According to research done by Stonehill and Providence Colleges, although ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have led to a reduction in DUIs and accidents, during the second half of 2015, Uber exceeded the number of deadly traffic accidents of yellow cabs. Uber drivers were involved in five fatal collisions during that time period as opposed to only one for cabs. However, in only one of these fatal accidents was the Uber driver ruled at fault. In 2016, there were ten fatal accidents reported in Uber rides.
Considering there are about 15 million Uber passengers each day, it can be assumed that, overall, rideshare companies like Uber actually make the roads a safer place. And, in fact, it is estimated that Uber has led to a 16 percent reduction in traffic fatalities, overall. But what if you are involved in an Uber car accident? Who is responsible for paying for your injuries? Because Uber, Lyft and other rideshare programs are relatively new, this is new ground, however, it is likely that your injuries are covered. That being said, obtaining that coverage can sometimes be difficult.
If your wreck involved a rideshare vehicle, do not hesitate in contacting a Nashville Uber accident lawyer. A compassionate car accident injury attorney could provide you with answers to all your question and help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Unique Aspects of Being Involved in an Rideshare Accident
Unfortunately, according to the Insurance Journal, it is estimated that 60-80 percent of all rideshare drivers do not have full coverage insurance. Uber and Lyft companies provide liability coverage under state law. This means drivers who are waiting for a passenger may not have sufficient coverage in the event of an accident. Some insurance companies—most notably, State Farm—provide full rideshare insurance for the driver, however, more companies do not. If you are the person bringing a rideshare accident claim, you are responsible for proving who the negligent party is as well as clearly showing the extent of your injuries.
This means that whether you are a motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian hit by an Uber, another driver hit by an Uber, or you were in the Uber when the accident occurred, it will be up to you to prove negligence. If the Uber driver’s negligence was responsible for the accident, your claim might be only against the driver’s insurance, although your local attorney will need to decide whether the rideshare driver’s insurance applies or whether Uber’s insurance will apply. It can be a real uphill battle to hold Uber liable, although technically, the rideshare company can be held financially responsible.
Although rideshare drivers must provide vehicle insurance, which meets or exceeds state minimums, in some instances, that insurance will not pay if the driver is working for a rideshare company. When the Uber driver accepts a trip, Uber may provide liability coverage of one million dollars. To ensure your claim with Uber is properly paid, it is extremely important that you have an experienced accident attorney in Nashville who can help you obtain the reimbursement you are entitled to for your injuries.
Uber and Lyft Car Wrecks
Uber requires its drivers to carry insurance, but legality and liability remains a little cloudy in this relatively new industry. As noted, some insurance providers may refuse to provide coverage for drivers who use their personal vehicle for commercial use. Governing agencies are not in agreement on whether rideshares should be treated like taxi services, and whether they should be regulated in the same manner. It is important for Uber drivers to understand they may not be insured under Uber’s policy when the app used to find passengers is turned off. If the Uber app is turned on and the driver is waiting to connect with a passenger, he or she should be covered under Uber’s insurance.
Uber Lawsuit Success for Atlanta Mother and Daughter by Kyle Peiter
Early on in my career, I had my first Uber case, transferred from a large law firm that declined the case on the basis of a lack of a police report for the incident. A woman and her elderly mother (whom she cared for) used Atlanta mass transit, Lyft, and Uber to run all their errands. One day, after purchasing groceries at Wal-Mart, the mother and daughter secured an Uber to make their way home. On the way home, their Uber was sideswiped by another car, however, since no one appeared severely injured, and the vehicles remained driveable, the Uber driver convinced his two passengers that he would continue the ride, delivering them home.
Since their groceries were in the back, and it seemed like somewhat of a hassle to call for another driver, the daughter agreed with the Uber driver’s request. In a bizarre twist of fate, the Uber driver was involved in a second, much more substantial, car accident soon after the first. At the scene of the accident, the daughter helped her mother from the Uber car; as she was getting her mother some water and assessing their injuries, the Uber driver drove off, leaving the two stranded. The mother had a herniation in her neck, with significant medical bills as a result. The daughter notified Uber of the accident and the company promptly denied the claim.
Attorney Kyle Peiter aggressively pursued Uber for the damages. What he learned from this early case was that Uber will use every trick in the books to insulate themselves from liability, blaming the driver, the payment to the driver—or lack thereof—and essentially anything in their arsenal to make it difficult for a person injured in an Uber accident to secure a settlement for his or her injuries. The most important takeaway from this story is that if you are involved in an Uber accident you must immediately reach out to Uber, letting them know your Uber driver was in an accident, and request another car. The Uber driver has a financial incentive to continue the ride so they will get paid, yet this is not necessarily in your best interests. So—make sure the ride ends immediately if your Uber or Lyft driver is involved in an accident—regardless of what the driver says.
What to Do if You are Involved in a Rideshare Accident
If you are involved in an Uber accident, it is extremely important that you do the following:
- As noted above, contact Uber immediately to let them know you have been involved in an Uber accident and would like another driver.
- Seek medical attention to determine how serious your injuries are. Many people who are on their way somewhere at the time of the accident fail to be checked out and later regret that decision. It can be very difficult to prove later on that your injuries were the result of an Uber accident.
- Take photographs at the scene of the accident if you are medically able to do so. These photographs should clearly document the accident and could be invaluable later on.
- In the same vein, keep very detailed records following your Uber accident. Write down every detail you can remember about the accident, jot down contact information for the Uber driver, the other driver, and any witnesses to the accident.
- Notify the police of the accident. The Uber driver or the other driver may attempt to convince you not to involve the police; if you have any indication that you are injured, you should definitely contact the police and get a copy of the police report.
- Keep a folder with all your medical information relating to the accident, including treatments and expenses related to the treatments.
- If you are unable to work, due to the severity of your injuries, keep careful records of your lost wages and other work benefits you might be missing out on.
Contact a Nashville Uber Accident Attorney Today
Because Uber and other rideshare accidents can be complex, it can be extremely beneficial to have an experienced local attorney working on your behalf to protect your future. As a knowledgeable Nashville Uber accident lawyer, I can help you get your life back on track following your crash. I always take the time to fully understand how your Nashville Uber accident occurred, how your life has been impacted by the Uber accident, and the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident. I believe in always going the extra mile for my clients, and I will fight hard to ensure you receive the justice you are entitled to. If you have been involved in a Nashville Uber accident, contact The Law Offices of Kyle Peiter today.