Ridesharing allows people to call for a ride from where they stand. Some people prefer Uber to taxis. Uber has made plenty of money from the concept, and the company quickly expanded into food delivery.
Anyone can sign up to become an Uber driver. Since people use the app to make additional income, it leads to more drivers out on the roadways at any given time. An accident can happen, and people can walk away with injuries.
Victims can seek payments for damages, but they might not know who bears liability. Usually, a lawyer helps make this determination.
Uber Driver and Accident Statistics
Uber provides a convenient way for people to travel without a car. Over the years, more and more people have downloaded the app and called for a ride. The company has roughly 93 million active users across the United States.
A single quarter can see over 1.44 billion rides. Four quarters make up a year, so a few billion rides occur every year. People need to get to and from work, and many users need a lift to the supermarket. A person has various reasons to use Uber, making the ridesharing business a lucrative one.
Across the nation, 3.5 million drivers have signed up with Uber to make money. However, the number has decreased a little in recent years. Uber remains popular in many metro areas, and Houston and Miami hold most of the market shares for the company. Millions of people live in states like Florida and need a ride to a variety of destinations.
Thousands of vehicle accidents occur every year, and a portion of them involves Uber cars. According to Uber’s U.S. Safety Report, about 107 fatal Uber collisions happen annually. Roughly 90 percent of incidents take place in urban areas, likely due to densely populated streets.
Uber drivers make up an estimated 21 percent of fatalities, and passengers make up another 21 percent. Around 30 percent of Uber accidents involve pedestrians every year as well. In several cases, pedestrians sustain injuries as riders waiting outside the vehicle.
Do Drivers Qualify as Uber Employees?
A few drivers use Uber as a way to earn supplemental income. Others may rely on the app for most of their earnings. Some people may wonder whether Uber drivers qualify as employees or work more like freelancers. In many places, drivers work as independent contractors due to their high degree of autonomy.
Previous campaigns have attempted to make the drivers real employees so they could gain work benefits. You may have read about these legal battles in California and Florida.
Doral residents still work as freelancers when it comes to working for Uber. After all, the drivers have control over their workload and use personal vehicles. Additionally, drivers agree to a contract when they sign up. The agreement uses language to indicate that Uber does not serve as their employer.
As a result, these independent contractors do not get to enjoy any benefits, including unemployment benefits. Other locations may have successfully made Uber consider its drivers as employees. Lobbyists in other areas could keep trying to help drivers receive employee benefits.
Does Uber Have a Background Check?
When people sign up to become Uber drivers, they need to pass background checks. While the evaluation may vary depending on the city, a potential driver needs to submit two reports. A third party reviews prospective drivers’ motor vehicle reports and criminal background checks.
Once drivers pass both, they can work for Uber and earn as they drive customers around and/or make deliveries. A motor vehicle report provides information about a driver’s driving history. An employer can request the document and view details. Details can include license class and traffic violations.
Uber looks to see if a potential driver has a valid license in the United States. The person needs to have at least one year of driving experience as well. Major traffic violations or multiple recent minor offenses increase the risk of rejection.
The criminal background check lets the company know if the applicant committed any serious crimes. For example, felonies and violent crimes result in rejection.
On average, a background check takes three to five business days to complete. Different factors can influence how long it takes for Uber to make a decision. The company does not perform the check once. Drivers have to go through the process every year to ensure they meet certain standards. In some cities, background checks occur more frequently.
Who Bears Liability?
The one who caused the accident has to pay for damages after the collision. In cases of ridesharing, you might wonder if the driver or the company bears liability for the crash. The driver assumes responsibility in several cases.
Various causes could have led to the crash. The motorist might have gone well above the speed limit or ignored traffic signals. You would file a claim against the driver’s insurance company, especially if the injuries prove severe or permanent.
Some people hold Uber accountable for accidents. They might claim the company allowed a negligent person to work as an independent contractor. Uber could bear liability if it accepted a driver’s background check despite a history of violations.
A few jurisdictions do hold Uber accountable. The company has a duty of care to its passengers and has to follow strict regulations. Other courts continue to work out the legal issues regarding liability. The ridesharing company has shielded itself many times.
In a few cases, the non-Uber driver bore responsibility for the collision. The auto parts manufacturer also may have to pay compensation if the vehicle malfunctioned on the road.
Uber Driver Insurance
Unless the motorist does not have insurance coverage, if you recover compensation, you will receive the money from the insurer. The situation becomes more complex when a person drives for a profit. For most people, their policies only provide coverage for personal use.
The insurance company may cover an accident for a driver who caused a collision on the way to the store. However, the insurer likely will deny a claim if the collision occurred when the driver transported a customer. As a result, someone might not have enough money to pay for your injuries and other damages.
Uber drivers need a commercial policy to avoid a rejected claim. However, not many people understand what type of coverage to buy. Uber offers its drivers some liability insurance in case of an accident. For the liability coverage to take over, a person’s carrier would have to deny a car accident claim.
The amount of money Uber’s insurance policy provides depends on when the crash happened. If the driver did not log into the app, the driver won’t qualify for any coverage. A limited amount pays for damages if the person logs in but has not accepted any ride requests.
An injured victim could receive up to $50,000 in bodily injuries if the Uber driver caused the accident. Coverage goes up to $1 million if the motorist is on the way to pick up a passenger. The same dollar amount applies when someone transports a passenger.
Penalties for an Uber Accident
The at-fault driver can face multiple penalties for an accident. The consequences can vary based on the state. Frequently, the incident can affect a person’s license. Many places use a point-based system.
Traffic violations add points to your driving record, and a certain number can result in a suspension or revocation. Reckless driving adds four points to someone’s license, and careless driving adds another three. The threshold for a 30-day suspension is 12 points within 12 months. The increase in points means a longer duration.
If an Uber driver bears liability for a car collision, the driver runs the risk of account deactivation. The incident stays on the driver’s driving record, and Uber will see the violation when conducting a routine background check. Multiple moving violations or accidents within three years can result in a ban. Generally, the company may deactivate after three offenses.
How to Prove Negligence
Negligence involves one party committing an action that results in another party sustaining an injury. When a driver fails to do something, and that inaction results in an injury to someone else, this constitutes negligence as well. To receive compensation, you would need to demonstrate that the at-fault party acted negligently. Uber accidents involve the same process of proving negligence as the average car collision.
Four elements determine whether someone bears liability for the incident. First, you need to prove how the other driver owed you a duty of care. Every motorist has a responsibility to keep other motorists safe on the road. Once you’ve established that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care, you need to prove that the at-fault party breached that duty.
When drivers travel at excessive speeds or fail to yield, they have breached their duty of care. The breach in care needs to have led to the accident. Even if someone went above the speed limit, another factor could have caused the crash. To recover damages, injured individuals must prove that their injuries stem directly from the accident.
The other driver’s insurance company or legal defense may use strategies to make it seem as if you bear liability for the accident. A car accident attorney can protect you against these tactics and prove who actually caused the accident.
What Damages Can I Recover Following an Uber Accident?
After a car accident, you likely had to take your car or bike in for repairs. In some cases, victims had to replace their vehicles. Other personal property could have been dented or broken after impact.
You might have to replace the screen of your phone or deal with a cracked laptop. When you file a claim, you can recover the costs of repairs and replacements. The amount you receive will depend on the severity of the damage to your property.
The severity of your injuries will play a major factor in determining what you can recover. Besides hospital bills, you can receive compensation for future medical costs. For example, you might have to go to therapy multiple times or need medication.
Victims of an Uber accident often have to miss work to heal from their injuries. The lost wages can make victims struggle financially, and the settlement should take the missed income into account. Some victims will lose the ability to continue their jobs at all because of severe injuries.
In cases of fatal Uber accidents, the court may award damages for loss of companionship. If a minor loses a parent, the compensation could fall under the loss of parental support. If injuries left a person disabled, the injured individual could recover compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.
Different damages could apply to your case. Speak with a lawyer to learn what types of damages you should include in your damages claim.
Formal Lawsuits and Informal Settlements
Two types of settlements can occur during the lawsuit process. You may choose to file a formal lawsuit. This type of case goes before a judge for a complete trial. After each side presents its facts, the court determines if the defendant should pay for damages.
Not many cases use a formal lawsuit. While you could get a lot more money, this type of proceeding involves a higher risk of recovering nothing.
You may pursue an informal settlement, which involves a resolution outside of court. Both parties can reach an agreement, and you have a better chance of having a preferable outcome. Usually, a written agreement follows the negotiation to waive away any future legal action.
Most cases go the route of an informal settlement.
Structured Settlements and Lump Sums
Once both parties finish negotiations, the case can finally conclude. You can receive your compensation in the form of a structured payment or as a lump sum. People generally use structured settlements for high-value compensation.
If you choose a structured settlement, you will receive regular payments for a set time. The negotiation would go over how often you receive money and how long it takes. Some people have better financial security with a structured settlement.
Alternatively, you could choose to recover a lump sum. Smaller settlements usually get paid out as lump sums. In this case, the defendant would provide you with all the money at once.
Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
If you’ve sustained injuries in a Doral Uber accident, you should contact an experienced attorney to assist with your case and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf. With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, at (305) 930-7688, or you can write to us using our online contact page.
8400 NW 36th St Suite 450
Doral, FL 33166
What Our Clients Have to Say:
“My experience with this law firm has been extremely pleasant. After being involved in an accident where I was injured, I was able to seek treatment from the best doctors in the area. I was lucky to have a team that assisted in scheduling my appointments that worked around both my full time work schedule and my demanding grad school schedule. Even with a move out of state to New York, I was able to remain with this law firm and continue treatment in south Florida while remaining under the care of the doctors that I felt most comfortable with. Even though I suffered injuries and experienced difficulties in that aspect, the team here was able to make sure that I was able to continue work and stay on track with grad school all while I moved to a new state.”
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