Ride sharing services have gained popularity over recent years in replacing other public transport options in busy cities. Big name companies, like Uber, have dominated the ride sharing scene with their app-based systems that allow riders to effortlessly order transportation. Although companies like Uber have excelled in customer satisfaction, mistakes still happen. Uber drivers remain susceptible to driver error, sometimes causing collisions, or other stressful situations, that cause passenger injury.
Can I Sue Uber?
You might question whether you are within your rights as a passenger to sue a ride sharing service for damages that occur during transit. If you sustained injuries as a result of an incident that occurred while utilizing Uber’s services, you can sue the company.
Initially, there were issues when riders sought compensation for injuries caused by drivers because Uber did not offer any sort of insurance. Drivers only carried their own personal insurance, which didn’t provide coverage when the insured driver was commercially operating a vehicle. As a result, drivers were defenseless because ride sharing services count as a commercial operation.
According to California’s Vehicle Code Section 5430, Uber must now provide $1 million in insurance coverage for accidents involving their drivers. This includes insurance for wrongful death, personal injury, and property damage.
What to Do After an Accident
After a collision involving Uber’s services, it is important to remember you are an active participant in the incident. This means, while your Uber driver is exchanging insurance information with the other driver, you can collect evidence in the way you would if you were driving your own vehicle.
Although you don’t need to worry about property and/or vehicular damage, you should still take pictures of the damaged Uber vehicle. You should also record your account of the incident for future reference. Writing down your experience right after it occurs will ensure you don’t forget any important details between the accident and your first recollection of the incident. This is also useful when providing statements to insurance companies and/or the court because you will always have a solid account of the incident to stick to. This prevents you from changing the story based on faulty memory, which could cause issue when presenting evidence.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
While there is no hard-and-fast rule requiring you to hire an attorney while settling after an accident, it is best to at least consult with a professional before interacting with Uber’s insurance adjustors. No company wants to lose money in personal injury claims. Therefore, claims adjustors are not the friendliest and often take advantage of unknowledgeable individuals when it comes to negotiating a claim. For example, many adjustors will make an offer up front – lawyers caution that this initial offer most likely doesn’t reflect the damages the accident caused.
A lawyer can advise you on the general filing process as well as how to speak to the insurance adjustors when they reach out to you to begin negotiations. A lawyer will also teach you about the different types of damage you can claim after an accident caused by a ride-sharing service. For instance, not all claimants are aware they can claim:
- Punitive damages
- Current and future medical bills related to the accident
- Current and future lost wages resulting from time spent in recovery
- Current and future diminished income, if their injuries impact the claimant’s ability to work
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress.
When involved in a collision caused by an Uber driver, you can certainly press charges against the company for causing damage. And although you can pursue this process on your own, it is typically wise to hire a lawyer to advise you when suing large companies like Uber. Call an Uber sexual assault lawyer from Estey & Bomberger today for a free consultation (844) 848-3149.