Hang Up and Drive: Uber Drivers Under Fire for Using App During Routes

April 20, 2015 | By admin

Technology is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? Let’s take Uber, for example. At the push of a button, you can be taxied around to and from practically anywhere in the country. Everything has a price tag, of course, but when you are in a bind and need a lift – Uber.com has proven to be a major helping hand.

Unfortunately one thing Uber drivers may not have quite worked out yet is how to safely integrate mobile technology and driving! We all know the dangers (and legal ramifications) of driving while operating your cell phone, but what happens when your business model mandates that you do just that? An Uber driver who recently killed one New Yorker and hospitalized another might have an answer to that soon enough.

On Jan. 3, New York Couple Erin Sauchelli and Wesley Mensing were hit by a Mercedes SUV driven by Aliou Diallo, an employee of Uber. According to Uber, the driver was on his way to pick up a passenger when he struck the two in a crosswalk, killing Mensing and seriously injuring Sauchelli. Sauchelli has since filed suit claiming that driving while using the Uber app is illegal and a dangerous distraction. The case may call the entire Uber business paradigm into question.

One of the main issues at play here is who’s actually responsible for the accident. Sauchelli’s suit claims that Uber should have been mindful of the distraction caused by using the app in traffic. Although Diallo didn’t have a passenger with him, what would happen if he had? Is Uber responsible for passengers who are injured in the course of being driven by one of their employees? There are lessons to be learned here on both sides that this case will hopefully help to answer.

In the meantime, if you’ve been involved in a crash involving a car service, whether you’re the driver or the victim, you need to hire an experienced attorney to protect yourself. Without effective representation these issues can become an all-around game of “it wasn’t me” – leaving the victim suffering injuries and holding the medical bills.

Lombardi & Lombardi has the experience and knowledge to protect our clients’ rights and legal interests. Call us today if you’ve been injured or are facing serious charges relating to an automobile accident.


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