Rideshare companies have become increasingly popular, both in California and throughout the United States. While there are a number of rides share companies operating, perhaps the most popular is Uber, the San Francisco-based corporate giant. In the first quarter of 2020 alone, Uber users took 1.658 million trips.
Uber works on a simple concept: drivers use their personal vehicles to offer rides via an app to users. A user just needs to tap a few buttons on their app to be connected with a driver.
While it’s easier than ever to get a ride somewhere with apps like Uber, it also presents certain dangers. There are few requirements to become an Uber driver — an individual just needs a qualifying vehicle and must meet minimum standards. When an Uber is involved in an accident, getting money to cover your losses is often more complicated because of the different insurance companies involved.
If you have been hurt in an Uber accident, there are certain steps that you should take to inform the company of what happened — and to protect your legal rights. A skilled San Rafael car accident attorney can help you with the process and will advocate for your right to compensation.
What to Do After an Uber Collision
Whether you are a passenger in the Uber vehicle, the driver of the Uber, or the driver or a passenger of another vehicle, it is vital to take certain steps after a crash. Doing this can ensure that you are able to recover for your losses.
First, you should seek medical attention immediately. Even if you don’t think that your injuries are that bad, you should still see a doctor. This can help you get the right diagnosis and treatment — and will also create a record of your injuries.
Second, if you are able to do so, gather evidence at the accident scene. This may include taking pictures, videos, or gathering contact information from the other drivers, passengers, and/or witnesses.
Third, write out what happened while the memory is still fresh in your mind. Include all of the details that you can recall, such as what the weather was like and if the Uber driver was paying attention to the road. This step is important for any legal claim that may follow.
Once you have taken these steps, you are ready to file an accident claim with Uber.
Options for Filing a Report with Uber
There are three ways that you can file an accident report with Uber. The selection that you make will be based on whether you are a driver, rider, or a third party.
Uber drivers must sign into their Uber account to report a crash. In addition to providing details about the crash, they must submit clear, bright photos of all four sides of their vehicle — even if there is no visible damage or the damage appears to be minor. If a driver was working at the time of the collision — driving a passenger, going to pick someone up, or waiting for a ride — then Uber’s commercial insurance policy will apply.
Anyone who was riding in the Uber at the time of the collision can file a report by calling Uber at 1-800-354-8237, emailing the company at email@example.com, or by signing into their account online or via the app. You will be prompted to provide details about the incident. Once you have submitted the form, Uber will start an investigation.
Third parties — anyone who was not a driver or rider in the Uber vehicle — will need to fill out an incident notice. This process is slightly different because Uber will not have a record of a third party using its service, so you will need to gather and provide more information, like the Uber driver’s name, the incident date and time, and where the accident occurred. This form can be filled out by the person involved in the accident, an attorney, or an insurance company representative.
What Happens After You Report an Accident to Uber?
Depending on who was at fault for the accident and what the driver was doing at the time of the crash, you may be able to recover compensation for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages through Uber’s insurance company. Generally, if the Uber driver was working at the time of the collision, then Uber’s insurance will apply. Otherwise, the Uber driver’s personal auto insurance policy will be the source of compensation.
The insurance and legal issues involved in an Uber accident make these types of cases more complicated. Under a fairly recent California law, drivers for rideshare companies like Uber are classified as employees, not independent contractors. This means that Uber is more likely to be held responsible in an accident case, which is important because Uber’s commercial insurance policy will likely have a much higher limit than the personal policy of an Uber driver.
For this reason, it is important to work with a seasoned San Rafael car accident attorney. Your lawyer can thoroughly investigate the case, and determine who may be liable for your injuries. They can also explore legal arguments for why Uber should be held responsible — even if the company is denying fault.
Hurt in an Uber Accident? We Can Help.
Being in any type of motor vehicle accident can be traumatic. In the aftermath of a crash, you may be dealing with significant pain and mounting medical bills. Filing a claim against the responsible party can help you get the money that you need to move forward with your life.
At Kuvara Law Firm, we are committed to advocating for injured Californians. We work hard to help our clients achieve the best possible results for their personal injury cases. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team, call us at 415-479-7070 or email us.