Ridesharing apps such as Uber have become a go-to for people who want to reach their destinations safely. Since 43% of Uber rides are to and from parties, it makes sense. You want to have a glass of wine or two and to prevent drunk driving along with potential accidents, you take an Uber instead.
But what happens if the ride that was supposed to take you safely home gets you into an accident? Can Uber be held responsible for your injury? Can you receive compensation for everything that you’ve gone through? In this article, we will discuss liabilities where Uber accidents are involved.
Who Holds Liability?
Where the New York law is involved, the one liable for the accident is the one at fault. Passengers are rarely at fault, but in Uber’s case, proving liability can be tricky. This is because Uber classifies their drivers as independent contractors. They are not technically employees. This means Uber can be set free of liability.
With that said, there are certain instances when Uber can be held responsible for the accident. This will depend on which liability period your accident classifies. The periods are described as such:
- Period 1: Also referred to as personal driving, the Uber driver isn’t logged into the application. Since they are technically not taking passengers at that moment, Uber cannot be held liable.
- Period 2: Occurs when waiting for a request, when the driver is logged into the app. Uber can be held liable for a limited number of damages.
- Period 3: The ride is currently in progress, labeled as an active ride request. If an accident happens at this stage, then you may seek compensation from Uber.
What makes things tricky here is that you cannot directly sue Uber for it; they weren’t the ones driving your car, after all. However, most Uber drivers will be covered by ridesharing insurance. If you get into an accident, you can sue the driver, and that insurance will kick in. Suing Uber directly won’t get you very far unless the fault is specifically Uber’s and not the traffic factors (which is rare).
What to Do If You’re an Injured Passenger?
Being in an accident can be very stressful, no matter if you are driving your car or are a passenger. At this point, you must keep your cool and follow the steps below. It may seem confusing at the moment, but when the time comes for compensation, you will thank yourself for it.
1. Call the Police
Many people decide against calling the police to save time, thinking they will “work things out” with the driver. This rarely turns out to your benefit, which is why you should opt for police help instead. Call 911 and report to the police that there has been an accident, in which case they will offer support and gather data.
2. Seek Medical Care
If you were injured in an Uber accident, you need to prove your injuries if you wish to receive compensation. Even if you don’t think you are injured, you should still get yourself checked. Very often, the adrenaline rush may mask your pain, making you think that you are fine. However, when the adrenaline goes away, you will begin to feel the symptoms. If you started that “you’re fine” in the beginning, it might be difficult to hold Uber liable for the accident.
3. Gather the Info
If you are able to, takes notes of the crash data. This includes road conditions, location, time, witnesses, and many more. The more information you can gather on this, the better you will be able to prove your case to Uber. Pictures and videos would be great to have as well. If it turns out the Uber driver was liable for the accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries.
4. Get a Lawyer
As we noted, proving liability directly to Uber can be rather tricky. To get to Uber, you’ll have to get through the driver first. If you had your accident in NYC, then you may want to consider getting a New York Uber accident attorney. They should be able to help you build a strong case.
The Bottom Line
Getting into an accident is never fun, especially when you weren’t even the one driving. If you got injured while in a ridesharing vehicle, you may seek compensation for your injuries. Uber is not always directly responsible, but thanks to the insurance they offer for their drivers, you may still be covered.
Featured Image by freestocks-photos from Pixabay