When choosing to take an Uber or other rideshare service, many riders believe they are making a smart decision and are trusting the person who is driving the vehicle to get them to their destination safely. However, not all Uber and rideshare drivers operate their vehicles safely and many get into car accidents while they have passengers in their vehicles. This can be incredibly stressful and frightening as you may not know who was at fault for the crash, who is going to pay for your medical bills, or what to do after the motor vehicle accident occurs. Many rideshare programs fail to properly screen their drivers, allowing for anyone to become a rideshare driver even if they have previously been at fault for serious roadway accidents or drunk driving incidents. If you have been injured in a car accident while using a rideshare service, we are ready to help you fight for the compensation you deserve after being in an accident in an Uber.
What To Do After Being in an Accident in an Uber
First and foremost, seek medical attention immediately if you are injured. Even if your injuries may feel minor at the time, more serious injuries do not present themselves for 24 to 48 hours or more after a car accident. Your body may be in shock, so it is incredibly important to be checked by a medical professional after being in any type of car accident. Report the accident to the police as well as to Uber as soon as possible. While waiting for the police, if you are able to, you should try to take pictures and video of the accident and surrounding scene to be used as future evidence. Use your cell phone to take notes about what exactly happened if you can remember. These details will fade over time, so it is important to preserve everything you can. Obtain your Uber driver’s information, including identification information, insurance information, rideshare identification number, etc. You have rights as the passenger of a rideshare and you will be able to collect compensation from the at-fault driver. After you have been cleared to leave the scene and have a copy of the police report number, report the incident to Uber’s insurance department. Do not give extensive details and never apologize for the accident. Keeping the interaction short and only giving the necessary information can protect you in the future.
If your Uber driver was at fault for the crash, Uber can potentially be held responsible for your damages. Because the driver was online when they accepted your ride request, Uber’s third-party liability coverage will be activated and their corporate liability policy may be responsible for covering medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other non-injury damages. Uber has an extensive insurance policy when it comes to accidents involving active rides. When an Uber driver is at fault for a car accident while a passenger is in the vehicle, insurance provides at least $1 million of coverage per accident. While it may sound like a very large number, multiple passengers and other drivers can be injured in a serious car accident and you will still have to fight their insurance company just to get your fair share. This is why it is critical to hire an experienced car accident attorney to fight for your rights.
Texas state law requires rideshare companies, including Uber, to maintain a certain amount of insurance coverage for their drivers. All rideshare companies operating in the state must provide 50/100/25 coverage when a driver is online, but not giving a ride, and $1 million in coverage when giving a ride. Texas laws attempt to make it easier for a passenger who is injured in an Uber accident to recover damages but the insurance companies will still do their best to pay as little as possible for a claim.
Know Your Rights as an Uber Passenger
When using a rideshare service including Uber, know that you have certain rights as a passenger, including:
- The right to a seatbelt for all passengers – All Uber drivers must provide a seatbelt for each passenger that is in good working order. If the Uber driver’s car is missing seatbelts or the seatbelts do not work, the passenger can refuse the ride.
- The right to a sober driver – Driving while intoxicated is illegal in Texas. If you believe your Uber driver is driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, you have the right to refuse the ride and should report the driver to Uber. Never ride in a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking or using drugs.
- The right to personal and private space – As an Uber passenger, you have the right to a ride free from harassment, inappropriate comments, flirting, or other improper behaviors that make you feel uncomfortable. If any of these occur, you have the right to end the ride, refuse service, and to report the driver to Uber.
- The right to safety – Passengers have the right to a driver who abides by all state and federal traffic laws and does not speed, drive recklessly, or have road rage. If any of these occur, you have the right to end the ride, refuse service, and to report the driver to Uber.
- The right to a safe and newer vehicle – Uber only authorizes vehicles for passenger transport that are less than 10 years old and are in excellent working condition. You have the right to refuse a ride if the driver arrives in a vehicle that is over ten years old or is not properly working.