In places like the Bronx where few residents wish to own cars, Uber is an excellent resource. The app makes it simple to hail a ride and arrive at your desired destination in a timely manner.
But with the growth of rideshare apps there is also traffic and the possibility of accidents. Records collected by the New York Post revealed that crashes involving for-hire vehicles increased from 534 in July 2014 to 1,672 in June 2016. This correlates directly with the growth of rideshare services like Uber.
It is a good idea to be prepared if you are injured while riding as an Uber passenger. Here is what to know if you face this ordeal.
Filing a Lawsuit Against Uber
If you are a passenger and an auto collision occurs, you can pursue either driver for damages. It depends on liability: If the driver of the vehicle was at fault, their insurance policy covers your damages. If it was the other driver, it will be their policy. In cases where there is a dispute over fault, it is common for lawsuits to name both drivers in order to determine the liability question and collect damages for your injuries.
The same process goes into effect if you are injured while using Uber services. If the accident was due to the negligence of another driver, you normally do not have to involve the insurance of Uber or the driver. The at-fault driver covers damages.
However, if your driver was at fault, the scenario becomes more complicated. The driver’s personal insurance is considered primary since Uber classifies drivers as independent contractors. But after a wrongful death lawsuit challenged that notion, Uber now provides a policy for drivers that covers damages up to $1 million.
This system, though, may not work perfectly. If the driver never notified their personal carrier of their Uber practices, the company may drop them and deny any claims arising from the accident. This limits your recovery to Uber insurance which contains a high deductible and may not be as comprehensive as a personal policy.
In all these cases, you would sue the driver rather than Uber. The only exception is if you have evidence that the driver should have never been approved. If it is discovered later that the driver had a suspended license or criminal conviction that prohibited driving and Uber allowed them to participate anyway, then you could have a negligence claim against the company. But this is normally not an option if your claim is limited to an accident.
If the accident was the fault of another driver and that driver was uninsured, Uber offers uninsured motorist coverage. That action is taken with the insurance company rather than any drivers or the company directly. Although, it could be possible to pursue the other driver if they own substantial personal assets.
Uber Accident Settlements
A settlement against an Uber driver includes economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that can be objectively proven, like medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages include subjective elements like pain and suffered and compromised quality of life.
Settling these matters will likely take longer than with usual car accidents. Insurance companies will perform finger-pointing over who is responsible for paying the damages. It can be an all-out battle between Uber insurance and the policies belonging to other drivers. Even if fault is clear, it can take time to sort out coverage and whether a driver’s insurance policy is adequate to compensate for your injuries.
If you are involved in an accident while using Uber, do not rely on others to collect essential facts of the accident for you. Take pictures of the wreck and call the police, especially if the damage is extensive and the drivers are reluctant to get them involved. Collect names, telephone numbers, and email addresses for witnesses. If the name of the driver is not in your contacts, do not leave the accident scene without it.
Finally take, screenshots of your receipt and Uber ride records. If you have any pain at all, report to the emergency room. This creates a record of your experience that will help your claim.
Get Help from an Experienced Attorney
Uber accidents add another layer of complication to personal injury claims. It is unlikely to be an easy journey to filing a claim and requesting fair compensation for your injuries. The Law Office of Ivan M. Diamond offers the knowledge and experience you need to navigate an Uber claim. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.