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Currently, Uber is an affordable alternative to standard public transportation. Ubers have more flexibility than buses that have a specific route. Houston Ubers can travel freely along the highways and streets. While there are numerous positives to using Uber services, there are also several dangers. If you have injuries from an Uber accident, get in touch with a Houston Uber accident lawyer at the law office of Calhoun, Meredith, and Sims, PLLC to discuss your recovery options.

Houston Uber Accidents

Uber drivers are like other motorists. They’re constantly making choices that will affect their safety, their passengers’ safety, and the safety of other drivers. However, unlike other motorists, Uber drivers are usually navigating unfamiliar areas of the city while using an app. 

Though, unlike other car users, Uber drivers are usually traveling in unknown parts of Houston. Doing this while using an app that regulates their charges. An Uber driver can become distracted and dangerous to other Houston, TX drivers. 

An Uber driver might find himself or herself traveling to a new part of the city they know nothing about. This could have the driver at a new intersection that could be confusing, leading to a hazardous situation. 

Further, there is pressure on Uber drivers to get their passengers to locations in a timely manner. Often, this results in speeding or driving in an erratic manner. This conduct may not only be dangerous, but can lead to traffic tickets, criminal charges, or even an aggressive driving car accident.

Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer for an Uber Accident?

If you have never been in a rideshare accident, then you have no idea how complex things could get after the accident. Dealing the company’s legal professionals, insurance claims, as well as your lost wages and medical costs shouldn’t be left for you to handle alone. A Houston personal injury lawyer can help you with your accident claim, giving you the opportunity to recover without the added burden of managing your case by yourself.  

Another vital aspect of an Uber accident is getting an experienced attorney. You have to be sure that you are employing a legal expert who is familiar with Uber accidents, not just automobile accidents. Having a lawyer who deals mainly with Uber accidents is crucial due to the specific rideshare laws and rideshare insurance companies. You need a Houston personal injury attorney with a solid track record of success handling rideshare accident insurance claims. The lawyers at Calhoun, Meredith, and Sims, PLLC are here to aid you in receiving the compensation you deserve. 

woman waiting on uber

Using Uber Services Can Be Risky

As a passenger, an Uber accident is frightening and scary. Even though every crash is different, Although every crash is unique, a Houston, Texas Uber accident attorney can offer some excellent insight into how a rideshare company’s insurance works and how you can hold a driver liable for what occurred.

Basically, if you weren’t the driver and it wasn’t your own vehicle, there will be no involvement from your car insurance company. You will probably get compensation from the Uber driver’s insurance company and from Uber. 

How Insurance Companies Understand Ridesharing

Having car insurance is a requirement for Uber drivers. Drivers typically arrange it via one of Uber’s partner policies (Liberty, Mutual, Progressive, and Allstate). Though, these policies don’t ensure coverage for Uber passengers. Coverage is contingent on the circumstances. When you are in an Uber accident, you find out that these insurance companies usually try to get out of paying accident insurance claims. 

The good news is that Texas law regarding Uber services is consistently evolving. With the rapid growth of Uber, lawmakers are moving quickly to update the law. 

Texas AB5 is a law that helps the state of Texas decide when an individual is an independent contractor or an employee. Uber drivers are independent contractors since they are on the clock only during certain times. 

Therefore, in case of an accident, either Uber’s insurance or the Uber driver’s insurance should offer coverage. Though, as with any type of insurance payout, there will most likely be some type of legal battle fought over an Uber passenger accident injury insurance claims.

Before the passage of Texas AB 5, an Uber driver got coverage from his or her personal auto insurance since the app was off. When the Uber driver’s app is on, Uber liability coverage goes into effect. When a passenger is in the vehicle, Uber offers a higher level of coverage.

Rideshare companies must hold liability policies of $1 million. This liability coverage applies to injuries suffered by an Uber passenger when the driver is at fault. Also, it applies to a pedestrian who is hit by an Uber vehicle when the accident is the driver’s fault. 

Uber drivers spend lots of time on the road, at times dealing with difficult passengers, and frequently checking their cellphones while driving.

Uber Driver Background Checks

Uber’s slipshod hiring practices and inadequate background checks on drivers creates a chance for physical or sexual assault, especially on female passengers.  Our legal experts will safeguard the identity of anyone who has gone through such an event, and strongly advocate to get the individual fair compensation.

In the past, Uber has had problems with their misleading, false statements regarding safety. The company now has features like in-app 911 calling to attempt to undo a record of careless safety. A CNN news report tells of more than 100 assault cases in the U.S. while riding in an Uber. 

Supposedly, Uber thoroughly screens its drivers before employing them. Many are dependable and trustworthy. There are a few that aren’t. There have been instances of assault on Uber passengers by drivers whose criminal backgrounds should have made them unfit for hiring. When this occurs, Uber is responsible for putting its customers in harm’s way.

What Uber Passengers Need to Know

People use Uber services for a host of reasons, including efficiency, cost, and convenience. However, what should you do if your Uber is in an accident? Who’s responsible for your injuries? 

Uber completely insures each passenger. If you sustain injuries while traveling in an Uber, you have a right to compensation. People who ride in an Uber vehicle have every right to anticipate they will get to their destination unharmed. If Uber can’t give you this level of service, then you can and should get compensated. 

If you undergo any obstacles in getting the compensation you rightfully deserve, it is vital that you hire an attorney to make sure that Uber fulfill its obligations.

Uber Drivers are Independent Contractors, Not Employees

Because Uber markets itself as a technology company instead of transportation services, an Uber driver is an independent contractor and not an employee.

This difference works as a legal maneuver that shields the business in case of a lawsuit. Under the law, companies are less responsible for an independent contractor’s actions than those of an employee.

If the ride-share driver is liable for the accident, you could attempt to fight with Uber that it shoulders some of the blame for the accident. However, this is a gray area since Uber has gone the extra mile to make sure its drivers are known as independent contractors and not employees. 

It isn’t clear if Uber and other rideshare businesses can keep on hiding themselves behind the independent contractor claim. Particularly when there are currently legislative efforts attempts to have rideshare drivers categorized as employees. For example, the law Texas AB5 is meant to safeguard Uber drivers, making it harder for rideshare businesses to argue that their drivers aren’t employees.  

Keep in mind that getting recuperation against Uber insurance coverage is possibly an option for you. You can seek compensation through the company's $1 million liability coverage or through its UIM coverage. If you sustain injuries in an Uber, going after the Uber corporation directly is most likely is an unnecessary and last resort.  

woman requesting rideshare

Transportation Network Company (TNC) 

A transportation company (TNC) is a corporation that permits a passenger to prearrange transportation with a driver solely through the entity’s digital network. TNC doesn’t include: 

  • Taxis and cabs 
  • Limos and car services set up using a method other than via a digital network
  • Carpooling or vanpooling 
  • A rideshare type in which the driver gets a fee that doesn’t go over the driver’s cost of giving the ride. 
  • The driver gets a fee that goes over the driver’s costs connected with giving the ride. However, the driver makes up to three round trips every day between the passenger’s or driver’s job and the passenger’s or driver’s residence.

Which Driver Caused the Accident?

The first phase in an Uber accident investigation entails deciding who is at fault for the accident.  The person who is responsible for the crash must be held accountable for any damages.

This is where your Houston personal injury attorney comes into play. This legal professional will look into the reason for the accident, determine the circumstances surrounding the collision, and lastly tell who is liable for every factor of the accident. 

In some instances, the Uber driver could be guilty of causing the accident.. Though, that might not always be true. Another driver could be the reason for the Uber accident. In other situations, adverse weather, faulty auto parts, or bad road conditions could all be factors in causing the Uber accident. There are even times both drivers are guilty of the crash. As a passenger, these are circumstances beyond your control. 

Let’s say you submit an Uber passenger injury claim where the police determine that both drivers are the reason for the accident. As the passenger, you’re now stuck in the middle of the driver’s auto insurance company and Uber insurance company.

In an ideal world, you might get compensation from Uber’s liability policy and the other driver’s liability policy. However, you’ll have to submit two separate claims.

For most people who have been Uber passengers, confusion of all these rules and regulations is normal. Any experienced Houston rideshare accident lawyer has had lots of clients just like you, stuck in the crosshairs as an innocent passenger in a complicated accident claim.

Moreover, there’s always the added uncertainty of what occurs when there are numerous passengers. Now you and several others are all making Uber accident claims. There’s most likely a dollar-value top limit to the insurance policies, meaning you’ll be contending with your acquaintances over a fixed amount of funds.

It is critical to know the exact cause of the Uber accident and recognize every responsible party before submitting an accident claim. If more than one driver is at fault for your damages, you want to name all the parties in the claim to improve your chance of getting full compensation for your damages and injuries.

Can I Sue Uber for an Accident?

Uber is a vast corporation with a net worth of $75.5 billion. As such, it guarantees that liability and underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage is $1 million.

The standard liability coverage for the standard motorist is $15,000. 

The insurance level covering Uber means that anyone hurt in an accident where they’re not at fault could get complete compensation. Uber’s insurance covers lost income, medical costs, pain and suffering after a crash. 

Therefore, it’s vital to have the representation of a knowledgeable Uber accident attorney who can get you the best possible outcome.

The law firm of Calhoun, Meredith, and Sims, PLLC wants you to understand that you can anticipate substantial compensation if you’re in one of these categories:

  • A passenger hurt in a wreck in which an Uber driver was responsible.
  • An Uber driver hurt in an incident in which another driver was at fault.
  • A hurt passenger in an Uber, regardless of which driver is responsible.

Uber and other transport network companies (TNCs) bring numerous benefits to Houston, Texas. An Uber is more affordable than a taxi. Additionally, a business such as Uber creates hundreds of new jobs. The requirements to becoming an Uber driver is a cell phone, driver’s license, and a vehicle. 

Insurance Requirements for a Transport Network Company? 

A TNC driver or a TNC on the driver’s behalf must have primary car insurance which is a requirement according to Texas Insurance Code 1954. This statue is meant for when the driver logs into the TNC’s digital network and transporting a passenger. The fulfillment of the insurance requirement is done by the TNC driver’s insurance, the TNC insurance, or both. 

But regardless of these advantages, Uber could be challenging, especially when it comes to how the company handles auto accidents. If another driver is at fault for the Uber accident, your accident claim would be against that driver. You file the claim against the driver’s car insurance requesting recuperation for your pain, suffering, and financial losses. 

As with any insurance claim, the insurance company for the other driver might reject the claim or offer a monetary amount way less than the claim is worth.  In some instances, the insurance company might try to blame the Uber driver. Everyone knows that Uber has a huge insurance policy on its drivers.

When an Uber driver is at fault for an accident, you should file your injury claim against the Uber driver’s insurance coverage. Texas requires all drivers to have liability insurance in the event the driver is responsible for a car crash. 

However, in an Uber accident, the driver’s personal insurance coverage might not apply. Most insurance policies dismiss all losses related to paid fares. An exception is if the driver bought a particular car insurance policy type that would include crashes while carrying a paid fare.

In this case, an Uber passenger must submit an claim against Uber’s insurance policy that covers its drivers. Uber offers its drivers third-party liability insurance coverage of $1,000,000 per accident when a driver is carrying a passenger.

Also, Uber offers underinsured and uninsured coverage. This insurance is when another driver is at fault for the accident but has insufficient or no insurance to pay your claim. You may also get payment from Uber by submitting an underinsured insurance claim as an Uber passenger.

Compensation for A Rideshare Accident

So, if you get injured as an Uber passenger that's in an auto accident, how will you get restitution for your injuries? Typically, financial responsibility comes from the insurance provider of the at-fault driver. 

The compensation you might get after an Uber accident is contingent on several of the same things used to decide compensation in any other car crash. Some of the aspects that will affect your payment for an Uber injury claim include:

  • The driver responsible for the Uber accident.
  • The amount and sort of insurance available.
  • The seriousness of your injuries.
  • The full amount of your financial losses.
  • If you have any permanent disabilities or impairments.
  • The extent of your recovery.
  • If you might sustain future damages or losses related to your injuries or the accident.

Our Houston Uber accident lawyer partners with you to record your losses and injuries. We want to make sure we put all your damages in your accident settlement claim. Also, our skills include managing Uber accident claims. We know the difficulties entailed in dealing with several insurance companies and a rideshare company like Uber.

Though Uber might tell you that it will take full responsibility, don’t believe that means Uber will treat you fairly or give you complete compensation. Speak with a member of our legal team before taking a settlement to ensure you are receiving compensation for the full amount of your Uber accident claim.

rate my uber driver

Whose Insurance Applies?

The Uber driver's auto insurance coverage pertains to your passenger injuries. This fact is only true if the driver has a personal auto insurance policy or a commercial insurance policy. The policy must contain a special provision offering insurance coverage while working as an Uber driver. 

It’s important to understand that most Uber drivers won’t have a commercial or personal auto insurance policy that will cover your injuries as an Uber passenger.

If an Uber driver possesses an auto insurance policy, it will most likely have a "business use exception." This means the policy won't take care of injuries and damages that happened while the driver is functioning as a for-profit employee.

When it comes to rideshare company's insurance, Uber has third-party liability insurance coverage which will pay for any damage and personal injuries. It’s vital to note that these policies will activate only after the exhaustion of the Uber driver's personal insurance. Uber requires its driver to have coverage. As a passenger, this liability policy type covers you as an Uber passenger when the driver is responsible. 

Crimes Involving Uber Drivers and Passengers

Any situation could occur when an Uber driver is on call. If you are an Uber passenger and a driver violate your rights, hurts, or assaults you in any way, you should call a Houston personal injury attorney. 

We Handle Your Personal Injury Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life

The lesson here is that any involvement in an Uber accident could get complex. Even more when there are several individuals submitting accident injury claims with many insurance providers.  

Between lost wages to medical bills, being the victim of an accident might get very pricey. Therefore, it is helpful for injured Uber passengers to talk to a Houston personal injury lawyer to find out whether they have a right for recompence..

At Calhoun, Meredith, and Sims, PLLC, one of our Uber auto accident law experts can give you legal advice with your best interests in mind. Our team can assist you with gathering the necessary evidence to ensure your case is as solid as possible. Our lawyers are familiar with the schemes conducted by ridesharing businesses in their efforts to avoid responsibility.

You need a knowledgeable Houston Uber accident personal injury attorney to aid you in navigating the process. With us, our goal is to ensure that the rideshare insurance companies don’t leave you hanging. We can help you with your Uber injury and accident claim. If you’ve been in an Uber accident or assaulted by an Uber driver, give us a call today. 

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