The news this morning has potentially dealt a blow to rideshare company Uber and its reputation after an Uber driver allegedly ran over a 24 year old woman on the Gold Coast.
Sascha Pangallo used her Uber app to connect with driver, “Paul.” Paul refused to punch her address in his GPS; he asked her instead to verbally give him directions but she was on her phone. He suddenly turned aggressive, stopped his car to the side and screamed at Ms Pangallo to exit his vehicle. He even went as far as to drag her out of the car while bystanders watched nearby.
When Paul realized he was being watched, he attempted to flee in the car while Ms Pangallo was still inside with the door open. She was thrown to the ground and her leg was run over, sustaining a severe abrasion and a suspected broken leg and blood clots in the incident.
This incident has brought up the conflict between rideshare and traditional cab transportation, with concerns made about Uber’s illegal operation in Australia, as well as issues of consumer safety.
What are Sascha’s Legal Rights?
Since the incident occurred by a driver operating illegally, a common question that arises in the news remains: “Is Ms Pangallo entitled to compensation?”
Gordana Blazevic, Gold Coast Cabs chief executive, said it would be interesting to see if Sascha would be entitled to any compensation from Uber because, “to the best of our knowledge, they don’t have the type of commercial insurance Gold Coast Cabs has.”
This is a concern shared by news readers as well:
Advice from East Coast Injury Lawyers
Despite the legal status of Uber in Australia, motor vehicle laws in Queensland will protect Ms Pangallo as a victim of a motor vehicle accident:
The Uber Driver’s Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurer
In Queensland, it is mandatory for all drivers to carry CTP insurance for the vehicles they drive to protect any victims injured as a result of the driver’s negligence.
In this case, Sascha will be compensated by the insurance company who provides CTP Insurance to the Uber Driver’s vehicle regardless of whether or not he has committed an illegal act.
The driver himself will not be able to claim on his own insurance and may even be pursued by his CTP insurer to reimburse the compensation the insurer pays to Sascha.
In the unlikely event that the vehicle driven by the Uber driver is unregistered (and therefore not CTP insured) or the vehicle cannot be identified, Sascha may also be able to claim compensation from the Nominal Defendant.
The Nominal Defendant is a statutory body in Queensland that compensates injured victims of negligent drivers who are unidentified or uninsured.
The Nominal Defendant will then have the legal right to recover as a debt, the compensation of Sascha’s claim from the Uber driver.
What Compensation is Sascha Entitled To?
If Sascha decides to pursue a claim, she may be entitled to compensation from the following losses:
- General damages for pain and suffering (loss of enjoyment of life)
- Past and future loss of employment wages and other income, including superannuation
- Gratuitous household, attendant care or care giving provided by a friend or relative for free
- Paid services for housekeeping assistance (cleaning, gardening, ironing, etc.), personal attendant care, etc.
- Past & future out of pocket and medical expenses such as medications, rehabilitation costs, physiotherapy, transportation costs, surgery, ergonomic equipment, assistive devices and chiropractic treatment.
In most circumstances the CTP insurer will also pay upfront for Sascha’s rehabilitation and medical expenses that have initially incurred after the incident.
If you have other questions about a motor vehicle accident or your injuries, East Coast Injury Lawyers will be happy to inform you of your legal rights. Simply contact us at 1300 720 544 or fill out our case review form.