The short answer to this question is Yes, whether you are a passenger in an Uber vehicle or the driver or passenger of another car hit by an Uber driver. If you have been seriously injured as a result of another person’s negligent or reckless behavior, the law allows you to sue in order to receive just compensation. Nonetheless, when an Uber driver is the defendant, your case becomes more complicated. Having a knowledgeable, skilled Uber accident attorney can make all the difference.
Uber rideshares have quickly become commonplace throughout the nation. While being undeniably convenient for those who don’t own cars or don’t want to be bothered with the pressures of navigating, dealing with traffic, parking, or carrying cash for travel expenses on any given day, Uber service can also result in unforeseen difficulties.
Because Uber rides are plagued by the same problems that affect all travelers on our roads — negligent drivers, accidents, malicious behavior — a certain percentage of these rides result in lawsuits for personal injury. Due to the ambiguous role of Uber drivers relative to the companies they work for, filing these lawsuits, let alone winning them, is a complex and often frustrating undertaking. The talents of a lawyer with Uber accident experience are invaluable.
Does the Uber Company bear some of the responsibility for my injuries?
Uber carries a million dollars of liability insurance in case you are injured by one of its drivers, although the company maintains that each of its drivers are self-employed contractors — a belief some state courts are in the process of questioning. Because Uber drivers can choose their own hours, however, the company is only held liable if the driver is “on the app,” that is actively seeking, picking up, driving or dropping off an Uber passenger. If you are injured by an Uber driver when she/he is driving as a private citizen, Uber is not responsible for that driver’s actions.
Uber is also legally required to carry $1 million uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage policies in case you are injured in a collision caused by an uninsured/underinsured driver while riding under the auspices of Uber.
It is important to understand that the company insures each driver in Uber accidents because the personal insurance each Uber driver is required to carry may not be sufficient to cover the extensive costs tied to a serious personal injury. Severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, loss of vision, or serious burns, are life-altering. Catastrophic injuries like these may leave you totally incapacitated, unable to work and in need of fulltime care. The costs associated with such incapacity are enormous, so you will need a savvy team of attorneys to pursue your case to a successful conclusion. It is best to ally yourself with personal injury practice with a track record of winning millions of dollars for its clients.
Complications of Uber Lawsuits
Personal injury Uber lawsuits are complicated by the fact that there are more than the usual number of players involved, possibly including  the Uber driver  one or more passengers in the Uber vehicle  the driver of the other vehicle and  one or more passengers in the non-Uber vehicle  the Uber company and  the insurance companies of the drivers and of the Uber company. Since a lawsuit typically concerns a substantial sum in damages, the injured parties’ needs for fair compensation vie with the insurance companies’ strong desires to protect their bottom lines.
Other conflicts may also arise. The Uber driver, for example, may say he/she simply forgot to connect to the app when picking up the passenger and Uber may deny any responsibility because of that disconnect. Or the insurer may say the injured party’s medical claims are exaggerated or even fabricated. It is also possible (even likely) that passengers in either vehicle, as well as the drivers themselves, present conflicting versions of the incident and who was at fault.
It takes a sharp Uber accident attorney to sort all of this out by:
- Investigating the site of the accident
- Interviewing all witnesses
- Poring over police reports
- Examining medical data
- Consulting as necessary with medical or automotive experts
- Checking the Uber driver’s record for prior offenses
Uber accident attorneys are well aware that the benefits of hailing an Uber quickly pale in the face of personal injuries suffered in these rideshare vehicles. Improperly vetted drivers may be distracted by apps and GPS devices, impaired by alcohol or drugs, improperly trained or inexperienced, or fatigued due to working unrestricted hours. There are also cases in which an Uber driver has mistreated, abused, or attacked an Uber passenger. Remember that, in such cases, whether or not a malicious Uber driver is arrested or convicted of a crime, your attorney can file a civil lawsuit for damages.
If you have been seriously injured in an Uber accident, you should seek informed legal representation promptly to make certain you meet the statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim. With a practiced Uber accident attorney at the helm, you have greatly increased chances of winning the damages you deserve for medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering.
You and your loved ones are entitled to receive the resources that will help you recover as comfortably as possible and to face the future unafraid. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking you can win an Uber lawsuit without competent professional assistance.
Bruce H. Nagel is widely recognized as one of the premier trial attorneys in the country having been named by the National Law Journal as one of America’s Top 50 Elite Plaintiff’s Attorneys. He specializes in complex litigation including serious personal injury, class actions, medical malpractice, birth injuries, transportation accidents, and business disputes and has obtained over $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for his clients. Many of his high profile cases have been featured on Nightline, Good Morning America, Today Show, Inside Edition and in print media throughout the world. The national legal correspondent for a major network called Bruce “a well-known New Jersey lawyer with an excellent reputation for creative litigation.”