The growing number of Uber accidents raises the question: Who should be liable for your safety when using ridesharing apps? Let's find out in this comprehensive guide.

Uber has disrupted the transportation industry with its convenient and affordable ride-sharing service.

Accidents have also been on the rise with the growing use of ridesharing apps like Uber. Research from the University of Chicago School of Business indicates that ridesharing services may be responsible for a 3% rise in fatalities.

But who is liable when passengers are involved in Uber accidents? Is it the driver, Uber, or another party?

Let’s unpack how liability is determined in Uber accidents and what legal options are available to passengers.

Understanding Uber’s Liability in Accidents

Liability and negligence are the main focal points in determining who is responsible for Uber accidents. Many different scenarios determine who’s at fault:

What adds further to the complication is that Uber doesn’t classify its drivers as employees but as independent contractors. This classification has been the subject of many legal disputes and impacts liability in accidents.

Uber’s Insurance Policies and Coverage Details

Uber operates under different insurance policies depending on the driver’s status at the time of the accident:

The Distinction between Uber’s Responsibilities and Driver Negligence

If an Uber driver is using their vehicle for personal use without the Uber app on and active, Uber will claim no liability.

In cases where the Uber driver or another driver may bear liability for the accident, multiple parties may share fault in a crash. For instance, if an Uber driver is found to be at fault, they may be liable for damages. In some cases, Uber may pay some or all of your damages.

Accidents involving Uber vehicles underscore the importance of understanding the nuances of liability and insurance coverage. Consulting with an experienced lawyer can help navigate these complexities and ensure fair compensation.

What to Do Immediately After an Uber Accident

After an Uber accident, the initial priority is the safety of all individuals involved, including yourself.

First, carefully assess your condition and that of any passengers. Check for any signs of injury. If it is safe to do so, move away from the vehicle.

Dial 911 immediately to receive prompt medical attention and immediate assistance from local law enforcement.

Carefully document all crucial information, including the accident’s date and time, license plate numbers, weather conditions, and sequence of events. This is particularly important while the details are still fresh in your mind.

Make sure to exchange contact and insurance information, including phone numbers, with all parties involved in the accident. While it can be a highly stressful situation, staying calm and cooperating with everyone is important.

When interacting with other drivers, passengers, and even first responders, exercise caution in your communication.

Statements that may seem innocent, such as “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t see you,” can be easily misunderstood as admission of fault. Only stick to factual information and avoid unnecessary speculation or opinions.

Documenting the Accident for Legal Purposes

Record the details of the accident scene as meticulously as you can. Take photos (or film the surrounding area), as these serve as crucial evidence in any subsequent legal or insurance proceedings.

Make sure you capture the following:

Ensure you exchange contact information and personal insurance details with all individuals involved in the accident. Get their full names, phone numbers, and other personal information to help you contact them after leaving the scene.

Keep copies of medical bills and any other pertinent documentation. Ensure that you maintain comprehensive records of the following:

Determining Fault in Uber Accidents

Establishing fault in ridesharing accidents involves careful examination of the circumstances surrounding the accident—the actions of the drivers involved, witness testimonies, and any available traffic or surveillance footage.

In many cases, the driver of the Uber vehicle might be at fault, especially if they were negligent while driving. However, there could also be instances where a third party, such as another driver or pedestrian, may have caused the accident.

In extreme cases, some accident victims sue Uber. For instance, if the company’s negligent hiring practices contributed to the accident.

Comparative Negligence and Its Impact in California

In some cases, more than one party may be found at fault for the accident. This is where the concept of comparative negligence comes into play.

Under comparative negligence, each party involved in the accident is assigned a percentage of fault. Their percentage of fault will then reduce the compensation each party receives.

For example, if an Uber driver was found to be 60% at fault and the other driver 40%, the Uber driver would only recover 40% of the damages from the other driver.

California follows pure comparative negligence, which means that even if the Uber driver is found to be 99% at fault, he can still receive 1% compensation.

Some states like Georgia follow modified comparative negligence, meaning plaintiffs or at-fault parties can also recover monetary damages if assigned liability beyond a certain percentage. For instance, Colorado and Maine follow the 50% bar rule—plaintiffs are not allowed compensation if they’re found 50% or more at fault.

Navigating liability in ridesharing accidents can be complex, but understanding how fault is determined and how different parties may be held liable can help victims seek the compensation they deserve.

A personal injury lawyer’s experience and expertise will help you determine liability and seek maximum compensation.

Insurance Claims and Compensation

Compensation after an Uber accident can cover various damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It can also cover property damage and any other losses related to the accident.

When filing an insurance claim, you’ll formally request payment from the insurance company. The first check you get from your insurance company is often an advance against the total settlement amount, not the final payment.

But that’s after you deal with insurance adjusters.

Dealing with Insurance Adjusters and Potential Challenges

Insurance adjusters assess the damage after an accident and determine the amount the insurance company should pay. They might attempt to minimize the payout or deny the claim altogether. There will also likely be disputes over who was at fault or the severity of injuries.

So, it’s essential to gather all necessary documentation and evidence, such as medical records and proof of lost wages, to support your claim.

It’s also best to go on a free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney who knows the ins and outs of insurance claims. They’ll be able to walk you through the process (and how it should work), the right things to say and documentation to bring.

Even better, having these experts handle personal injury claims on your behalf can help you get the fair compensation you deserve.

Seeking Legal Representation

Personal injury attorneys—specifically an Uber accident lawyer—can objectively view the details of your case, ensuring you have the most substantial claim possible. They can also navigate the complex legal process on your behalf, which can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with injuries and medical treatment.

An experienced attorney can be crucial in negotiating with insurance companies and other parties on your behalf.

A car accident attorney can provide emotional support, which is especially important given that being a victim of a ridesharing accident can often be a traumatic experience.

Criteria for Choosing a Lawyer Experienced in Uber Accidents

When choosing a lawyer for a ridesharing accident case, consider their experience in handling similar cases. It can be beneficial to work with a lawyer experienced in dealing with ridesharing companies and their insurance providers.

Consider their track record of success and their approach to client service.

A good lawyer should be able to explain your rights and options clearly and be willing to negotiate aggressively on your behalf.

Frantz Law Group has a reputation not only for securing substantial settlements but also for the commitment of our personal injury lawyers to client satisfaction (here’s what our clients say.)

Some of our successful case results include the following: 

Protect Your Rights in the Age of Ridesharing with Frantz Law Group

If you or a loved one has been involved in an Uber car accident, don’t face this challenging time alone. Contact Frantz Law Group today for a free consultation and no-obligation case review.

Allow our team of skilled personal injury attorneys to leverage their experience and unwavering commitment on your behalf. With their expertise, our law firm will guide you through your personal injury case and in getting the fair compensation you deserve.