Uber & Rideshare Accidents

Over the last few years, rideshare companies, like Uber, have gained immense popularity, due to the convenience, ease of use, and numerous advantages, such as:

  • – Quick response times
  • – Ability to track the driver’s locations and receiving their details before you enter the vehicle
  • – Cheaper fares than standard taxi cabs
  • – Payments processing through the app removing the need for cash
  • – Ability to publicly rate your driver
  • – Ability to view your driver’s ratings from previous customers
  • – Instant booking through an app on your cell phone

When passengers order an Uber through the app, they’re generally unconcerned about getting into an accident and trust the driver will get them to their destination safely. However, as rideshare companies, like Uber, grow in popularity, the number of accidents also increases. When an Uber or rideshare accident occurs, issues regarding liability, fault, damages, and various other problems arise.

If you or a loved one were injured in an Uber or rideshare accident, The Blake Horwitz Law Firm’s Uber and rideshare accident lawyers are available to review your matter to determine whether you are eligible to receive compensation.

Traditional Transportation Services

In Chicago and Illinois, traditional transportation services, like taxis or buses, are called “common carriers.” Generally, taxi and bus drivers are employees of the company or city. In the event of an accident, traditional transportation service companies must comply with many regulations and maintain an insurance policy. If the taxi or bus driver’s negligence caused the accident or injury, the companies’ insurance policy protects and compensates riders and others who may be injured for claims against the drivers and company.

Uber and Rideshare Insurance Policies

Generally, Uber and rideshare drivers are not considered employees and fall into the category of independent contractors. Transportation Network Companies, like Uber and other rideshare services, operate as middlemen that connect customers with independent contractors. Since rideshare drivers work as independent contractors, Uber is not directly responsible for the driver’s negligence. Additionally, rideshare drivers’ personal vehicle insurance often excludes coverage for accidents that occur while driving for Uber or other rideshare companies. The personal vehicle insurance company might decline coverage because the Uber or rideshare driver used the vehicle for services that are considered commercial.

While Uber provides a $1 million insurance liability policy through the Allstate Company to all drivers, there may be situations where no coverage is available to compensate riders and others that are injured due to the driver’s negligence or passengers not wearing their seatbelt. In Illinois, Uber provides its drivers with varying degrees of insurance coverage. Depending on when the accident occurs, Uber’s liability in an accident will depend largely on the status of the driver at the time the accident occurs, some examples are:

  • – $50,000/$100,000 bodily injury and $25,000 property damage when the driver is logged in but has not accepted a ride request. If the driver has logged in but has not officially accepted the ride, while you’re a passenger, Uber’s policy provides this level of insurance.
  • – $1,000,000 when the driver is logged in and has accepted a ride request. It’s important that you only accept rides from the driver you requested and ensure they officially accepted your ride request. Otherwise, they may not be liable in the event of an accident.
  • – $0 when the driver is not logged into the app. If your driver is not using the app while you are a passenger, Uber’s policy provides zero liability insurance to cover you for any injuries.

After an accident involving an Uber driver, determining liability and insurance coverage for injuries and damages can be complicated. An experienced Uber and rideshare injury attorney can help you pursue monetary damages and guide you through the legal issues. Common examples of potential personal injury cases against Uber can involve:

  • – Uber passenger being injured by the negligence of the Uber driver or another motorist
  • – Uber driver being injured by the negligence of another motorist
  • – Non-Uber driver or passenger being injured by the negligence of an Uber drive
  • – Pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorcyclist being injured by the negligence of an Uber driver
  • – Passengers being injured when they are entering or exiting an Uber or non-Uber vehicle due to the negligence of an Uber driver

Uber and Rideshare Accident Injuries

Similar to a car accident, an Uber accident results in similar injuries. As such, minor collisions may only inflict slight bruising on the occupants of the vehicles involved. More serious wrecks can leave you recovering from:

  • – Head injuries
  • – Spinal cord injuries
  • – Traumatic brain injuries
  • – Neck injuries
  • – Whiplash
  • – Back injuries
  • – Cuts, bruising, and lacerations
  • – Broken bones and fractures
  • – Internal bleeding
  • – Catastrophic injuries
  • – Wrongful death
  • – Disfigurement
  • – Soft tissue injuries

What Damages Are Recoverable After an Uber or Rideshare Accident?

Whether you are a passenger, pedestrian, or driver injured in an Uber accident, the case will usually focus on:

  • – The amount of your loss
  • – The party that is responsible for your loss
  • – The amount of available insurance

In order to receive damages and compensation, you must successfully demonstrate that the Uber driver or other party’s negligence caused the collision, by proving:

  • – Breach of duty: A violation or breach of the obligation through the failure to act as a reasonable person would have under similar circumstances.
  • – Duty: An obligation or duty to act in a manner that ensures the safety of others.
  • – Causation: The actions directly caused the accident.
  • – Damages: The accident caused damages, such as injuries, property damage, or monetary loss.

Similar to other vehicle accidents, if the victim can establish that the Uber driver’s negligence caused their injuries and damages, they can be awarded economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are meant to help cover bills, expenses, and property loss. Economic damages provide compensation for the monetary losses you have experienced, and can include:

  • – Property damage
  • – Past and future medical expenses
  • – Lost wages
  • – Loss of future earnings
  • – Loss of life

Non-economic damages are meant to compensate the victim and place a monetary value on the intangible and non-financial losses they suffered after an accident, such as:

  • – Pain and suffering
  • – Injuries
  • – Wrongful Death
  • – Mental anguish
  • – Loss of companionship

Each Uber or rideshare collision claim is unique, presents multiple variables, and can become complex depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident. At The Blake Horwitz Law Firm, our Chicago and Illinois Uber and rideshare injury attorneys will put our negotiation skills to work in an attempt to reach a favorable settlement. However, if a favorable settlement cannot be reached, our Chicago and Illinois litigators are prepared to fight for your rights in court vigorously.

Other Types of Uber and Rideshare Claims

Before being approved to drive, rideshare companies are required to conduct a background check for all drivers. However, this creates a false sense of safety because rideshare companies can make mistakes when conducting background checks. While the possibility of a collision is the first danger many people think of when getting into Uber, taxi, or rideshare, there are other risks associated with getting into a stranger’s vehicle.

While these occurrences are uncommon, Uber, taxi, and rideshare service passengers have suffered other injuries, such as:

Free Consultation

At The Blake Horwitz Law Firm, we take all personal injury cases on a contingency basis, which means you will not pay any legal fees unless we get you compensation for your case. Our consultations are free and carry no obligations.

If you or a family member has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact our Chicago and Illinois Uber and rideshare injury attorneys to schedule your free consultation and case review by calling (312) 676-2100, e-mailing us at office@bhlfattorneys.com, or schedule your consultation online.