Some of the most high-tech innovations come out of Mountain View and Silicon Valley. But even those on the cutting edge of technology sometimes need a ride to work or a lift to a fast-food lunch spot.
Those cellphones that nearby companies like Google and Apple keep selling can be used to pinpoint an Uber ride anywhere in the Valley. It’s a convenient life-saver for some, but seeing that Uber car dart across three lanes of traffic to get to you, may make you wonder about safety. Rideshare cars merge with the rest of the Bay Area’s epic traffic levels and they also have distracted Uber employees behind the wheel, locked onto their phones waiting for the next ride request.
If you are hit by an uber driver, or you’re a passenger in an Uber when an accident occurs, you may start to consider just how much responsibility Uber takes for its drivers. If you, unfortunately, have to confront these questions as an injured victim in a collision contact a rideshare accident lawyer in Mountain View. Uber’s insurance agents and lawyers are counting on you not knowing your rights after an accident caused by an employee of a giant rideshare company. Our lawyers offer a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case and a look at how much support Uber should be offering.
Mountain View Uber Accident Dangers
You may not have thought much about the likelihood of an Uber driver hitting you as you travel El Camino Real or head up the 85. But if you’ve ever watched them operate, you know how much their jobs tie them to their phones. Looking at or holding a cellphone is illegal in California, but you’d never know it when you’re in an Uber car.
If you think that distracted driving and cellphone use don’t endanger every motorist, you just have to look at the statistics. Enddd.org (End Distracted Driving) found that there were 36,096 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes across the nation in 2019. That’s a 2% reduction from 2018. Sadly, the rates for distracted driving fatalities only went up. There was almost a 10% increase in deaths involving distracted driving in 2019. That’s 3,142 deadly accidents, making up 8.7% of all fatalities for the year.
Uber drivers battle distractions as a routine part of their duties that Uber expects to be completed on each trip. Here are just some of the ways an Uber app can distract a driver:
- Notification Distraction: Uber drivers can just be cruising until they get word that someone wants a ride. They’ll get an audio notification and have to acknowledge it with a glance down and in some cases a tap. They get only so long to look over the ride request, see if the location is manageable, and accept it. There are many decisions to make each time there’s a new notification and each one can leave an Uber employee driving blind.
- Locating the Rider: GPS help from a phone is nice, but if drivers are not familiar with a street or a location they may still be slowing down, veering in and out of lanes, not paying attention to traffic lights as they search. It’s all a distraction and all of it increases the chances of a collision with another vehicle, motorcyclist, or pedestrian, or bicyclist.
- Passenger Distraction: A passenger can change their pick-up location, cancel their ride, or message a driver. All added incentives for an Uber driver to take his or her eyes off the road.
- Working for Lyft too – After all the distractions we’ve mentioned. Imagine driving for Lyft and Uber at the same time. Some drivers work for multiple rideshares to make more money. They must switch back and forth between apps and it can mean even more notification distraction.
Uber Insurance Coverage in a Mountain View Accident
Uber does carry auto accident insurance for these situations but it doesn’t always factor into accidents. Uber only covers drivers and their victims if the collision occurs while their employee is working (logged into driver’s mode on the app). If there’s a passenger in the vehicle or the driver is on the way to pick up a rider at the time of the crash the coverage can go all the way up to a million dollars.
Uber won’t be your first stop after an accident though. First, you’ll have to call upon the driver’s personal vehicle insurance to try to get help with your hardships after an accident. These hardships can include hospital bills, lost wages at work, and other physical and emotional damages. Your claim with the driver’s insurance is often doomed from the start because many major insurance carriers don’t feel obligated to cover drivers while they are on-the-clock for a rideshare.
If both Uber and the driver’s insurance aren’t willing to offer you help, you may be forced into filing a claim on your own insurance’s uninsured motorist coverage. In all of these cases you’ll be dealing with insurance agents and with Uber, you might even be facing a team of lawyers. That’s why it’s so important to have a lawyer of your own who is experienced in the tricks insurance companies and major corporations use to withhold compensation from victims in their time of need.
Contact a Mountain View Uber Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one sustained a serious injury and the crash involved an Uber vehicle, contact us today for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. After you tell us what happened, we will let you know all of your legal options.
Whether you were hit by an Uber driver, injured as an Uber passenger, or hurt as an Uber driver, call us today. Our goal is to help you get the maximum amount of compensation available to you for your injuries.