Using Uber for daily commuting and other trips across the city has become one of the most popular types of transportation. You only have to install the rideshare company's app, save your credit card details and you can hail an Uber and get to your destination on time. Unfortunately, this simple scenario does not happen as planned all the time. Many passengers are injured by distracted Uber drivers or as a result of another driver's negligence. If you were injured as an Uber passenger, reach out to the Houston Uber accident attorneys at Calhoun Meredith to see if we can take on your case.
We believe that everyone is entitled to receive fair compensation for bodily injury and property damage caused by another person's negligence. Whether the at-fault driver is the Uber driver or another driver, this does not change the situation for the injured Uber passenger. You suffered economic damages and, under Texas personal injury law, you have the right to recover these damages from the responsible party.
All Houston Uber accident attorneys will tell you the same thing: you cannot sue the rideshare company. Uber spent a lot of money to create and enforce statutes that specify that its rideshare drivers are independent contractors, not employees.
Why does this difference matter? When there is an employment relationship between an individual and a legal entity (or even another individual), the employer is vicariously responsible for the employee's actions while on the job. This legal obligation does not exist when someone hires an independent contractor. And this is the reason why a trucking company may be liable for a truck accident, while you cannot sue Uber for your Uber accident.
This does not mean that you do not have legal protection. Next, we will discuss the insurance obligations for Uber and its drivers and how this type of coverage can help you recover medical expenses and other economic and non-economic losses after a motor vehicle accident where you were injured as an Uber passenger.
In 2017, the H.B. 100 act took effect in the state of Texas, creating clear regulations for rideshare services. These regulations extend to the minimum requirements for drivers who want to work as Uber drivers. They must:
Uber's driver auto insurance coverage is the standard third party liability policy, with the following minimum coverage amounts:
This is not very much. However, the transportation network company is also obliged to maintain an insurance policy covering accidents where their driver is the at-fault party. There are two types of insurance coverage plans applicable to Uber drivers.
The first type of coverage applies when the driver is logged in to the application but is not engaged in a pre-arranged ride. In this case, the coverage amounts are:
If the driver is engaged in a pre-arranged ride, the accident victim (passenger), according to the Insurance Code of Texas, Uber must provide coverage for bodily injury, property damage, or death up to the limit of $1,000,000.
In theory, Uber should screen its drivers carefully before accepting them as independent contractors. In reality, as experienced Houston Uber accident attorneys can tell you, the ridesharing company puts profits above safety. For this reason, your Uber driver may be a:
Just like any other motor vehicle accident, Uber accidents are mostly caused by driver error. From speeding to distracted driving or driving under influence, these are the primary reasons why people suffer severe injuries in a collision with Uber vehicles.
In some cases, Houston Uber accident attorneys may increase your compensation amount, by proving that the company could have observed red flags in the history of a negligent driver: speeding tickets, drunk driving, and various other traffic laws violations.
Irrespective of who the liable parties are, after auto accidents the injured party needs to follow certain steps in order to increase their chances of filing a claim for compensation successfully. Here is what you should do:
You should call 9-1-1 and ask for an ambulance. Do not hesitate - your health and wellbeing are more important than anything. Also, all medical costs related to the accident will be included by any experienced car accident attorney in your demand letter attached to the claim for damages. In some cases you may need emergency medical assistance and the ambulance will take you to the hospital for more investigations and treatments.
While the police will investigate the accident scene and prepare a crash report, you should also take your mobile phone and photograph your injuries, property damage, and all the relevant aspects of the crash scene:
At the same time, you should get the Uber driver's contact information and license plate number. Last but not least, look around for eyewitnesses and ask them to give you their contact details.
You should not discuss your case with the insurance company representing either the driver or the transportation services company. They will try to dismiss your claim for financial compensation or offer you a low-ball amount.
Personal injury law firms exist to help accident victims win fair compensation for their damages. Experienced Houston Uber accident attorneys know the complex legal issues they must handle in order to prove your case and win the accident settlement claim.
The attorney's work involves:
Uber accidents are the same as any vehicle collision from the point of view of personal injury law in Texas. A successful claim can demand the following types of damages:
These damages include all the financial expenses and losses you sustained as a result of the negligent party's accident, such as:
Non-economic damages compensate you for the pain and suffering caused by physical injuries, as well as for the emotional trauma and mental anguish you suffered as a result of the accident. Many car accident victims are left with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that require counseling. All these aspects will be taken into consideration by your Houston Uber accident attorneys when calculating the amount of non-economic damages you should receive.
You cannot demand punitive damages in an Uber accident claim, but you may receive them from the jury at the end of personal injury lawsuits. This type of compensation is applied to the at-fault party who acted with gross negligence or intention to cause harm.
Calhoun Meredith is a team of experienced personal injury attorneys who put their clients first in everything we do. We believe in justice and in your right to receive fair compensation for your economic losses, pain and suffering.
We know how to handle complex cases, involving big insurance companies and we are not afraid to take them to court if we cannot reach a reasonable agreement in negotiations. We are here to protect your rights and allow you to recover from your accident injuries with peace of mind, so schedule a free case review with our Houston Uber accident attorneys now: 855-664-0273!