Taking an Uber has become a common part of everyday life in Boston. Headed to Fenway to catch a Sox game? Take an Uber. Need to get to Logan? Open the Uber app and summon a ride. Shared a bottle of wine with dinner in the North End? Ask an Uber to carry you home.
Still, the growth in popularity of Uber comes with a predictable cost: traffic accidents involving Uber cars that leave drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians injured, or worse. Victims of those accidents deserve compensation for the harm they suffer. With the help of the team of Uber accident injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group, they can get it.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in any kind of accident involving an Uber car in Boston, contact us for a free consultation. Our dedicated Boston Uber accident lawyer can tell you about your right to receive financial compensation for your injuries and losses.
About Our Team
Dolman Law Group, is an award-winning law firm. We represent Bostonians who have suffered severe injuries in motor vehicle accidents, and the families of victims of fatal Boston crashes. Securing compensation for injuries and losses our clients sustained in Boston Uber crashes constitutes a growing part of our law practice.
Our team knows how to get results. Over our years of practice, we have secured multiple million-dollar judgments, jury awards, and out-of-court settlements in a wide array of cases. Through those successes, we have consistently valued the importance of personalized service. In every case we take, we work to put our clients' interests first, tailoring our advice and legal strategies to their unique needs.
With Dolman Law Group, on your side, you get a team of legal professionals who have the resources and dedication to pursue top-dollar results in challenging cases.
The Numbers on Uber Rides and Accidents in Boston
In a recent year in Boston, Transportation Network Companies (TNCs)—rideshare companies like Uber—drove more than 45 million trips in Boston, according to data collected by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. Though that amounts to less than roughly 4 percent of the more than 1 billion vehicle trips made by Bostonians every year (based on U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Transportation Statistics data), it still represents a significant number of rides.
An Uber ride, like any car trip in Boston, has the potential to end in an accident. How often does that happen? It is hard to say exactly because MassDOT currently does not track Uber accidents as a separate crash category. We do know that in any given year, between 4,000 and 5,000 crashes (on average) happen in The Hub. Extrapolating from the percentage above, that would suggest that Boston streets and highways see somewhere between 160 and 200 accidents involving rideshare cars annually, many of them may be Ubers. We can only expect that number to rise as Uber and its competitors continue to grow in popularity.
Potential Causes of Boston Uber Accidents
What leads to Uber cars getting into crashes in Boston? Oftentimes, it is the same factors that can cause any other type of traffic accident, such as weather, heavy traffic, and (most significantly) motorist error.
However, some factors inherent in driving for Uber could potentially increase the odds of an accident.
- Speeding and other aggressive driving. Uber drivers have a strong economic incentive to transport as many rides as possible in the time they have available. After all, the more rides a driver completes, the more money the driver can make. This could result in fast or aggressive driving by the driver, especially during the times between dropping off one passenger and picking up another (when they do not face the prospect of scaring a passenger and getting a negative review). Speed and other aggressive driving behaviors are common contributing factors in Boston accidents.
- Distracted driving. Uber riders and drivers connect over an app that pairs them with one another. Uber drivers also often rely on GPS apps for driving directions when locating or transporting passengers. For riders, the app-based element of Uber is a core part of what makes it so convenient. For drivers, however, using apps behind the wheel could constitute a potentially deadly distraction. Massachusetts' Hands Free Law bans most app use by a driver while a car is in motion, or even stopped at a light or stop sign. But unfortunately, that has not stopped some rideshare drivers from using their phones constantly, which can easily lead to an accident.
- Drowsy driving. Many Boston Uber drivers offer rides as a side gig to supplement their income in addition to a nine-to-five job. Oftentimes, that means starting their Uber shift only after their other workday ends, which can be a recipe for driving drowsy. Research has shown that excessive fatigue impairs driving abilities in the same ways consuming alcohol does, including by slowing reaction times, clouding judgment, and interfering with motor skills. Drowsy drivers risk causing accidents throughout Boston.
- High-risk drive times. In Boston, Uber is a popular option for getting around town at night and early in the morning. These times of day can also constitute the high-risk hours for accidents, because they are when you are most likely to encounter drunk or drowsy drivers on the road. Even an alert, careful Boson Uber driver cannot stop other motorists from making bad or dangerous decisions behind the wheel and causing crashes.
Of course, as we said, these are not the exclusive causes of Uber accidents in Boston. No matter what caused the Uber accident that injured you or a loved one, the team at Dolman Law Group knows how to investigate the facts and work to hold the at-fault parties accountable for your injuries and losses.
Common Uber Accident Injuries
Clients of Dolman Law Group seek our help after suffering a wide array of devastating injuries in traffic accidents.
Common Uber accident injuries for which our team can help crash victims pursue compensation include:
- Spinal cord injuries leave drivers and passengers of any vehicle involved in an accident paralyzed and facing a lifetime of disability and unexpected expenses. According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the cost of living with a spinal cord injury can easily run into the millions of dollars throughout a victim's lifetime.
- Loss of use of a limb. An accident can result in a victim's limb getting pinned or crushed under twisted metal. Sometimes, doctors will have to amputate the limb to save the victim's life. Other times, they can save the limb, but not its ability to function normally. In either event, a severe limb injury can result in significant disabilities and costs for victims.
- Traumatic brain injuries can leave victims of an accident struggling with long-lasting emotional, physical, and cognitive impairments or, worse, may send them into a permanent state of unconsciousness or semi-consciousness. TBIs can often have a long, frustrating recovery trajectory that limits a victim's ability to live independently.
- Organ damage resulting from blunt force trauma or penetrating injuries suffered in an accident can force victims to change every aspect of their lives to accommodate new and debilitating health complications. Everything from a victim's diet, activities, and personal relationships can suffer when an accident inflicts damage to vital organs.
- Soft tissue injuries, which cause damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons, may heal if they receive proper care and treatment. However, accident victims who suffer from them frequently live with chronic pain and limited mobility, which can affect their abilities to enjoy life or to earn a living.
This is only a partial list. Any injury suffered in a Boston Uber accident has the potential to cause profound disruption and struggles in the life of the accident victim and the victim's family. At Dolman Law Group, we spend our days fighting to secure compensation for those unexpected challenges, so that our clients can return to living healthy, productive lives.
How We Help Boston Uber Accident Victims
Boston Uber victims come to us at Dolman Law Group during some of the most difficult times of their lives. They, or their loved ones, have suffered severe injuries in an Uber-involved crash. They often find themselves out of work, with bills to pay and healing to do. Their lives feel overwhelming, and they know they need help.
That does not always mean, however, that they know what we can do for them. So here is an overview of some of the services we often provide to victims of Boston Uber accidents.
Case Investigation and Planning
In many Uber cases, our first order of business is to investigate what happened to our clients. We often have two goals in mind: to figure out who should pay compensation to our clients for causing their injuries, and to determine how much money our clients deserve to receive. By carefully analyzing the facts of a Boston Uber crash and the harm it inflicted on our client (sometimes with the help of forensic, financial, and medical experts), we can plan a legal strategy designed to obtain the maximum compensation available to our client under Massachusetts law.
Communication and Question-Answering
Our clients need to understand their options. Our jobs also entail explaining those options to them in language they can understand, and answering the many questions that they have about the decisions they face. Our team recognizes that our clients rarely have much experience with the legal process. They deserve to have lawyers who listen to their concerns and lay out their choices in clear, simple terms.
Case Filing and Litigation
Securing compensation for Boston Uber accident injuries often entails preparing, filing, and pursuing legal actions or insurance claims against one or more parties at fault for the crash and the injuries our clients suffered. The team at Dolman Law Group builds solid, targeted cases against the parties who owe compensation to our clients, and then takes the steps necessary to press those claims in and out of court.
Settlement Negotiation and Advising
Most Boston Uber accident cases end in an out-of-court settlement between our injured client and an at-fault party (and, usually, that party's insurance company). The attorneys at Dolman Law Group have years of experience negotiating with defense lawyers and insurance companies over settlements of our clients' claims. Our team also has an understanding of the value of the cases we pursue on behalf of our clients, so that if the other side makes a settlement offer, then we can advise our clients about whether it is a fair one, or whether they should reject it and let us press for more.
Going to Trial
Sometimes, it takes going to trial in a Boston courtroom to get our clients the compensation they deserve for their Uber accident injuries and losses. When that happens, we are ready. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, P.A., has a team of fierce and determined trial lawyers. We never shy away from presenting our clients' cases to judges and juries. In fact, we welcome the opportunity to lay out the evidence we have collected and to prove why our clients deserve maximum financial awards.
Throughout the process of securing compensation for our clients, our lawyers also routinely serve as sounding boards for the countless life decisions our clients need to make in the aftermath of suffering an Uber accident injury. Having spent years representing victims of preventable traffic accidents, our team understands the challenges Boston Uber accident victims face every day. We cannot necessarily solve every problem that arises, but we can offer our clients the benefit of our collective knowledge to help them overcome obstacles, regain their health, and rebuild their lives.
Boston Uber Accident FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Boston Uber Accident Cases
As we mentioned above, question-answering constitutes a core part of our day-to-day communications with our clients here at Dolman Law Group in Boston. Our legal professionals are always happy to help clients and potential clients understand their rights and options.
Victims of Boston Uber accidents may also find some of the answers to frequently asked questions below helpful. If you have any questions relating to your claim and your legal options, contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, P.A., today.
Is There Something Different About an Uber Accident, Compared to a Regular Car Accident, That Makes It Important to Hire an Uber Accident Lawyer?
An Uber accident is, at its core, a traffic accident. It has many of the same features as any other crash—it involves motor vehicles, it causes the types of injuries described above, the police respond to it and prepare a report, and so on.
However, Boston Uber accidents can differ from other accidents in one important respect: insurance. In an ordinary, non-Uber, accident, victims' only option for compensation is often to turn to the at-fault driver's auto liability coverage.
In Massachusetts, the minimum bodily injury liability coverage a driver must carry consists of just $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident, and just $5,000 in property damage liability coverage. That minimum coverage does not always cover the costs of injuries and losses victims suffer in traffic accidents, and when that happens, victims may not have anywhere else to turn for additional compensation.
In Uber accidents, however, a different set of insurance requirements apply.
In addition to their private auto insurance, Uber drivers must also carry extra insurance that takes effect during two distinct periods associated with their Uber-driving activities:
- While logged-in and available, but not connected with a rider, Boston Uber drivers must carry a minimum of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per person in bodily injury liability coverage, and a minimum of $30,000 in property damage liability coverage.
- While connected with a rider, from the moment of connection through termination of the ride (or ride request), Boston Uber drivers must carry at least $1,000,000 in per occurrence, per vehicle coverage for death, bodily injury, and property damage.
In other words, if you sustain injuries in an accident involving an Uber car, then you may have far more insurance coverage available to you than if your accident did not involve an Uber. Hiring an Uber accident lawyer who knows how to obtain and use the necessary evidence of the Uber driver's app status at the time of the accident, can be a reliable way to help secure the benefits of that insurance.
Does Uber's Extra Insurance Only Cover Me If I Was an Uber Passenger?
Anyone who suffers harm in a traffic accident involving an Uber car in Boston could potentially access the benefits of the extra insurance Uber drivers must carry under Massachusetts law.
- Uber passengers;
- Drivers and passengers in vehicles that collide with an Uber car;
- Pedestrians struck by Uber cars; and
- Cyclists who collide with Uber cars.
In addition, the extra Uber insurance may also cover Uber-related injuries not suffered in a crash, such as if an Uber driver were to assault a passenger.
Does Filing a Boston Uber Accident Injury Claim Mean I Have to Sue Uber, the Company?
No. In the vast majority of cases, securing compensation for Uber accident injuries does not involve filing any sort of legal claim against Uber.
We understand why that would be a concern to some people. No one (except, perhaps, trial lawyers) relishes the idea of suing a gigantic corporation. Most of the time, however, that is not necessary in a Boston Uber accident case. To the extent a victim needs to file a claim against the supplemental insurance Uber drivers must carry, it is generally the covered driver, not the company, against whom the victim takes legal action.
We are not saying you could never sue Uber, the company, for damages you suffered in a Boston Uber accident, if the situation requires. Under Massachusetts law, anyone whose unreasonably dangerous decisions and actions cause a car accident can face legal liability to crash victims. A wrongful action by a rideshare company like Uber could, at least in theory, lead to the company itself having liability for the crash of one of its vehicles.
In addition, Massachusetts has an unusually broad unfair trade practices law that can sometimes result in companies owing compensation to their customers for actions that would not result in liability in other parts of the country.
However, on the whole, victims of Boston Uber accidents should not shy away from talking to a lawyer out of fear that suing for damages would mean taking on a large business like Uber—although, it's probably unnecessary.
Is the Uber Driver the Only Party I Can Sue for Damages?
As we noted above, Uber accidents in The Hub can happen in all sorts of ways. Sometimes, the Uber driver bears the blame for a crash. But not always. Oftentimes, the Uber driver is not the only one at fault, and sometimes the driver has no fault at all.
As the victim of a Boston Uber accident, you generally have the right to seek compensation from anyone whose unreasonably dangerous conduct caused the crash and your injuries.
Every accident differs, of course, but that could include:
- The driver(s) of one or more other vehicle involved in the accident, if their carelessness or recklessness contributed to the cause of the accident;
- The employers of those drivers, if they crashed work vehicles while performing job duties;
- Automotive manufacturers, if their products contained defects that led to the accident; and
- City of Boston agencies, if their vehicles, equipment, or the unsafe condition of roads they maintain contributed to causing the Uber crash.
Set up a free consultation to talk with a legal professional from Dolman Law Group today and explore who may owe you compensation for the injuries you suffered in a Boston Uber accident.
What Kind of Compensation, and How Much, Can I Get?
Every Boston Uber accident case differs.
In general, however, with the help of an attorney you may have the ability to obtain payment for:
- Medical expenses, past and future, related to treating your Uber accident injuries, such as costs of hospitalization, physical therapy, and medication
- Other expenses you would not have had if you had not gotten into a Boston Uber accident
- Wages or income you did not, or will not, earn because your Uber accident injuries kept you out of work temporarily or permanently
- Your pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life and personal relationships stemming from your injuries
In some cases, a Boston court may also see fit to award payment of punitive damages to Uber accident victims as a form of punishment for the at-fault party's extreme conduct.
As for how much money you could get, that depends largely on the injuries you suffered and their impact on your life. Obviously, the greater the harm and the effect on your day-to-day life, the more money you may need to pay for care, lost wages, and your pain and suffering.
Additionally, the amount of money you deserve is not always the amount of money you can actually obtain. The ultimate value of your claim can depend on the strength of the evidence your lawyer can collect, your lawyer's ability to present it, and the funds a liable party has available through insurance or assets to pay to you.
No lawyer can guarantee that you will receive compensation, but hiring a lawyer with experience in dealing with cases like yours can increase the odds of a favorable financial outcome of your Boston Uber accident case.
How Long does a Boston Uber Accident Case Take?
Every case has a unique timeline, influenced by:
- The availability of evidence;
- The speed of the victim's recovery;
- The number of parties that have a legal or financial interest in the case;
- The amount of money at stake; and
- The degree of dispute among the parties over liability, damages, or other key issues.
Neither you nor your lawyer has much control over these factors. You can rest assured, however, that your lawyer shares your goal of achieving the highest-value outcome for you as quickly and efficiently as possible.
On a related note, although there's no fixed timeline once a case starts, you do face a deadline to file your claim for damages, called the statute of limitations. In most cases, you have just three years from the date of your accident to bring a case forward, after which you lose your rights to compensation. In some cases, however, that time limit can shrink to just a few months.
To protect yourself against missing an important deadline, contact a Boston Uber accident lawyer right away. Quick action can be especially important in an Uber accident case, where the value of your case can depend on securing evidence of the driver's Uber app status.
What If an Uber Driver Hits Me As a Pedestrian?
If you are legally crossing the street in Boston and the Uber driver hits you, you have the opportunity to seek a personal injury judgment for any injuries you suffer, just as you would if any other type of driver hits you.
The difference in a case involving an Uber driver is that if the driver was actively working for Uber, your claim could involve the add-on insurance the Uber driver must carry.
Fully understanding these kinds of cases can be tricky, but with the help of our team, you will have a better chance of receiving the awards you deserve after your injury accident.
What Happens If the Uber Driver Refuses to Report the Accident?
If you want to preserve your ability to receive a personal injury award in the future, you must report the accident to law enforcement. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90, section 26 requires that anyone involved in an accident with injuries or with more than $1,000 of property damage must file an accident report.
The easiest way to file this report is to have the police investigate the crash and collect information that you can use to file the report. If the Uber driver who hit you is trying to avoid calling the police, thereby not having a record of the crash available, you should contact the police on your own. If no one follows state law by filing the report on the crash within five days of the accident, you likely will lose your ability to bring a personal injury lawsuit.
Even if you believe your injuries are minor, you still need to file the crash report and call the police. If no one files a crash report, there will be no record of the fact that you suffered injuries in the crash. The insurance company then may argue that you are lying about your injuries or that you suffered your injuries somewhere other than the crash. Always call the police and file a crash report, even if the Uber driver is trying to avoid doing so.
What If the Uber Driver Flees the Scene after Hitting My Car?
If a driver hits your car, leaving you with injuries, and then flees the scene, you should call first responders immediately to check on your injuries. Try to remember anything about the other driver and the other driver's car. This way, you can give the information to the police. If possible, try to take a photo or video of the other car.
If you believe the other driver was working for Uber at the time of the accident, make sure to mention this to the police. This fact could help police officers track down the driver who hit you and fled the scene, as it narrows down the number of potential suspects.
If the police are able to figure out which Uber driver hit you, we then can file a claim against that driver's insurance or that driver's extra Uber insurance coverage. If the police cannot find the other driver, we may need to file a claim against your own policy's uninsured motorist coverage.
What does a Boston Uber Accident Lawyer Cost?
At Dolman Law Group, we strongly believe that cost should not determine whether an accident victim gets legal representation. Victims of Uber accidents in Boston frequently face financial strain due to the expenses associated with their injuries, and losses from missing time at work. They should not have to worry about adding the cost of a lawyer to their budget.
That is why we offer a free consultation to Boston Uber accident victims and their families, in which they can speak with one of our legal professionals and learn about their rights. Even if you decide not to hire Dolman Law Group for your Uber accident case, you do not have to pay a dime for an initial consultation with our team.
In addition, in the Boston Uber accidents we take, we virtually always represent our clients on contingency. This means that we do not charge money upfront for our attorney's fees, and we do not send our clients bills for our time as the case proceeds. Instead, our fee consists of a percentage of any money we secure for our clients. If we do not get our clients results, in other words, they do not pay attorney's fees.
What Should I Do Right Now to Help My Boston Uber Accident Case?
If you have not done so already, seek medical care and do as your doctor says. Perhaps more than any other step you can take, getting appropriate medical treatment can protect your health and your legal rights. The records generated from you seeking care can serve as valuable evidence of the nature, extent, and cost of your injuries in any subsequent legal action.
In addition, do not sign or agree to any settlement offer from an insurance company until you speak with an Uber accident lawyer. Any offer an insurance company makes to you directly could fall short of the amount you deserve, and an attorney can help secure a better outcome.
Boston Uber Accident Lawyers for You
As Uber's popularity with Bostonians continues to grow, so will the number of accidents that happen involving Uber cars. Victims of those accidents need lawyers on their side who have dealt with these cases, to help make sure they receive the compensation they deserve. Quick action by an attorney to secure evidence of the Uber driver's app status, in particular, can mean the difference between obtaining full compensation for injuries and losses and receiving little or no compensation.
The attorneys at Dolman Law Group in Boston work to secure compensation for victims of all manner of traffic accidents, including Uber accidents. If a crash in Boston involving an Uber car harmed you or a loved one, then contact our team today for a free consultation to learn about how we can help you get the money you deserve.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
76 Canal Street, Suite 302
Boston, MA 02114