The rideshare economy is paying off in a big way. People can get affordable rides almost immediately while drivers can make extra income to improve their financial situations.
But rideshares also come with their share of risks. When accepting a ride, you are getting in the car with a stranger. Although background checks are conducted, there is no guarantee they will drive safely on the road. An experienced Wilmington car accident lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of an Uber car accident case.
Combine that with the other hazards that are always present in traffic, and you never know what can happen!
Uber is a company almost synonymous with ridesharing. If you get into an accident in an Uber vehicle, things can get a little more complicated than they would be in other types of car collisions. Do you sue the Uber driver? The company itself? The driver of the other vehicle?
Fortunately for victims, Uber carries insurance that covers their drivers under certain circumstances, and drivers should also carry their own insurance policies. That said, insurance companies do everything they can to pay out as little as possible on every claim they receive. As former insurance defense lawyers, the team at Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys knows how to make insurance companies pay up. We are committed to helping every client we represent get the largest settlement or award possible. Call us today to schedule your free case evaluation.
Who Is At Fault for an Uber Car Accident?
When an Uber accident occurs, the first step is to determine who is at fault for the accident, the Uber driver or the other driver. If the other driver is at fault, they will be responsible for compensating anyone injured in the accident including drivers and passengers.
If the Uber driver is at fault, Uber will likely cover the accident. They have a large insurance policy that covers all their drivers. However, there are exceptions to the rules as follows.
- The Driver Was on His or Her Own Time: If the driver is not logged into the app, they are considered to be driving on their own time. If an accident occurs when the driver is not ‘on the clock’ he or she may have to use their own insurance to compensate injured parties.
- The Rideshare Driver is Waiting for a Ride: If the rideshare driver is logged in to the app but not carrying a passenger and gets into an accident, Uber will pay part of the tab. The general rule is that Uber will cover the driver’s liability up to $50,000 per person and $1,000,000 per event. However, this is considered excess coverage. So, if the rideshare driver carries less than this amount of coverage, Uber will make up the difference to cover the $50,000/$1,000,000 limit.
- The Driver is Carrying a Passenger: If a driver is riding with a passenger and an accident occurs, Uber insurance will kick in to cover up to $1.5 million per accident.
North Carolina legislature passed Senate Bill 541 in 2015 that provides legal guidelines for how Uber and other rideshare companies operate. Here are some of the rules and regulations in place:
- Companies are regulated and must have a registered agent and pay $5000 annually to keep their permits up to date.
- Drivers must carry minimum liability insurance of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident.
- Companies must carry at least $1.5 million in insurance to cover injuries to drivers while they are on the clock.
- Vehicles must undergo annual inspections to ensure they are up to safety standards.
- Drivers must undergo background checks to determine if they have a valid driver’s license and liability insurance. They can not have three or more moving violations or more than one moving violation within the past three years. They must also have a clean criminal record with no convictions for driving impaired, fraud, sex crimes, using a motor vehicle to commit a felony, property damage, theft, and act of violence and terror occurring in the past seven years.
If an accident occurs and it is found that Uber violated any of the laws listed above, they may be facing additional fines, whether these violations contributed to the accident or not.
Who is Responsible for Other Acts of Violence?
There may be incidents where an Uber driver exhibits behavior that is considered violent or sexually aggressive. Uber has zero tolerance for this behavior and will prohibit these drivers from accessing the app.
However, if there is a lawsuit, the victim will need to target the driver, not the company. Drivers are considered independent contractors and are, therefore, responsible for their own actions.
There is some talk of driver status being changed from independent contractor to employee. If those changes occur, laws concerning this type of aggressive behavior may be updated as well.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive If I Am Injured in an Uber Accident?
The compensation you may receive in an Uber accident will vary depending on the extent of your injuries and your personal situation. Here are some of the damages you may be looking at:
- Economic: Economic damages include immediate and ongoing medical expenses such as those needed for ongoing care, medications, prosthetics, etc. They also cover a loss of wages and a loss of future earning potential. Victims may incur a loss of earning potential if their injuries make them unable to perform the duties of their current position and they are forced to take a lower-paying position or if they can not go back to work at all.
- Noneconomic: Noneconomic damages include emotional and physical pain and suffering that is caused by injuries. Although it is difficult to put a monetary value on these non-tangible elements, your lawyer will use their years of experience to come up with a fair amount.
Why Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys are the Best Choice for Your North Carolina Uber Accident Claim
Uber accidents can be complex. It is difficult to determine who is responsible for injuries and damages that occur. You need a good lawyer on your side.
Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys have years of experience dealing with Wilmington, North Carolina Uber car accident claims. We will identify at-fault parties and make sure you are properly compensated. We are known for our caring attitude, our affordable rates, and our winning results, and our experience working for insurance companies means we know how to get our clients the compensation they deserve.
Dealing with a lawsuit is stressful. Call Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys to schedule a free consultation. We will take the stress off your shoulders and see to it that you get the outcome you deserve.