Many people leave the driving and the expense of owning a car to Uber and their fleet of drivers. The travel option is extremely handy for California tourists, commuters, and anyone else in need of a lift. It’s a great deal, but there are some drawbacks and most have to do with your safety on the roads.
With all of those rideshare drivers hitting the road and checking their apps every few minutes, the risks of accidents can jump dramatically. You may be in your car and suddenly be struck by an Uber vehicle. You might be a passenger in the Uber car and hurt in the accident. You can also be on your bike or on foot when a distracted rideshare driver hits you.
If you are in a serious accident involving Uber in California contact a rideshare law attorney to discuss your case. You can get a free, no-obligation appraisal of your options. You may be surprised by just how many different parties might have to take responsibility for your injuries. They may all owe you compensation for your physical and emotional suffering.
Uber Accident Dangers in California
California is a place with a lot of fabulous destinations. L.A. and Hollywood, the Bay Area, any beach, or even school and work can be your desired stop. Unfortunately, California traffic and the high cost of living can make getting to all of these places a challenge.
It’s Uber to the rescue for many of us. That app is easy to use and the price isn’t bad either. But with the rush to collect ride requests you can imagine that the accident rates can be pretty high for Uber drivers.
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft do their best to keep their accident reports a secret, but even the data that does get out can be eye-opening.
According to a 2020 San Francisco Public Press report, from 2018 through August 2019 the city saw 47 traffic fatalities. Seven of those accidents involved ride-hailing vehicles. What’s more, the SFPD found that for three years more than half of all traffic citations in the city were issued to ride-hailing employees.
Distracted Uber Drivers in California
It’s apparent Uber drivers can cause a considerable amount of accidents each year and they are often cited by law enforcement for disobeying traffic laws.
These facts shouldn’t come as a surprise when you consider just how much they do from behind the wheel. They secure rides, follow directions, and may even rate passengers all while on the road. All of that adds up to enormous distraction from a cellphone. Uber workers couldn’t do their jobs without that phone.
Here are just a few of the distractions and temptations Uber drivers face during their shifts:
- “Deadheading” – Or Cruising, Uber workers can spend hours without getting a ride request, but some still don’t leave the streets. They are often encouraged to circle high-volume neighborhoods so they can be closer to potential customers. More time in your lane can mean more risk of an accident.
- Working for Uber and Lyft – Many drive for two or more companies in the same shift. There are actually apps that cater to these ambitious workers and let them quickly switch back and forth between apps. This only adds to the distraction a phone can provide.
- Pressure and stress – Uber drivers face pressure from many directions while driving. A passenger who is late may force them to speed to the next destination. A bad encounter with a rider may keep them from focusing on their driving. They may not be making enough money on a slow day, forcing them to work extra hours and miss out on breaks and sleep.
- Drug or Alcohol abuse. There’s a zero-tolerance policy for drug and alcohol use at Uber. But, unfortunately, delivery drivers have faced DUI charges before. Any person working a delivery job is under stricter guidelines. Drivers have to keep their blood alcohol content (BAC) under .08%, but for a delivery driver, they must stay under.04% BAC to be legal behind the wheel.
- Distracting Customers – Riders may want to talk or may need information distracting the driver from the road.
Contact a California Uber Accident Attorney
After an accident involving an Uber driver, a member of the Uber team may contact you for a statement. Speak to an attorney before giving a statement of any kind. Uber lawyers are likely fishing for you to make a comment that can be used later to weaken your case.
If you or a loved one sustained a serious injury and the accident involved a Uber in California, contact us for a free and confidential consultation. Uber accidents can be complex cases and involve many different insurance companies. An attorney can help make sense of it all. Whether you were hit by an Uber driver, injured as a passenger, or injured as a Uber driver we can protect your rights and secure compensation for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Uber drivers carry accident insurance?
Uber drivers are required to have a personal auto insurance policy. In an accident involving Uber, your first claim will be against the driver’s insurance.
If this claim is denied, you then can file against Uber corporate, but Uber will only provide compensation in certain circumstances. Uber’s one million dollar liability insurance will be in effect if the accident happens while the driver has a passenger lined-up on the app or the passenger is in the car. In other phases of the driver’s shift, Uber may provide less or no coverage for an accident their employee caused. If nothing else works, you may be forced to file a claim against your own insurance policy under the uninsured motorist coverage.
How long do I have to file a claim against Uber?
2 Years. Victims in an accident in California generally have up to two years after an accident to file a claim for damages against at-fault drivers and the company they drive for. Despite the two year deadline, it’s always best to file as soon as you’re ready. The sooner you do the easier time your attorney will have gathering evidence, rounding up witnesses, and securing documents for your case.
What kind of damages can I ask for in an Uber accident claim?
All of the hardships, physically, emotionally, and financially, you are forced to endure after an accident can be part of the demands in a civil lawsuit. Medical bills and any future physical therapy expected can all be compensated. The earnings lost while you’ve been away from a job can be part of an award. The emotional anguish you’ve had to cope with since the accident and the expense of psychological counseling can be included.