Imagine it. You’ve just had a great night out with your friends. You were the picture of responsibility, didn’t drive, and called an Uber or other rideshare service. Or maybe you are catching a late night/early morning ride from the airport and didn’t want to have to deal with parking.
The next thing you know, you are involved in an uber car accident and have been injured. You probably have a million questions running through your head.
What are your rights? Who’s responsible for your medical bills? Am I going to need a lawyer for this?
Well, have no fear. Here is a no-nonsense guide to help you navigate the aftermath of an uber accident.
The Legalities of an Uber Car Accident:
Peer to peer ridesharing is only about 10 years old. This means there isn’t a lot of legislation on the liability of drivers when it comes to Uber accidents.
And since Uber drivers are technically independent contractors and not employees, it means if you need to sue Uber, they can deny the claim. However, all hope is not lost.
If the accident wasn’t your driver’s fault, Uber does have the policy to cover under-insured drivers up to one million dollars. This is partially due to the fact that many drivers tend to be under-insured and Uber wanted to cover their bases.
The Small Print:
Because, of course, there is small print. This policy ONLY kicks in under certain circumstances.
For example: If the driver is logged into the app but hasn’t connected with a passenger yet, Uber only covers $50,000 or you and your driver are involved in a hit and run. If this is the case, then the full one million kicks in.
However, if your driver has insurance or if they are not at fault then you need to deal directly with the insurance companies.
If Your Driver is at Fault:
If your driver is at fault is where it can get a little tricky. This is where you would need to either hire a lawyer or look into the laws on the books about what sort of recourse you have as a passenger. These laws and regulations can vary wildly from state to state.
So, if you were in an accident while on holiday in New York or living it up in Vegas, you need to do a little research on what actions you can take. Some states like California will let you sue Uber directly, but this isn’t the case in most other states.
This means you will need to wade through the insurance and at-fault laws in your state, which can be daunting under the best of circumstances. Add being injured with a heap of medical bills piling up and it is downright herculean.
Dealing with the Driver’s Insurance:
Another area where this gets tricky is with the driver’s insurance itself. While some companies have started to expand their policies to cover ridesharing, many still don’t extend policies to cover commercial driving. And even though Uber does have a liability clause, it could take what feels like an eternity before you see any money.
That means if your driver is at fault and doesn’t have the right insurance, you could be in for a long and lengthy legal battle. It is important to know what you need and how to get your money.
Hopefully, you had the smarts to take photos and get everyone’s information. Also, if it was serious enough, and you are capable, call 911. Doing so will help you down the line, especially if you have to go to court and prove your case.
Next look for witnesses. Never assume you are going to be able to remember everything that happened correctly. Accidents are traumatic and can affect your memory of events.
Having innocent bystanders make statements are useful for the accident reports and in court if it goes that way. Make sure you get their contact info so it is easier to get in touch later.
Get checked out even if you don’t think you are hurt. While this should go without saying, it is amazing how many people don’t do this because they don’t see any injuries or feel hurt
What To Do Next:
So, you’ve gone to the doctor and gotten checked out. Or you are out of the hospital/cast/whatever and it is time to start trying to get the mountain of medical bills paid. What do you do?
Well, first you contact the driver’s insurance company. This has the potential to be an absolute nightmare and cause stress headache after a stress headache. Because let’s remember, it is their job to not payout; if they do settle, it is a lowball offer to just get the case over with.
If you can’t settle it easily or fairly, and you probably won’t be able to, it is time to contact a lawyer. Look for a lawyer specializing in personal injury. After all, these guys have plenty of experience working with insurance companies and know how to get them to pay out.
The best way to find a personal injury lawyer is to ask for recommendations or search online. Sure, there plenty of jokes about just waiting for them to chase your ambulance, you want to hire someone you trust and feel comfortable with. Because the best way to get great results is by having a lawyer you trust.
If You Have to Go to Court:
Hopefully, things won’t get this far. However, if they do, it is best to be prepared.
Your lawyer will walk you through how to testify. It is important to remember that they are the experts and have (hopefully) done this before. So, listen to their advice, be open and honest, and remember to try and stay as calm as possible on the stand.
With any luck, you won’t need this information. Unfortunately, if you are looking at this page, you probably already do. So, with a little bit of forethought and tenacity, you can get everything covered.
Not all legal cases are all about Uber car accidents. So, if you have other legal issues going on, are a legal eagle, or just exceptionally better, why not check out our page?