More than 40 million people ride Uber around the world. The rideshare company operates in 500 cities globally with more than a million drivers. Uber vehicles have not only become a source of full-time or part-time employment for many in this gig economy, but have also become a preferred means of transportation for millions of riders. You could get ride with a swipe of the finger on your smartphone and it is often much cheaper than taking a cab.
However, the convenience and economy does come at a price. Passengers who get injured in Uber accidents often find themselves stuck with regard to legal options. Many struggle to hold the rideshare company accountable for the negligence of an Uber driver, who operates as a contractor. If you have been injured in an Uber car accident in Montgomery County PA, you need an experienced car accident lawyer who can help you navigate these relatively unchartered waters. Our Uber accident lawyers can assist you with filing a claim and helping ensure that you are fairly compensated for your losses.
What to Do After an Uber Accident
Here are a few things you can do after an Uber car accident to make sure that your rights are protected:
- Remain calm and make sure everyone is okay. If you or someone else is injured, call emergency personnel right away by dialing 911. It is important that everyone who is injured gets medical car right away.
- File a police report. If it is an accident on a public roadway, police will very likely show up to the crash scene. Be sure to get a name and badge number for the police officer who responds and make sure the officer has your account of what occurred. Obtain a copy of this report, which is usually available at the police department a few days later.
- Get prompt medical attention and treatment for any injuries you may have suffered. If necessary, ride the ambulance to the nearest emergency room. Pay your doctor a visit if you don’t think you may have been seriously injured. Many car accident injuries don’t manifest until several days after the car accident. The sooner you go to your doctor, the greater your chances for a quick and full recovery. Preserve all medical records, documents and invoices linked to your Uber car accident injuries.
- Document the crash scene to the best of your ability. Shoot video and get photos on your cell phone. Talk to people who may have scene what happened and get their contact information. This information may not be available later if you miss that critical window. Crash scenes disperse and clear out pretty quickly.
- Get your Uber driver’s full name, vehicle license plate, the make and model of the vehicle, and auto insurance information.
- Contact an experienced Montgomery County PA Uber accident lawyer who will help you avoid the pitfalls during the claims process and provide you with quality legal representation against a large corporations such as Uber.
What You Need to Know About Uber
Liability is a tricky issue when it comes to Uber car accidents. This is because Uber maintains it’s not a transportation company or taxi service. Instead it’s a technological platform that connects riders with drivers using a smartphone app. Uber doesn’t employ its drivers. Instead, drivers are independent contractors with Uber. So, it’s important to understand how Uber’s insurance works and during what periods drivers are considered to be “on the job” for Uber.
Once the app is turned on, an Uber driver’s time is categorized into three periods. The first is when the driver waits for a ride request from the passenger. Uber does not take responsibility for any accidents that happen before a driver accepts a passenger. This is because the rideshare company considers these drivers to be contractors rather than employees. So, they don’t believe they should be held accountable for what the driver does when he or she is off the clock. Uber considers drivers to be on the job only after a rider has asked for a ride. If you are involved in an accident during this initial period, you may have to claim compensation through the driver’s personal auto insurance policy.
The second period is when the driver is accepted a passenger’s ride request and is on his or her way to pick up the passenger. This is when the driver goes “on duty.” This is however a tricky period. If the Uber driver gets involved in an accident when he or she is on the way to pick up a passenger, he or she may have to cancel the ride. And that takes the driver off the clock. The third period is when the passenger is already in the vehicle. These are the most straightforward cases when it comes to Uber car accidents. Since the passenger is in the vehicle, Uber considers the driver to be on the job and has a $1 million liability policy to cover injured passengers.
Evaluating Your Options
So, does it mean you won’t get compensated if you get in an Uber car accident during one of the “tricky” periods? This is not true. Each Uber car accident case is unique. The facts and circumstances of every case are unique. Depending on the nature and circumstances of your incident, you may have one or several options including filing a lawsuit against Uber, going after the Uber driver’s insurance company or filing a lawsuit against a third party who may have caused or contributed to the accident. In cases where the Uber driver is underinsured or doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to compensate you, you may be able to seek compensation through the uninsured motorist clause of your own auto insurance policy.
The knowledgeable Montgomery County PA Uber accident lawyers at KaplunMarx have a long and successful track record of representing the rights of crash victims and their families. We can help you obtain much-needed compensation to cover medical expenses, lost income and other damages relating to the Uber crash. Call us to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.