4-15-2019

What To Do After Being Injured In An Accident In An Uber

Every Uber driver is screened for your safety. They go through criminal background checks and driving history is closely scrutinized. If the driver passes these checks, they have to agree to be continually monitored. If they are charged with a criminal or driving offense, they are removed as a driver.

Drivers also have systems in check to drive safely. An Uber app available to drivers alerts them when they are speeding or haven’t taken a break in a while. They have GPS that allows the company to track where drivers are and can alert them to adverse weather and emergency situations.

Even a driver with no record and these safety measures can’t guarantee nothing will happen during a ride. What happens if that driver makes a mistake that causes a crash? If you’re in an accident while riding in an Uber, take these steps.

What You Must Do After an Accident in an Uber

First, ask to go to the hospital. The driver or a witness to the crash should call 911 and request an ambulance. Your injuries may not seem serious, but head injuries and internal injuries can take time to appear. After a crash, your body is also running on adrenaline, so you may not notice the pain you’re in until the adrenaline wears off. It’s always important to see a doctor to rule out injuries.

Second, take as many photos as you can. This may or may not be possible depending on your injuries. If you’re injured and cannot take a photo, ask any witnesses if they can. If you’re unconscious, police will take photos of the accident scene. They can be used if you decide to file a lawsuit against the Uber driver.

Third, follow the doctor’s orders. Make sure you take medications as prescribed. Follow up with physical therapy if it’s recommended. If you’re told to avoid using a computer or phone and avoid reading while recovering from a concussion, make sure you do just that. Keep records of everything the doctor says. Store medical paperwork and bills in a safe place.

What Insurance Coverage Does Uber Offer Its Drivers?

Uber drivers are covered under an Uber insurance program that varies from one state to the next. The coverage is a minimum of $50,000 per person or $100,000 per accident for bodily injuries. There is also property damage coverage of $25,000. Drivers also have personal insurance coverage that may apply. That coverage covers accidents that occur before a ride request is received.

After a passenger requests a ride and an Uber driver accepts it, liability coverage for bodily injury or damages increases to a minimum of $1 million. Uninsured/underinsured coverage for bodily injuries is a minimum of $250,000. There’s also collision and comprehensive with a $1,000 deductible.

Isn’t That Coverage Enough?

Depending on the accident, you may find the coverage Uber offers drivers isn’t enough. If an Uber driver crashes into you or your care, you might be out of work for weeks while you recover. The loss of income quickly adds up.

A serious car crash can also affect your mental health causing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which often prevents people from getting back behind the wheel or even riding in a car without debilitating anxiety. PTSD may impact your life for months or years. It’s a difficult condition to overcome without months or even years of therapeutic therapies.

Any insurance company’s goal is to settle for the least acceptable amount. Uber drivers are independent contractors. Uber may provide insurance coverage on top of the driver’s personal insurance, but it’s the driver who is liable. You’ll be hearing from the driver’s insurance company in most cases. When that happens, you need to consider all the factors.

Is the money you’re offered really fair? Is it enough to replace the hours of work you’re missing? Is it covering the total cost of the medical bills incurred by the accident? Make sure you’re counting the cost of treatments for both mental and physical health. Did any of your personal items – computers, smartphone, tablet, glasses, etc. – get damaged in the crash and need to be replaced?

Before you accept any settlement, it’s best to make sure that offer is in your best interests and not best for the insurance company. An attorney who specializes in personal injury law and car accidents knows when you’re being cheated of the real cost of the accident. Don’t agree to anything without first talking to a lawyer.

At Carpenter & Zuckerman, consultations are free. You do not pay any fees unless your case wins. With Carpenter & Zuckerman’s attorneys fighting or you, rest assured that your health and well-being always come first. Legal advice isn’t limited to standard work hours. Call 1-888-CZR-FIRST at any hour of the day or night and let us know how we can help.

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