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How do you determine who to sue in a complex rollover case?

A Dallas woman, who has been left a quadriplegic after the sports utility vehicle she was riding in rolled over during an accident, is now suing both the SUV's driver, the owner of the SUV, Uber and Honda -- each for different reasons.

This type of case illustrates how complicated a single accident claim can be, depending on individual circumstances.

In this case, the one underlying relationship all of these defendants have is that each of them contributed to the accident that left the victim paralyzed:

—The driver, working for the ride-sharing service Uber at the time, was reckless when he ran a red light, which is how the accident occurred. In addition, he was driving a borrowed car without insurance.

—The owner of the car is likely to be considered vicariously liable for the actions of the driver because he negligently entrusted his car to someone who wasn't a safe driver and didn't even have insurance. In addition, he loaned his vehicle out knowing that it was also uninsured.

—Uber is potentially liable for another type of vicarious liability, known as "negligent hiring." The SUV's driver had a criminal history that included drug charges. Uber is supposed to screen its drivers for things that could affect their ability to drive safely before allowing them to work through the platform in order to provide riders with a safe experience. In addition, the company could potentially be liable for failing to make certain that the driver actually had car insurance.

—Honda is essentially accused of failing to make a product that's safe to ride in, especially given the tendency of SUVs to rollover when hit. Although the woman was wearing her seat belt, they didn't have the proper design to keep her safely restrained during the rollover.

In each accident case, it's important to identify everyone who may be liable for the victim's injuries -- especially when they're so severe. The financial compensation she may need to help her for the rest of her life is likely to be far more than she could ever hope to receive from the driver or the owner of the car. Uber and Honda, on the other hand, may be able to pay a significant portion of any damages she's eventually awarded if she can prove her case against each of them.

Those who are injured in a rollover accident may find the advice and guidance of a personal injury attorney helpful.

Source: Fox 4 News, "Dallas Woman Sues Uber, Honda after crash left her quadrapeligic," Jan. 04, 2017

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Brian Jensen

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