Uber has brought many advantages to the Dallas area in helping people in getting inexpensive and convenient transportation. Rideshare has created thousands of new jobs, and because of the low cost and ease of use, has decreased rates of drunk driving. But despite these benefits, Uber can also be problematic, particularly regarding how it handles car accidents. If you are involved in an accident with an Uber driver it is important that you contact an Uber accident attorney immediately to help maximize your claim.
Why Uber Can Be Risky
Uber drivers spend long hours on the road, frequently driving in unfamiliar areas, sometimes dealing with distracting passengers, and often having to check their phone while driving.
Uber does screen their drivers before hiring them, and most are safe and responsible. However, with more and more Uber drivers hitting the road this increases the likelihood of accidents involving Uber vehicles. There have also been a number of instances where Uber drivers have slipped through the cracks of their vetting process and Uber has hired individuals with criminal records. These individuals should have never been allowed to become Uber drivers and this leaves Uber open for litigation.
While the majority of Uber drivers are properly vetted employees, they are also human, which may lead them to be involved in car accidents. With an increasing number of Uber drivers flooding the market it makes them compete harder for passengers, which may cause them to take more risks in order to get that fare. These may be speeding, aggressive driving and failing to obey traffic laws, which can all lead to accidents.
Gaps in Uber Insurance Coverage: What Uber Drivers Need to Know
If you are an Uber driver, you are insured in the event of an accident — but only if it happens during a certain period. Once a driver turns on the Uber app, the level of eligible coverage depends on their situation. There are three different situations:
- The app is on and you are waiting for a request. In this situation, the company insures you for liability coverage only, and only if your own insurance policy does not cover you in this situation. You may be able to fill the gap by purchasing supplemental rideshare insurance.
- You have accepted a ride request and are on your way to pick up a passenger.
- The passenger is in your car and you are headed to the destination.
During the second and third situations, Uber will fully cover you with up to $1 million in liability, as well as comprehensive and collision coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
One important note here: if the accident happens during the second period, then Uber may try to deny that you had accepted the rideshare request. You should take a screenshot of the accepted request immediately after an accident, if you are in an accident on your way to pick up a passenger.
What Uber Passengers Need to Know
Uber fully insures all its passengers. If you were injured as a passenger in an Uber vehicle, you are entitled to compensation. Passengers who ride in Uber vehicles have every right to expect that they will arrive at their destination safely. If Uber cannot provide this level of service to them, then these passengers can and should exercise their right to seek damages.
If you experience any difficulty in receiving the compensation you are rightfully owed, it is important that you hire an Uber accident lawyer to ensure that Uber follows through on its commitments.
If you are in an Uber accident, take the same steps you would take after any automobile accident:
- Protect your own safety, and move out of traffic
- Call 911 for injuries
- Remain at the scene and share insurance and contact information with others involved
- Call the police if the accident is serious
- Report the incident to your insurance company
In addition, you should begin to collect evidence at the scene. Take photographs of the scene and damages, collect the names and contact information of witnesses, and order a copy of the police accident report (if an officer responded to the scene).
With Uber accidents, there is an extra step: you must contact the company and inform them that an accident has happened. Other than the initial report, don’t talk to Uber or their insurance agents without a lawyer present! Don’t accept any offers, even if they seem generous. Uber insurance is there to minimize your claim and save the company money, they are not there to help you. Retaining the services of an experienced Uber accident attorney is a vital piece of dealing with your Uber accident, they will assist you in maximizing your claim.
Individuals involved in Uber accidents are encouraged to call the Law Offices of David Kohm. Call one of our law offices at any one of our convenient locations today and get a free consultation with an Uber accident attorney. We can be reached at:
Arlington (817) 522-4451
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