Each auto accident injury scenario comes with its own set of unique elements. These elements can sometimes be confusing, even to a sophisticated lay person. That is one of many reasons why it pays to consult an experienced Chicago injury attorney about your situation and your options for compensation. For example, if you were a rider in rideshare vehicle and that vehicle was hit head-on by a drunk driver, would you know what to do and whom you could sue? What about if, during their investigation, the police found out that your rideshare driver had taken drugs and had those drugs in her system when the crash happened-would you know how to proceed in that circumstance?
That exact scenario occured in an accident that injured a man named A.V. According to a Chicago Sun-Times report, A.V. was a passenger in a Toyota Camry driven by E.R, a Lyft driver. As E.R. drove through the Humboldt Park community at roughly 3:55 a.m., the vehicle was involved in a head-on collision with an SUV driven by T.A. Police later concluded that T.A. was driving drunk. The accident inflicted serious harm to E.R. and caused fatal injuries to A.B., another passenger in E.R.’s vehicle. A.V. suffered head injuries and a concussion, the Sun-Times indicated.
In a circumstance like this, you might believe that, if you were in a position like A.V., your legal recourse is simple: pursuing a claim for damages against T.A. However, the reality of cases like these is that they can often be more complicated than they appear on the surface. In A.V.’s case, T.A. was driving drunk. However, law enforcement also discovered, as part of its investigation, that E.R. was under the influence of a drug when she was driving her Lyft vehicle at the time of the accident.
That fact regarding the Lyft driver’s drug use significantly changed the framework of A.V.’s legal case for compensation. A.V. sued E.R. and also sued Lyft. Even though T.A. may have been substantially responsible for the crash, that doesn’t mean that A.V.’s case against Lyft and the Lyft driver can’t succeed. It is quite possible that, with the right evidence, A.V. can show that E.R. would have been better able to avoid the crash with T.A., if she had not taken drugs that night,
With regard to A.V.’s case against Lyft, A.V. would need different proof. If someone is an employee of a company, you may be able to assert a claim successfully based upon the employer’s vicarious liability. Even though Lyft drivers are independent contractors, A.V. could win his case against Lyft, and recover compensation from the company, if A.V. could show that Lyft was directly negligent. A.V. could succeed by showing that Lyft knew or should have known that E.R. was not a safe driver, but went ahead an contracted with her anyway. (This is called negligent hiring.) Alternately, A.V. could demonstrate that Lyft became aware, or should have become aware, that E.R. was not a safe driver, but continued to put her on the road anyway. (This is called negligent retention.)
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an auto accident, you need to make sure that you have the legal advice and representation you need to achieve the total outcome you deserve. The diligent Chicago injury attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca have been effectively representing personal injury clients for many years and are ready to handle your case. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.
More Blog Posts:
A Fatal Crash Brings a Stop to Uber’s North American Testing of Self-Driving Vehicles, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, March 27, 2018
What Happens When You’re Injured by a Lyft or Uber Driver in Illinois?, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, Jan. 12, 2017