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Sugar Land Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Car Accident > Uber Driver Crashes While Chasing Drunk Driver

Uber Driver Crashes While Chasing Drunk Driver


Police aren’t sure who was responsible for a wild collision on the North Freeway. They are sure that a 3-year-old girl was critically injured. According to HPD, a white F-350 pickup truck, whose driver was possibly intoxicated,  and a white minivan, which was operating as an Uber at the time, got into a crash near the intersection of Gulf Bank at SweetWater Road in north Houston.

When they got into the crash with the truck, police say the van tried to box in the F-350 truck, but the driver of the truck took off, heading north on the North Freeway. The Uber driver followed the pickup. The F-350 truck made a quick U-turn, hitting a column and the curb before heading south on the North Freeway. The minivan, because of its excessive speed, missed the turn and crashed into the traffic control box. The girl and her father, who were Uber passengers, were seriously injured.

So far, neither the Uber driver nor the driver of the F-350 has been charged. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office asked police to further investigate the matter.

First Party Liability

If both drivers were possibly at fault for a crash, both drivers should talk to a Sugar Land car accident lawyer, because they both might be entitled to compensation. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Alcohol impairment or intoxication breaches the duty of care. Basically impairment is the partial loss of physical or mental faculties, and intoxication is the complete loss of normal physical or mental faculties.

In Texas, evidence of impairment usually includes driver behavior and physical symptoms prior to or immediately after a wreck, such as:

  • Erratic driving,
  • Bloodshot eyes,
  • Odor of alcohol,
  • Slurred speech, and
  • Slow reflexes.

Individually, this evidence doesn’t prove much. Many sober people drive erratically. However, the burden of proof in a civil claim is only a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). So, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

If the tortfeasor (negligent driver) was arrested for DUI, a Missouri City personal injury lawyer could use the negligence per se rule. Generally, tortfeasors who break safety laws are automatically liable for the damages these violations substantially cause.

Aggressive driving also violates the duty of care, which requires drivers to obey the rules of the road and drive defensively. Example of aggressive driving include:

  • Speeding,
  • Turning unsafely,
  • Tailgating,
  • Ignoring a traffic control device, and
  • Reckless driving (disregarding the safety of other people).

As in intoxication matters, the negligence per se shortcut is sometimes available in aggressive driving-related crashes. Frequently, emergency responders issue a citation to one driver in order to establish fault.

Third Party Liability

Vicarious liability is available in most alcohol-related and commercial vehicle crashes. Frequently, the chain of events that ends in a crash starts before either driver got behind the wheel.

Texas has a dram shop law. Bars and other commercial alcohol providers are liable for car crash damages if they illegally sell alcohol to someone who causes a car wreck. Some illegal sales include:

  • Sales to people who are obviously intoxicated (i.e. display the above physical symptoms),
  • Underage sales,
  • Unlicensed sales, and
  • Before or after-horus sales.

For a Missouri City personal injury lawyer, responsibility is the key concept in a negligence case. Commercial providers cannot avoid the consequence of an illegal sale by pointing fingers at someone else, in this case the tortfeasor.

The respondeat superior rule applies in most commercial operator accidents in Texas. The basic elements of this rule are:

  • An employee
  • Who was working in the course and scope of employment at the time
  • Substantially caused a wreck.

Texas law broadly defines these elements. “Employee” is a good example. Most Uber drivers are employees for negligence purposes, even though they’re independent contractors for most other purposes.

Count on a Detail-Oriented Harris County Attorney

Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Missouri City, contact the Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.



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