Uber rolled out their app in 2009, making it the pioneer of ridesharing. Over the years, the company grew exponentially, and Uber became available in nearly every major and minor city worldwide. As a result, there are Uber drivers on the road at all times, and they are just as likely to be part of an auto accident as any other type of vehicle. If you suffered an injury in a crash involving an Uber vehicle, you might need the help of an Uber accident lawyer to get the compensation you need and deserve.
Liability and the Parties Involved in an Uber Accident
Liability in any auto accident falls on the person or persons who violated the law. To prove their negligence, the person filing a claim must prove that the at-fault party owed them a duty to behave in a reasonably safe manner to keep everyone on the road safe. Then, they must provide evidence to support the claim that the other party violated that duty, resulting in an accident and the victim's injuries. These elements are the foundation of a negligence claim, but you must first determine who is at fault in your case. For example, in an Uber accident, the potentially liable parties are:
- The Uber driver must abide by the same laws as any other driver, whether en route with a passenger or awaiting a request.
- The other driver can be liable for the same reasons an Uber driver could be at fault. They have a responsibility to adhere to traffic laws and drive with reasonable safety.
- The Uber passenger could only be liable in rare situations. For example, if they acted irrationally, physically causing the Uber driver to wreck, they could face liability for damages.
- Pedestrians have traffic laws to which they must adhere as well. For example, if pedestrians ignore a "don't walk" signal or do not cross at a crosswalk, they could be held responsible if their actions result in an accident.
Passengers often face the most struggle in trying to prove the severity of their injuries. To receive compensation, they typically need to file a claim through Uber's insurance policy, sometimes resulting in pushback. Thankfully, a personal injury attorney with experience in accidents involving Uber will investigate the accident and collect the evidence needed to support your claim while you focus on your recovery.
Insurance Coverage Through Uber
Uber defines three stages to determine whether the driver's personal insurance applies or whether Uber's commercial insurance applies:
- Offline. The first stage occurs when the Uber driver is entirely disconnected from Uber. Should an accident caused by the Uber driver occur during this time, victims would file a claim with the driver's private auto insurance provider. Uber would not cover any damages.
- Available for rides. The second stage occurs when the Uber driver signs into the app and waits for a ride request. During this time, Uber's insurance policy takes effect. Liability coverage includes $50,000 for injury per person, $100,000 per accident, and $30,000 for property damage.
- En route with a passenger. From the moment the Uber driver picks up a passenger, they have $1 million in liability coverage, $1 million in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and contingent collision and comprehensive.
Even though the coverage is there, victims often face challenges when trying to file a claim. Both Uber and the insurance company want to protect their bottom line. As a result, they typically may push back significantly, requiring you to hire legal representation to fight for your rights.
Actions To Take in the Aftermath of an Uber Accident
Sometimes what you do in the immediate aftermath of a car accident can significantly impact your ability to recover compensation. Consider the things you can do to help build your case:
- Report the crash to the police. If your accident resulted in only minor damage with no bodily injuries, the police station might not dispatch an officer to investigate the accident. However, that does not negate the benefit of having a police report. You can still file your own account online or at the station to make an official record.
- Document all available evidence. If you are mentally and physically able, you can take photographs of the crash site, visible injuries, and damage to both vehicles. Document any nearby traffic lights or signs, skid marks in the road, or buildings in the vicinity. Take the time to write down or voice record your understanding of the sequence of events that led up to and followed your accident while you remember it most reliably.
- See a doctor for a complete medical evaluation. Anyone with substantial injuries should prioritize emergency medical care immediately. However, if you do not need an ambulance, you still need a thorough assessment. Go to the emergency department at the nearest hospital or visit an urgent care facility. You can even see your family doctor, but you want to do it quickly to check for internal injuries and put your injuries on record.
- Request information. Ask all parties involved for their contact information. This means requesting Uber's insurance info from the Uber driver and gathering names and phone numbers from eyewitnesses.
- Talk to an Uber accident attorney before speaking to the insurer. Unless you are familiar with auto accident law in California, you likely have questions about what to do next. Talking to an attorney before you try anything else is the best way to protect your right to compensation.
Not everyone can document the accident scene or file a police report. However, that does not mean you have no case for compensation. Take all the information you have to your attorney, and they will help you build your case by collecting the support you need for your claim.
What You Should Avoid Doing
Avoid talking to anyone other than the police, your doctor, and your attorney. Even a humble apology in the shock of a crash could become an admission of guilt. Stay off of social media as well. Once you file a claim, the insurance company will investigate your case independently. That can include monitoring your social media for any sign that you are responsible for the accident. The best way to protect yourself is to divert all conversations about the crash to the confidential setting with your attorney.
How an Uber Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Have you recently suffered injuries in an Uber accident caused by someone's negligent behavior? If so, you may have questions about your case and how to access the compensation you deserve. An experienced Uber accident lawyer can help you build your case. Dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating, especially when they act in bad faith to avoid paying on a valid claim. However, insurance providers for large corporations, such as Uber, are often even more difficult because they have extensive policies with more claims. With legal representation, they are far less likely to delay or undervalue your claim.
The personal injury attorneys at Johnson Attorneys Group deal with auto accident cases of varying circumstances daily. We understand the hardships a severe accident can cause and prioritize a personalized approach to representation. To show our commitment to your case, you can access your team 24 hours a day, seven days a week, allowing you to feel confident about our services. Contact Johnson Attorneys Group at (800) 208-3538 to schedule your free case review today.