has agonized over the fact that she has not yet been able to return to the work she so much loves and which, sadly, says her attorney, she probably will never be able to do again.
The case comes as Uber and Lyft have gained enormous popularity in South Florida. But not everyone has been thrilled about it.
Taxi services, for one, have railed against the fact that Uber and other similar services have been able to slip under the regulatory radar. While cab drivers have strict rules about hours of service, number of passengers, wages, safety, etc., Uber drivers do not. That has made Uber fares far less expensive – and thus attractive to customers – but it hasn’t necessarily made it safer.
In fact, in each of the three recent Miami Uber lawsuits, there are allegations that drivers were watching their smartphones instead of the road.
In January, a Miami-Dade College student was killed in an Uber that was struck by another driver, who was later arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter. Still, the family alleges the Uber driver was distracted.
In November, Lyft was sued by the surviving relatives of a 29-year-old motorcyclist who was struck and killed by one of its drivers in Wynwood.
In the case just filed by the nurse and her husband, plaintiffs allege Uber allowed the driver to operate under their service, even though they knew she was not qualified, she hadn’t been properly trained and she wasn’t being properly supervised.
South Florida county governments have been wrestling with the best way to regulate. Broward County Commission, for example, had threatened to require drivers to be fingerprinted. However, when the ride-sharing services threatened to back out of the market, the commission backed down as well and ultimately passed the legislation that had been pushed by Uber and Lyft.
Commissioners in Miami are slated to vote on regulation in May.
If you have been injured in an accident, contact the Hollander Law Firm at (888) 751-7770 for a free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless we win.
Uber faces lawsuit after nurse suffers brain damage in Miami Beach crash, March 14, 2016, By David Ovalle, Miami Herald
More Blog Entries:
Study: U.S. Drivers More Distracted Than Ever, March 22, 2016, Miami Injury Lawsuit Blog