There’s a good chance you’re one of the millions in America that relies on ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft on a regular basis. These companies have pioneered the personal transportation game to great success. They’ve provided alternatives to taxis and enabled people to get to work on time and back safe from bars. They’re also massive companies. Let’s take a look at Uber alone. According to these statistics from the Business of Apps website, Uber:
These companies are massive, and they are massively popular. Thus, there is a good chance you will be using one either on occasion or a regular basis. With that usage brings the risk of an accident involving an Uber – whether you’re driving in one or struck by one. Those Uber accidents bring about a unique, complex, and ever-changing set of legal circumstances. If you’ve been involved in one of these accidents, you will need a personal injury attorney or car accident attorney. Smiley Injury Law can help cut through the questions and legalities of the situation. In this article, we’ll break down some of the complexities and explore the options you have.
The tricky aspect of liabilities involving Uber accidents comes in the designation of Uber drivers themselves. When you get on your app and order an Uber or a car from another ride-sharing service, the person that will come to pick you up is not technically an Uber employee. Instead, they are designated as “independent contractors.”That designation is very intentional. By distinguishing Uber and ride-sharing drivers as those independent contractors, companies can avoid a significant chunk of the liability that comes along with accidents that might occur. For a regular transportation company – a taxi line or an airline, for example – there’s a good chance that you could file a lawsuit against the business. It’s much harder when independent contractors are involved.
Here’s the good news when it comes to insurance and Uber. Uber does carry a $1 million insurance policy for each of their drivers. That means that you do have an element of protection in case of an accident. You have coverage up to that amount if you are in an accident and the Uber driver is at fault. That coverage could also apply in case the other driver is at fault and the other driver does not have enough insurance to cover the amount owed.
If you’re involved in an Uber accident either as a passenger or as a pedestrian go through some of the same steps as you would in any other accident. Call 911 or make sure to notify the correct authorities. Take down the pertinent information of all parties involved. Record the contact information of the Uber driver and any other parties included in the accident. This ensures you will be able to contact those people through the next step of the process. Snap a few pictures of the vehicles involved and the area around where the accident occurred and save them to your phone. Collect and keep all documentation of the Uber trip. The odds are that you may need this type of information for any legal proceedings that may occur later.
If you’ve been in an Uber-related accident, it’s a good idea to enlist legal representation to explore your options. Your bills may be covered by the Uber insurance policy or by some other type of insurance. Yet, there is a good chance that further legal representation may be needed. You may wish to pursue legal actions against the parties that were at fault in the accident, for negligence, carelessness, or other reasons. In this case, the targets of your legal actions would be the drivers that were at fault in the accident. These cases would go along a somewhat traditional legal track. Enlisting the help of an experienced legal partner is critical to get the financial restitution owed.
Additionally – and in rarer cases – the ride-sharing organization may be at fault and may be a target for restitution owed. In this case, the most likely reason for targeting the ride-sharing services is for their negligence. For example, if the ride-sharing service was deficient in approving and certifying the driver involved in the accident, they could be penalized. It’s also essential to scrutinize the history of the driver. The driver involved in the accident may have elements in their past like DUIs, an expired license, or expired insurance. Often, those transgressions should have sunk their candidacy to be a driver. If the company missed those then they could be at fault.
Smiley Injury Law can help you navigate the tricky waters in the aftermath of one of these accidents. Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys and car accident attorneys will guide you through the legal proceedings. They will ensure that you get the full compensation you are due. The Smiley team has the needed knowledge and experience when it comes to car accident lawsuits. Additionally, Smiley Injury Law knows the intricacies of the law when it comes to Uber and other ride-sharing services. These oftentimes differ on a state-by-state basis.
Interested in finding out more information? Come see how we can help at www.smileyinjurylaw.com.