Over the past six years, the number of people who regularly use rideshare apps has doubled. Currently, more than a third of the U.S. population used Uber or Lyft at least once over the past year. While the rideshare concept provides unprecedented convenience, it also raises certain risks. Uber accidents are fairly common; however, because the company does a good job keeping these incidents out of the headlines, most people don’t realize it. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our team of personal injury lawyers has specific hands-on experience helping rideshare accident victims and injured rideshare drivers pursue compensation after an accident.How Do Uber Accidents Happen?
Virtually anyone can become an Uber driver, provided they have a car, a relatively clean driving and criminal history, and a valid driver’s license. In most cases, Uber drivers are fairly experienced motorists who take their passengers’ safety seriously. However, it isn’t uncommon for inexperienced drivers to sign up to drive for the company in hopes of making some extra money. Thus, driver inexperience is one of the leading causes of Uber accidents.
Other causes of Uber accidents include:
- Distracted driving,
- Unfamiliarly with traffic patterns,
- Drowsy driving,
- Impaired driving,
- Reckless driving, and
- Simple traffic violations.
Regardless of the cause of an Uber accident, anyone injured as a result of the collision may be able to pursue a claim for compensation against the driver through their rideshare insurance policy. However, determining whether the policy covers an accident—and the amount of available coverage—can be challenging.Who Is Responsible for Uber Accidents?
When ridesharing first became popular, the legal system and the insurance industry were unprepared because there was nothing quite like it in existence at the time. Thus, lawmakers and insurance companies had to come up with a way to determine who was liable in the event of a rideshare accident.
Under existing law, Uber is generally not liable for an accident. This is because Uber drivers are independent contractors rather than employees. At the same time, there had to be a way for accident victims to recover financial compensation after Uber accidents. Thus, lawmakers required Uber to purchase special insurance policies on behalf of their drivers.
Under these new rideshare insurance policies, a passenger is covered from the moment they book a ride until the completion of the trip. Additionally, pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists who are hurt as a result of a rideshare driver’s negligence may also file a claim under this policy. However, the amount of coverage depends on whether the Uber driver was on an official trip at the time of the accident.
Generally speaking, if an Uber accident occurs while there is a passenger in the car, higher limits apply. However, if the accident occurred while the driver was on waiting for a ride request to come in, lower limits apply. And for those Uber accidents that occur while the driver’s app is turned off or during a time when they are not accepting ride requests, the policy does not provide any coverage at all.
From the perspective of Uber passengers, this system works great because they are almost always covered. However, for other motorists who are injured as a result of a Uber driver’s negligence, it can be challenging to secure fair compensation. Uber drivers who are injured in an accident also tend to face difficulties when filing claims under their rideshare insurance policies.Reach Out to the Experienced the Car Accident Lawyers at the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, to Discuss Your Injuries Today
If you or a loved one was recently injured in a rideshare accident, reach out to the Charlotte car accident lawyers at the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, to schedule a free consultation. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we have more than 20 years of experience helping clients injured as a result of another driver’s negligence recover meaningful compensation. We also have extensive hands-on experience handling Uber accidents, as well as Lyft accidents. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Charlotte rideshare injury lawyer, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach one of our Concord injury lawyers at 704-918-4747. We take all personal injury and workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis, meaning we will not bill you for our services unless we can connect you with compensation for what you’ve been through.