Archives for December 2015

Seasons Greetings & Happy New Year from Fritz, Goldenberg & Bianculli

Seasons Greetings & Happy New Year from Fritz, Goldenberg & Bianculli

Is Uber Legally Responsible for Crime Committed by Driver?

Is Uber Liable for Sexual Assault by Driver?

Car serviceThough the ride-sharing services offered by Uber and Lyft have taken most of the country by storm, the companies have not been without their legal challenges. There have been lawsuits involving injuries sustained by passengers of Uber drivers, and mass protests by Uber drivers overpay and other benefits. Now, a woman in Dallas has alleged that an Uber driver followed her into her home and sexually assaulted her. She has filed a lawsuit naming the driver and Uber, asking for $1 million in damages. Her attorneys say Uber was negligent in not learning that the driver had a pending federal weapons charge against him when they hired him. They noted that the driver was also operating his vehicle with a bogus driver’s permit.

Data provided on www.whosdrivingyou.org indicates that the Dallas incident is not an isolated one. According to the website, nearly 40 allegations of sexual assault or harassment involving Uber or Lyft drivers have been reported in the last two years, from California to New Jersey, from Australia to China and India.

In a similar incident in Chicago, an Uber driver allegedly took a passenger from his vehicle and sexually assaulted her in his apartment. She had apparently fallen asleep in his cab. Police say that GPS tracking from her phone shows that it was in his apartment at the time of the alleged assault, and that the victim was able to identify items from the driver’s apartment.

In the Chicago incident, as in Dallas, the driver did not have a valid driver’s license, even though Chicago has an ordinance requiring that anyone driving for a ride-sharing business must have one.

Contact Fritz, Goldenberg & Bianculli

In these situations, both Uber and Lyft could be found responsible. If you or someone you know has been the victim of assault by an Uber, Lyft or cab driver contact us as soon as possible.

To set up a free initial consultation, call our office at (215) 458-2222 or send us an e-mail. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged, if necessary.

Legal Issues Unique to Truck Accidents

The Unique Legal Aspects of Truck Accidents

Tractor trailerIf you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident involving a large commercial truck, from an 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer to a delivery van, there are specific legal concerns that differentiate your case from a typical crash involving a passenger vehicle. Here are the primary issues you need to address, and why it’s important to have an attorney who has experience handling a truck accident claim.

Commercial Truck Drivers and Trucking Companies are Subject to State and Federal Regulation

Companies that operate big rigs, semis and other large commercial vehicles must comply with a broad range of state and federal regulations, designed primarily to ensure the safety of everyone on the road:

  • Truckers must submit to mandatory drug and alcohol testing
  • There are limits on the length and weight load on a commercial truck
  • Truckers and trucking companies must perform regular routine maintenance and keep accurate logs showing compliance with maintenance requirements
  • Drivers must take regular breaks to avoid fatigue, with limits on the number of consecutive hours on the road, amount of time on the road over a 24-hour period and over a one-week period
  • Trucking companies must conduct pre-hiring screening
  • Drivers must have valid CDLs (commercial drivers licenses)

The Collection of Evidence May Be Compromised

Many modern trucks have complex computers that monitor a wide range of actions and motions. The data is typically stored in a “black box” and can be used to determine the cause of an accident. It’s not uncommon, though, in the aftermath of an accident, for the trucking company to repair the truck and “reset” the black box, so that critical information is lost therefore it is important to get a lawyer quickly.

It Can Be Difficult to Determine Who Is Primarily at Fault

There can be a lot of parties involved in the transportation of goods by a large commercial truck. For example, there will typically be a separate company that loads the truck, so that, if the accident was caused by overloading or poor weight distribution, that company may have liability. There may be operator error, negligence by the trucking company itself, or even defects in the manufacture or design of the truck.

If You Have Been Involved In A Truck Accident Contact Us

To set up a free initial consultation, call our office at (215) 458-2222 or send us an e-mail. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged, if necessary.