Uber vehicles are the new taxi cabs. Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular in the last few years, especially among millennials. Using rideshare apps to get from A to B is convenient, easy to use, and cheaper than calling a taxi. Uber drivers have a duty to drive in a safe, reasonable manner while chauffeuring customers to their final destinations.
Unfortunately, accidents happen, and many people have suffered injuries due to the negligence of their Uber drivers. When a person has been injured in an accident while utilizing a rideshare app, questions arise as to whom the passenger can collect damages from. Does a passenger sue the driver or the company? Which insurance company will pay for damages? If you or someone you love were injured in an accident due to the negligence of a rideshare driver, contact a Miami Uber accident attorney to find out what damages you may be entitled to.
Common Causes of Miami Uber Accidents
The same factors that cause regular car accidents apply to Uber collisions as well. Speed and aggressive driving are common causes of accidents due to the nature of the transportation. Uber drivers are able to drive and earn as much money as they want. The more they drive, the more money they make. Thus, when a driver wants to fit as many trips into a night as possible, time is of the essence and speeding and ignoring traffic signals are ways to quicken the cash flow. A few other factors that contribute to rideshare collisions are:
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue
- Poor vehicle maintenance
Steps to Take as a Passenger After an Uber Accident
Step 1: Instruct you Uber driver to move their vehicle to a safe location away from oncoming traffic.
Step 2: Call 911 and report any time-sensitive injuries that may require transportation to the hospital emergency room. If there are no injuries or the injuries are minor, it is still imperative to call 911 and report the accident so that a police officer is dispatched to the accident scene.
Step 3: Report the accident on you Uber mobile application. It is quite common for rideshare drivers to deny that an accident ever took place when neither the law enforcement nor Uber are notified in a timely manner. Uber will provide you with a claim number when you report the accident through the application.
Step 4: Obtain the full names and phone numbers of all witnesses, including the Uber driver. Witnesses often leave the scene of the accident before anyone has a chance to obtain their information. It is unlikely that a police officer will be able to determine fault if both vehicles blame each other for causing the accident. Law enforcement officers will make their determination of fault based on the witnesses account of what happened in a situation where it unclear who caused the accident. These witnesses can also aid in any future lawsuit or insurance claim that may arise as a result of the accident.
Step 5: While waiting for law enforcement to arrive on scene, take photographs of the vehicles involved in the collision. It is important to capture images of the license plates on all vehicles as well as the damage to the vehicles.
Step 6: Once law enforcement arrives on the scene, provide them with a detailed description of how the accident occurred.
Step 7: Request that the law enforcement officer provide you with a copy of the driver exchange of information. This document will contain the names and addresses of the drivers, the vehicle owners, and insurance information.
Step 8: If you feel any pain whatsoever, seek medical attention at the nearest emergency room.
Step 9: Contact a personal injury lawyer if you sustained injuries and you did not cause the accident.
Suing Uber for Car Accidents in Miami, FL
When you are injured by a truck driver or taxi driver’s negligence, the trucking company or taxicab company that employs that driver can often be held accountable for the injuries their driver caused. Unfortunately, Uber does not employ their drivers like taxi companies do. Instead, these drivers are independent contractors that simply use the app for payment and matching with drivers – they do not actually work for Uber.
However, this does not stop you from being able to get compensation for your injuries; it just changes whom you sue. Instead of suing the rideshare company, you can sue the Uber driver directly. This cuts out the complexity of suing an employer and allows you to take the immediately responsible party to court. If you were injured as a passenger in an Uber and the accident was actually caused by another driver, you can sue that driver instead of the Uber driver since both you and your driver would be victims of that accident.
When you sue a driver directly, their insurance company will usually be able to cover many of the damages in the accident. In some crashes, you are actually required to use your own insurance to cover your injuries, but if you were injured as a passenger or your injuries were particularly severe, the responsible driver’s insurance coverage should pay for your injuries. In the case of Uber accidents, both companies also have insurance that works to cover injuries under certain circumstances.
When can I Sue Uber and the Uber Driver?
There are instances where it is best to sue both Uber as company and their Uber driver as an individual. This unique situation arises when your attorney can prove that Uber should have not permitted the driver onto their platform because the driver posed substantial risk to their passengers and other vehicles on the road. These high risk drivers may have bad driving records, substance abuse issues, preexisting medical issues, or other factors contributing to their increased likelihood of crashing their vehicle. In these situations, Uber may be responsible for damages in excess of their one million dollar insurance policy.
How Much Time Do I have Bring an Uber Accident Claim?
You have four (4) years from the date of the collision to sue Uber and/or the Uber driver for injuries sustained as a result of a collision caused by an Uber vehicle. However, you only have two (2) years to bring a lawsuit against Uber or their driver for the wrongful death of a family member.
Who Is Liable for Damages in an Uber Accident in Miami?
Filing a personal injury suit can be confusing when an injured passenger doesn’t know who is liable for the accident. Florida is a no-fault insurance state. This means that drivers (and passengers) involved in car crashes(regardless of who was at fault) must seek compensation from their own auto insurance companies first and sometimes exclusively for injuries suffered. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance will also cover a significant portion of medical expenses sustained during an accident.
Here is where it gets tricky. Most auto insurance companies have a policy that bars recovery when a driver was using the vehicle for commercial purposes. Commercial insurance coverage is not offered to Uber drivers in the State of Florida. Uber does provide coverage for drivers and passengers through liability policies. In order to collect damages under these policies, a passenger must have been en route from the pickup point of the ride to the destination. The policy also requires proof that at the time of the collision, the driver was using the route indicated by the rideshare service’s software. It is not uncommon for drivers to take alternate routes because of construction or traffic. However, rideshare service companies have been known to try and deny coverage to injured passengers upon a finding that their drivers were not traveling on the prescribed route.
If you were injured while being chauffeured by an Uber driver, it is imperative that you consult with a Miami personal injury attorney immediately. When a rideshare service company denies insurance coverage, the potential financial losses that you can occur are devastating. Filing a personal injury lawsuit against your negligent driver and the rideshare service company can help you recover the damages you are owed. The Miami Uber accident attorneys at Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA can help you on your road to recovery.
What if I’m a Passenger in an Uber and Another Vehicle is At-Fault?
Unfortunately, Uber vehicles no longer carry uninsured motorist coverage in the State of Florida. This means that you will need to sue the driver and/or owner of the at-fault vehicle in order to make a personal injury recovery. This could be problematic if the vehicle that struck your Uber is uninsured or does not have enough insurance to compensate you for your injuries. However, you may still claim uninsured motorist benefits if you maintain your own uninsured motorist coverage through your auto insurance policy.
Damages for Injuries in a Miami Uber Crash
When you are injured in a car accident, you can face a variety of potential injuries and damages. In a personal injury case like a car accident lawsuit, the compensation you receive should cover the full value of these injuries and other harms, including damages to cover your medical bills, any wages you lost because of the accident, and the pain and suffering you face. Calculating these damages can be complex, but documentation and financial records including bank statements, pay stubs, and hospital bills can help you calculate the majority of your damages. Intangible damages like pain and suffering can be calculated by a lawyer, and projected damages like lost earning capacity can be calculated with the help of financial experts.
These damages can be claimed against the driver, but their insurance company usually steps in to pay for the damages. In Uber cases, the rideshare company usually provides extra insurance to cover your injuries – but this insurance only covers the accident under certain circumstances.
- When the driver is not using the app, they are treated like any other driver on the road and their personal insurance will cover them in severe accidents as normal.
- If they are logged in to the app but have not accepted a ride yet, they will instead have additional coverage if their insurance cannot cover the full accident.
- Any time that they are on their way to pick up an accepted ride or have a rider actually in their vehicle, they will be covered by a $1 million insurance policy.
The supplemental bonus insurance for on-duty drivers covers accidents up to $50,000 per person or $100,000 per accident for injury. The enhanced $1 million policy covers any injuries or property damage up to $1 million. This $1 million insurance policy covers the accident whether you were a rider, another driver injured in a crash, a pedestrian or cyclist involved in the crash, or even the Uber driver.
Compensation for Miami Uber Accident Injuries
There are two types of damages an injured passenger can collect upon filing a personal injury claim against a negligent driver and/or the rideshare service company: compensatory and punitive. The purpose of compensatory damages is to make the plaintiff “whole.” Plaintiffs can collect compensatory damages for both monetary and nonmonetary losses. Some of these include:
- Present and future medical expenses
- Present and future loss of income
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Household services
- Wrongful death damages
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
Punitive damages are not awarded as frequently as compensatory damages. Courts will award punitive damages in cases where the defendant’s behavior was particularly egregious or outrageous. The purpose behind punitive damages is to make an example out of the defendant so as to deter others from committing similar acts in the future. Florida has a cap on the amount of punitive damages that may be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit. A plaintiff can collect three times the amount of compensatory damages that were awarded or $500,000, whichever is greater.
Reasons to Hire an Attorney After an Uber Accident
Uber commonly sends out representatives from their company to handle accidents. These individuals are trained to try to make the aftermath of an accident easier, but the company likely hopes that this response will help persuade injury victims not to sue.
The Uber driver, any other Uber representatives, and the representatives of the insurance companies want to see cases settle quickly and cheaply, meaning that your injuries and damages may not be covered in full if you accept payment this way. Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney who can advocate for you and fight to maximize your compensation.
Miami Uber Accident Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you or someone you love have been injured in an accident due to the negligence of a rideshare driver, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA right away. Seeking compensation for injuries suffered can be a complicated process, especially when a major corporation is involved. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA takes pride in providing aggressive legal representation to clients who have been injured due to the negligence rideshare drivers. Call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676 to schedule a free consultation with a Miami Uber Accident attorney.