Rideshare services like Uber claim to provide safe and reliable transportation. Ubers, however, are not immune to accidents. In fact, Uber has increased the number of vehicles on many roads throughout the United States, increasing the chances of collisions and injuries.
If you suffered injuries in an Uber accident, you may have many questions and feel unsure about how to proceed. A qualified Bronx car accident lawyer can get you the resolution and legal relief you deserve.
How Uber Accident Cases Vary from Regular Collision Cases
Uber accidents and regular car accidents share many similarities, including causes of accidents and potential injuries. The difference lies in liability and collision claims.
When you’re in a regular two-driver collision, and you’re driving, you only have to deal with that other driver and their insurance. Additionally, depending on the state where the accident occurs, you may also have to deal with your auto insurer.
On the other hand, when you’re involved in an Uber crash, you’ll either need to deal with Uber’s insurance or the other driver’s insurance to recover compensation for your injuries. Holding an Uber driver liable for your injuries can be more complicated, hindering your path to monetary recovery.
Additionally, Uber itself has large insurance policies. Because Uber’s insurance companies want to protect their money as much as possible, it can be harder to get the compensation you need for your injuries and losses.
Handling a car accident case is challenging enough, but it can be much tougher when you’re a passenger in an Uber. This is one of the primary reasons to seek help from an Uber accident attorney as soon as possible after an accident.
Common Causes of Uber Collisions
Uber accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. The following are some of the most common.
Driver inattention, or distracted driving, causes thousands of accidents every year.
When driving, a distraction is anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and/or mind off the task at hand. Avoiding distractions can keep everyone, including passengers, safe.
Examples of visual distractions include texting and emailing while driving. Manual distractions, or those that require one or both hands, include eating and grooming. Finally, cognitive distractions include daydreaming and talking.
When a driver loses focus of their driving and doesn’t give their full attention to the road, this can easily cause collisions, from minor accidents to more severe wrecks.
Speeding and Aggressive Driving
Aggressive driving, also referred to as road rage, encompasses a variety of dangerous driving behaviors, most notably speeding. When a person drives aggressively, they’re paying little mind and respect to others on the road, putting themselves and others in danger.
Speeding is particularly risky, as it can increase the severity of an impact, causing more extensive damage and injury.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is never acceptable, but even more when a driver is working and has a passenger in their vehicle.
Driving while intoxicated is against the law and substantially increases the likelihood of an accident. If your Uber driver operates a vehicle under the influence and causes a crash, you can hold them liable to recover for your accident-related injuries.
Driving while fatigued can be dangerous for the driver, their passengers, and others on the road. Feeling tired can result from many things, including lack of sleep or the use of certain medications. Sometimes, even though not feeling well rested, Uber drivers continue to work accepting rides because they need the money.
Surprisingly, fatigue can have similar effects on the body as drinking alcohol. Therefore, overly tired drivers are also impaired to a certain degree.
Liability for Uber Accidents – Who’s At Fault?
Liability is one of the crucial foundations of any Uber accident claim. Therefore, figuring out who is financially liable for your injuries is critical to the success of your case.
The first step in figuring out liability is determining the cause of your accident. If the other driver’s negligent driving caused the collision, you can hold them responsible. Depending on the situation and state law, you can file a third-party insurance claim with the driver’s auto insurer for compensation.
Because the Uber driver is on the clock at the time of the accident, their own private insurance will likely not cover the accident but instead Uber’s insurance. If the Uber driver caused your accident, you can submit an insurance claim with Uber’s insurance company.
In other scenarios, neither driver is fully at-fault for your collision. Sometimes, other factors play a role in causing an accident, most notably auto defects and road conditions. Either way, an Uber accident driver can determine how best to handle your case to pursue maximum compensation for your losses.
Proving Liability in an Uber Collision
Simply claiming a party’s fault isn’t enough. Instead, you’ll need to take steps to establish the party’s liability to successfully pursue monetary recovery.
While auto collisions can result from intentional actions, they more often result from driver negligence.
Proving negligence involves establishing the following elements:
- Duty: The driver owed you a duty of care
- Breach: The driver’s wrongful actions caused them to breach their duty of care
- Causation: The driver’s actions were the actual and proximate cause of your accident
- Damages: You suffered damages as a result of the collision
Without successfully showing the other party’s negligence, it is much harder to pursue compensation. Evidence, including medical records and police reports, can help strengthen your claims and get you one step closer to a favorable result.
Uber Insurance – How It Works
If you’ve been in an Uber accident, it’s helpful to understand how Uber’s insurance works.
First and foremost, Uber insurance coverage depends on the driver's status at the time of the collision. Drivers are either available and waiting for a ride request, en route to pick up or with a passenger, or offline and not working.
When an Uber driver is available and waiting for a ride request, Uber insurance protects them, even if they’re not technically driving anyone.
Insurance coverage at this time includes:
- $50,000: Bodily injury protection per person
- $100,000: Bodily injury protection per accident
- $25,000: Property damage protection per accident
Insurance coverage is more substantial if an Uber driver is in an accident either en route to pick up a passenger or with a passenger in their vehicle.
- $1,000,000 third-party liability protection
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist protection and/or first-party injury protection
- Contingent comprehensive and collision protection
Uber's insurance does not offer protection when a driver is offline and not working. Instead, in the event of a collision, their own personal auto insurance should provide coverage.
Uber's insurance coverage applies if you suffer injuries in an accident as an Uber passenger. Therefore, you can pursue compensation from them if your Uber driver is responsible for your collision.
What To Do After an Uber Accident
As you ride in your Uber, the last thing you expect is to get into an accident. For this reason, you may feel shaken up and unsure of what to do next.
The following are some of the most important steps to take after suffering injuries in an Uber collision.
Get Medical Attention
If you have apparent injuries, you need immediate medical attention. Even if you didn’t need an ambulance ride, you should still seek a medical evaluation if you feel any pain, stiffness, disorientation, or anything unusual. Some injuries manifest in the hours and days following a crash, so if symptoms develop, see a doctor immediately.
Prompt medical treatment can often improve your overall prognosis and prevent complications. Further, it creates a timely record of your injuries, connecting them with the Uber accident. Your attorney can present this documentation to insurance companies to prove the injuries you suffered and treatment recommendations from your medical providers.
Without immediate medical care, you might face challenges from insurance companies regarding the severity or cause of your injuries. Never risk jeopardizing your health or legal rights; ensure you have the necessary treatment as soon as possible after an Uber accident.
Report the Accident to Uber
Reporting your accident to Uber is important. While drivers must report the incident as well, riders should too. Having an attorney handle these communications is wise, as Uber representatives might ask leading questions, already trying to avoid liability.
Your attorney can report your accident directly on your Uber app, as there is an option to choose to report an accident, or on a desktop on the Uber website. While you don’t have to report your accident immediately at the scene, it’s better to do it sooner rather than later.
An Uber representative will contact you or your lawyer about the claims process. If you already have legal representation, you can leave all of this up to your lawyer. This is a major benefit of hiring legal help right away after you learn you have injuries.
Keep Track of Helpful Evidence
You should retain any documents or evidence you have regarding your Uber accident. Do you have information from witnesses at the accident scene? Photos you took of your injuries and vehicles in the crash? Medical bills and treatment records? You should organize anything in your possession that might help your case.
More evidence will likely become available in the days after your collision, including police reports and medical records. Your attorney can begin collecting these documents to build your case. While your lawyer can identify the evidence you need to prove your injury claim, it helps when you stay as organized as possible.
Further, if you feel ongoing pain and limitations due to your injuries, begin keeping a daily journal. Remembering your pain levels and restrictions on certain days can be difficult, so a journal with dated entries can help your attorney present evidence of your pain and suffering to Uber’s insurance company.
Discuss Your Situation with an Uber Accident Lawyer
After an Uber accident, allowing an attorney to take over your case can be the best recipe for success. Uber accident cases can be challenging to handle alone.
Experienced lawyers have the experience, skills, and resources to efficiently take on your case and represent your best interests to reach the best possible outcome.
Time is limited to take action after an Uber accident. Therefore, be sure to meet with an Uber accident lawyer as soon as possible after your collision. An attorney can provide advice and guidance and determine how best to handle your claim.
Getting Help from an Experienced Uber Accident Attorney
Meeting with an attorney after an Uber collision doesn’t have to be overwhelming or intimidating. A lawyer can give you clarity on your situation and make you feel less alone during a trying time.
Aside from handling your case, a lawyer can provide peace of mind, allowing you to focus exclusively on your healing journey.
Even regular car accident claims are highly challenging to handle alone, and Uber accident claims are much more complex. With a qualified lawyer on your side, you don’t have to worry about navigating the claims process. Consult an Uber accident attorney as soon as possible to get started on your case.