Even as a passenger in the backseat, if your rideshare ends in an accident, you can be seriously injured. If you have been involved in a Lyft or Uber accident, contact us today to learn more about your legal options.
Rideshare Accidents in Visalia
Visalia residents venture out early, late, and every time in between. For those who don’t have a car or don’t want to pay airport parking fees, a rideshare app may be the first thing they look at.
Whether it is a ride up busy Mooney Avenue or across a bumper to bumper Highway 198, drivers for Uber are ready to help. What you may not have considered is that all those rideshare employees and delivery drivers are adding to all the congestion on local routes.
Factor in that Uber employees may be paying more attention to the job than to the driving and it can be a scary proposition for other motorists. One more distraction from an incoming request could cause a careless accident and land an innocent victim in the hospital.
Distracted Rideshare Driver Accident Dangers around Visalia
Uber employees can be great drivers, but the fact is their very jobs are a major distraction each day.
An Uber driver’s main tool, the cellphone, can be the biggest danger of all. A glance at a cellphone can lure a driver’s eyes off the road and lead to a devastating crash.
Another hazardous temptation for drivers is the hope to collect more customers by working for two rideshares at once. The practice is supported by apps that let workers quickly change between Uber and Lyft apps. One job is distracting enough, and working for two companies can only multiply the inattention and risk of collision.
Sometimes the effort to get passengers to their destinations on time can turn into a race, adding extreme speed to the already risky behavior of an Uber driver. Customers can create their own distractions from the backseat. A lack of sleep or a break can also make a rideshare worker that much more careless. None of these factors aren’t worth endangering the other drivers on the road.
Studies on Rideshare Involved Collisions
MIT Technology Review examined a study on rideshare traffic accidents and found that the arrival of Uber and Lyft in the U.S. has resulted in a two to three percent rise in fatal accidents each year. That would work out to a tragic 1,100 extra lives lost across the nation.
The study also found that “deadheading” was a factor in traffic congestion in bigger cities. Deadheading is when a rideshare driver doesn’t have a customer but continues to cruise the roads waiting on a request. Drivers can be deadheading for up to 60% of their shift. It’s just more miles logged by a potentially careless rideshare worker.
Uber Insurance Coverage for Drivers
Uber sends out a fleet of drivers across California every day to offer us a seat and collect our money and tips. That use of the roads and access to our residents should be worth a bit of care and caution for other drivers. But in an accident caused by their driver, Uber may shrink from taking responsibility for covering your injuries.
Drivers for Uber must carry a personal auto insurance policy. Any accidents must first be filed with the driver’s coverage. The bad news is that those claims are often dismissed because many insurance firms won’t cover drivers if they were working for Uber when the crash occurred.
Uber coverage can pick up the slack after an accident, but only in certain situations. Drivers who are logged on to the app and awaiting ride requests are covered by $100,000 total injury liability in accidents. When drivers have accepted a ride request all the way up until they drop the passenger off, they are protected by one million dollars in liability insurance and one million dollars in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Of course, Uber will still use its resources to prove their driver wasn’t responsible for the accident. If the driver’s insurance won’t cover your injuries and Uber declines, you may end up having to file a claim against your own car insurance utilizing the uninsured/underinsured portion of your policy. This may be the only way to get compensation to cover your hospital bills for an accident that wasn’t your fault.
Other Ways to hold Uber Responsible in an Accident
An attorney with experience taking on major companies and corporations can try different options to force Uber to accept liability in a collision.
Your legal representative can investigate certain aspects related to the case that may swing a claim in your favor. These factors can include:
- Uber Safety Practices – Did Uber offer training and instruction to its drivers? Are they asking employees to engage in unsafe practices just to keep passengers happy? Has the driver been reprimanded by Uber before?
- Rideshare Hiring Practices – Did Uber complete background checks on its employee?
- Uber Employee’s Driving Record – An attorney can look deeper into an Uber employee’s driving record. If violations are discovered they can call into question the credibility of the driver and Uber.
- Asleep at the Wheel – Was a driver working too many hours in a day? Were they getting enough sleep?
- Vehicle Safety – Was the car used as an Uber vehicle safe and well-maintained? Uber and its employees should be equally responsible for safe cars.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I file an accident claim against my own insurance policy after an accident?
Yes. If you have no other option, you can file a claim for damages against your car insurance. Your uninsured/underinsured coverage would be called upon. The one thing to watch out for is when your own insurance agents start to treat you like the enemy. Like with anyone else, they can give you a lowball offer, delay payment, or even dismiss your claim. An attorney handling your case can make sure they treat you fairly and offer fair compensation for your physical pain and your financial losses.
How long do I have to file a civil lawsuit against Uber?
From the date of the accident, you have up to two years to file a claim for damages. You should not wait months or years to complete this process though. Filing as early as possible is always best, especially when a big company like Uber is involved. Uber may take a while to respond to your claim. It’s also an easier process to collect documents, witness statements, and evidence when only a little time has passed. An attorney can make sure your claim is supported by proper evidence.
What can I receive compensation for?
If you reach a settlement in your case or a jury ruled in your favor you can receive compensation for your current hospital bills and enough money for any medical care expected in the future. But there’s a lot more that can be covered. The paychecks you’ve missed at work while you’ve been recovering can all be reimbursed. Pain and suffering can be considered and result in money being added to an award. Compensation for your emotional anguish and potential loss of enjoyment of life can also play a part in a ruling.
Contact a Visalia Uber Accident Lawyer Today.
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 Visalia, contact us for a free and confidential consultation. Uber accidents can be complex cases and can 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.