Uber has taken over a huge portion of the cab business throughout the United States, and ‘getting an Uber’ is more common nowadays than hailing a cab at the side of the road. With this huge number of Uber drivers throughout the country, there is inevitably a large increase in the number of Uber accidents that happen each year, often resulting in serious physical injuries or even death.
As Uber is not a traditional taxi service, many victims of accidents involving Uber drivers are unsure whether they can sue Uber directly for the harm they have suffered. In most cases, it is not possible to sue the company itself as they hire drivers on a contract basis rather than a traditional working contract. However, there are some exceptions to when you can sue the company directly for an Uber accident, which we will discuss in this article.
If you have been involved in an Uber accident in Florida, you should seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Here at The Law Place, we have over 75 years of experience in car accident cases, and we have built up a strong attorney-client relationship through these many years of practice. Our law firm offers a free consultation so you can speak with an experienced lawyer from our firm with no strings attached. They can offer you legal advice about your personal injury case and help you understand Florida law.
Don’t hesitate to contact our law offices. The sooner you do, the better chance we have at getting you the compensation you deserve. Call us today to schedule a free consultation at (941) 444-4444. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
How Does Uber Operate?
It is important to be aware that Uber operates differently from most traditional cab services in that Uber drivers are hired on a contract basis. This means that Uber does not have the same level of responsibility for their employees as a typical taxi company would. If you are an Uber driver, you do not have the same amount of workers’ rights that you would typically have as an employee, which puts you at risk of being sued if you cause an Uber accident.
Hiring employees on a contract basis means that Uber’s insurance company does not face many lawsuits, and they don’t have to pay out accident victims as frequently as if it were a traditional company. This is beneficial to Uber as they face a lesser risk of being tried in court, they don’t have to make large settlements with the company funds, and they are at a lesser risk of losing money due to Uber accidents.
For most Uber accidents, the company will not be found liable for car accidents caused by their drivers’ negligence, as they operate under vicarious liability laws. Under these laws, a company can only be found liable for the negligence of their employees if they are regarded as employees and not independent contractors like Uber drivers are. However, as noted above, there are some instances when Uber accident victims can file a claim against the company for the harm they have suffered.
Insurance Laws in Florida
If you get into a car accident in Florida, whether it involves an Uber vehicle or not, you are required to contact your own insurance office immediately. Once you contact them, they will ask for information about the accident, including the information of the vehicles involved, the extent of the damage, and whether you suffered any injuries. It is important that you always take caution when speaking with your insurance office and try not to divulge too much information. Remember that their top priority is to make a profit, and they may use any extra information you have given them as a means of devaluing your claim.
In Florida, insurance companies follow a no-fault system, meaning that they are required to pay out their policyholders up to 80% compensation for any personal injury they have suffered regardless of whether they were at fault for the accident. Under this law system, all drivers in the state are required to have personal injury protection of at least $10,000 for personal injury protection (PIP) and the same amount for property damage coverage. This means that a driver’s personal auto insurance policy is only worth $10,000, and the damage they’ve sustained goes beyond this limit, then they will have to file a personal injury claim to cover any excess costs.
Our law office always recommends that you speak with an attorney prior to contacting your insurance company as they can guide you on what information you should divulge and can even speak with the company on your behalf.
Do I Sue Uber or the Uber Driver Responsible?
Many Uber accident victims are unsure whether they should file a claim against the Uber driver themselves or file under Uber’s insurance policy. For most people, it would be preferable to file against the company themselves as Uber’s insurance coverage limits are most likely much higher than the insurance limits of the driver. However, as noted above, there are only certain situations where an Uber accidents victim can sue the company itself.
It is possible to sue Uber for the harm you have suffered in a car accident if:
- You have suffered a permanent injury.
- You have permanently lost the use of a bodily function.
- You have been left permanently scarred or paralyzed.
If you are in this situation, and you are wondering whether to file a personal injury lawsuit against the Uber driver’s personal insurance or to sue Uber, you should contact a personal injury lawyer from our law firm who can help you determine whether the serious injuries you have suffered are enough to file a claim against the company itself.
Uber’s One Million Dollar Liability Insurance Requirement
It is also possible to get compensation from Uber through their one million dollar liability insurance policy if you have been involved in an Uber accident. Although an Uber driver will have their own insurance coverage, this can also get supplemented from the company under this extra liability coverage if they have injured an Uber passenger. This policy is separate from their own personal injury coverage, and it generally applies in three different scenarios:
- If the accident occurred when a driver had the Uber app switched on and was looking for a potential passenger, Uber’s insurance coverage policy would award up to $100,000 per accident and $50,000 for a personal injury.
- If the accident happened when an Uber driver was carrying a passenger that they got through the Uber app, and the app was switched on at the time, the million-dollar policy will be used to supplement any harm the parties involved have suffered.
- When an Uber driver causes an accident but does not have the Uber app switched on and is off-duty, they will have to compensate the injured party with their own insurance coverage.
It is important to note that this extra liability coverage does not mean that you can automatically file a claim against Uber themselves for any personal injury or harm you have suffered. It merely means that the company may step in to cover any excess damages that their driver’s insurance company cannot cover. An Uber accident attorney from our firm can help ensure that you get adequate compensation for any harm you have suffered in a personal injury lawsuit involving Uber or its drivers.
What Is the Average Uber Accident Settlement?
If you decide to seek compensation from an Uber driver or the company itself, if it is clear that you suffered serious bodily injury, you may be wondering whether there is an average accident settlement from Uber. Generally, there is no average settlement for any type of car accident, and the compensation you are awarded will depend on the amount of harm you have suffered and how severe your injuries were. Your settlement value will be calculated based on what damages you are entitled to, and any evidence you have supporting your claim will increase your settlement.
If you have suffered serious injuries or property damage, or a member of your family was killed in an Uber accident, the settlement you received will be on average much higher than a car accident involving only minor injuries. Having legal representation can also increase the amount of compensation you receive, and studies show that having legal assistance can increase your chances of receiving a settlement massively.
What Damages Can I Claim From an Uber Accident?
Regardless of whether the Uber driver caused your accident or not, you can still claim damages from your own insurance, and these damages will be the same as if you made an insurance claim against the Uber driver themselves. Some types of damages an experienced Uber accident attorney from our firm can help you claim for include:
- Medical expenses – It is possible to claim expenses for any medical treatment you had to undergo as a result of your injuries. This can include transportation to and from any hospital appointments and any future medical care resulting from long-lasting injuries.
- Lost wages – If you have been left unable to work as a result of the Uber accident, you can make a claim to cover any wages you have lost, including any potential future earnings.
- Property damage – It is possible to recover compensation for any damage to your property, including any valuable items contained inside, such as a phone or laptop.
- Pain and suffering – Many accident victims suffer severe emotional or physical distress following an accident that is different from the personal injuries they have suffered. This can include a general loss of enjoyment in life or not being able to participate in a hobby or sport that you previously enjoyed because of the accident. If this is your situation, Florida law allows you to file for pain and suffering damages to compensate you for this harm.
- Wrongful death – A lawyer from our firm can help you file a wrongful death suit to cover any funeral costs or a loss of consortium if you have lost a loved one in an Uber accident.
Common Injuries Resulting From an Uber Car Accident
Uber passengers or drivers themselves may suffer a wide range of injuries if they have been involved in an accident. Some of the most common injuries seen by our attorneys include:
- Sprained, fractured, and broken bones.
- Bruises, cuts, lacerations, and gashes.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Neck injuries, including whiplash.
- Back injuries, such as paralysis.
- Injuries to the head and skull, including traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- Wrongful death.
Unless your injuries are permanent or will impact the rest of your life, Uber’s bodily injury coverage that supplements their driver’s own insurance policies will likely be enough to cover the costs of any medical care or treatment you require. If your injuries are permanent and you are now paralyzed or have a permanent disfigurement because of the accident, you should contact our legal team at The Law Place, who can help you sue Uber directly.
Contact The Law Place Today
Uber accidents resulting in either passenger or driver harm can be traumatic, particularly if you are unsure how you can claim compensation for your injuries. As noted above, your own personal insurance may cover some of your damages, but it is possible that you may have to file a claim against the Uber driver or the company itself if your injuries are extremely serious.
Fighting against large companies for compensation alone can be extremely difficult, and our law offices want to ensure that you get the justice you deserve in your Uber accident settlement. We have a team of experienced lawyers who can help you file an injury claim against Uber or the Uber driver responsible for your pain and suffering.
Here at The Law Place, we offer a free case evaluation meaning you can receive legal assistance with no strings attached. Our law offices have over 75 years of combined experience in multiple practice areas, and we know how to handle Uber accidents well. Our priority is always to ensure that you receive the highest standard of legal assistance and that you are adequately represented against your own auto insurance company and the insurance companies of any other parties involved.
Call us today at (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation. Our phone lines are always open.