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What to Do When Your Uber Gets Into an Accident in Florida

November 25, 2021

What to Do When Your Uber Gets Into an Accident in Florida

Ubers are quickly becoming one of America’s most popular forms of transportation. The convenience of hailing a ride when and where you need it helps everyone get around quickly. More importantly, Uber has helped many people make the lifesaving choice not to drink and drive.

Uber is widely available all across Florida. Yet, despite these advantages, there is still the risk that passengers can suffer injuries – or even die – in a car accident when they ride with Uber. It is important to hold Uber drivers accountable for the injuries they cause. It is also vital to hold Uber accountable for allowing negligent drivers to use its platform. Learn more about what to do when your Uber gets into an accident in Florida.

The Risks Of Using an Uber

Riders need to understand the dangers of using Uber. TechCrunch reports that Uber’s fatality rate was 0.59 per hundred million miles traveled in a recent year. The fatality rate was even lower in the next year (0.57 per hundred million miles traveled), and both figures are about half of the national average (1.1 fatalities per hundred million miles traveled).

These figures make it seem like Ubers might actually provide safer transportation than other modes. While the fatality rates are low, there are two key factors to be aware of. First, these numbers are self-reported by Uber, and outside sources have not verified them. Second, Uber does not track its rate of non-fatal accidents. These are far more common than fatal accidents. Riders are more likely to be involved in a non-fatal accident, but Uber does not know how often this occurs.

Collisions are not the only thing that can injure Uber riders. According to the Washington Post, riders reported approximately six thousand assaults to Uber in a year. Lyft reported lower numbers with “only” four thousand assaults between two recent years. These cases involve both physical and sexual assaults.

Passengers can suffer from lasting physical and mental injuries, and Uber can be liable for these injuries in some circumstances. Assault victims need to consult with an Uber injury lawyer about their legal rights. An attorney can help victims enforce not only their legal right to compensation but also hold Uber accountable for providing a safe experience for all riders.

What to Do After an Uber Accident

You may not know what to do after an Uber accident. Accident scenes are chaotic and emotional, and when an Uber is involved, there are additional complications. Follow these steps to help protect your legal right to compensation:

#1. Save all the information you have about the ride.

If you are a passenger in an Uber, you will want to retain any information you have about your ride. Take screenshots of your ride confirmation. Be sure to save the driver’s name and license plate number. If you are with a group and someone else ordered the ride, ask them to screenshot the information and send it to you. This ensures that you can identify the driver and prove you were in the Uber at the time of the accident.

#2. Do not speak to the other insurance companies.

As soon as someone reports an accident to the insurance companies, they will start investigating the claim. This means that you can receive a call the very next day. These insurance companies can use anything you say against you. It is best not to say anything at all until you have hired an Uber accident lawyer. Once you have an attorney, the insurance companies cannot contact you about the accident. Simply let the insurance companies know that they must contact your accident lawyer about the claim.

#3. Hire a rideshare accident attorney as soon as possible.

The sooner you have an Uber injury lawyer on your side, the better protected your legal rights will be. There are many insurance companies and lawyers involved in car accident cases that involve rideshares. They all represent a different party, so there is no one to stick up for your rights in all the confusion if you do not have a lawyer.

A lawyer will also start working to preserve evidence as soon as possible. This prevents you from losing access to evidence that might otherwise become lost (for example, security footage that businesses routinely delete).

But how do you know which injury lawyer is right for your case? A simple internet search will show you many options for accident attorneys in your local area. It is essential to hire a lawyer who has specific experience handling rideshare claims. Accidents involving Ubers present different legal issues. If your lawyer has not handled many Uber cases, they might not know how to handle these challenges. Your lawyer should also have experience with your specific type of injuries. This experience will help them prove the full value of your injuries to an insurance claims adjuster – or, if necessary, to a jury.

#4. Be careful not to aggravate your injuries.

Insurance companies look for any excuse to pay injury victims less for their claims. To this end, they will sometimes try to say that you made your injuries worse, and they shouldn’t have to pay for all of your pain and suffering. Indeed, a defendant is not responsible for any portion of the pain and suffering that you caused to yourself.

For example, if you did not go to a doctor right away, this might make your injuries worse. You can also make your injuries worse by not following your doctor’s advice. If your doctor says you are not ready to go back to work, do not push yourself to return. Do not participate in contact sports (or other activities that carry a high risk of injury) until your doctor advises that it is okay to do so. This will prevent you from missing out on all the compensation you might collect for your pain and suffering.

#5. Save all your receipts.

Your Uber accident claim can compensate you for many of the expenses related to your injuries. Save receipts for your medical bills, prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and any medical devices you require (such as a sling or crutches). Your attorney will determine which expenses to submit to the insurance company for reimbursement. If you aren’t sure whether something qualifies for reimbursement, be sure to save the receipt and ask your injury lawyer about it.

#6. Document all the ways that your injuries affect your life.

In most personal injury claims, the largest area of compensation is pain and suffering. This is also the most difficult claim to value. What is the fair dollar value of missing a child’s graduation or wedding? What about a recovery from a painful orthopedic operation to place pins in a broken bone? Is that any more valuable than the pain of recovering from an operation to repair damage to your internal organs?

Insurance companies are notorious for attacking the value of your pain and suffering. You do not have to take their advice about what your injuries are worth. In fact, you absolutely should not take their word for it because they are actively working for the other side. Your injury lawyer will prove the fair value of all your pain and suffering.

You can help provide this proof by documenting all the ways you have been affected by your injuries. For example: perhaps you cannot sleep one night because your pain was so bad. If you were not productive at work the next day because you were tired, this can cause stress. You might then fight with your significant other because of your anxiety and sleep deprivation.

These details help illustrate the true value of your pain and suffering. They tell a story that jurors can understand, and this, in turn, allows your lawyer to prove the fair value of your pain and suffering.

What Insurance Policies Cover Uber Injuries

Many different insurance policies might apply to cover injuries sustained in an Uber accident. Your injury lawyer will investigate all potential sources of compensation to make sure you are not missing out on any money that a negligent party can owe you. Here are some of the most common sources of compensation for Uber accident injuries:

#1. Personal Injury Protection

Here in Florida, all drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This coverage pays for 80 percent of all “reasonable and necessary” medical expenses related to an accident up to a limit of $10,000. This is usually not enough to pay for all medical expenses, but it does allow injury victims quick access to coverage for medical bills. No one needs to prove liability to collect PIP coverage. This means that the victim does not have to prove who is at fault for the accident, and insurance companies can therefore process PIP claims faster.

#2. Personal Auto Insurance Policies

A driver who is at fault for a collision is responsible for compensating all injury victims of that accident. Uber drivers are required to carry their own insurance policies. If an Uber driver causes an accident, this is usually the primary source of compensation for any victims who suffered an injury in that accident. If another driver caused the accident – not the Uber driver – then their personal auto insurance policy will be the primary source of injury compensation.

#3. Uber’s Corporate Insurance Policy

Personal auto insurance comes with policy limits. Often, these limits are not high enough to cover all the injuries caused by a single accident, especially if there are multiple victims. Uber carries supplemental insurance to be sure that there is enough coverage for all injuries caused by their drivers. Your attorney can file a claim for this supplemental insurance coverage if you exhaust the driver’s personal policy limits.

#4. Workers’ Compensation

In some cases, workers’ compensation insurance might also cover injuries that happen in an Uber accident. Workers’ compensation covers all employees while they are in the “scope and course” of their employment. This means that if you were on the clock or running an errand for your boss, the car accident can fall under workers’ compensation coverage.

Workers’ compensation coverage only pays for medical bills and a set portion of lost wages. It does not cover all of your lost wages, and it does not pay for pain and suffering. It can, however, be a helpful supplement to your primary injury claim under the driver’s auto insurance policy. Like PIP, workers’ compensation is no-fault coverage. Victims get faster access to coverage because they do not have to prove who was at fault for causing the accident.

#5. Auto Manufacturers and Strict Products Liability

Defective vehicles cause some accidents. If, for example, someone sold a car with faulty brakes, it might cause an accident that is not the driver’s fault. Auto manufacturers are liable for injuries caused by defective vehicles. This is why they choose to pay for costly recalls and repairs instead of serious injury lawsuits.

Defective vehicles constitute a significant problem in the United States. Forbes reports that auto recalls hit a four-year low in a recent year, but still, a total of 30.7 million vehicles were subject to recall by auto manufacturers that year. This was more than the number of new vehicles sold that year.

So how does this work? Auto manufacturers are subject to a rule called “strict product liability.” This means that their products must be safe for their intended use. If not, the manufacturer is liable for any injuries that occur.

Strict liability means that the victim does not have to prove negligence. So long as the product was being used as intended when the defect caused the injury, the manufacturer must pay for it. Product liability claims in car accidents can be challenging. There are technical issues about the manufacture of vehicles, which parts are defective, and how the malfunction occurred. Injury victims should work with an accident lawyer who has experience handling defective vehicle claims.

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