Over the last decade, Uber has become an extremely popular and convenient rideshare service for people in Sacramento and throughout the United States.
Like all drivers in Sacramento, Uber drivers have a duty of care not to cause injuries to their passengers, other motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and others. Unfortunately, Uber accidents, like regular car accidents, happen frequently.
Demas Law Group has the resources and skills needed to help Uber accident victims in the greater Sacramento area. If you were hurt in an accident involving an Uber driver and it wasn’t your fault, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries.
Our experienced and compassionate Sacramento personal injury attorneys understand the complicated insurance rules that apply to Uber and other rideshare companies. We are prepared to fight tirelessly to protect your rights and seek the full and fair compensation that you deserve.
To discuss your Uber accident case, call us today or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Causes of Uber Accidents in Sacramento
Many Uber accidents are the result of negligence or recklessness on the part of the Uber driver. Uber requires their drivers to undergo driving record and background checks. However, despite these requirements, accidents still happen when Uber drivers are not careful.
Common causes of Uber accidents include:
- Inattentive drivers: Uber drivers are often distracted while driving – particularly by using the Uber driver’s app behind the wheel – resulting in an increased level of risk to passengers.
- Driving while drowsy. Because Uber drivers often spend many hours on the road, they are prone to fatigue. Studies have shown that driving while tired is as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.
- Speeding. Under pressure to get passengers to their destinations quickly, Uber drivers may choose to break the speed limit or drive too fast for conditions.
- Driving under the influence. Driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs puts the driver, their passengers, and all others on the road in danger.
- Failure to properly maintain vehicle. This may include failure in the braking system, tire blowouts, airbag failure, steering issues, and neglect of many other vehicle systems, all of which can expose Uber passengers to a greater risk of accident and injury.
- Tailgating. Following too closely is a major cause of rear-end accidents.
- Road Rage. Road rage results in numerous accidents throughout California each year, and Uber drivers are not immune.
What Should I Do Immediately After an Uber Car Accident?
If you have been involved in an Uber accident, the first thing you should do is make sure everyone is OK. Health and safety should be your No. 1 priority. Never get out of the car in the middle of a busy street. Only move when it is safe to do so.
If anybody was injured, seek emergency medical help immediately. Even if your injuries seem small at first, do not ignore them because they may could be more severe than they initially appear. The medical treatment you receive will lay the groundwork for your personal injury claim. Without medical documentation, your lawyer will have a much more difficult time proving the extent of your injuries.
It’s important that you document everything about the Uber accident. The information that you gather may be used to support your injury claim in the future. Snap a screenshot of the Uber app to show the details of your ride, for example. Take pictures of the crash scene, the damaged vehicles, and any visible injuries you suffered.
You should take some of the same steps involved in regular car accidents, such as collecting insurance information, license plates, and drivers’ licenses form the drivers involved. Talk to any witnesses who may have seen the accident and ask for their contact information. Call the police and have them file an accident report.
If you were a passenger in an Uber when the crash occurred, report the accident to Uber. You can do this through the app or by calling the company.
Speak with an Uber accident attorney if you have been in an Uber accident in California. Don’t delay. If you wait too long, as important evidence may disappear and witnesses’ memories may fade. If you fail to meet California’s two-year statute of limitations, you will lose the right to pursue compensation.
What Kind of Liability and Insurance Issues Are There with Uber Accidents?
As with any crash, liability is always a major question in Uber accidents. Who is at fault? Is the Uber responsible for the crash if its driver was negligent?
In California, it depends on whether the driver is an independent contractor or regular employee of Uber. In accidents where commercial drivers are independent contractors, the drivers are typically held liable. However, if they are employees, then liability may fall on the company as well. To avoid questions of liability, Uber calls its drivers as independent contractors. However, this status has been contested by drivers, and California legislation may change the status of Uber drivers to employees.
Uber drivers are required to carry their own car insurance. While the insurance policy can provide coverage for passengers, the coverage can be limited. In California, both drivers and rideshare companies are required to carry liability insurance. Uber carries its own insurance policies in case their drivers are involved in an accident.
The ability to access different types of liability insurance usually depends on whether the Uber driver was logged into the rideshare app when the crash occurred. It also makes a difference whether the Uber driver had a passenger in the car, was en route to pick up a passenger, or was simply online and waiting to be summoned.
The amount of insurance coverage Uber provides differs depending on the circumstances, such as:
- The Uber driver was not logged on to the app. When a driver is in a crash while they are not on the app, Uber will not provide any insurance coverage. The driver’s car insurance policy would be liable for covering damages if the driver was at fault for the crash.
- The Uber driver was logged on and awaiting a hail. Uber’s insurance policy will accept partial liability if the accident happened while the Uber driver was logged into the app but still waiting for a rider to summon the driver. Uber has a policy limit of $50,000 for injuries and $25,000 for property damage under these circumstances. The policy pays only the amount that the Uber driver’s personal auto policy does not cover.
- The Uber driver was logged on and transporting an Uber passenger or on the way to pick one up. When an accident happens while the Uber driver is giving someone a ride or is on the way to pick them up, Uber’s insurance provides primary coverage if the Uber driver was at fault. Uber carries $1 million in liability coverage and $1 million in uninsured motorist coverage.
Contact Demas Law Group Today for Help with Your Uber Car Accident Claim
Litigating Uber accidents can be extremely complicated, especially if there are questions about liability and which insurance policies will be involved. Don’t try to handle the negotiations, paperwork, settlement offers, and everything else involved with an accident claim.
At Demas Law Group, our compassionate and skilled Sacramento car accident lawyers understand what you are going through during this difficult time. We have helped thousands of people recover the compensation they deserve after car accidents, and we are ready to help you as well.