Auto Accidents in the Uber Age

Many of us have enjoyed the burgeoning Sacramento restaurant scene – midtown has a slew of well-reviewed eateries to choose from.  This city is also becoming a beer mecca with breweries and well-researched tap lists on every block.  How does one responsibly enjoy an evening out that may include a few drinks?  Well, if you are outside of walking/biking distance, the smart thing to do is take a taxi or one of the more convenient smartphone app-based services such as Uber or Lyft.

Uber and Lyft both allow you to set up an account on your smartphone, register your credit card information, summon a driver that is nearby your pick-up location, and pay via your account.  Users rave that the wait times are reduced and payment is simple. It is entirely conceivable that the convenience of such rides could reduce the number of drunk drivers on the roads during weekends and holidays.


But what if, despite taking the responsible route and grabbing a ride home with an Uber or Lyft driver, you find yourself in a serious automobile accident as a passenger caused by the hired driver?  Though fault has not been determined as of this writing, this unfortunate scenario played out over Halloween weekend right here in the Sacramento area, on Highway 80,  when a young man was killed in an automobile accident despite responsibly taking an Uber ride home from a party.

These taxi-alternative services are relatively new, so when an accident occurs, theories of liability – who is at fault and financially responsible – may be complicated.  The nature of the drivers’ employment with Uber or Lyft could affect the complex liability issues.

Sacramento Uber attorney, Edward A Smith, can offer assistance so if you or someone you know has been involved in an Uber or Lyft accident in the Sacramento area, give us a call at 916.921.6400.

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