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Uber Accidents and the Holiday Season: What You Should Know if You Share the Roads

Uber Accidents and the Holiday Season: What You Should Know if You Share the Roads

Life often changes during the holiday season. The sights, sounds, and décor of everyday life differ from any other time of year. People are busier, hustling from one celebration to another and all the preparations in between.

Businesses are also busier, including ridesharing services like Uber. People aren’t just traveling more for errands and local festivities but also for shopping, visiting, and enjoying celebrations further from home.

With more traffic on the road comes increased risks. Factor in the unique holiday circumstances, and you have the perfect storm for Uber accidents. The good news is that a qualified Uber accident lawyer can help you get a fair settlement for your injuries.

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Understanding the Causes of Uber Accidents

The holiday season is known for being stressful and anxiety-ridden for many. Uber drivers aren’t exempt from that sad fact.

Uber Accidents and the Holiday Season

The pressures of increased traffic and tighter deadlines contribute to accidents, in addition to standard accident causes such as:

  • Distracted driving: One leading cause of Uber accidents is distracted driving. Uber drivers use their smartphones to manage ride requests and for navigation. Constantly glancing at the app while driving can divert their attention from the road, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Fatigue: Uber drivers often work long hours to maximize their earnings, leading to driver fatigue. Fatigued drivers have slower reaction times and impaired decision-making, making them more susceptible to accidents.
  • Inadequate training: Uber’s rapid onboarding of drivers can result in insufficient training. Some drivers may lack the knowledge of road rules, defensive driving techniques, or customer service, contributing to accidents.
  • Vehicle maintenance: Uber drivers use personal vehicles that are not always adequately maintained. Poorly maintained vehicles are more likely to experience mechanical failures that lead to accidents.
  • Weather: Weather plays a significant role in accidents involving Uber vehicles. Drivers may be unfamiliar with handling adverse weather, and this lack of experience can lead to accidents. Other drivers can lose control and cause accidents also.
  • Passenger behavior: Passenger behavior causes some Uber accidents. Intoxicated or unruly passengers distract drivers and even engage in dangerous activities that compromise the safety of everyone on the road.
  • Reckless driving: Some Uber drivers may engage in reckless driving to reach their destination quickly, which can lead to accidents. Speeding, aggressive maneuvers, and running red lights are reckless behaviors that increase crash risk.
  • Inadequate background checks: While Uber conducts background checks on its drivers, some individuals with a history of traffic violations or criminal activity may still slip through the cracks. Such drivers may pose a higher risk on the road.
  • Inadequate insurance: The insurance landscape for Uber drivers is complex. There may be gaps in coverage between the driver’s insurance and Uber’s commercial insurance. You’ll need a lawyer to help you understand the legal complexities in such situations.
  • Road infrastructure: The state of road infrastructure contributes to Uber accidents too. Potholes, poorly marked lanes, and inadequate signage makes navigation more challenging and increases the likelihood of accidents, especially during the holidays when traffic and stress are at yearly highs.
  • Miscommunication: Miscommunication between drivers and passengers leads to accidents in some cases. Drivers may misinterpret pickup or drop-off locations, and passengers may provide incorrect or unclear directions. It’s easy for a confused, frustrated driver to make a deadly mistake trying to redirect in heavy traffic.
  • Rider ratings and feedback: Uber’s rating system can sometimes lead to unsafe behavior. Drivers prioritizing high ratings may take more risks, such as speeding, to expedite the ride.

What Are the Typical Injuries From Uber Accidents?

  • Whiplash: Whiplash is one of the most repeated injuries in Uber accidents. It occurs when a sudden impact forces the head to snap back and forth rapidly, causing neck strain, pain, stiffness, and headaches.
  • Cuts and bruises: During a collision, passengers and drivers may be thrown around the vehicle or encounter sharp objects, leading to cuts and bruises. These injuries can cause discomfort and require medical attention, such as stitches or sutures, to properly heal.
  • Fractures: Uber accidents frequently result in broken bones, especially during severe impacts. Commonly affected areas include the arms, legs, and ribs, necessitating casts in most cases.
  • Head injuries: Head injuries, from concussions to traumatic brain injuries, frequently occur in Uber accidents. Even minor head injuries can impair cognitive function and mental health.
  • Spinal injuries: Extraordinary force causes damage to the spinal cord and may result in paralysis. Spinal injuries often require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Soft tissue injuries: Soft tissue injuries include muscle, ligament, and tendon sprains, strains, and tears, causing pain, limited mobility, and extended recovery.
  • Internal injuries: You can’t see internal injuries like liver, spleen, and kidneys damage, but their effects can kill.
  • Psychological trauma: Victims of Uber accidents sometimes experience psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression, which are as debilitating as physical injuries and commonly require counseling and therapy.
  • Seatbelt and airbag injuries: While seatbelts and airbags protect occupants in accidents, they can also cause injuries. Seat belt injuries may result in bruises, cuts, or chest contusions, while airbag deployment often causes burns, abrasions, and fractures, especially in high-speed collisions.
  • Burns: Uber crashes sometimes end up as vehicle fires, resulting in burns to passengers and drivers. Burn injuries often require specialized medical care and extensive rehabilitation to heal.

Understanding these potential injuries is crucial for promoting safety, ensuring timely medical attention, and pursuing appropriate legal recourse.

Financial Compensation for Uber Accident Injuries

After an accident with an Uber, you may seek compensation for injuries such as:

  • Medical and rehabilitation expenses
  • Costs of long-term care and support
  • Vehicle repair or replacement expenses
  • Lost wages or income
  • Loss of future earnings and job benefits
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost quality of life

Filing a claim for your injuries is not easy. There are many rules, required documents, and deadlines to follow. Uber’s insurance company counts on victims misunderstanding the law and agreeing to low settlements. Having a lawyer in your corner can ensure your fair treatment.

How Can I Prove Fault in an Uber Accident?

Proving fault in an Uber accident can determine liability and hold the responsible party accountable.

A strong case requires several items.

  • Police report: File a police report at the accident scene. This report will typically include details of the accident, statements from witnesses, and the responding officer’s assessment of fault.
  • Eyewitness testimonies: Eyewitness accounts from passengers, other drivers, pedestrians, or anyone present at the scene might reveal valuable information about what happened.
  • Driver statements: Statements from all other drivers involved can strengthen your case. Collect them as soon as possible while the memory of the events is fresh.
  • Photographic evidence: Take pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, and any relevant road conditions. Photos can help establish what happened.
  • Video footage: Dashcam or surveillance camera footage or traffic cameras might provide valuable evidence and strengthen your case.
  • Uber App data: Uber retains data related to rides, such as the GPS coordinates, routes taken, vehicle speed, and timing of the trip. This data helps reconstruct the accident and determine factors like speed and route deviation.
  • Cell phone records: If distracted driving caused the crash, obtaining cell phone records can establish whether the driver used their phone when it happened.
  • Expert opinions: Accident reconstruction experts analyze evidence and offer professional opinions on fault.
  • Driver and vehicle histories: Investigate the driver’s history, including their driving record, past accidents, and the condition of their vehicle. Verify maintenance records and if it’s subject to any recalls.
  • Traffic laws and regulations: The driver who violates traffic laws is typically at fault.
  • Insurance companies’ investigations: Uber and the driver’s insurance may conduct investigations. Their findings can establish fault.

Determining fault is usually complicated, and it may sometimes involve shared liability. Gather as much evidence as possible and consult professionals who can help assess the situation accurately.

The amount of your settlement is related to the strength of your case. A skilled lawyer with Uber accident experience can uphold your rights.

Who Is Liable in a Georgia Uber Accident?

Georgia requires rideshare drivers to carry insurance. Uber also provides a specified amount of insurance under certain circumstances.

  • If the driver isn’t working, their insurance is the only option. 
  • When the driver is working with the app on and waiting to connect with a passenger, their policy is usually liable. Uber provides $50,000 for injury per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
  • When the driver is working with a passenger, Uber offers $1 million in coverage for any damages.

You deserve compensation for the damages the accident caused, but insurance companies often resort to tricky wording in your offer. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer helps ensure you get a fair settlement.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Claim After an Uber Accident?

  • Legal advice and guidance: A lawyer will provide expert legal advice tailored to your situation. They can explain your rights, responsibilities, and available legal routes.
  • Investigate the accident: Attorneys conduct a thorough investigation into the accident that helps determine liability and build a strong case, including collecting evidence, talking to witnesses, and analyzing factors contributing to the collision.
  • Deal with insurance companies: Lawyers can speak on your behalf to ensure you don’t say or do anything harmful to your claim. They negotiate with the insurance companies to seek fair compensation.
  • Evaluate damages: Lawyers help you assess the extent of your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other losses. They work to ensure you receive proper compensation for all your losses.
  • Determine liability: Establishing fault is crucial in a personal injury claim. A lawyer will work to determine who is at fault for the accident, considering factors such as driver negligence, road conditions, and other relevant details.
  • Negotiate settlements: Lawyers have experience negotiating settlements with insurance companies and the at-fault party. They will strive to secure a fair payment covering expenses and losses.
  • Litigation representation: If negotiations fail, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and represent you in court. They will present your case and work to obtain a favorable judgment.
  • Manage legal paperwork: Legal cases often involve significant paperwork, documentation, and deadlines. Your lawyer will manage all the necessary paperwork, filing everything in accordance with the law.
  • Advocate for your rights: A personal injury lawyer fights for your best interests throughout the legal process. They can work against the strategies used by insurance companies to reduce your payment.
  • Provide peace of mind: Knowing that a legal professional is handling your case offers peace of mind during a stressful and challenging time.

We can stand against the big firm insurance companies for you and help you get a fair settlement.

Call our office to discuss your options.

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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