Uber first launched its peer-to-peer ride-share service in 2009. In the years since then, it’s grown wildly in popularity thanks to the range of significant advantages it has to offer its users and drivers. Riders find Uber to be a convenient and affordable replacement for the traditional taxi. Drivers, on the other hand, appreciate Uber’s ability to reward their initiative with good pay and flexible hours.
The continued expansion of Uber means, inevitably, that the number of car accidents with an Uber connection is also on the rise. Adding an Uber driver to the mix can make an accident significantly more complicated, legally speaking. The primary difficulty is that in the United States, Uber’s drivers are considered to be contractors rather than employees of the company. If you have been involved in an accident, contact accidenttampa.com for advice.
On a larger, social scale, this contract work policy has many potential faults. It’s extremely unpopular with supporters of organized labor, for example. For the purposes of this article, though, let’s concentrate on what you, personally, need to do if you’re involved in an accident while you’re an Uber passenger.
1) Check for Injuries
As long as you’re capable of doing so, begin checking for injuries as soon as the accident is over. Consider your own condition first, then check on others in your vehicle, then people in other vehicles, if any.
Note that the way you feel immediately following an accident doesn’t necessarily tell the full story when it comes to injuries. For one thing, your body is likely to be stewing in adrenaline after going through the stress of an accident. Adrenaline has many effects, and one of them is suppressing the body’s pain responses.
This is why you should move slowly, with care, after an accident. Even if you feel okay, you may be hurt in ways you don’t realize at first.
2) Call For Help
Being a passenger rather than the driver really doesn’t alter your basic responsibilities in the aftermath of an accident. Call 911 immediately if anyone has been hurt in the accident. For minor accidents where there are no immediately obvious injuries, you should call the police instead.
Even if you have a full range of motion and feel no pain after your accident, it’s a very good idea to seek medical attention. Car accidents often cause internal injuries, and the symptoms of these can take hours or days to develop. Common internal injury symptoms include:
Pain or discomfort.
Beyond protecting your health and safety, getting care from a medical professional is an important part of documenting your accident and may be vitally important in a personal injury claim. The longer you wait to seek medical care after an accident, the more difficult it will be to prove that it was responsible for any injuries you suffered.
3) Gather Insurance and Contact Information
You need to make sure you collect insurance and contact information from all the drivers involved in the accident. This is particularly important for Uber drivers who are involved. If your injuries are severe enough to make this impossible, check with the police after you have been treated. They should have all the documentation you need.
Provided you are not seriously injured, the following information-gathering steps are also useful:
* Take photos of the accident, including injuries.
* Photograph all the vehicles involved in the accident, including license plate numbers when possible.
* If there are any uninvolved witnesses to the accident, ask for their contact information.
Information gathering becomes particularly important if you’re traveling outside your home state when you suffer an accident.
Do not worry too much if you are too injured or shaken to gather information following an accident. If you do move forward with an Uber claim, your lawyer will be able to help you document the accident.
4) Seek Legal Counsel
As a general rule, it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer to help you file a personal injury claim if you were injured in any way during a car accident involving Uber. You could be able to file claims against the service itself, the driver, or the insurance company (or companies) covering them.
Personal injury cases have a range of different outcomes depending on the financial cost incurred by the accident (damages) and the determination of who is at fault (liability).
Uber’s liability coverage is notably generous, and this will make it easier to cover your damages (e.g. medical bills) if fault for the accident rests with your Uber driver. Even if your driver is not at fault, you may still be entitled to Uber coverage. The first step is filing against the driver who is at fault. If the damages you sustained in the accident are not fully covered by the insurance of the at-fault driver, Uber’s policy makes another $1,000,000 of liability coverage available.
If you have insurance coverage of your own against accidents caused by under-insured motorists, you may also be entitled to money from your own insurance provider in your Uber claim. In order to access all the resources available to you and ensure that you get full compensation, enlist the support of an experienced lawyer.