Earlier this year, a hit-and-run accident claimed the lives of a Lyft driver and his passenger, after their car collided with a Nissan Altima that ran a stop sign at a busy intersection in California.
According to local authorities, Anthony Pena, who had been employed by the ridesharing service for several months in an attempt to raise additional funds for bills, was approaching the intersection of Lodi Avenue and Pleasant Avenue in Lodi when the incident occurred. Pena, along with passenger David Phillips, were pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the other vehicle, described only as a 16-year-old, was arrested at the scene. An illegal firearm was also found in the vehicle. Eyewitness accounts later revealed another individual of interest, after video surfaced depicting another teenager fleeing the scene of the accident.
In the aftermath of the incident and investigation, police revealed that the driver of the Altima would face vehicular manslaughter charges, in addition to charges for possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of a stolen firearm. The driver was also arraigned for a charge of driving under the influence, though no details were made available regarding impairment at the time of the incident.
Ridesharing and Personal Injury
Unlike other transportation companies, like those involving taxis, ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are in a league of their own. Known as transportation network companies (TNC), or services that connect drivers with passengers via a mobile platform, these services manage almost every facet of the customer experience, including payment, eliminating the need for a cash exchange upon reaching a destination.
Ridesharing services also differ from other transportation networks in the sense that the drivers employed are not classified as full employees. Instead, they are designated as independent contractors. Although ridesharing services establish certain criteria that drivers must meet, there are still some grey areas, including those related to insurance and liability in the event of an accident.
This has led to certain state initiatives, like those in California and Nevada, which further detail requirements for drivers in ridesharing organizations. These mandates cover some fundamental safety measures, including requirements for all drivers to have a valid state business license and that a vehicle that is less than eight years old.
Legal Assistance in Ridesharing Accidents
If you or someone you know have been injured in an accident while riding with a ridesharing service, like Lyft or Uber, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible, as you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim. Such claims can help address the many financial challenges that come with personal injury.
That’s where the legal team at the law office of Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen Law Firm come in. Our firm specializes exclusively in assisting victims of accidents and personal injury and can provide the in-depth, supportive legal representation you need on the road to recovery. We have a great deal of experience in handling personal injury matters, including those involving ridesharing services, and can work with you to devise a strategy that yields a favorable settlement or result – in as little time as possible.
Let’s work together to protect your rights today. To get started on your personal injury claim, we invite you to schedule a preliminary consultation with our compassionate team, to help assess your case. Call our attorneys at Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen Law Firm today at (702) 505-8115.