Since it was founded in 2009, Uber has grown into a highly popular peer-to-peer ridesharing service. It offers a variety of benefits to both riders and drivers. For riders, Uber is an inexpensive and convenient alternative to a traditional taxi service. For drivers, Uber makes it possible to be your own boss, set your own schedule and earn great pay.
As the popular ridesharing service continues to grow, the number of Uber-related car accidents increases as well. Unfortunately, accidents involving Uber drivers are often legally complex. This is because Uber drivers in the United States are not technically employed by Uber. Instead, they are currently considered contractors.
In addition to angering many labor activists, the classification of Uber drivers as contractors also leads to unique issues when Uber drivers get in car accidents. If you’re involved in an accident while riding with Uber, here are a few things you should do.
Check for Injuries
Even though you’re a passenger and not a driver, it’s still important to check for injuries if you are capable of doing so. Assess yourself first, then move on to assess the physical condition of anyone else involved in the accident.
It is possible to feel okay after an accident, even when you have suffered personal injuries. This is because adrenaline can temporarily numb the body’s response to pain. For this reason, it’s important to move slowly and carefully after an accident, even if you initially feel like you are unharmed.
Call for Help
You may need to take the initiative and call for help after your accident, even though you aren’t the driver. If anyone is injured, call 9-1-1 right away. If the accident is minor with no obvious injuries, call the police.
Keep in mind that it’s wise to receive medical attention after your car accident, even if you don’t notice obvious signs of injury. This is because many car accidents cause internal injuries that may not be immediately evident to you. The following symptoms can appear hours or even days later:
Getting medical attention right away isn’t just important for your safety and health; it can also support your personal injury claim. It will be much harder to prove that you sustained injuries during the car crash if you wait days or weeks to receive medical care.
Exchange Insurance and Contact Information
Don’t let the Uber driver involved in the crash leave the scene without collecting his or her insurance and contact information. If you are too injured to take care of this important step, you should be able to gather any necessary documentation from the police department after you receive medical attention.
If you’re not seriously injured, you should also do the following after an Uber accident:
- Take photos of the accident scene, including any injuries you sustained.
- Write down or photograph the colors, makes, models and license plate numbers of all vehicles involved in the accident.
- Collect contact information from witnesses.
It is especially important to gather everything you need if you are a tourist or traveler who will soon be returning to your home state. If you don’t have the presence of mind to ask for information after your accident, your lawyer should be able to help you put together the documentation you need for your Uber claim.
Hire a Lawyer
If you sustained any injuries in the Uber accident, you may want to hire a lawyer to file a personal injury claim for you. It’s best to do this as soon as possible. You can file your claim against the driving service, the driver or the insurance company insuring the service or driver. The outcome of your case will depend on various factors, including the cost of the accident (damages) and who is to blame (liability).
Uber has a generous liability coverage policy that can be used to help cover your losses and financial damages if your Uber driver is at fault. If your Uber driver is not at fault and another vehicle caused the collision, you have the potential to receive even more coverage. You first need to bring a claim against the at-fault driver. If his or her insurance coverage is insufficient to fully cover your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering, you may be able to receive compensation from Uber’s $1,000,000 liability coverage policy.
Additionally, if you have your own under-insured motorist coverage, you could potentially access the money from your own policy as part of your Uber claim. Having an experienced lawyer on your side is essential if you want to have the best outcome for your case.
Don’t Inform Uber of the Accident
If you’re planning to file a personal injury claim, do not inform Uber of the accident yourself. Instead, let your lawyer inform the company. If you contact Uber yourself, you will likely be contacted by a James River Insurance Company adjuster who has Uber’s interests—not yours—in mind. Let your attorney be your official mouthpiece for all Uber communications relating to your accident. If a James River insurance adjuster attempts to contact you, refer him or her to your attorney. If you do choose to speak to the adjuster about the accident, anything you say can be used against you.
Avoid Common Mistakes
A few simple mistakes could potentially jeopardize the outcome of your personal injury claim. To help you get a fair settlement and avoid common missteps, follow these tips:
- Don’t settle until all of your medical treatments have been completed and your injuries have completely healed. If you settle before you know the total cost of your injuries, you may not receive the full compensation you’re entitled to.
- Don’t forget to file a police report, and never allow someone to pressure you into not filing a report.
- Don’t sign release forms until you’re fully ready to settle. Signing release forms prematurely can rescind the insurance company’s obligation to pay on additional claims.
Getting the compensation you deserve after an Uber car accident can be complicated. Fortunately, your attorney can help you understand your rights and navigate your personal injury claim.
If you have been injured in a Palm Beach County car accident, I encourage you to contact me, Brian D. Guralnick, personally to discuss your legal rights. To learn how the injury team at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers can help you Demand More® for your injuries, call (561) 983-4395 now.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. If you need advice on specific legal issues, please consult with a licensed Personal Injury attorney.