It is now easier than it ever has been to get transportation. The days of waiting long periods of time for a taxi are over. Uber has revolutionized the private transportation industry. The company has put more cars on the street and made getting from one place to another much easier. This increase in convenience has not come without some downsides. The central idea of ridesharing is to turn privately-owned vehicles into public modes of transportation. Nearly anyone with a driver’s license can become an Uber driver. The latter are not required to go through any driver safety and training course, which puts millions of people at risk each day.
If you have been harmed in an accident caused by an Uber driver, it is important to know and defend your rights. An Uber accident lawyer can help you do so.
The Rise in Uber Accidents
There has been a serious increase in Uber accidents over the last few years. There are two main reasons for this. First, most drivers take shifts between full and part time jobs that pay more. By the time they get behind the wheel they are not as alert and attentive as they should be. Second, the competitive prices offered by Uber are good for passengers; they are not such a good deal for drivers. Many people offer their driving services through Uber to make the money they need to pay bills. Some among them will speed and violate other traffic laws to get as many fares as possible during their shifts.
Your Actions After an Accident
The prospect of getting into an accident may not be at the forefront of your mind when you step into the back seat of an Uber car. However, you should put some thought into the actions to take in case of a collision. Presence of mind is important in such situations. It can save your life and reduce trouble in the long-term. Here are a few of the things you should do if you are ever in an Uber accident:
1. Stay at the scene
You must stay at the scene until a police officer has taken your statement and released you.
2. Check yourself
You may not feel pain after the accident. However, you may have still suffered injury. You should check yourself manually for broken bones and bleeding.
3. Call emergency services
You should do this immediately. Be sure to answer the operator’s call with clarity and precision.
4. Collect driver info
The confusion of an accident can make you forget basic things. You should therefore make a point of getting the driver’s name and other information. You need not discuss how and why the accident happened. Keep your own counsel until later.
5. Talk to witnesses
The accident is likely to have been witnessed by others. You should speak to them and write down what they have to say. Some will be eager to tell you what they saw. Talk to them first. Be sure to get the name and contact information of each one before you leave.
6. Go to the hospital
You will not know the state of your body until you are examined by a physician. That is why you must go to the hospital. It is necessary to undergo this examination to create an official document for insurance and to verify that you are not injured in a place you can’t see or feel. If you were cut and bruised in the accident, you should have the affected areas photographed before they are treated.
7. Document everything
Be sure to leave the hospital with hard copies of the doctor’s examination and course of treatment. You should also write down what you recall of the accident.
8. Call a lawyer
You must contact a lawyer. Indeed, you should speak to an Uber accident lawyer before you speak to anyone else, aside from your family. An attorney will help you navigate the complexities of getting compensation for your injuries.
Why You Need an Attorney
Uber has a policy of giving up to $1 million to passengers injured in their vehicles. However, this money is not given automatically. The company expects the driver’s insurers to settle with the injured party. If the driver does not have a policy that will cover such expenses, Uber will step in. But even at that point, it will offer a low-dollar sum. You should not accept it. In fact, you should turn over to your ridesharing accident lawyer all communications and negotiations with Uber and its representatives. This is the best way to avoid saying anything that can undermine your position.
If you are only slightly injured in the crash and the money offered to you covers your hospital bills and lost wages, then your ridesharing accident lawyer may advise you to take it. However, if you sustained grievous injury in the accident, if the accident has forced you to change your very way of life, then you will need more money—perhaps even more than $1 million. Your attorney will press Uber for a sum commensurate with your injuries. Even the company refuses, then you will need to sue.
The Impact of a Serious Accident
An accident can throw your life into tumult and upheaval. It can force you to undergo a succession of expensive and invasive operations. You will not be able to earn money while laid up in the hospital. And even when you are released, you will need to spend some time in recovery. Being in such a state can put serious pressure and financial strain on you and your family. Things will get even worse if the accident has left you with a permanent disability. You might have to invest in expensive renovations to your home so that you can get around it. You may also need to hire a full-time care professional.
Uber should be made to share the financial burden that comes with an accident. Your attorney can make this happen.
What Your Lawyer Will Do
West Coast Trial Lawyers specialize in helping ordinary people go up against big companies like Uber. Over the last few years, Uber has peddled the argument that it can’t be held liable for accidents caused by its drivers because they are not employees, they are contractors. Few judges and juries have agreed with this line of reasoning. Most of them have sided with plaintiffs and awarded them compensation.
Your attorney can help you make a similar claim against Uber and win. Your attorney will need to demonstrate that your injuries owe to the recklessness of the driver and that Uber is on the hook to pay what they cannot. To do this, your lawyer will send their private investigators to re-assess the facts of the case. This will include interviewing eyewitnesses the police did not speak to. Your lawyer will also bring in experts who can reconstruct the accident based on forensic evidence and medical experts who can explain the nature and impact of the injuries you sustained.
If you have been harmed in an Uber collision, you need effective and dedicated counsel to represent you. You should call West Coast Trial Lawyers to discuss your options.