Long gone are the days of hailing a taxi or calling a cab when you needed to get somewhere. These days, it seems everyone relies on rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. And while these services are highly convenient, they can also be problematic.
The screening process for drivers isn’t very strict, which leaves passengers and other drivers on the road open to the risk of being involved in an accident. And when this occurs, all that convenience afforded to you all but disappears.
If you’ve found yourself in this kind of situation, you may be wondering what your options for recourse are. While you have every right to sue an Uber driver for a car accident, you should know that it likely won’t be as straightforward as a typical collision claim.
Figuring out who to hold financially responsible can take a bit of work, and the following guide offers some insight so you know what to expect about the proceedings ahead.
When Should You Hold Uber Financially Responsible?
There’s a common misconception that because Uber drivers use their personal vehicles for work, that they are held financially responsible in the event of an accident. As such, personal injury victims will often waste time filing a claim against the driver.
The truth is, though, that filing against the driver in a personal suit likely won’t be successful. Instead, you’ll likely need to file the claim against Uber. In almost all cases, drivers are protected by Uber’s insurance policy, making the rideshare service responsible when an accident occurs.
There are, of course, some exceptions. For example, if an Uber driver gets into an accident when they aren’t technically working, they won’t be covered by the corporate policy. They likely also won’t be covered if they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
Why Are Uber Drivers More Likely to Get Into Car Accidents?
Unfortunately, while rideshare services do make our lives easier, they also put us at an increased risk of car accidents. In fact, in 2018, rideshare services like Uber and Lyft were responsible for more than 36,000 fatal car accidents.
Some accidents occur due to normal reasons, such as difficulty driving in inclement weather, reckless behaviors from other drivers, failing to yield to the right of way, improper merging, and more. However, more often than not, these accidents occur due to the unique circumstances and constraints brought on by the nature of the work.
For example, rideshare drivers often go above the speed limit, far more than regular drivers do. They might do this for a few reasons. For instance, they might be trying to get better ratings and higher tips from their passengers by getting them to their requested locations as quickly as possible. They might also speed to try and cram as many rides into a single shift as possible.
Uber drivers also tend to engage in reckless driving habits. For example, if they’ve spent the entire day behind the wheel, they might feel more tempted to be on the phone while driving to catch up on text messages. Or, if they feel like they haven’t made enough money that day, they might continue driving even though they feel exhausted and aren’t alert enough to be behind the wheel.
What You Can Do
If you were involved in a car accident with an Uber driver, you’ll need to get in touch with an attorney right away. Filing a claim against a major corporation can be complicated, and the only way to ensure your case stands the best possible chance of recovering compensation you deserve.