Lakeland doctor sues Uber, driver after wreck

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A Bay Area doctor is suing Uber and his driver after being involved in a car accident.

On November 29, Dr. Nathaniel Stephens, an ER physician at Lakeland Regional was in an Uber with a friend heading to dinner.  On the way, he says, the driver caused an accident near Swann Avenue and Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa.

"My client suffered very severe internal injuries," said attorney Dan Moody.

Moody says Dr. Stephens was forced to miss work due to a prolonged hospital stay.  He says even now that he's back he's still in pain.

"Dr. Stephens has a right like anyone injured like as a result of someone else's fault to be compensated for his injuries," he said.

So he's filed a lawsuit in Hillsborough County Circuit Court against Uber and the driver, Marqus Baker, and his brother Steven who owns the vehicle.  He's seeking damages in excess of $15,000.  The suit alleges Marqus was driving negligently. 

Moody also questions Uber's background-check policies.

"If Uber didn't screen the driver properly or didn't do a proper background check of the driver then this case can go beyond a mere car accident," he said.

Uber does require drivers have insurance, but Moody says, in Baker's case, the policy didn't cover vehicles being used for compensation.  That raises more questions about Uber's pre-screening.

"We all are here to make sure people that take Ubers are protected and the right safeguards are put in place," he said.

He says a full investigation is still in the early stages.  We did reach out to the Uber driver and Uber itself; neither commented.