Uber services have made Austin Uber Accident Lawyer roads safer in many ways. People can enjoy the local nightlife knowing they will have a sober ride home right when they need one. Instead of renting cars to navigate unfamiliar streets on their own, many tourists and visitors rely on Uber drivers to be their guides.
But there’s something inherently risky about the way the service works: drivers must use their phones almost constantly to receive directions or communicate with customers, which often results in distracted — and therefore dangerous — driving and many Uber drivers are also new to Austin and unfamiliar with the city’s roads.
According to a study from the University of Chicago and Rice University, the increase in ride-sharing services has increased U.S. traffic deaths by 2 to 3 percent since 2011. A combination of inexperienced and distracted rideshare drivers and irresponsible rideshare company policies means that Austenites still need to be vigilant — both on the roads and in their car accident claims.
What Do You Need to Know About Uber Accident Cases in Austin?
Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft have become common in the 21st century, their pink and white logos gleaming from inside many gig workers’ cars. Even as ridesharing companies have faced controversy for employment — or lack thereof — practices and potentially premature self-driving car experiments, they have gained widespread approval and popularity due to their convenience and lower costs compared to ordinary taxi services.
Whether you are using a rideshare service in Austin or are just a fellow driver on the roadways, there is always the chance you will be involved in a collision, and you will need a lawyer who can navigate the intersection of personal injury law and corporate aversion to responsibility, to see your claim through to fair compensation.
How Are Uber or Lyft Accidents Different From Other Auto Crashes?
Uber accidents are different from other car crashes in that the driver is usually covered by the rideshare company’s liability insurance policy. The coverage of each case may be different, so it might be helpful to have the insight of an experienced Austin Uber accident attorney to be sure the right party is being held responsible for the damages.
Statute of Limitations for Austin Uber Accident Cases
In Texas, the amount of time that a victim has to file a lawsuit in relation to an Uber accident is two years from the date of the accident. Victims lose the right to fight for compensation after two years.
Can You Sue Uber if You Get in a Car Accident?
As with any personal injury, victims can sue if they feel they are not getting adequate compensation for their losses following an accident. Whether or not the driver or Uber as a company is the focus of the lawsuit will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. The Austin Uber accident lawyers at FVF can help victims navigate the complicated process.
What If an Uber Driver Causes an Accident?
For Uber passengers, insurance coverage is fairly straightforward. A passenger who is injured in a crash caused by their Uber driver is insured with $1 million third-party liability coverage provided by the company. If another driver is at fault for the collision and their insurance does not cover the costs of bodily injury to the Uber passenger, Uber provides uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance.
For Uber drivers and other drivers on the road, the on-and-off nature of company coverage can be a little more complicated. The $1 million policy only applies when there is a passenger in the vehicle or the driver is en route to pick up a passenger — essentially when the driver is considered to be on the clock by Uber. If the driver is using the app and is available for ride requests, the third-party liability coverage drops down to a state-mandated minimum of $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage.
If you are struck by an Uber driver while they do not have a passenger in tow, are not en route to pick up a passenger, and are not using the app, you may need to rely on the driver’s personal insurance coverage to pay for your harms and losses. Uber does not require drivers to maintain commercial driving insurance through their personal insurance company. That means many Austin Uber drivers are covered only by the minimum liability insurance amount required by the state of Texas.
Why Hire an Austin Uber Accident Lawyer to Help with Your Case?
Whether you were the Uber driver, an Uber passenger, an occupant of another vehicle at the time of the collision, or a pedestrian, understanding who is liable and filing a claim against the correct party can be difficult. Often, there are multiple parties and insurance providers involved who will attempt to avoid taking responsibility for your injuries. But you deserve to be financially reimbursed for the harms and losses brought about by a collision that was not your fault.
Hiring or even simply consulting with an Austin Uber accident lawyer can have a big positive impact on the outcome of your case. Uber is a large company with a staff of lawyers who will fight to avoid admitting fault on behalf of the company. Even with a substantial third-party insurance policy that comes into play in many cases, Uber does not want to assume responsibility and risk their premiums rising. They consider their drivers “independent contractors” rather than employees to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. The extent of the company’s resources can make it extremely difficult to challenge them without an experienced and persistent legal advocate.
An Uber accident lawyer will investigate the circumstances of your Austin case to determine who should be held liable and find any and all available sources of financial recovery. Your lawyer will make sure you are receiving adequate medical care and that your injuries are well documented so that you can receive a fair settlement to cover your harms and losses.
Uber accident settlement amounts vary widely. Factors that can affect the amount of your Uber car accident settlement include:
- The severity of your injuries
- The Uber driver’s insurance provider refused to pay or canceled the policy because they were not personally insured as a commercial driver
- Shared responsibility between two drivers
- The number of people who were injured and are relying on the same sources of financial recovery
- If the available sources of recovery are inadequate, you may need to file a lawsuit against Uber directly.
When rideshare companies shirk the responsibility for ensuring their drivers meet the basic state requirements as determined by law, then they may be even more responsible for the actions of the driver. Texas requires that TNC (Transportation Network Companies} drivers meet certain safety and background criteria, and companies like Uber and Lyft are bound by law to follow these statewide regulations. If a lawyer can prove that they have knowingly endangered passengers and other members of the public by avoiding motor vehicle safety rules as required by the state of Texas, their actions are likely to add even more value to your case.