When personal injury or accidental death is involved, any company will do what it can to save its reputation and coffers. Take Uber, for example, when they tried to silence Jason West because of a fatal hit-and-run in San Francisco.
In 2018 in the USA, 36,560 traffic fatalities were recorded. According to Uber’s own data, they contributed 97 fatal crashes with 107 total fatalities.
What we don’t know is how many other crashes there were with injury settlements that have privacy clauses.
How much can you get from a personal injury case with Uber? Where should you seek legal help if you were hurt in an Uber accident?
Keep reading to find out the answers.
Can You Trust Uber’s Numbers?
In the executive report from Uber we shared above, they highlight their commitment to transparency. However, in the same report, they don’t admit to how many people have been injured in accidents caused by or involving Uber drivers.
In fact, they may not even be telling the whole truth. Since 2011, there’s been a 2% to 3% increase in traffic deaths. That means about 1,100 mortalities a year more than previous years.
This 2011 study shows that the increase in accidents to motorists and pedestrians indicates a trend that will continue because of ridesharing. What was the human cost of life during that time?
The answer is an astounding range from $5.3 billion to as much as $13.24 billion annually. This is more than Uber’s revenue even 10 years later.
How is it possible to have such a different result from Uber’s study?
For one, they only counted the time they had a passenger in the car. In reality, for every mile of personal driving that Uber drivers removed, they added 2.8 new miles of their own. This added 5.7 billion miles of driving to major cities, including Miami.
In short, the odds you’ll be in an accident because of the increase of traffic due to ridesharing has tripled.
How to Benefit From a Personal Injury Case
Most of the money you’ll receive from a personal injury case will come from insurance companies. The basic rundown of the insurance policies that Uber employs looks like this:
- Drivers during hours they're not actively providing service are self-insured
- Drivers who are available to pick up, but don’t have a fare, are self-insured with an added contingent liability
- Drivers who have a fare also have a liability coverage policy and under-insured or uninsured coverage policy
The more active and engaged an Uber driver is in the job with the passenger, the more liability Uber takes on.
Before and after they have a passenger, they are on their own auto insurance policy coverage. If they’re on the way to pick up a passenger, they are also covered for up to $100,000 in personal injury and $25,000 in property damage coverage.
Lastly, when they actively have a fare, they are covered by two separate $1 million policies. One is for liability coverage and the other is in case a party lacks insurance coverage.
How to Benefit as a Passenger
If the Uber vehicle crashed and you didn't sustain any injuries as a passenger, you’ll probably be asked by law enforcement or the insurance company about your version of events. Otherwise, your liability ends there.
If you’re injured, there's a potential for up to $1 million in coverage. This coverage is in place to protect Uber and open the way to suing the driver directly for negligence or recklessness. Depending on whether the courts decide Uber drivers are employees or independent contractors, the liability may extend to Uber.
The caveat, though, is that Florida is a no-fault insurance state. This means that Uber isn’t required to cover passengers with PIP insurance.
How to Benefit as a Third Party
Pedestrians, bystanders, and other vehicles are the third party here. If the driver had a passenger at the time of the accident, the $1 million policy covers the company.
If there is no passenger or the driver was off duty, then the driver’s own policy is in effect (with a possible contingent liability coverage in play).
The $100,000 on this policy is the cap for all injuries sustained, but each injury has its own cap of $50,000. $25,000 is the cap for property damage like a vehicle or bicycle involved in the accident.
What to Do in Case of Car Accident Injury
Remember the case of Jason West mentioned at the outset?
Uber offered $3,000 for injury and $3,000 as a confidentiality agreement. Accepting that kind of offer will only net you a measly total of $6,000. It also alleviates Uber from any further liability in the case.
If you’re a passenger, don’t immediately complete the Uber accident form. Always dial 911 first and get the police involved, at the very least. You don’t know if someone has been injured, even if they don’t appear to be at first glance.
The ambulance plays its part in making sure you get immediate medical care. You want to claim that you sought medical care and observation as soon as possible.
Next, get consultations with personal injury lawyers as soon as possible. Then, retrieve your vehicle immediately if it’s been towed and have your insurance company inspect it as soon as possible.
Don’t speak with Uber’s insurance adjusters unless you’ve got your lawyer’s permission.
Uber Accidents: The Price of Convenience
After reading this, no doubt you realize the convenience of having the right personal injury lawyer on speed dial.
At The Soffer Firm, Jesse Blake Soffer leads the way. Originally hailing from Washington D.C., Soffer has had Miami in his heart since graduating from the U of M School of Law.
He handles personal injury cases ranging from medical malpractice to Uber accidents. Having become an active member of the Miami-Dade community, he works hard to protect that community.
Looking for a way to get what you deserve in your Miami Uber accident case? Contact us today and schedule a free consultation.