By Logan Quirk
Ridesharing has become an integral element of everyday life for many of us. The convenience the service offers is hard to shy away from, but as always, there is risk involved, and the odds of your involvement in an Uber car accident are not zero.
Of course, being in an accident when you’re driving your own car is different from being a passenger during an Uber ride. Matters can get complicated quickly if you are hurt during your Uber trip because securing fair compensation won’t be easy.
Working with an experienced attorney is essential if you want to receive what is rightfully yours. It would also help immensely if you can educate yourself better regarding this complex issue.
The Statistics You Need to Know
We’re not telling you that ridesharing services like Uber are not safe. Obviously, they are or else they wouldn’t be in business for this long.
Still, accidents do happen on the road, and Uber drivers and passengers are not exempted from them.
The Association for Safe International Road Travel notes that around 4.4 million people annually wind up with injuries serious enough to warrant medical attention following their involvement in a car accident.
In their safety report, Uber tallied 97 fatal crashes reported to their app across both 2017 and 2018. Keep in mind those are only fatal accidents.
Uber did not provide any statistics indicating how many non-fatal accidents took place involving their drivers and passengers. Speaking to Tech Crunch, a spokesperson for the company said that they did not provide that data because reporting those cases would be more difficult due to insufficient tracking.
The reality is that we don’t know how many accidents involving Uber happen on a yearly basis. What is clear, though, is that you need to safeguard yourself better against a potential incident.
What You Should Do if You’re Involved in an Uber Car Accident
Being involved in a vehicular accident can be disorienting and that’s true regardless of how minor the incident is. During the chaos, you may forget to do certain things that could lead to you endangering yourself in the short-term and potentially costing you a significant amount of money in the long run as well.
Included below are the most important things for you to do following your involvement in an Uber car accident.
Check Yourself for Any Injuries
Following an accident, the first thing you should do is to check your body for injuries. See if you’ve sustained any scratches, wounds, or broken bones.
If you’ve noticed that you have sustained serious injuries, it’s best to stay still as much as possible.
Check on Your Uber Driver
After determining the extent of your injuries, turn your attention to your driver. See if your driver is conscious or injured in any way.
Indicate that an Accident Has Taken Place to Others
If you were driving your own vehicle, you can probably move your car to safety. As the passenger during an Uber ride, that is not advisable.
Getting into the driver seat and moving the vehicle yourself could be risky. Instead of doing that, step outside of the vehicle and make it clear to other drivers that an accident has taken place so they can move away.
Ideally, you’re already placing a call to 911 as you’re notifying other drivers that an accident has taken place. Do not hesitate to place an emergency call regardless of how minor or major the incident you’re involved in is.
Apart from providing aid for those injured at the scene of the accident, emergency workers and police can help you in other ways. As you’ll soon learn, the police will be essential to your efforts in receiving fair compensation.
Gather Information and Evidence
Once the situation is under control, you can now start to collect important details that will be instrumental to your case. This is why you need to work with the police who arrive at the scene of the accident.
They will help you get the necessary pieces of information, such as the names and addresses of the drivers involved. The police may also help you get a hold of other identifying details such as the plate numbers, license numbers, and car descriptions.
You should also seek information regarding insurance policies with the police nearby so that the drivers involved don’t withhold any essential details.
Go ahead and capture some pictures to use as evidence with your smartphone. Talking to witnesses may also prove useful later on.
The details on the Uber app are also important as they will prove that you were a passenger at the time of the accident. Use your smartphone to take a screenshot of the open app to record the details of your trip.
Lastly, don’t forget to get the names and badge numbers of the police officers who are at the scene of the accident. Their help can prove immensely valuable when it comes time for you to put together a claim against the party who are responsible.
Go to a Hospital
One last thing you should do before going home after the accident is to stop by a hospital and have a doctor check you. Even if you feel fine, going to the doctor is still advisable.
You may have a concussion or broken something that you have not noticed yet. Go ahead and have a doctor check you before you resume the rest of your day or head home.
Determining Who Is to Blame for the Accident Will Be Crucial
While you’re in the middle of gathering evidence and other details pertinent to the accident you may soon start to get a better idea of who is to blame for what happened. The police may also have an idea of who is going to shoulder the blame for the accident. That’s another reason you should maintain contact with the authorities while the matters regarding the Uber car accident are still being settled.
The chain of events that will unfold in the aftermath of the accident will depend on who the police determine to be responsible.
What Happens if the Uber Driver Is Deemed Not at Fault for the Accident?
Relatively speaking, things will be easier to deal with if the authorities determine that your Uber driver was not the one responsible for the accident.
If you want compensation because of the negligent actions of the driver led to your injury, you can do that. Work with a lawyer to send a personal injury claim to that driver’s insurance provider and proceed from there.
Now that there’s money at stake here, you cannot rely on things going smoothly from start to finish. Many insurance companies are not happy with paying out on every claim, so you should still expect a struggle to take place.
Even so, this scenario is more favorable compared to the alternative.
What Happens if Your Uber Driver Is Deemed at Fault for the Accident?
Upon completing their investigation, the police could find that your Uber driver is the one who should shoulder the blame for the accident. If that happens, you should brace yourself for a potentially long and drawn out legal ordeal.
The first thing you should do is file a claim to your own insurance provider. If you have coverage for car accidents where you are the passenger, that may be enough to at least cover your medical bills.
Of course, you cannot allow the party responsible not to be held accountable.
Your next move should be to send an insurance claim to Uber’s provider. Uber’s policy typically allots around $ 1 million in coverage. For passengers who only sustained minor injuries, the payout from Uber’s insurance provider may be enough to cover everything and a case may no longer need to go to court.
However, that $1 million amount may not be enough if you were seriously injured during the accident or if there were multiple passengers present inside the vehicle. This is where you may need to file an additional claim.
This time around, you should send the claim to your own auto insurance provider. You are specifically filing an underinsured motorist claim. The additional money you receive from this claim may be enough to cover all of your accident-related expenses.
How Much Can You Expect to Receive from Uber?
There are several factors you must consider when you are sending a claim to Uber.
To get fair compensation, you will need to consider your medical expenses and the wages you lost because of the accident. They should provide compensation for any damage to your property as well as the pain and suffering you are dealing with.
It’s not easy determining how much to ask for in compensation. Consult with a lawyer when trying to put together your claim to ensure that you get a fair amount.
What Happens after Sending Your Claim to Uber
It would be nice if Uber handed out fair payouts to all injured passengers. As you might have already suspected, though, that does not always happen.
Uber is in the business of making money and the same goes for their insurance provider. They are not going to hand out $1 million payouts to every injured passenger who requests it.
In all likelihood, Uber and their insurance company will work to negotiate your claim down to as low as they can, and you may let them so you can put this whole problem behind you. That wouldn’t be right.
That’s why it’s so important to hire a lawyer who has plenty of experience dealing with Uber and personal injury cases. Your lawyer can tell you if the offer you’re getting from Uber is fair and if you should accept it.
Conversely, if your lawyer sees that Uber is trying to take advantage of you, they may advise you to take the matter to court.
Before we wrap things up, let’s talk about a few other things you should know when dealing with Uber as an injured passenger.
For instance, it’s possible that there is a statute of limitations set for when you can file a case related to a car accident. These statutes usually last for years, but you may be surprised by how slowly the claims process moves.
You need to know that time is of the essence. Once you’re feeling back to normal following the accident, it would be wise to link up with a personal injury lawyer and start working on your claim and potential case.
It’s also in the best interests of injured passengers to avoid speaking with Uber and their insurance provider in the immediate aftermath of an accident. We already talked about how Uber and their insurance provider are incentivized to minimize the amount of money they need to pay.
By contacting you early on, they may attempt to lure you into an agreement that would lead to you being unfairly compensated. Whenever Uber and their insurance provider come calling, the best move is to direct them to your lawyer.
Uber and other ridesharing services have made commuting a more convenient experience. While they also do what they can to keep their passengers safe, accidents may still take place.
Dealing with Uber can be a nightmarish ordeal if you are still reeling from an accident. Make sure that you don’t get the raw end of a deal by partnering up with a lawyer as you talk to Uber.
Contact the Quirk Law Group right away if you want your negotiations with Uber to turn out as well as they possibly can.