With the rise in popularity of rideshare apps like Uber, many legal questions are being raised regarding accident liability. If your Uber driver was in an accident while you were a passenger, you may wonder how to file a claim for compensation.
Proving liability in crashes like these can be tricky. But our Uber accident lawyers in Richmond can walk you through the claims process after first determining which party is liable. Our Richmond personal injury lawyers at Pendleton Law Team offer our services on a contingency fee basis, and your initial consultation is free.
How Can a Richmond Uber Accident Attorney Help Me?
A Richmond rideshare accident lawyer can strengthen every part of your injury claim while you focus on more important things, such as healing from your personal injuries or spending time with loved ones.
In the aftermath of a complicated or serious Uber accident, your lawyer can step in and set things straight. An accident attorney can protect your rights from insurance claims adjusters and major corporations like Uber from the start.
Your Uber accident lawyer in Richmond can handle a variety of tasks while you rest and recover.
- Connecting you with top physicians and specialists in Richmond
- Investigating your case in-depth
- Gathering evidence after a serious Uber accident
- Going up against the appropriate defendant(s)
- Understanding and navigating Uber’s accident policy
- Filing a claim against Uber for damages
- Combating insurance bad faith practices
- Fighting for fair financial compensation
- Standing up for passenger or pedestrian rights
- Taking your case to court in Richmond, if necessary
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What to Do After an Uber Accident in Richmond
Knowing who pays after an Uber accident is just one of many tasks you or your lawyer will need to accomplish after a crash. Do not attempt to handle an injury claim alone or an insurance company could unfairly limit your payout. Use our lawyers for help.
The steps you take personally could influence your case and help its outcome if you know what to do. Your efforts to protect your rights should begin immediately after getting into an accident involving a ridesharing vehicle, from the scene of the auto accident. When in doubt, contact a lawyer sooner rather than later for advice.
- Get the names of everyone involved: One of the drivers should call the police for you if you were a ride-share passenger. While you wait for the police to arrive, get the names and contact information of all involved: the Uber driver, the other driver, other passengers, and eyewitnesses.
- Take photographs of the accident: Use your cellphone to take photographs and videos of the scene of the accident: the roadway, all vehicles involved, vehicle damages, personal injuries and other important evidence, such as a hidden stop sign or dangerous pothole in the road.
- Talk to the police: Give the responding police officer your side of the story. If you noticed your Uber driver was looking at his or her phone before the crash, for example, this is important evidence the police should know. Give as much detail as you can about the crash.
- Request medical care: If you have any noticeable injuries, go to a hospital right away for an examination. Even if you think you are not injured, wait to tell this to the police and insurance companies. Go to a doctor for a checkup first, just in case. The adrenaline of the collision could mask symptoms of an injury.
- Report the accident to Uber: Uber has a place where passengers and pedestrians can report Uber accidents through the app. Use this tool to report the crash to Uber as soon as possible. A representative from the company should reach out to you with questions about the accident within a day or two.
Before you try to negotiate a settlement with Uber or another party’s insurance company, speak to a personal injury attorney. One of our lawyers can help you gather evidence, build your case, prove your injuries and demonstrate another party’s fault in the pursuit of fair compensation.
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Common Causes for Uber Accidents
Unlike a standard vehicle accident in Richmond, an Uber accident may involve the negligence of an Uber driver or the company itself. More parties involved mean more opportunities for financial responsibility after a crash.
One of the first steps toward obtaining compensation, however, is identifying what caused your Uber accident. Our Richmond Uber accident attorneys can investigate your case to understand its proximate, or main, cause.
Uber Driver Mistakes
Despite being responsible for strangers’ lives, Uber drivers can make the same careless mistakes as other drivers. They may text and drive, drive distracted, drive drunk, drive drowsy, run red lights, speed, break roadway rules and make other errors that ultimately lead to collisions.
Uber driver error is the number one factor behind most ridesharing accidents. Road rage, tailgating, unsafe lane changes, running stop signs and other acts of negligence or recklessness could easily cause a vehicle collision. If you believe an Uber driver caused your crash, the company may be vicariously liable for your damages.
Unsafe Drivers or Vehicles
Sometimes, Uber hires drivers with dangerous criminal or driving records. Since Uber only looks seven years into a prospective driver’s past, it cannot guarantee the safety or skill of its drivers. Uber also rarely inspect drivers’ vehicles to make sure they properly maintain them for safe operations.
Third-Party Driver Mistakes
Even if your Uber driver does everything right, another negligent or reckless driver on the road could cause an accident. If a third-party driver crashes into your Uber, that driver may owe you and other victims financial compensation for your damages.
Dangerous Roads in Richmond
A safe vehicle and safe Uber driver may not be enough to prevent an accident if the road in Richmond contains a defect that makes it unreasonably dangerous. It is the city’s responsibility to repair potholes, cracked roads, dangerous construction zones, debris in the road or hidden road signs within a reasonable amount of time.
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What Does Virginia Require of Rideshare Drivers?
Virginia has specific laws for rideshare companies like Uber to operate in the state. They must do the following:
- Hire drivers 21 or older
- Hire no driver with a drunk driving conviction
- Require their drivers to get annual vehicle safety inspections
- Perform criminal and driving history background checks on all drivers
- Provide $1 million in liability coverage
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Common Acts of Driver Negligence
Accidents in Uber vehicles are commonly caused due to driver negligence, for example:
- Distracted driving
- Speeding above the posted speed limit
- Unsafe speed in hazardous weather, dangerous road conditions, and in traffic
- Street racing
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Failing to obey traffic signals and signs
- Inexperienced or unqualified driving
- Fatigued driving
Distraction is an immense problem for Uber drivers, as they are often paying attention to their phones, the Uber app, and GPS programs while driving. Passengers can also be a distraction, as well as any action which takes a driver’s eyes off the road.
All this dangerously increases the chances of an accident occurring. While most drivers for rideshare companies take precautions, it only takes one who doesn’t to change your life permanently for the worse.
Liability in Uber Accidents
Following an Uber accident, whether as a driver or a passenger, it may be difficult to determine which party is liable for your injuries. Drivers for Uber have liability insurance coverage provided by the company, as well as personal car insurance when off the clock.
Uber has defined the scenarios in which their company coverage will kick in or when the driver’s insurer is responsible:
- When the driver is available to take fares and has their Uber app “on,” Uber’s contingent liability coverage and the driver’s personal car insurance can cover damages. Uber’s contingent liability insurance covers up to $25,000 in property damage and up to $100,000 for injuries.
- When the driver has an Uber passenger in the vehicle and an accident occurs, the company’s commercial insurance policy will cover damages. This policy provides up to $1 million in third-party liability coverage and up to $1 million in uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage.
- If the Uber app is not on, they consider the driver as being off-the-clock. Therefore, their personal car insurance provider will be liable for any damages.
Our Richmond Uber accident lawyers can help you understand liability after a wreck. We have accepted Uber accident cases in the past and know how to deal with Uber’s $1 million insurance policy for riders, other drivers and pedestrians.
What if a Third Party Is at Fault?
If a third party is clearly the at-fault driver, the case is much simpler. You would file a claim against the third-party driver. Also, should their insurance not cover your needs, you could be covered under Uber’s UM/UIM coverage.
If you are an Uber driver, this extra coverage only kicks in if you’re logged in and have a rideshare request. If you are between rides and someone hits you, you may need to file a claim with your own insurer. You may wish to see whether your UM/UIM policy covers rideshare scenarios.
Common Injuries From Uber Accidents
The injuries you suffer in an Uber accident will depend on many factors. No two crashes are exactly alike. Your position in the vehicle, whether you were wearing a seatbelt and the dynamics of the collision can all affect the injuries you may sustain.
We have helped car accident victims with all types of personal injuries, ranging from temporarily disabling to catastrophic.
- Back and neck injuries
- Bone fractures
- Cuts, scrapes, and lacerations
- Facial injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- The traumatic loss of limb(s)
- Wrongful death
If an Uber accident left you or a loved one with permanent disabilities, brain injuries, scarring, disfigurement, paralysis or another catastrophic injury, contact an Uber accident attorney right away.
The rideshare company or another party could owe you significant compensation for your life-changing injuries. We can help you go up against the appropriate defendant(s) in pursuit of full compensation for serious injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one.
Why You Should Hire an Uber Accident Lawyer in Richmond
Uber drivers have a duty to use reasonable care to ensure you get to your destination safely. If an accident is caused by negligent actions, causing you injury, you are entitled to recover the following damages:
- Medical expenses (present and future)
- Lost wages (present and future)
- Property damage (i.e., cellphone, laptop)
- Pain and suffering caused to you
Insurers for Uber are for-profit companies with their own self-interests in mind. They will not protect you or offer you the compensation you need and deserve after an Uber accident.
An Uber accident lawyer in Richmond can take over insurance claim negotiations for you so that Uber does not offer less than your injuries demand. We can walk you through every step of your accident claim at no out-of-pocket costs to you.
Will I Need to Go to Trial?
Most Uber cases are settled instead of going to trial, so the chances are fairly good that you can avoid the hassle of going to trial over your case. One reason is because you’re the passenger in the vehicle.
Virginia still operates under a contributory negligence fault system, so if you were negligent in any way in your accident, you cannot sue for damages. However, that means that if a case goes to trial, your lawyer must have a high level of confidence that your accident wasn’t your fault.
Passengers rarely do anything to distract drivers from doing their job. Thus, odds are good that you did not contribute to your accident. This puts pressure on insurance companies to offer fair settlements because they know you have a strong case.
Why Choose Pendleton Law?
An accident attorney will have a thorough understanding of the pitfalls victims can fall into, as well as how to protect them. Our lawyers will handle all the communication with the insurance provider, so there is no risk of settling for an unfair amount.
Hiring one of our Uber accident attorneys can give you peace of mind during what may be one of the most troublesome times of your life. Rather than trying to navigate your claim and face powerful corporations alone, hire a lawyer to build a case and fight for fair results on your behalf.
- Our extensive litigation experience allows us to successfully secure compensation for injured Uber accident victims.
- We care for our clients’ well-being and will tailor our legal services and strategies to meet their goals.
- Our personal injury attorneys have a deep understanding of how insurance companies will employ tactics to reduce settlement amounts, as well as how to combat them.
At Pendleton Law, we accept cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will not have to pay for any of our services if we do not win. You can benefit from all the actions a lawyer can take for you with zero financial risks.
Contact our Uber Accident Attorneys in Richmond Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Uber accident, please contact Christina Pendleton & Associates as soon as possible and let us work to get the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve. We offer free case evaluations, so reach us by calling the number on your screen or use our online request form.
Our Uber accident attorneys in Richmond will use our decades of experience and our best efforts to get you a fair settlement under the law. Remember, if you try to do it alone the insurance companies will set up an unfair game where they’ll pay you as little as they can get away with. Don’t let it happen.
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