San Jose Uber Accident Lawyer
Ride-sharing apps like Uber have changed how people travel. Any vehicle can serve as a taxi, and you can summon one by simply pushing a button on your smartphone. Uber has grown exponentially since the company started in 2009, mostly due to the convenience it offers; yet rideshare services can also be dangerous. Most Uber drivers do not receive formal training, and they often aren’t screened with the same diligence as most taxi drivers or drivers of other commercial vehicles.
As a result, Uber can end up delivering transportation using under-qualified drivers. Additionally, the rideshare industry isn’t regulated to the same extent as other industries. Drivers may provide service under multiple apps or drive passengers after working long hours at a day job. This puts passengers and motorists who share the road at risk for serious accidents and injuries.
If you were in an accident with an Uber driver, speak with an attorney regarding your eligibility for compensation for your injuries. Uber accident cases often involve a variety of factors, which can complicate the process of filing a personal injury claim. For example, accidents and incidents involving Uber drivers bring complicated insurance issues that might confuse people who are unfamiliar with Uber accident claims.
In addition, Uber is a large, international corporation that will fight to protect its reputation and its bottom line. Facing a powerful company like Uber requires a strong understanding of the law, solid negotiating skills, and extensive litigation experience. A San Jose Uber accident lawyer from Bohn & Fletcher can simplify the claim process and increase your chances of securing compensation for the full cost of your injuries. Call us at (408) 279-4222 to schedule a free consultation today.
Is Uber Financially Liable for Accidents Caused by Its Drivers?
In California Uber provides insurance coverage for its driver-partners, but coverage varies based on when the collision occurs. Uber divides drivers’ time into three broad categories that determine whether its drivers are covered by the company’s insurance:
- When an Uber driver is signed into the app and waiting for a ride request, he or she has liability coverage of at least $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for bodily injury.
- When an Uber driver has accepted a request and is on his or her way to pick up a rider or is actively transporting a rider, he or she has $1,000,000 of third party liability coverage, $1,000,000 of uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage.
- When Uber drivers are using their cars for personal use, they are not covered under Uber’s insurance policy. In these cases, the driver’s personal auto insurance may apply, but does not always.
Insurance coverage in rideshare cases can also differ by city, state and type of service being used. With varying levels of insurance coverage, you should hire a qualified San Jose Uber accident lawyer to clear up questions about liability, coverage and to handle the legal details of your Uber accident claim. Your rideshare accident lawyer will use evidence from your accident to advise you on who to name as defendants in your case. Depending on the circumstances, potential defendants include Uber and/or the individual driver. Keep in mind that other rideshare companies work similarly. One of our qualified attorneys can also help you with challenges that you might face if you are involved in an accident with a Lyft driver, for example.
What Happens if You Are in an Accident with an Uber Driver?
The exact course of action following an Uber accident depends on the specific situation, but first and foremost, you should prioritize the health and safety of everyone involved and call 911 if anyone is injured or in immediate danger. Under California law, anyone involved in an injury accident is required to report the crash to the local police or California Highway Patrol. In severe accidents, it’s likely that emergency response teams and law enforcement will arrive. You should always seek medical treatment as soon as possible to safeguard your health, but here are some other things you should do immediately after your Uber accident, if physically able:
- Get the driver’s contact information, personal insurance information, license plate number, vehicle make and model, and any other information that might be useful. In California, Uber uses James River Insurance Company to cover its drivers.
- Talk to witnesses and get their contact information, but don’t discuss fault with them. You might risk saying something that could be used against you later in court.
- If law enforcement doesn’t show up at the scene, call the applicable police department or head to the nearest station to file a report.
- File a claim with your insurance company and let them investigate and determine liability. Cooperate with your insurance company representatives, but once again, do not speak about fault before consulting with your attorney.
- Find a rideshare accident lawyer to guide you through the claims process and take over all communications with insurance companies. As previously mentioned, Bohn & Fletcher has attorneys located in San Jose, California, that specialize in rideshare accident cases.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Uber Crashes?
Common causes of Uber accidents don’t differ greatly from any other car, truck, or motorcycle accident. One key distinction is the fact that you may be injured as an occupant in an Uber driver’s car when his or her negligence caused the crash. Some of the most common causes of Uber car accidents include:
- Distracted driving. Uber requires drivers to use a smartphone app to answer rider requests. Using the Uber app might be the biggest distraction of all for Uber drivers, especially if they engage with the app while they are driving. Uber drivers also have to deal with chatty passengers who might distract them.
- Driving while impaired. Almost anyone over the age of 18 with a decent car and a driver’s license can become an Uber driver. The screening process isn’t comprehensive and might allow individuals with a history of drug or alcohol abuse to drive. Additionally, some Uber drivers might abuse stimulants to stay on the road longer and maximize the amount of money that they earn.
- Drowsy driving. Some rideshare drivers work for both Uber and Lyft. When they aren’t signed into one app, they may sign into the other one. This practice bypasses the maximum hours of driving per day rules set by each company, so drivers might be on the road without rest for far longer than they should be. Similarly, some Uber drivers pick up fares before and after working long hours at another, non-rideshare job. Regardless of the circumstances, sleepy Uber drivers pose a danger to passengers and others on the road.
- Driver error. Uber drivers might be unfamiliar with a new area or intentionally ignore some rules of the road. This includes ignoring traffic signals and signs or violating other regulations to maximize the number of rides they are able to complete.
- Speeding. Uber drivers are rushed to get to their riders and deliver them to their destinations as quickly as possible to make the most amount of money during each shift. Unsurprisingly, this causes many drivers to ignore speed limits.
- Poor vehicle maintenance. Uber drivers are responsible for maintaining their vehicles, and when they fail to maintain important systems, a severe accident can occur. Brake failures, tire blowouts, and a wide variety of other mechanical issues might cause a driver to lose control of his or her vehicle and cause an accident.
What Compensation Can I Claim After an Uber Accident?
After an Uber car accident in the Bay Area, you should not have to worry about the complex legal details surrounding negligence, liability, and insurance coverage. Your car accident lawyer can handle these issues while you focus on healing and recovery. If you file a claim against Uber and/or the Uber driver, you might receive compensation for the following:
- Current and future medical costs, including ambulance rides, emergency department visits, hospital stays, surgeries, radiology, diagnostics, physical therapy, extended care, and medications
- Vehicle damage if an Uber driver hit your vehicle
- Lost wages for time away from work related to your injury
- Non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement or others that apply to your case
Your Uber accident lawyer in San Jose will investigate the details of your accident to determine the full impact of your car crash, so he or she can place an accurate value on your claim and pursue compensation for the full cost of your injuries.
Questions? Consult With a San Jose Uber Accident Lawyer Today
With Uber’s impressive growth over the last decade, it has added insurers and attorneys to its team who will stop at nothing to protect the company’s bottom line. You don’t have to fight alone when you seek compensation for your injuries. Instead, contact a reputable car accident lawyer to advocate for you and seek compensation for the full cost of your injuries. While we cannot guarantee favorable results, the Uber accident lawyers in Bohn & Fletcher’s San Jose office will strategically pursue the best outcome for your case.
If you were in a rideshare accident and need a qualified personal injury attorney to represent you, call Bohn & Fletcher today at (408) 279-4222, or contact us online, to schedule your free consultation. Our attorneys serve clients throughout the Bay Area, from San Francisco to Santa Clara and beyond. Whether you live in Cupertino, Livermore, Mountain View, or any of the surrounding areas, we can help. Contact us today!