Uber cars are on the road throughout the state. They’re a preferred alternative to a taxi for many Washington residents because the cars are cleaner, less costly and service is more convenient than a traditional taxi. With the proliferation of Uber vehicles came an increased number of Uber accidents though. With that increase in accidents came an increase in personal injury claims. Those claimants quickly learned that pursuant to a working agreement with Uber, drivers are independent contractors, and Uber can’t be touched on nearly all personal injury claims. When an accident and injuries are caused by an Uber driver, it’s that driver who will be the sole target for those who are seeking compensation for their damages.
Common Accidents Caused by Uber Drivers
Uber drivers depend heavily on their phones and a GPS system to provide transportation services. They don’t hesitate to use them when driving either, and that’s why distracted driving might be the most common cause of Uber accidents. Here are some other common causes of accidents that involving Uber drivers
- Speeding or driving too fast for traffic or weather conditions.
- Following a vehicle ahead too closely.
- Disobeying traffic signals and devices.
- Failure to yield the right-of-way.
- Illegal lane usage.
- Drowsy or fatigued driving.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any combination of the two.
Aside from the independent contractor agreement that Uber has with its drivers, it also avoids financial exposure by carrying $1 million of liability, uninsured motorist, and underinsured motorist coverage when a customer is inside of an Uber-associated vehicle. If the driver’s Uber app is on, but he or she is awaiting a customer, coverage is at $50,000 per occurrence and $100,000 per accident. If the driver has the app turned off, his or her own insurance covers the car. Complicating the Uber insurance issue is the fact that most insurance companies won’t cover a vehicle if it was involved in a commercial endeavor unless the driver has special insurance. That coverage is routinely available, but many Uber drivers don’t have it.
What to Do in the Event of an Uber Accident
If you’re in an accident as a result of the carelessness and negligence of an Uber driver, call 911 immediately and request that both police and paramedics be sent to the scene. Police can investigate the accident and the paramedics can assist you and get you to a nearby emergency room. Both of them will make written reports that are critical to proving that you were injured in an Uber accident. Emergency room personnel will make their own report. Upon leaving the emergency room, call us right away, and we’ll arrange for a free consultation and case review.
When you meet with our Spokane personal injury attorneys, you can tell us what happened in more detail, and we promise to answer your questions truthfully. Then, we’ll advise you of the legal options that Washington law provides for. No retainer fee is required to hire us, so contact our offices for that free consultation as soon as you can.
For additional information, please refer to our page dedicated to Uber accidents or call us today with your questions.