On April 30, 2021, Will Good, a 30-year-old restaurant cook in Boston, hailed an Uber for a late-night ride home from work to his home in Somerville. No one could have predicted how life-changing this ride would be. During the commute, the driver of the Uber vehicle swerved and crashed into a parked car, the impact causing Mr. Good to hit his head on the passenger headrest and slump onto the backseat, unable to move. Following a two month stay at Massachusetts General Hospital and an additional two months at Spaulding Rehabilitation, the Boston car accident ultimately left Good paralyzed as a quadriplegic.
As a personal injury lawyer helping victims throughout RI and MA, Attorney David Tapalian knows how critical injuries to the neck and head can be and unfortunately, many have tragic or life-altering outcomes. A music lover who enjoyed his job cooking at Uni, a Japanese restaurant, Will Good is now confined to a wheelchair with around the clock nursing care requiring two caretakers alternating day and evening shifts.
A lawsuit filed by attorneys on behalf of Mr. Good this past Tuesday in Suffolk Superior Court, alleges Uber was negligent in hiring the driver responsible for the crash and, based on the driver’s past history, knowingly put others in harm’s way. With a questionable driving record dating back to 1996 showing multiple moving violations, crashes, at least 20 citations, and a state-imposed driver retraining, there is hardly a doubt that the Uber driver was a potential danger to others on the road.
Mr. Good’s lawsuit seeks $63 million in damages for severe physical, mental, and emotional injuries, extraordinary pain and suffering, and permanent disability.
Should Uber Drivers Be Classified as Independent Contractors or Employees?
A big topic of contention lying underneath this lawsuit, as well as others against ride-sharing companies, is the question of whether Uber should be allowed to continue to classify their drivers as independent contractors versus employees. Uber has continually fought to be able to classify those driving for them as independent contractors. By doing so, the ride-hailing company is able to claim less responsibility for the actions of their workers. At the same time the drivers miss out on benefits such as basic rights under state labor laws.
In Massachusetts, Attorney General Maura Healey is suing Uber and Lyft, claiming the ride-share companies are breaking the law by not classifying their drivers as employees and depriving these drivers of certain rights.
In 2020, Uber, along with a group of other app-based companies spent over $205 million in California in a fight to keep the ability to classify their drivers as independent contractors, under Proposition 22. They won; however, a state judge later declared the proposition unconstitutional. The ride share companies are expected to appeal.
Tapalian Law Handles Car Accident Cases Involving Uber & Lyft
With over 20 years of experience focused on personal injury law, Attorney David Tapalian is dedicated to getting you the results you deserve. He has helped hundreds of victims across Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Florida, successfully seek compensation for their damages as a result of an auto collision or other type of accident.
If you have been involved in a crash with an Uber driver, Lyft driver, or other ride-sharing service, it’s important to seek help from an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your rights against these large companies. As most ride-sharing services classify their workers as independent contractors, their legal teams will aggressively argue they are not liable for your injuries.
At Tapalian Law, our expert injury team will go through any means necessary to get you what is fair, including arbitration and litigation. For any type of accident or injury, no matter how large or small, contact our Rhode Island personal injury office at 401-552-5000 or send us an e-mail. We offer a free consultation to discuss your claim and determine how we can help you. There are no fees to hire our legal representation, and we only get paid when you win compensation. Let us put our experience to work for you.