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Injured in an Uber Accident—Who Is Liable?

Injured in an Uber Accident—Who Is Liable?

If you sustained injuries in an accident involving an Uber—whether as an Uber passenger, an occupant of another vehicle, a pedestrian, or a cyclist—you can hold the party that caused the crash and their insurance company liable for your losses.

When the at-fault party is the Uber driver, you could secure significant compensation from the supplemental liability insurance policy all rideshare drivers must carry. Even if the Uber driver was not at fault, you still have plenty of options to obtain the money you need to pay your bills and recover.

Here is an overview of how liability and damages work in Uber accident cases and why hiring a skilled Uber accident injury lawyer in Atlanta is the most reliable way to obtain the maximum possible payment for your losses.

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Overview of Liability in an Uber Accident

Lawyers use the term liability to refer to the legal obligation to answer for the harm one party's dangerous actions or omissions cause others. The person or entity liable for an accident—and their liability insurance coverage, if they carry it—typically must pay for the damages any crash victim suffers. 

Potential Damages Available for an Uber Accident

The liable party's payments can cover losses such as:

Injured in an Uber Accident—Who Is Liable?
  • Past and future medical expenses.
  • Past and future lost income and job benefits.
  • Property damage and other accident-related costs.
  • Physical pain and discomfort.
  • Emotional anguish.
  • Diminished quality of life.
  • Scarring, disfigurement, or loss of bodily function.

Courts will sometimes order a liable party to pay punitive damages to punish them for extreme or malicious misconduct.

Potential Liable Parties in an Uber Accident

If someone causes or contributes to a motor vehicle accident by behaving carelessly or recklessly, you can hold them liable.

You might hold numerous parties liable for an accident involving an Uber car, including:

  • An Uber driver who drove carelessly or recklessly.
  • An Uber passenger whose unruly behavior caused the Uber driver to lose control.
  • Another driver who crashed into an Uber car by driving unsafely.
  • The employer of a driver whose work vehicle collided with an Uber car.
  • The manufacturer of any dangerously defective vehicle involved in the accident.
  • A government entity or contractor responsible for causing unreasonably hazardous road conditions that contributed to the accident.

These are just a few examples. Every case differs, which is why victims of Uber accidents should hire an experienced attorney to investigate the facts and identify all parties with a potential obligation to pay damages.

Why Uber Drivers Are Often Liable

Although any number of parties can trigger an Uber accident, the evidence often points to fault on the part of the Uber driver. Uber drivers must pick up and drop off passengers as quickly as possible to maximize their earnings.

This pressure can lead to Uber drivers disproportionately engaging in risky driving behaviors that can trigger accidents, such as:

  • Distracted driving: Uber drivers often use their mobile phones to accept rides and navigate to destinations, taking their eyes off the road while looking for a pickup or drop-off location. These distractions increase the chance of accidents.
  • Speeding and aggressive driving: To maximize the rides they complete, some Uber drivers drive over the speed limit or too fast for road conditions (particularly on their way to a pickup or after a drop-off), which increases the risk of accidents.
  • Drowsy driving: Common Uber driver practices, such as driving for many hours straight, late at night, early in the morning, or after having already worked a full day at another job, can lead to fatigue that impairs the driver's alertness and reaction time and poses an accident risk.

These behaviors’ prevalence among Uber drivers does not automatically make them responsible for crashes, but it does give Uber accident victims and their lawyers good reason to look carefully at the collision's circumstances to identify whether the Uber driver's misconduct behind the wheel played a role.

The Significance of Finding an Uber Driver Liable

Finding liability on the part of an Uber driver is significant because state laws require rideshare drivers to carry supplemental liability insurance to protect accident victims to a far greater degree than ordinary auto liability coverage. In some cases, finding the Uber driver at fault can mean the difference between partial and full accident compensation.

The coverage an Uber driver's supplementary liability insurance supplies only applies in specific circumstances and amounts.

Under Georgia law, for example, if an Uber driver is actively engaging in a ride (from the time they accept a passenger's request to the time they complete the trip) at the time of the accident, the supplemental liability coverage for victims' losses can reach $1 million. However, if the driver logged into the app but has not accepted a ride request when the crash occurs, the coverage decreases to $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 for property damage.

If the driver was not logged into the Uber app at the time of the accident, the supplemental insurance does not apply at all—only the driver's personal auto liability coverage applies.

Obtaining compensation for an Uber accident may, therefore, depend on proving specific facts about an Uber driver's status on the app at the moment of impact. That is why you need an experienced attorney to handle your Uber accident case—someone who knows how to locate and preserve the data necessary to prove the driver's status and negotiate the maximum possible insurance settlement or win your case against the Uber driver in court, if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions About Uber Accident Liability

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions we hear about Uber accident liability:

If the Uber Driver Is Liable, Will I Need to Sue the Company for Damages?

No. You will almost always file your claim against the at-fault driver, who holds the supplemental liability insurance coverage that Uber provides. In most cases, you do not need to worry about taking on Uber. An attorney can handle it for you in the same way as an accident that does not involve a rideshare driver, except with the added possibility of tapping into the significant supplemental insurance coverage Uber drivers carry.

Can I Seek Damages From More Than One Liable Party?

Yes, if more than one party caused the Uber accident that injured you. Depending on the specifics, multiple parties could share responsibility for an Uber crash, and you have the legal right to pursue a claim against all of them.

How Long Does It Take to Receive Payment in an Uber Accident Case?

There is no guarantee of payment, so always hire an experienced Uber accident attorney to handle your claim.

Car Accident Injuries

Assuming you have a viable case, the timeline for payment can vary depending on factors such as the injuries’ severity, the degree of dispute over liability or damages, the amount of damages at stake, and the insurance companies and at-fault parties’ willingness to negotiate in good faith. Some claims settle in months, while others can take a year or more.

The fastest way to get to a favorable resolution is to hire a skilled lawyer as soon as possible.

How Much Money Can I Get for My Uber Accident Injuries?

As with the claim's timeline, it can depend on your injuries’ severity, the strength of your claim, your attorney's skill and reputation, and the financial resources available to pay your damages (such as whether you can tap an Uber driver's supplemental liability insurance coverage). An experienced Uber accident attorney can review your case's details and provide a preview of your potential compensation.

Steps to Protect Your Rights After an Uber Accident

Knowing what to do after an Uber accident can play a significant role in protecting your rights and setting you up for maximum compensation. Here are some tips on how to safeguard your interests:

Focus on Healing

Your priority after an Uber accident should be your health. Regardless of how minor your injuries may seem, seek medical attention immediately and follow your doctor's orders for any continuing treatment, therapy, rest, or medication.

A complete medical record showing the connection between the Uber accident and your injuries can be useful evidence in proving your case for compensation. Demonstrating that you took reasonable steps to care for yourself protects your claim's value.

Beware of Quick Insurance Settlement Offers

An insurance adjuster may approach you and offer to settle your injury claim quickly without involving a lawyer, but you should decline. Insurance companies rarely offer fair settlements directly to accident victims.

The amount they offer will likely fall short of what you need—and have the legal right to demand—to cover your expenses and losses. Let an experienced Uber accident lawyer negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. A skilled lawyer can usually extract far more from an insurer than they initially offer.

Hire an Experienced Uber Accident Lawyer Immediately

Hiring an experienced Uber accident lawyer immediately can greatly enhance your chances of securing maximum compensation. The sooner you have a capable attorney in your corner, the better your odds of building a strong case against the liable party and insurance companies, forcing them to pay what they owe.

Once you hire the lawyer, they can collect evidence, interview witnesses, handle all insurance dealings, and make sure you meet all legal deadlines applicable to your case.

Hiring an Uber Accident Lawyer Is Affordable

Some Uber accident victims hesitate to hire an attorney to handle their claims, fearing the cost; however, anyone can afford an Uber accident lawyer, no matter their financial circumstances.

Uber accident law firms offer a free consultation so you can learn about your legal options for seeking compensation from at-fault parties and insurance companies. You do not have to pay for that session, even if you decide not to pursue legal action.

Uber accident lawyers work on a contingent fee basis, so their fees depend on winning your case. If they do not get you results, you do not pay them a penny. By working on contingency, Uber accident attorneys ensure that everyone who needs their services has access to them.

Contact an Experienced Uber Accident Lawyer Today

Numerous parties could owe you compensation for an Uber accident. You may hold them accountable for your losses. If the Uber driver was at fault, a claim against the driver's large supplemental liability insurance policy could cover your expenses.

A viable Uber accident claim does not guarantee payment, however. The most reliable way to maximize your chances of full, fair compensation is to hire an experienced Uber accident lawyer to handle your case. Contact an Uber accident attorney in your area today for a free consultation.

Jennifer Gore-Cuthbert - Owner & Attorney

Attorney Jennifer Gore-Cuthbert was seriously injured in a collision and experienced firsthand dealing with uncooperative insurance companies. She knows what it is like to feel overwhelmed and under-educated about your rights after a collision. That is why she has dedicated this firm to fighting for accident victims and their loved ones. The goal of The Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group – Gore LLC is to provide you with excellent legal advice, based on our experience in representing injured automobile drivers and passengers from all across the State of Georgia.

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