Rideshare companies are a lifesaver – literally. People can now call an Uber to come to pick them up rather than driving drunk. People who have suspended or revoked driver’s licenses can avoid getting behind the wheel. They just have to call Uber. For a few bucks, they can get a safe ride to wherever it is they’re going. In fact, companies like Uber are one of the best inventions we’ve seen in quite some time. One of the problems with Uber drivers is that, like everyone else, they get into accidents. Nobody’s perfect. Uber drivers are human. They speed, get distracted and lose control of their car. If this happens and you are injured as a result, you should contact an Uber accident lawyer in Georgia. Your Uber accident lawyer will make sure you are fully compensated for your injuries.
Types of Uber Accidents on Our Roads Today
There are many types of Uber accidents that take place on our roads today. We tend to think that these drivers are perfect because they’re professional. However, they’re just as likely to get into an accident as you or me.
Some of the most common types of Uber accidents are:
An Uber driver could lose control of their car and swerve into oncoming traffic. Or, another driver could end up crashing head-on into the Uber car you’re riding in. These accidents can be very dangerous and cause life-changing injuries.
Uber drivers are under a lot of pressure to get their passengers to their destinations on time. It’s the same with taxi drivers. This can cause them to drive a little faster than they should. They’re trying to fit as many rides into their day as possible. This is how they make so much money.
Uber drivers are constantly using GPS. They’re also worried about communicating with other customers. This can cause them to be distracted. This is in addition to them being human. Uber drivers are just as likely as anyone else to drive distracted. They should be more careful because this is their livelihood. However, their distracted driving can still cause an accident.
Reckless or careless driving
We would hope that an Uber driver wouldn’t drive recklessly. But it happens. For Uber drivers who drive in the city, they may be more aggressive than they should be. They’re trying to navigate busy streets and beat traffic. This can cause them to be a bit more careless than they should be.
These accidents are common no matter what type of driver you are. Given the fact that Uber drivers are on the road so many hours a day, it makes sense that they may get into a rear-end accident.
These are the same types of accident you would have if you were driving your own car. The difference is that when you get into an Uber, you are promised a safe ride. You should not have to expect to be involved in a car accident when you get a ride from your Uber driver. If something goes wrong, you are going to need to contact an Uber accident lawyer in Lawrenceville.
Who Can Be Sued for Uber Accidents?
Things can be complicated enough when you get into a car accident. Imagine how complicated they get when you’re riding in Uber. Not only do you have to worry about what your driver does, but you also have to worry about other drivers on the road.
There can be a number of people responsible for an Uber accident. These parties include:
- Your Uber driver
- A third-party driver on the road
- A pedestrian
- The company that services the vehicle
- The car’s manufacturer is there’s a defect
- The company that maintains the roads if your accident is caused by road conditions
Your Lawrenceville Uber accident lawyer will file a claim against all responsible parties. It’s important that he do this from the start. You won’t be able to go back and add parties down the road.
Your lawyer will advise you to file insurance claims against all possible policies. If you aren’t sure which party is directly responsible for your injuries, be smart. You’re better filing a claim against two policies than one. Insurance companies require that you file a claim within a few days of your accident. If you miss this deadline, your claim will be denied.
You can only recover for injuries you actually suffer. You can’t collect the same damages against multiple parties. So, if the Uber driver’s insurance company pays your claim, you can’t file a lawsuit against a third-party. The only way you can do this is if your paid claim is limited to damages caused by the Uber driver.
Thankfully, your lawyer has experience handling these types of cases. He knows exactly what to do the get you the most compensation possible. He’ll join whatever parties he feels could be liable for your injuries.
Most Uber Lawsuits are Based on Negligence
Negligence works the same way in every state. Negligence, by definition, just means that the defendant didn’t behave the way he should and, as a result, you were hurt. There are four basic elements of a negligence case. Your Lawrenceville personal injury lawyer has to prove all four elements in order to win your lawsuit:
- The defendant had a duty of care
- He breached this duty
- You were injured
- Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach of his duty
It’s worth taking a look at each of these elements in detail.
What does it mean to say the defendant had a duty of care? Well, it means he was required to act in a certain way. For example, a cook has a duty to only serve food that is cooked properly. A doctor has a duty to diagnose his patients promptly and correctly.
Different defendants have different duties of care. Some of the most common duties involved in negligence cases include:
- Daycare workers – Have a duty to care for your child. They must keep your child safe while in their care. This means they keep things like sharp objects and chemicals away from your child. it also means they must pay attention to what the kids are doing at all times.
- Mechanics – Have a duty to repair your car properly. They must quality ingredients and the right tools. They must return cars to their customers that run properly and safely. This means they don’t use tires that are drily rotted. Nor can they use the wrong kind of oil in your engine.
- Store owners – Have a duty to keep their stores clean and free of debris. They must make sure their floors are safe and that their customers don’t trip on their shelving.
- Plastic Surgeons – Have a duty to perform the proper procedure on the right body parts. They must use sterile equipment and warn their clients of any dangers. They must also provide their patients with proper aftercare instructions.
- Drivers – Rideshare and cab drivers must operate their cars in a safe manner. They must obey the rules of the road and all traffic laws. They cannot operate their vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Now that we’ve talked about what duties exist, we can look at how these duties may be breached. Some common examples of breaches of duties of care are:
- Doctors who perform surgery while under the influence of alcohol
- Daycare workers who allow a child to wander off and touch a hot stove
- Uber drivers who drive recklessly and hit a pedestrian
- Restaurants who serve undercooked meat
This part of the negligence case is pretty obvious. You have to suffer legitimate injuries in order to file a negligence claim.
Your lawyer must prove that your injuries were caused by the accident. Unless you have a pre-existing condition, this should be easy for your lawyer to prove. The defendant may claim that you were responsible for your accident. If they do that, your lawyer will have to prove that the defendant is at fault.
Your Uber Driver Owes a Duty of Care to His Passengers
As we’ve discussed, most claims are based on negligence. When we look at an Uber accident, it’s not difficult to prove negligence. We’ll take a look at how negligence would apply to an Uber accident.
Clearly, the Uber driver owes his passengers a duty of care. It is his job to get you to your destination safely. He’s required to obey all traffic laws. He must not speed or drive carelessly. He owes it to you to keep you safe.
The Uber driver also owes a duty of care to other drivers on the road. Just like you, he must pay attention to the road. He can’t drive when he’s under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Nor can he drive when he’s overtired.
If your Uber driver breaches this duty, he may cause an accident. As a passenger in his car, you’re very vulnerable. You have absolutely no control in the backseat of his vehicle. You have to trust that he won’t do something that causes an accident.
If your driver does get into an accident, you’re at great risk of being hurt. Although rear passengers are at a lower risk of injury than the driver, this doesn’t mean you won’t suffer serious injuries.
If you do get injured in an Uber accident, it won’t be hard to prove that the accident caused your injuries. If the Uber driver isn’t careful, you could both get hurt. Your Uber accident lawyer in Lawrenceville will prove that he is guilty of negligence.
If the Uber driver is found to be negligent, you will be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Whether this is paid through the driver’s insurance company or Uber’s policy isn’t important. You don’t care so much who pays – as long as you are compensated fairly.
How Does Insurance Work for Uber Drivers?
One problem with Uber accidents is you’re not sure whose insurance policy you should file your claim against. Your best bet is filing your claim against two insurance companies: the Uber driver’s personal car insurance company and the Uber company policy.
These policies are probably with different insurance companies. The issue is one claim may not cover all of your damages. This is why you want to have the second claim filed just in case. Your Uber accident lawyer in Lawrenceville will make sure both policies are addressed.
Georgia law requires that either the Uber driver or the transportation company maintain the following insurance levels:
- $100K coverage for personal bodily injury
- $50K per person per accident
- $50K property loss per accident
Uber must also maintain insurance for their drivers. This doesn’t mean they’ll be quick to pay your claim. They’d rather their drivers’ insurance cover accidents. But at least you know their policy is there should you need to pursue a claim.
What is Uber Doing to Prevent and Detect Accidents?
Uber is aware that their drivers are at risk of getting into accidents. It’s their greatest liability. Aside from paying their drivers, this is probably their greatest expense. This is why they go to great lengths to track their drivers. They want to be able to track and detect accidents as much as they can.
Uber uses very intense GPS tracking on their drivers. They could tell you at any moment where one of their drivers are. They have real-time tracking information. This is because they want to be able to refer to this information should they get sued.
The flip side to this is that this information is also available to your Lawrenceville Uber accident attorney. If you get hurt in an Uber accident, your lawyer will need to prove that the accident took place. He’ll also have to prove that the Uber driver (or a third party) was at fault. One way to do this is to use the information tracked by Uber.
For example, if a driver claims that he dropped you off prior to his accident taking place, you can prove if this is true. There will be GPS information for every moment that driver is logged into Uber’s system. This system also tracks passenger destination information.
If your driver claims he dropped you off three blocks prior to getting into an accident, you can prove if this is the case. The tracking data collected by Uber may prove that you were not yet dropped off at your destination at the time of the accident.
What Kind of Evidence Can Your Lawyer Use in an Uber Accident?
Just as with any other car accident, you’ll need to prove your case. Your Uber accident lawyer in Georgia will have to rely on all kinds of evidence to do this.
A few things your attorney will use to prove your case are:
The police report
Your Uber driver will have to call the police if he’s involved in an accident. This report will contain vital information, including:
- A description of the accident scene and road conditions
- The names of any other drivers involved
- Names and contact information for any eyewitnesses
- Pictures of the scene
- Insurance information for the drivers
- Statements made by any of the drivers
- Notation of any traffic citations given out, including DUI
Your lawyer will rely on any witness statements provided. If people saw the accident, they may give a statement. Your lawyer can interview these witnesses. He can even call them to testify if your case goes to trial.
One of the great things about Uber drivers is that they have dashcams. They do this for your protection and their own. These videos can help prove who was at fault in an Uber accident. This is true for both the Uber driver and any other drivers who may have been involved.
Your lawyer will submit proof of your injuries. This is why it’s so important that you go to the hospital immediately following your accident. You need documentation to prove that you were injured.
Your attorney may have to call on your doctors to testify as to your injuries. This is especially true for injuries such as whiplash which can’t be proven through medical tests.
You may need to hire an expert witness to testify as to causation. There are accident recreation specialists who do nothing but this. They can determine the likely cause of an accident based on the scene and the damage to the vehicles.
Your lawyer will subpoena records to demonstrate the Uber driver’s history. If he has been in accidents in the past, it can help show that he is a careless driver.
Proving your Uber accident case may not be easy. But with the help of this evidence, your lawyer will have a chance to prove that the driver was at fault.
What Types of Injuries Could You Suffer in an Uber Accident?
Some Uber accidents are very minor. Other than some property damages, nobody gets seriously injured. However, some other accident can be quite serious. You may suffer some pretty severe injuries.
Some of the most common types of injuries caused by an Uber accident include:
- Head and brain injuries – If your Uber is involved in a head-on collision, you may suffer a severe blow to the head. This type of impact can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI.) TBIs often lead to lifelong problems. You may suffer permanent disability. Symptoms of a TBI include:
- Memory loss
- Vision impairment
- Inability to communicate
Anyone of these things can cause permanent disability. You may not be able to do the same work you did prior to the accident. Your Uber accident lawyer will work hard to get you the maximum compensation for your injuries.
- Back injuries – Even minor accidents often lead to back injuries. Common back injuries include disc herniations and muscle strains. Most back injuries require surgery and physical therapy. This will lead to some hefty medical bills. You’ll also miss a lot of time from work. Your Georgia Uber accident lawyer will make sure your insurance claim includes these expenses. If your claim isn’t paid, you’ll have to file a lawsuit to hold the Uber driver and company accountable.
- Neck injuries – Whiplash is a very common injury. If your Uber drive is hit from behind, you could suffer the brunt of the impact. This could cause serious neck injuries. You must seek medical attention immediately after the accident to make sure your injuries aren’t life-threatening.
- Internal Injuries – The scariest kind of injuries are internal injuries. This is because they’re hard to detect. If left untreated, they can be fatal. There’s no way to know that you have internal injuries. The only way to know is to go to the hospital. They’ll perform the necessary tests to see if you have any. Some of the most common types of internal injuries include:
- Internal bleeding
- Ruptured organs
- An aneurysm
- Swelling of the brain
How Does Uber Screen their Drivers?
Uber does try to make sure their drivers are careful. The last thing they want to do is have one of their drivers kill or seriously injure a passenger. They also don’t want to have to pay out large insurance claims. This is why they screen all of their drivers before they’re hired.
Uber uses the following measures to screen their drivers:
- You must be 21 with at least three (3) years driving experience in the United State OR be 25 years old with at least one (1) year driving in the US
- You must have an in-state driver’s license
- Also, you must carry personal auto insurance and be listed on that policy
- You need a clean driving record
- You need a social security number to pass the criminal background check
Uber also checks their applicant’s criminal background to make sure they don’t hire drivers who are at risk of harming their clients. Uber looks at the following:
- They run background checks on their drivers every year
- They go back seven (7) years
- Applicants can’t have any felonies, violent crime or sexual crimes
- You cannot be on a sex offender registry
You can tell that Uber is serious about only employing safe drivers. The problem is that they don’t get updated information in real time. This means that an Uber driver could get a DUI on the weekend and return to work on Monday. Until the next year’s background check is done, Uber won’t find out about recent driving offenses.
What Kind of Damages Can I Claim in an Uber Accident?
You can claim the same kind of damages in an Uber accident case as in any other car accident case. The only thing you won’t really claim is property damage. Since it isn’t your vehicle, you don’t have to worry about damage to your car.
Some of the damages your Uber accident lawyer will claim includes:
- Medical Bills – You are entitled to be covered for any medical bills caused by the accident. This also includes future medical bills. Your injuries may leave you permanently disabled. You may need future medical treatment such as physical therapy or surgery. Your lawyer will make sure your claim includes these types of damages.
- Lost wages – If you miss work due to your injuries, you are entitled to compensation. Now, you can’t miss a day or two of work and file a lawsuit. You have to miss a substantial amount of time. A safe rule of thumb to use is the seven-day rule. If you miss at least seven days from work, you can file a claim for damages.
- Pain and Suffering – This is where a large part of most settlements comes from. Pain and suffering are intended to compensate you for mental and emotional anguish. For example. if the accident leaves you depressed and anxious, you may be entitled to compensation.
Your lawyer will have to prove your damages. He’ll do this using the same kind of evidence he’d use in a regular accident case. Some of the ways he’ll prove your damages include:
- Medical bills
- Pay sheets and tax records
- Testimony from your doctors as to future medical treatment needed
- Statements from family members about the level of pain you are in
- Proof that you can no longer do the same work as before
- Evidence that you are no longer able to enjoy the same activities as before
- Your own testimony about your pain and suffering
The judge or jury will review all of this information and determine how much your damages should be. Your Uber accident lawyer is going to the right to get you every penny you deserve.
Will My Uber Accident Case Settle Out of Court?
Most accident cases settle out of court. The same is true for Uber accidents. Nobody wants to go to trial. Trials are expensive and time-consuming. It could be months or even years before your case is resolved.
This is why attorneys for both sides work hard to come to a settlement. Settlements can happen at any time. If your insurance claim is denied, you may have to file a lawsuit. Once you file suit, settlement negotiations will usually begin.
Your attorney will let you know of any settlement offers made by the defendant. He can’t reject or accept a settlement without talking to you. The only time he can is if you tell him that a certain amount is an absolute minimum you’d ever accept.
If you do settle, you’ll have to sign a release. This means that you can’t go after the defendant later on for more money. This is one of the risks of a legal settlement. There is always the chance that you could find out months later that your injuries were worse than you thought. However, you take the same risk in court.
With a settlement, you don’t face the possibility that a jury would find against you. If you go to trial, there is no guarantee you’d win. You could end up with nothing. Your lawyer knows this. He doesn’t want to put hundreds of man-hours in only to end up with nothing.
Your Lawrenceville Uber accident lawyer has your best interests at heart. He isn’t going to advise you to do something that’s not in your best interests. He’ll work hard to negotiate a settlement that is fair.
Contact an Uber Accident Attorney in Lawrenceville Today
If you are hurt in an Uber accident, you need to contact an Uber accident attorney in Lawrenceville today. The attorneys at the John B. Jackson firm have years of experience handling these types of cases. They will do what it takes to get you the compensation you deserve.
The insurance company and Uber are going to have lawyers working for them. They will try to get you to accept a low-ball offer. They will not take you seriously if you’re not represented by an attorney. This is why it’s important that you contact a lawyer immediately following your accident.
Call and schedule your initial consultation today. It’s absolutely free and it gives you a chance to discuss your case with an experienced Uber accident attorney. The attorneys at the John B. Jackson firm have the experience you need when it comes to your accident claim. Call and discuss your case today. It costs you nothing and – remember – you pay nothing until you settle your case!