Uber Rider Dies While Getting Out of Car
Monday morning of the 19th of November, a 28-year-old man from Brandon, Florida was killed in a tragic accident on I-75 near the exit to I-4 westbound in Hillsborough County. The man later identified as Sheng Hui Lin was struck by two vehicles at around 2 am after he reportedly exited the Uber he was traveling in down I-75.
Reports indicate that at 1:44 am an Uber was called to pick up an intoxicated Sheng Hui Lin at a restaurant in Brooksville. Sheng Hui Lin was placed in the Uber by two men and the Uber driver then proceeded to take Sheng Hui Lin to his residence in Brandon, Fl.
As the Uber driver made his way southbound on I-75, the driver reported that Sheng Hui Lin became agitated in the Uber. In response to this, the Uber driver attempted to calm Sheng Hui Lin down and make a stop on the shoulder of I-75.
Before the Uber driver was able to make a complete stop, Sheng Hui Lin exited the Uber vehicle and walked out into a lane of oncoming I-75 traffic. He was then struck by two separate vehicles. A 2015 Nissan Versa driven by Kayla M. Montgomery, 20, of Tampa, and a 2017 Nissan SUV driven by Alan Weeks, 55, of Land O’ Lakes. He was then rushed to Tampa General Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries and died. So far there are no charges pending.
Uber and Lyft Passenger Safety
This recent accident where a man lost his life has highlighted an issue that has been on the back of many minds and that is Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare/ridehail service passenger safety. The man known as Sheng Hui Lin was tragically killed in an accident that some could view as possibly be avoided but to what extent do Uber and Lyft have responsibility to passengers. It would not be fair to blame the Uber driver since he did make an attempt to make an emergency stop for a passenger that was in some kind of distress and had no way of stopping the actions Mr. Lin made of his own accord. It would also not be fair to put the blame on the drivers of the vehicles that struck Mr. Lin since they likely had a split second before a man that was suffering from the effects of intoxication, made his way into their vehicle’s paths.
Ultimately, Mr. Lin’s intoxication played a major role in his eventual demise. While his intoxication’s effects lead to the accident that claimed his life, he is still accountable for the reckless behavior that led to his death. Uber does have a responsibility to keep its passengers safe by providing stringent screening of drivers and ensuring dangerous drivers are handled appropriately but the only thing in this situation that may have prevented this accident was if the Uber somehow locked Mr. Lin in and prevented him from leaving exiting of his own free will. This poses a question of how intoxication and Uber’s relationship.
Uber and Lyft Services to the Intoxicated and Drunk
A major claim that Uber and Lyft have made for years is that their services help decrease the number of drunk drivers on the roads. It is undeniable that there are in fact people that use Uber or Lyft in lieu of putting themselves in the position of possibly driving under the influence. The exact number of people that use Uber for this precise reason will likely never be known as will the number of drunk driving accidents that Uber has potentially helped people avoid.
What we do know is that people under the influence of alcohol typically find themselves in situations where their intoxication can cause an accident. We also know that people under the influence of alcohol have decreased reflexes, reduced motor skills, bad perception, and most importantly poor judgment.
Uber and Lyft don’t necessarily have a duty to babysit grown adults that are under the influence of alcohol. Those people are responsible for their own actions like Mr. Lin. It is tragic that he died under those particular circumstances but Uber and Lyft, as well as the driver, would not be held liable for the actions of Mr. Lin. This begs the question of what exactly would have to happen for them to be held liable in an accident.
Uber and Lyft Accident Liability and Coverage
When it comes to liability and coverage with Uber and Lyft, the key is the stage in which the Uber or Lyft is currently in service. If the Uber or Lyft is currently not active with the application closed and the driver on their private time then it’s pretty clear-cut that any Uber or Lyft accidents that occur during this stage would not have the fault lie with Uber or Lyft but potentially the driver.
Uber and Lyft Coverage for Personal Trips and While Awaiting Ride Requests
In the case where a driver is active but waiting for a ride request, things become more complicated. In the event that the Uber or Lyft driver is at fault, then Uber and Lyft provide the third party, which would be the people the Uber or Lyft hit, with coverage of at least $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident for bodily injury and $25,000 per accident for property damage. Uber and Lyft do not provide coverage for the driver in this scenario and they have to rely on their own insurance coverage. Also, in the event that the other party is at fault then the driver would have to rely on their own insurance coverage as well.
Uber and Lyft Coverage When On the Way to and With a Passenger
When an Uber or Lyft driver has a passenger or is on their way to answer a passenger’s ride request then Uber and Lyft provide third-party liability coverage of at least $1 million per accident when the driver is at fault. They provide uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage of at least $1 million per accident to the driver as well as any passengers when another driver is at fault but has insufficient insurance. Lastly, they provide contingent collision and comprehensive coverage that covers the vehicle as long as the driver maintains insurance with collision coverage.
This contingent collision and comprehensive coverage limit is up to the cash value of the vehicle with a $1,000 dollar deductible. Sheng Hui Lin was in this stage of the Uber service but unfortunately his actions of exiting the vehicle of his own accord while it was still moving and on I-75 would make any attempts of seeking legal action for his death particularly difficult.
Seek a Skilled Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, then do not hesitate to contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA about receiving a free consultation on your possible claim. You may have questions as to how coverage may work or how you can ensure you receive the appropriately sized settlement and the Dolman Law team is happy to oblige. Our Lawyers will be happy to hear the details of your case and outline some options for legal action you can take. Consider Dolman Law group for your legal representation with big firm results and small firm personal attention.
Contact us at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA’s offices by submitting an online contact form or call us at 727-451-6900.
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