What Do I Do After an Uber or Lyft Accident in Texas?
Uber is one of the most popular transportation options in Texas. But it doesn’t come without risks. While many people love the convenience and affordability, others aren’t too fond of the idea of getting into a car with someone they don’t know. And while there are plenty of safety precautions drivers take before picking up passengers, things can still go wrong.
In fact, according to recent data, nearly half of all Uber riders report being injured during a ride. So what happens next? Do you call 911? Or do you try to reach out to the person responsible for your injury?
If you're hurt in an Uber accident, here are the things you need to know about how you can collect compensation.Who Is Liable for Your Injury?
The first thing you need to figure out is whether the driver or Uber itself is liable for your injuries. This is usually pretty easy to determine because even though the driver is technically working for Uber, he is legally considered to be acting independently. As such, his liability is separate from Uber’s.
But what if the driver wasn’t operating under contract with Uber? What if he was driving for another company or simply had his own personal vehicle? Then you might actually be able to hold him personally responsible for the damage he caused.
This is something that needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis. A good attorney can help you understand exactly what happened and where liability lies.Seek Medical Attention
If you are involved in an accident, even if you don't think anything is wrong, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. If you wait too long, you could miss out on some key information about your injury. For example, you might not notice swelling or bruising until much later. You don't want to miss out on getting the care you need because you waited too long to go see a doctor.
In addition to being able to prove how serious your injury is, medical records can help support your claim against another party. They contain detailed documentation of your symptoms, treatments, and prognosis, which can help show what happened during the event. In many cases, insurance companies require proof of medical treatment and hospitalization in order to pay out benefits.Report Your Accident Immediately
If you are involved in an accident while using Uber, it is imperative that you contact the police and submit an official report. When filing a police report, keep in mind that you must remain on the scene of the incident and take pictures of the damaged vehicle, driver information, etc. You can also use the app to record videos of the entire event.
Once the police clear you to leave the scene, file an insurance claim with Uber. Do not go into detail about what happened; just provide the basic facts. Avoid apologizing for anything. Keep your interaction brief and only provide the necessary details.Pedestrians Face an Uphill Battle
Uber drivers are often called upon to transport people who do not use the ride-sharing service. This includes pedestrians, passengers who hail a car off the street, and even those who call a cab via phone. In fact, over half of all trips taken by Uber drivers involve someone else besides themselves.
While many states require drivers to carry liability insurance, there are exceptions. For example, in Texas, where Uber operates, drivers must maintain $1 million in coverage. However, because Uber does not operate like traditional taxis, the company is not required to provide bodily injury coverage for injuries sustained during a collision.
This leaves pedestrians injured in collisions with Uber drivers without recourse. If the driver is not logged into the app, then their personal insurance policy will likely cover the cost of medical bills. But if the driver was logged into the app and driving at the time of the crash, then they might be held responsible for the incident.
In addition, if the driver is not operating under the umbrella of Uber, then the company is not liable for accidents occurring outside of the scope of their work. So, if a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle while crossing a busy intersection, the pedestrian could sue both the driver and Uber.
If you are involved in an accident with an Uber driver, it is imperative to seek legal representation immediately. An experienced lawyer can help ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.Know Your Passenger Rights
Uber drivers are required to follow all federal and state laws regarding transportation safety. While most states require Uber drivers to wear seatbelts while transporting passengers, some don't. In those cases, riders still have the right to refuse to accept a ride if the driver doesn't wear his/her seatbelt.
The following is a summary of passenger rights to safe and newer vehicles, seatbelts, sober drivers, and insurance coverage.
Right to a Safe & New Vehicle - Every vehicle authorized for passenger transport cannot be older than 10 years old.
Right to a Sober Driver - If you suspect that your driver might be impaired, you should report him/her to Uber immediately.
Right to a Seat Belt for Everyone - All Uber rides must provide a functioning seat belt for everyone.
Right to a Clean Car - A clean car includes no visible stains, leaks, broken windows, or holes.Injured in a Ridesharing Accident in Texas?
Uber and Lyft are popular ride-sharing companies that allow people to request transportation via smartphone apps. While there are many benefits to riding in a rideshare vehicle, there are risks too. One risk is being injured while riding in one of these vehicles. In addition to traditional car accidents, some injuries occur during ridesharing accidents. These types of accidents often involve drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding, reckless driving, and unsafe routes.
If you suffer an injury in an Uber/Lyft accident in Texas, it is important that you understand your legal rights. You should immediately report the incident to the police and seek medical attention. Once you receive treatment, you must file a claim against the driver and the rideshare company. Our ridesharing accident attorney in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, work hard to protect your rights and ensure that you are fully compensated for your losses. C ontact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.