Uber has become synonymous with the new rideshare model that is taking Chicago and the rest of the country by storm. But as more residents turn to Uber instead of public transportation, the likelihood of being involved in an Uber accident increases. Anyone who uses Uber, or is thinking about doing so in the future, should understand the laws and policies that govern it. If you’ve been hurt, you need an aggressive ridesharing accident attorney who understands how to get the most compensation possible.
Turn to Hale & Monico. We represent car accident victims, including those who have been injured while using Uber. Our dedicated team will review the details of your Uber accident and let you know what legal options you may have.
What Is Uber And How Does It Work?
Uber is a technology platform that relies primarily on smartphone apps to help people find rides. A user downloads the app onto his or her phone and uses it in cities where the service is available (including Chicago). Instead of having to hail a cab or find a bus stop that fits your schedule, Uber is on-demand. So when you need a ride, you put in a request for one through the app, which then contacts the nearest available driver. You can track how close your driver is as well. The app will also provide other useful information such as the name of the driver and type of vehicle he or she is driving.
What Makes Uber Different From Other Forms Of Transportation?
Buses, taxi cabs, trains, and other forms of public and private transportation are regulated as transportation entities. These regulations exist to promote passenger safety. Suing the responsible entity can be difficult, especially with respect to public transportation.
Uber is a technology platform, not a transportation system. There are different regulations which govern Uber (and other rideshare providers). As an example, Chicago limits the number of hours an Uber driver can operate to 10 within a 24-hour period. Uber drivers must also now possess a special chauffeur’s license to operate in Chicago.
Still, Uber drivers have not had the type of training that a taxi driver or bus driver has had, and basically anyone with a driver’s license can become an Uber driver. Also, Uber considers its drivers to be independent contractors. This may have a significant impact on how accidents involving Uber are handled.
How Might A Passenger Be Hurt In An Uber Accident?
A number of different factors may cause an automobile accident, and the same is true with respect to Uber accidents. Perhaps your driver is overworked, distracted, or operating under the influence. Your accident may not even be the fault of your driver at all, but that of a third party. In any event, an Uber accident victim may suffer these and other injuries:
- Neck and spinal cord injuries, including herniated discs and whiplash
- Head injuries, including concussions and skull fractures
- Broken arms and legs and other bone fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Muscle strains
- Back injuries
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
As with any other automobile accident, these injuries could be irreversible. In the most devastating Uber accidents, the victims experience permanent disability, coma, and death. Your injuries will be unlike those of anyone else, and you need to seek immediate treatment even for seemingly minor aches and pains. Remember, if you fail to obtain medical attention, and your problem worsens, it will be much more difficult to assign liability to the responsible party.
Does Uber Cover Accidents?
Uber provides liability insurance to cover accidents, but the rules on how this works are complex. The exact coverage will depend on such factors as whether – at the time of the accident – the driver is waiting for a passenger, on the way to get a passenger, or already has one in the vehicle.
If an Uber driver gets into an accident on his or her way to pick up a passenger, or while the passenger is in the vehicle, he or she is considered on duty. In this event, Uber has liability coverage of up to $1 million. The driver’s personal insurance policy may need to cover some portion of the accident before Uber’s policy applies. Dealing with competing insurance companies, who often negotiate claims, can be complicated. You should turn to an experienced Uber accident attorney if you’ve been hurt.
Uber will not claim responsibility if a driver is not on duty – for instance, when the driver’s Uber app is off or he or she has not accepted a passenger. In this event, Uber will consider the driver to be an independent contractor and will direct the injured party to claim through the driver’s personal insurance policy.
What Should I Do If I’m Involved In An Uber Accident?
As you can imagine, an accident can quickly turn into a blame game between Uber and the driver. The situation can be even more complex if another driver is involved, or there are accusations that the third party driver is responsible. The victim can quickly get lost in the shuffle.
If you’ve been hurt, get the medical attention you need immediately. Start gathering all medical records and begin documenting other damages such as lost time from work. To the extent you are able, give a police report and begin collecting your own information, such as the names of all parties involved. Any evidence concerning the Uber accident that you can gather on your own may prove useful later. Lastly, you may be contacted by an insurance company. Before speaking with an adjuster, talk to an attorney.
Contact Our Chicago Uber Accident Attorney Today
Being injured in a rideshare accident is overwhelming and victims are at a disadvantage against Uber and its insurer. Trust Hale & Monicio to fight back against big corporations like Uber.
We understand the complicated liability rules in Uber accidents and will fight for the compensation you deserve. Please contact our office today for a free evaluation of your case.