A Texas woman who was seriously injured in an Uber accident has filed a personal injury lawsuit against both the driver and the ride-sharing company. Jimena Martinez’ lawsuit claims that driver Ricardo Melendez picked her up on June 29th after she hired him to provide a safe ride home, and instead he was distracted by his phone and ran through a red light. The Uber vehicle was struck by a Jeep Wrangler with the right of way, leaving her with “severe bodily injuries, including closed head trauma, a scalp contusion, abrasions, bruises, and a joint separation of the right shoulder, which required surgical repair.” Her medical bills have surpassed $80,000 to date, and she was also forced to quit her job and drop out of college to recuperate.
At the time of the Uber accident, the driver received a citation for having run the red light, and the El Paso Police Department report cites “driver inattention” as the “only contributing factor.” Ms. Martinez’ lawsuit lists numerous factors showing the driver’s liability, including having disregarded the traffic light, failing to maintain proper attention, and driving negligently. The suit also names Uber USA LLC, Uber Technologies Inc., and an Uber subsidiary called Raiser LLC, accusing them of liability for “failing to exercise reasonable care to avoid a foreseeable risk of injury” and failing to use “ordinary care in the hiring” of Melendez.
The lawsuit also accuses Uber of having “failed to adopt, implement and enforce safety policies,” saying that the smartphone technology that it requires its drivers to use contributed to Melendez’ distraction.
Uber Accident Blamed in Part on Company’s Required Technology
Ms. Martinez’ representative indicated that the blame for the Uber accident falls on both the driver and the ride-sharing company, stating, “Melendez, as the driver, failed to stop at the red light and we definitely feel he was negligent and is responsible for the accident. But also Uber in itself is responsible due to the design of their technology and how their drivers are constantly utilizing their phones for new rides, maps, and different notifications. They are required to put it on the dash(board) right in front of them, and it creates a distraction.”