Uber accidents are becoming more prevalent. It is so convenient to make arrangements to be picked up by an Uber driver. You can attend an event or concert without needing to worry about finding parking. You can go out on a Friday night and not need to worry about having to drive home afterward. Unfortunately, accidents do occur. If you are ever involved in an Uber accident, then you will need to contact an experienced injury law firm.
Our Houston Uber Accident lawyers at Gomel & Associates are experienced with these kinds of cases. Our lawyers will work diligently to ensure you receive the compensation that you deserve and need. Although there are unique issues associated with Uber accidents, our attorneys know how to handle them.
With the rise of the smartphone, Uber and other rideshare apps have eliminated having to call a taxi. To get a ride in minutes at a much lower cost than a taxi, all you need to do is tap the app. Uber’s app is very easy to use and a very convenient way to get an affordable ride across town. There are many different vehicles that Uber has available for fast transportation. You simply need to tap your smartphone to access them.
Riding share services like Uber have definitely lowered the number of DWI car accidents in Houston by making instant and low-cost transportation available for people who might have been drinking.
Uber has various classifications for its vehicles including UberLUX, UberSUV, UberBLACK, UberSELECT, Uber XL, and UberX. No matter which vehicle class you select, if you were in an accident and seriously injured while inside an Uber vehicle as a passenger or were in an accident that an Uber driver caused, then you might need assistance from a Houston car accident attorney.
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Personal Injury Claims Made Against Uber Drivers
There are a number of complexities associated with Uber accident. One of them is the insurance coverage that is available to pay personal injury damages. An important legal question is which insurance policy should be applied to an Uber driver. Drivers are considered to be “contracted partners” by Uber. Some ongoing litigation has occurred in other states about what employment status these drivers have. Uber’s position following an accident that one of their drivers caused is that the company is not liable for that accident.
How Should I Report An Uber Accident?
Uber advises that the following steps should be taken by a passenger who is injured as a result of an accident:
- Check to make sure that everyone involved in the accident does not need emergency medical help
- If necessary, notify paramedics or law enforcement
- Call Uber
Uber encourages accident victims to go to the section of their app called “Trip and Fare Review” to indicate they have been in an accident, and then explain what has occurred. A team member of Uber will then collect the necessary information for moving forward with the claims process. Uber’s emergency hotline can also be called by injured parties in order to receive direction and immediate assistance.
How Does Uber’s Liability Insurance Work?
The Texas Legislature last year passed a new law requiring both Uber and Lyft drivers to carry more liability insurance. The terms of this statue require that Transportation Companies (TNCs) such as Uber must make sure that their drivers are carrying additional insurance coverage whenever they are using the ridesharing app. It is required even when they are not transporting any passengers.
Most drivers in Texas are required to carry $30,000 at least in liability insurance per individual who is injured in a car accident, $25,000 per accident for property damage, and $60,000 per accident. On the other hand, Uber drivers now must have additional coverage. For example, when Uber drivers have the app turned on, they are required to have $50,000 at least in liability insurance for each person, $25,000 minimum for property damage, and $100,000 per accident.
The coverage increases to $1 million when a passenger is being transported by the driver. Before this new law was passed, Uber was already providing its drivers with up to $1 million in commercial liability insurance. However, when no passengers are in the vehicle, injured victims and drivers are not covered. Texas law has now addressed this problem.
Insurance Issues Involved In Uber Cases
Uber drivers are required to have a commercial policy by the company that might or might not apply to an accident that the Uber driver’s negligence has caused. Briefly put, when an Uber driver causes an accident might be covered by one out of three different policies: an Uber commercial insurance policy, the Uber driver’s personal car insurance policy, or the passenger’s car insurance policy when the passengers had uninsured or underinsured coverage when the accident took place.
Which liability insurance policy covers an accident that an Uber driver caused will depend on the status of the driver at the time the accident took place. In practice, if an accident takes place when the Uber app was turned off, then the driver’s personal auto policy should apply. If the accident occurs while the app is turned on, then the personal auto insurance policy of the driver might be applied as the primary policy and the commercial policy might be applied as the secondary insurance policy. If an accident occurs during a ride, then the commercial Uber insurance policy will most likely apply for the accident.
It can be tricky to file a personal injury claim that stems from an Uber accident due to the fact that some car insurance policies can provide more coverage on personal injuries compared to others. At Gomel & Associates, fortunately, we understand insurance issues involved in ridesharing accidents and we have an outstanding and successful track record to help our clients receive maximum compensation.
If you become injured as a result of a rideshare accident involving an Uber driver, then you will have the right to seek legal damages for the injuries you have suffered. As discussed above, numerous car insurance policies might apply.
If I Was A Driver, Can I Sue Uber For A Car Accident?
There is a $1 million liability insurance policy that covers Uber drivers while transporting passengers. However, when an Uber driver is an accident that she or he did not cause, a claim will first need to be made under the insurance policy of the at-fault party. Uber’s insurance policy kicks in and covers the remaining damages amount after this policy is exceeded.
However, if the Uber driver is at fault, then Uber’s liability insurance automatically applies, however, only if passengers were being transported by the driver when the accident occurred. If the Uber’s app was turned on, but she or he did not have any passengers, the driver’s personal insurance policy will have to cover damages. However, after the damages exceed the personal limits of the driver, Uber’s insurance policy covers any amount that remains.
If the damages are more than Uber’s liability insurance coverage, then the injured driver can file a claim either against Uber or the at-fault driver, although it is very difficult to take action against Uber itself.
If I Was A Passenger Can I Sue Uber For My Accident?
A specific amount of liability insurance has been required to be carried by both Uber and the company’s drives since the early part of last year. When the driver’s policy is insufficient to cover all of the damage that an accident has caused and Uber refused to cover the additional compensation, then an injured passenger might need to file a lawsuit in court against the company, where they might be able to obtain damages for future and past medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering.
Attempting to file a claim against those kinds of large companies, unfortunately, is very difficult to do. Therefore, if you have been injured in a car accident while you were a passenger inside an Uber driver’s car, then you should seriously consider talking to an experienced and skilled Uber accident lawyer who can help to ensure your interests remain protected.
If My Uber Driver Was At Fault Can I Sue Uber?
Theoretically, a passenger who is injured in an accident that an Ube driver caused is covered up to $1 million. That is true even when the crash was caused by the other driver. However, even when the Uber driver was reckless or negligent, the company may not be sued for damages exceeding $1 million. That is because drivers are classified by Uber not as employees but as third-party service providers.
Instead, the driver can be sued by the injured party, however, it is not likely that she or he will be able to pay the amount of the damages that are required, so it might be in the best interests of the injured party to file a claim against the Uber driver’s insurance company.
If The Driver Was At Fault Can I Sue Uber?
Those who are in an Uber accident when it was caused by the other driver, first should seek compensation from the insurance company of the at-fault party. If the person was uninsured, then Uber’s underinsured/uninsured insurance policy kicks in up to a maximum of $1 million. However, only if the party who was injured as a passenger when the accident occurred. If Uber’s insurance policy is exceeded, then the injured person might want to file a lawsuit in court against the at-fault driver to seek additional damages.
Many drivers, unfortunately, are unable to pay compensation over their insurance policies amount. That can leave an injured party with medical bills to pay. If an Uber driver does not contribute to an accident and Uber paid the limit on its liability insurance policy, then the injured person will probably not be able to file a claim for compensation against Uber that is over that amount.
If I Was A Passenger In Another Car Hit By An Uber Driver Can I Sue Uber?
Uber’s liability insurance policy can provide coverage for injuries that their drivers cause if they had the app turned on while transporting a passenger. However, Uber claims its drivers are independent drivers and not employees, and therefore cannot be held liable for a driver’s recklessness or negligence. That means that the only remedy that is available to a person who is injured during an accident that involved an Uber driver is normally Uber’s liability insurance policy. However, that is not always the case.
An Uber driver, for example, whose app was turned off and was not transporting passengers is not covered by Uber’s insurance policy. She or he instead would have to pay the damages of the injury party from her or his personal liability insurance policy. If the insurance policy’s limits are excited, then the injured person could file a lawsuit in court against the driver for additional damages.
On the other hand, if the Uber driver had the app turned on, then Uber’s liability policy would apply as soon as the limits on the driver’s policy were exceeded. However, if a passenger was being transported by the driver, it would be possible for the injured party to immediately access Uber’s much bigger liability policy. If there were higher damages than the limits of the policy, the injured person could try filing a suit in court against Uber.
Unfortunately, usually, those claims are unsuccessful and often expensive and time-consuming. It might be better for injured parties to try to obtain compensation from their personal insurance policies or the policy of other people who were in the accident.
If I Was Hit While Walking Or On My Bicycle Can I Sue Uber?
Injured individuals who were not Uber passengers, but who were injured by an Uber driver are covered by Uber’s liability insurance if the driver’s app was turned on. In those situations, the driver’s personal insurance policy applies, and if the damages of the injured party exceed this amount then Uber’s liability insurance policy covers the excess.
However, if an Uber driver was off-duty, then the injured person will not be able to obtain compensation from Uber’s insurance policy. In those situations, the injured person might want to file a lawsuit in court against the driver.
What Damages Can I Recover From An Uber Accident Lawsuit?
How much compensation an accident victim will receive in a successful claim against Uber will depend on a number of different factors, including the following:
- The extent and severity of the injuries suffered during the accident
- How much the medical bills are and an estimated amount of future medical expenses that will have to be paid by the injured party
- The amount of property damaged sustained
- Whether or not the injured person was able to work due to the injury
- Whether the actions of the at-fault driver were intentional
After those factors are assessed, juries and courts might decide to award compensation for some or all of the expenses below:
- Future and past medical bills
- Property damage, including vehicle replacement or repair
- Lost wages for the period of time that an injured person was not able to work
- Loss of the injured person’s future earning capacity if the injuries were severe enough to result in a disability
- Pain and suffering caused by the accident
Receiving compensation might not allow a person to completely return to her or his state of health before the accident, it can significantly help an injured person start on their long recovery process.
Do I Need To Hire An Attorney To Sue Uber?
Although liability insurance is provided by Uber to cover injuries suffered by its drivers and passengers, accessing those policies can be difficult. That is mainly because insurance companies are usually eager to settle as soon as possible for the least amount. Unfortunately, many injured people who want to start being able to pay their medical bills often are persuaded to accept a low settlement amount when they deserve so much more.
Insurance companies might also try to eliminate or reduce the value of a claim by arguing that the injured person was at fault somehow. That is why it is so important to have the guidance and advice of an experienced and skilled Uber accident lawyer in order for the claimant to succeed. Our Uber accident attorneys have extensive experience in handling this type of claim and have access to the resources needed to successfully advocate on the behalf of an injured party in order to ensure the individual obtains maximum compensation for the injuries they have sustained by directly dealing with the insurance companies that are involved.
Call Gomel & Associates Today To Speak To Our Houston Uber Accident Lawyers
If you were injured in Houston in an Uber accident call Gomel & Associates today. Our attorneys have extensive experience with these kinds of cases. Your initial consultation is free. One of our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys will meet with you. We will answer whatever concerns and questions you might have. Then we will ask all of the right questions and review your case.
Our Uber accident attorneys know the way the law works in Texas. Unless there are some very strange circumstances, most likely you were not at fault for the accident. It is most likely the Uber driver’s fault. A third party could also be at fault. However, the Ube driver is always responsible if you were riding in their car.
You trusted your Uber driver but were injured as a result. That will not occur when you trust Gomel & Associates. Our personal injury attorneys in Houston will fight hard to ensure you receive the compensation that you deserve and need. We have a free consultation for you. You will not pay us anything until we have won your case. Allow the lawyers at Gomel & Associates to fight hard for you. That way, you will be able to focus on healing from your injuries and your recovery.
Give us a call today to get your free consultation scheduled. Our attorneys are here to talk to you.