Many smart people choose not to drink and drive, not only because they do not want to bear the humiliation and financial burden of a DWI, but because they do not want to die. So, when they go out on the town with friends and family, what do they choose as a means of transportation these days? They call an Uber.
Ironically, this “safe” alternative can be the very thing that can get you killed. Says The de la Garza Law Group, a personal injury lawyer in Houston, Texas, when someone gets into an Uber, they are literally placing their lives into the hands of a complete stranger.
After all, a qualified Uber driver only needs proof of a valid license, one year’s driving experience, and no criminal history that shows up on the world wide web. No wonder recent studies show that rideshare companies are said to be responsible for the two to three present increase in the total number of fatal auto accidents in U.S. alone.
But that still hasn’t put a dent in Uber’s popularity. According to a new report, over the past half dozen years, Uber has become one of the most popular U.S. companies. In fact, it’s so popular, that for millions of people, it’s become integrated into everyday life.
Doesn’t matter if you’re looking to run a quick errand, or trying to make a flight, or a spending an evening whooping it up with your friends, the peer-to-peer ride sharing service is said to take pride in getting you where you want to be in record time.
But what happens when your Uber driver decides he or she is going to take a less than safe detour? This is the very question too many Uber passengers have been faced with in recent months while accidents, some of them fatal, have been on the rise.
Maybe Uber claims that it is one of the safest driving services around, but research proves quite the contrary. Uber, and other similar ridesharing services have led to an increase in accident rates. Full stop.
Fact is, it’s estimated that the fatalities from these accidents have resulted in a yearly financial loss of upwards of $10 billion. As the number of Uber drivers goes up, so too does the frequency of accidents.
That said, here are some of the things you should be aware of if you’re involved in an Uber accident.
Document the Accident
First things first. Check to see if you or anyone around you is seriously injured. If not, then it’s time to begin documenting the accident. Pull out your smartphone and take video and still photos of the damage, the surrounding area where the accident happened, and anything else you feel is important enough to be documented.
If you and/or your fellow passengers suffered even minor injuries, make sure to document those also.
You will need to gather everyone’s contact information. Get the phone numbers of both drivers involved. Take down their license plates (use your smartphone camera for this). Get names and addresses if possible also.
File the Claim
In order to ensure proper compensation for your injuries both physical and emotional, you will need to file a claim as soon as possible. More specifically, you must file the claim with the driver’s insurance company.
If the accident was your Uber driver’s fault, then you can claim financial compensation from him along with the Uber company.
File a Lawsuit for All Damages
Keep in mind that Uber drivers are not direct employees of the Uber organization. They are independent contractors or freelancers. What this means is, Uber can more easily deny liability for the accident. But when you file a lawsuit that specifically targets your Uber driver, your medical bills will likely be covered by the Uber company if the driver can’t possibly pay them.
Make Contact with an Uber Accident Attorney
If you are certain you are entitled to damages for injuries but are unsure how to go about the legal process on your own, you must contact an attorney who specializes in ridesharing accident cases or even Uber accidents in particular. You can rest easy by contacting a ridesharing attorney since they handle cases like yours on a regular basis.
These personal injury attorneys will assist you with seeking the necessary compensation for pain and suffering, transportation costs, out-of-pocket medical bills and, of course, rehabilitation. A qualified ridesharing personal injury attorney will also see that you are compensated for lost wages.