The James River Insurance company filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that a series of Uber hit-and-run accidents never happened or were deliberately caused as part of an insurance scam. The lawsuit was filed in August 2019 and is now receiving national attention.
According to the lawsuit outlined in The State, several defendants hailed Uber vehicles that were rear-ended by other cars. The passengers would then seek medical treatment at local hospitals and file claims with James River Insurance. Currently, the claims total more than $75,000.
The insurance company is alleging that the 52 people identified in the lawsuit are part of a scheme, “Many … are social acquaintances, neighbors, and/or have other personal relationships with their co-defendants. Such personal relationships decrease the likelihood that the defendants were all actually involved in real hit-and-run accidents while using an Uber rideshare and increase the likelihood that these alleged ‘accidents’ are actually staged motor vehicle accidents for the purpose of committing insurance fraud.”
All but seven of the 52 defendants are Richland County residents. The insurance company believes at least two Uber drivers were involved in the alleged scam; however, Uber has yet to comment on the matter.
In one of the accidents, an Uber car was rear-ended on Augusta Highway by a car that drove off. The Uber driver pursued the hit-and-run driver and collided with the vehicle a second time. The driver abandoned their vehicle and fled in another, which was later determined to be owned by the passenger in the Uber that was hit.
In another crash, almost $9,000 in damage was caused to an Uber when a car allegedly ran a stop sign at Duke Avenue and Mountain Drive and collided with the Uber. There was also an incident involving a pregnant woman in an Uber on an Interstate 26 on-ramp from Harbison Boulevard, where the Uber was rear-ended twice by a car that fled the scene.
Currently, the Columbia office of the FBI is aware of the allegations but has not said if they’re investigating. None of the defendants have been charged with a crime.
While it has yet to be seen what the outcome of this case will be, hit-and-run accidents involving rideshare vehicles do happen. If you’ve been involved in a crash and sustained injuries because of your driver’s negligence, you have a legal right to follow a claim to seek compensation for your losses. To learn more about the litigation process, contact the Rideshare Law Group today.