Sick Woman Hit By Truck After Getting Kicked Out Rideshare Vehicle
We don’t know specifically what happened, but here are the facts. A woman was with her friends in a rideshare vehicle, when she became ill. The driver stopped the car and the passengers decided to pay and end the ride. The rideshare driver drove off. The passengers were now on the shoulder of an interstate. The sick woman wandered into traffic and was struck by a pickup truck. The pickup truck kept driving. She was struck by another car that stopped to render aid. But the woman was already dead.
Authorities have said that the driver has no criminal liability in the matter, but the question of civil liability should be explored.
Is the driver responsible for the woman’s death?
Questions of responsibility are not either/or under the law in most places. There is only one state that operates on that model and it’s Alabama. Florida operates on a pure comparative fault model, so even if a defendant is 1% responsible for your injuries, they owe you 1% of your total damages.
So, logistically, you can say that the woman is responsible for becoming so intoxicated that she got sick in a vehicle and then wandered out into traffic, but that doesn’t mean that the driver is 0% responsible for her death.
There were several options available to the driver other than dumping the passengers on the interstate. The driver could have taken them off the interstate before dropping them off, charged them a clean-up fee for the clean-up, or simply not taken a fare with obviously drunk passengers. So, it’s unclear that a jury will find the defendant faultless for his blackhearted conduct.
Who would be sued?
The rideshare company can be sued along with the driver individually. However, suing rideshare drivers for this sort of conduct is mostly going to be unsuccessful. The driver doesn’t have enough money to pay off a wrongful death claim, so he can discharge the personal injury judgment in bankruptcy, which is precisely what would happen if the plaintiffs win.
In this case, the plaintiffs would need to sue his company. The company has a policy of allowing drivers to terminate rides immediately if they feel unsafe. In a post-COVID world, vomit in your car is potentially unsafe. So, the driver was within his rights to terminate the ride. However, the driver may also be responsible for how and where he terminated the ride.
We don’t specifically know what happened or why the friends didn’t help prevent the woman’s death, or why the police were only notified after the second time she was struck. Ultimately, it looks bad for everyone, the driver, the friends, the girl. A lawsuit against the friends is not outside the question.
Talk to a Florida Rideshare Injury Lawyer Today
Halpern, Santos & Pinkert can help resolve a rideshare accident claim regardless of whether you are a passenger or another driver. Call our Florida personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin discussing your next moves immediately.