Uber and other rideshare companies have replaced traditional taxis as one of the most popular forms of public transportation in the United States. However, riding in an Uber comes with some inherent safety risks, including the risk of suffering an injury in an accident. If you are injured as an Uber car accident passenger, you may be able to recover compensation with help from an experienced Phoenix car accident lawyer.
Uber Car Accident Passenger Preparation
According to Uber’s most recent safety report, 99.9% of Uber rides end without a safety incident. However, accidents do happen. In 2020, Uber accidents resulted in 101 fatalities.
Even though riding in an Uber is generally safe, preparing yourself for a potential accident before using the service is a good idea. Start by verifying the driver and vehicle information.
When you request a ride, Uber sends you the driver’s photo and name and the vehicle’s make, model, and registration number. Make sure these match before you get in the car, and if not, cancel the trip and report the incident to Uber. Review Uber’s safety regulations.
Uber Safety Regulations
Uber requires all drivers to pass a background check before becoming a driver and at least once per year to stay on the platform. The company also uses sensors and GPS data to detect possible crashes and automatically offer resources to passengers.
Uber reviews all crash reports and traffic citations for indications that a driver may not be safe. It also requires drivers to keep their licenses, permits, and other legal documentation up to date.
Safety Tips Inside the Uber Vehicle
You can reduce your chance of becoming an Uber car accident passenger by taking safety precautions.
Wear Your Seatbelt
Arizona law does not require backseat passengers to wear a seatbelt. However, buckling up can reduce your risk of ejection from the vehicle during an accident by 30 times.
Keep an eye out for unsafe driving practices. Avoid distractions, such as talking or texting on your cell phone.
Report Safety Concerns
You can use the Uber app to discretely report any safety concerns you have about the driver. The safety team will either reach out to you or contact 911, depending on the situation.
Ride in the Back Seat
Riding in the back seat of the vehicle is less distracting to the driver. It also allows you to enter and exit on either side of the vehicle, which makes it easier to avoid moving traffic.
What To Do as an Uber Car Accident Passenger
If there is an accident while you are a passenger in an Uber, remain calm and assess the situation. Make sure you, the driver, and any other people involved in the accident are safe.
Call 911 or use the emergency feature in the Uber app. If you use the app, it will provide you with the vehicle’s location and license plate number, which may help emergency services locate you.
File a police report and get a copy of it. Get names, contact information, and insurance information from both drivers and any witnesses. Report the accident to Uber.
Seek medical attention even if you don’t think you need it. Some injuries do not present immediately, and it may be difficult to convince an insurance company you have injuries if you don’t get treatment.
Legal Considerations for an Uber Car Accident Passenger
Passengers in an Uber are only at fault in an accident in unusual circumstances. Most of the time either the driver of your Uber or another party will be liable for your injuries. In some cases, more than one party may share liability.
Take photos of the accident scene and damages. Keep your medical records. You may need this evidence to prove your claim.
Arizona law holds any party who contributed at all to an accident liable for their share of the damages. This means that if the driver of your Uber is 30% at fault and the driver of another vehicle is 70% at fault, you can collect 30% of your damages from the Uber driver’s insurance and 70% from the other vehicle’s driver.
Damages You Can Recover
You may be able to recover compensation for both economic and non-economic damages caused by your injuries:
- Pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and lost future income
- Property damage
If one of the drivers engaged in excessively risky behavior, the court may award punitive damages in addition to your compensatory damages.
Insurance Considerations for an Uber Car Accident Passenger
It isn’t always clear which insurance company pays for damages after an Uber accident.
Uber is usually not directly at fault for accidents caused by its drivers, unless the company failed to properly vet the driver or knew the driver or vehicle was not safe. However, Uber provides up to $1 million per accident in liability coverage for passengers and third parties injured by an Uber driver.
Uber also provides uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage that may pay for your damages if an at-fault third party does not have enough insurance coverage. Uber may provide medical payments coverage that could pay for some of your medical bills.
Uber Driver’s Insurance
Most personal auto policies do not cover accidents that happen while the driver is using the vehicle for commercial purposes. If the driver’s personal insurance does provide some coverage, it may be excess over the coverage Uber provides.
Arizona law requires all drivers to carry a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident bodily injury liability coverage. This coverage is only available to you if the third party is at least partially at fault for the accident.
Most personal automobile insurance policies do not cover you as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle. However, if you have medical payments coverage it may apply to your medical bills.
Getting Help as an Uber Car Accident Passenger
Though passengers are rarely at fault in an Uber accident, disputes over who is liable for which damages can create havoc for an Uber car accident passenger. The experienced Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Sargon Law Group can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation.