Thirty-six percent of Americans reported using a ride-hailing app like Uber or Lyft, according to a poll from the Pew Research Center. Those numbers are higher than they were a few years ago, even if most people aren’t using Uber daily or even weekly.
Riding in an Uber means you don’t have to worry about parking. But you might worry about other things. For instance, what if the driver talks too much or plays music you don’t like?
But it would help if you also were thinking about an Uber accident. Riding in an Uber doesn’t make you less likely to get involved in a car accident.
Keep reading to find out how to prepare yourself.
The Risks of an Uber Accident
If you’re not familiar with Uber or Lyft, you may think that their employees are well-trained in safe, defensive driving. But that’s not necessarily the case. For one thing, Uber and Lyft drivers are not employees.
Instead, they’re considered “independent contractors.” That means they have less training and fewer protections. They don’t get things like sick leave or health insurance.
So you may get an Uber driver who has never had an accident. Or you may get one with a long history of distracted driving. Distracted driving is a severe risk to both Uber passengers and other people on the road.
By one estimate, 1 in 4 car accidents in the United States is because of texting and driving. In 2018, San Antonio had the highest number of texting and driving accidents in Texas. San Antonio-area drivers are also involved in more than 60,000 total car accidents a year.
Uber drivers have to use their app to do their job. That means some of them will keep their eyes off the road and on the app. If they get in a collision while you’re in the car, what should you do?
Responding to an Uber Driver Accident
First, you should take care of your well-being. Do you have visible injuries? Even if you don’t, you may want to get checked out by a medical team.
You should call 911 unless the accident is a fender bender. That’s true even if your Uber driver asks you not to report the accident to the police.
Uber drivers must have personal insurance. But since private car insurance doesn’t cover most business usage, Uber also offers liability insurance worth up to $1 million.
If you sustain injuries, an Uber accident lawyer can help you figure out your options for recovery. What if your Uber driver wasn’t at fault, and the driver who was doesn’t have insurance?
That’s where Uber’s uninsured/underinsured motorist policy can kick in. This only applies between the time the Uber driver picked you up and the time they dropped you off, though.
Finding an Uber Accident Lawyer
If that sounds confusing, it’s because the aftermath of a car accident usually is. An Uber accident can make things even more complicated.
Yet that doesn’t mean you should feel discouraged. A good car accident lawyer will go over your options with you. A settlement can allow you to take care of yourself and any medical expenses.
If you’ve gotten hurt in an Uber driver car accident, contact us. We’ll give you a free consultation with a car accident attorney.
Originally from Kyle, Texas, Mr. Ornelas is a first-generation college graduate and a first-generation attorney.
Licensed in Texas, Cesar Ornelas’s nationwide practice is entirely contingency fee-based and consists of a wide variety of catastrophic personal injury and death cases. He has represented countless victims of catastrophic accidents across the United States.