On March 7, Gregory Lopez answered Brenan Brock’s request for a ride on the Uber app. As Lopez drove down I-5 in Orange County around 1 a.m., his 2016 Jeep Compass ran out of gas. Lopez attempted to coast to the right shoulder, but the vehicle came to a full stop in one of the highway lanes. Brock was put in the position of having to get out of the vehicle and help Lopez push the Jeep to the side of the road. Brock, now exposed on the highway, was struck by Jonathan Tavita. Brock suffered such devastating injuries that physicians were forced to amputate both of his legs. Brock filed a lawsuit against Uber, the Uber driver, Uber’s insurance carrier, Hertz, and Tavita in April alleging negligence and negligence infliction of emotional distress.
While ridesharing programs like Uber and Lyft are growing in popularity, so are the number of accidents the Uber and Lyft drivers are involved in. Ridesharing drivers are not professional drivers in the sense that they do not have any specific or additional training than what is required to obtain a normal driver’s license. They are just as likely to be careless or reckless behind the wheel as any other driver. It comes as no surprise, then, that many passengers have experienced accidents that caused them injuries like Brock’s.