Uber rides are an incredibly convenient option for getting around New York City. But this convenience could be coming at the cost of your safety.
Every year, hundreds of people are injured in Uber accidents either as passengers, fellow motorists, or other individuals sharing the road. Uber drivers make their profit from accepting and completing as many trips as possible during a shift. This mounting pressure often leads drivers to swerve in and out of traffic, speed, drive up on curbs, and constantly look at their phones for trip requests while driving on congested city streets.
Drivers who display these types of aggressive and reckless driving behaviors increasingly put the safety of others at risk. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (N.H.T.S.A) reports that aggressive drivers cause 66 percent of traffic fatalities on American roads. Aggressive driving can be defined as someone who does any of the following meanders:
- Slamming on the breaks;
- Accelerating quickly;
- Failing to obey stoplights and stop signs;
- Failing to yield;
- Driving on the shoulder of a rod;
- Passing in no passing zones;
- Neglecting to use turn signals; and
- Changing lanes sporadically and often.
While all drivers who share the roads in New York State have a responsibility to operate their vehicles with care, Uber drivers are the ones who are getting paid to safely transport riders. It is their job to make sure they are using caution and to prioritize the well-being of others. When an Uber driver’s negligence results in an accident or injury, the company and the driver should be held accountable.
New York City and Long Island residents who have been injured as a result of an Uber accident may qualify for compensation outside of personal automobile insurance to cover damages sustained. In this article, we will cover the multiple in which Uber could be liable for your injuries and the critical information you’ll need to file a successful claim.
When You Can File an Uber Claim
When an Uber driver causes preventable injury to someone on the job, the victims of these accidents may qualify to file a claim against the company. There are several situations in which this might occur.
Passengers who are injured by Uber drivers may have several reasons why they are justified in filing a claim for damages. Uber drivers who display aggressive driving behaviors can give riders stress injuries such as whiplash, bumps and bruises, or even head injuries from quick turns or forceful stops. In the case of a serious accident, these injuries may be elevated to more severe damages such as broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries from forceful impacts.
The condition of an Uber car may also come into question when investigating an accident caused by negligence. Cars that are not properly maintained or lack of required safety features (seatbelts or airbags) can fail to protect passengers in an accident. Documenting these variables can be crucial pieces of evidence to show how an injury could have been prevented, even when the driver was not outwardly reckless while driving.
Occupants of other Vehicles
Drivers and passengers sharing the road with Uber drivers can sustain traumatic injuries when an aggressive driving accident occurs. Fender benders, sideswipes, and left-hand collisions are the most common accidents occurring in the city when drivers neglect to use caution and follow basic traffic rules. Uber drivers who are looking down at their cell phone apps simultaneously at the time of a collision put occupants in other cars at even higher risk for serious injuries. Distracted drivers, who do no pay attention to the activity on the road, do not have a chance to slow down or swerve to avoid hitting other vehicles at full force.
Bicyclists, Motorcyclists, and Pedestrians
Uber drivers who are focused on picking up as many riders as possible often neglect to yield to other non-driving individuals sharing the road. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists bear little protection in the case of an accident. When Uber drivers swerve quickly, fail to yield, or drive up too close to curb, life-threatening accidents can occur.
How To File A Successful Claim
Regardless of how you were injured in an Uber accident, plaintiffs interested in pursuing a claim must be able to prove two conditions:
- that the Uber driver’s actions were directly liable for the accident that caused your injuries; and
- that the injuries and damages sustained were directly related to the accident.
There are several steps you can take to gather the evidence needed to prove these circumstances, including:
- Medical Attention: Your health should always be the priority. Receive the appropriate medical attention directly after a motor vehicle accident to evaluate your health. Delayed treatments and regimens could result in more serious injuries down the line.
- Take Photos: If you are physically able to take photos of the accident scene, these images can be extremely helpful when it comes to backing up your claim. Photos should be taken before the vehicles are moved and include all physical damages done to the vehicle.
- Gather Documentation: Keep all documents, bills, reports, medical notes, prescriptions, or any other records associated with your injury. This documentation is key to showing the extent of the physical damages sustained and the considerable costs of recovery.
- Find Your Ride Receipt: Passengers who are riding in an Uber when they were injured should obtain the ride receipt as proof of when and how long they were in the vehicle. Find directions for accessing your trip ticket here.
- Gather Witness Information: If there were any witnesses to your accident, make sure you or someone you trust gathers their contact information before leaving the scene. Witness testimonials can be essential to providing a third-party perspective of the accident and show an unbiased opinion of liability.
- Obtain Your Accident Report: If your accident involves a police officer, make sure to obtain a copy of your accident report for your personal records. These accounts provide all the detailed information you will need about the vehicles to file a claim, including the officer’s interpretation of the cause of the accident.
What Does An Uber Claim Cover
Filing a claim against Uber is not the same as filing a claim against a typical motorist. According to Article 44-B Section 1963 of New York State Law, Transportation Network Companies (T.N.C.), which includes drivers who participate in Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing entities, must provide insurance coverage in the case of an accident.
The coverage must cover a minimum of $50,000 per passenger and $100,000 per occurrence in the case of an accident where the T.N.C. driver is on the clock in the app, and a minimum of $1,000,000 for each passenger trip. These benefits can be applied as a subsidiary to what is covered by No-Fault Insurance in New York, which covers $25,000 for bodily injury, not resulting in death, and $50,000 to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses related to the accident.
Not every accident that is caused by an Uber driver will qualify for a claim. Consulting with a personal injury attorney who is experienced in filing Uber and Lyft claims can help you decipher the best options for addressing injuries sustained in your accident. These professionals possess the resources that are vital to proving liability and damages in a personal injury case, specifically related to Uber accidents and the various components that are required for a successful claim.
New York City and Long Island Accident Attorneys
Our personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Siler & Ingber, have over 20 years of experience serving clients across New York City and Long Island. We protect your rights by maximizing recovery and securing the financial support our clients need to succeed on their road to recovery. Our winning attorneys know how to navigate through the claim process using past experience as insurance defense attorneys. We are not afraid to fight and are fully prepared to take your case to trial to get a justified verdict over settling for less.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to the negligence of an Uber driver, our team at Siler & Ingber is here to help. With a 98% success rate, we have the experience and the know-how to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome. Contact us today at 1-877-LAW-4343 or schedule an appointment online anytime. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.