A passenger was killed in an accident in an Uber vehicle while coming home from her birthday celebration this weekend. The crash occurred around 3:20 a.m. on Sunday on Interstate 55 near the Damen exit. An Uber vehicle was traveling southbound on the interstate with three passengers when a speeding car plowed into the back of the car. As the Uber crashed into the side of the expressway it burst into flames.
The Uber driver and two passengers were able to climb out of the vehicle as it became engulfed in flames, but one passenger was unable to escape. Jamie Poulos, 23, was celebrating her birthday that night with friends when the accident occurred. She was in the back seat of the Uber and unable to get out. Police reported that she was pronounced dead at the scene, and an autopsy confirmed that she died of thermal and inhalation injuries in the crash. The two passengers were taken to the hospital and are in stable condition, while the Uber driver was treated at the scene. The driver of the car that hit the Uber attempted to get away but was apprehended by state police. A 24 year old passenger in that vehicle was taken to the hospital in serious condition.
It took investigators nearly eight hours to clear the scene on the interstate and finally opened up all lanes of traffic at 11:00 a.m. on Monday morning. Charges are pending for the driver, who has not been named by the authorities.
Car Accident Liability in Ride Share Vehicles
As more ride share companies like Uber, Lyft, and others increase their business in cities like Chicago, questions arise about who is liable in a car accident involving one of these vehicles. The answer to this question can be complex, and often liability in these cases is determined by the individual facts of the case. If the driver of the non-ride share vehicle is found at fault for the accident, that driver is the only one who can be held liable for the crash. If that driver was an employee driving in the scope of their job, the employer may also be found liable for the damages caused by the accident.
For ride share vehicles, if the driver of the Uber or Lyft is found at fault for the accident, the driver and his auto insurer can be held liable for the injuries caused in the accident. Ride share companies require that their drivers hold minimum levels of insurance in order to drive for their companies, but the companies themselves also have coverage that a car accident victim can tap into if the accident occurred while the ride share driver is on the clock and actively transporting a passenger.
Call The Office Today
To learn more about ride share company liability in car accidents, call or contact the Chicago car accident attorneys at the office of Harvey L. Walner & Associates today to schedule a free consultation of your case.