Uber drivers have become ubiquitous in Miami and the surrounding area, making getting from place to place more convenient than ever. While Uber has certainly changed the way that people get around, it also has created new injury risks. Like any other drivers, people who drive for Uber are susceptible to distractions that can take their attention from the road—in fact, in some cases, their long shifts and constant influx of new passengers who may engage in distracting conduct or conversation may make them more susceptible.
When distracted Uber drivers cause accidents, victims are typically entitled to compensation for their losses. This is true regardless of whether victims rode in the Uber or another vehicle, or while using the roadway as a pedestrian or bicyclist. To review the facts of your accident with an attorney at no cost to you, call our office today at (305) 964-8806 or send us an email through our online contact form.
Common Driver Distractions
These days, most of us picture a distracted driver looking down at a smartphone and texting, emailing, or otherwise not paying attention to the road. While smartphones can certainly distract drivers, potential distractions are everywhere and do not always involve personal electronics or other technology. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving can fall into one of three categories:
- Visual distractions – Anything that requires drivers to take their eyes off of the road
- Cognitive distractions – Thinking about something other than driving
- Manual distractions – Tasks that require a driver to take hands off of the wheel
Certain distractions combine two or even all three types of driver distractions, making them particularly dangerous. For example, texting requires a person to think about the text message, look at the phone, and use hands to enter the message. That combination of distractions helps explain why texting while driving significantly increases a person’s risk of involvement in an accident.
Other driver distractions include:
- Talking on the phone
- Adjusting the radio
- Looking for items in the car
- Applying makeup
- Talking to passengers
- Using a GPS device
Who Is Liable for an Accident Caused by a Distracted Uber Driver?
When a distracted Uber driver causes an accident, either Uber or the driver could face liability. The issue that determines liability is whether the driver was operating as an Uber driver at the time of the accident. When a driver has the Uber app activated and is waiting for a ride request, Uber’s insurance policy covers the driver’s liability to a third party. In addition, when an Uber driver has a passenger in the vehicle, Uber’s insurance policy covers the passenger for losses caused by the driver and provides uninsured/underinsured coverage. As a result, if a distracted Uber driver injured you, you may obtain compensation from Uber’s insurance policy.
When an Uber driver operates the vehicle for personal use and causes an accident while distracted, on the other hand, victims will need to make a claim against the driver’s personal insurance policy. In any case, if an insurance company denies liability or refuses to make a reasonable settlement offer, victims may still recover compensation for their losses by filing personal injury lawsuits in the appropriate courts.
What to Do After an Uber Accident?
If a distracted Uber driver injures you in an accident, protect your rights by:
- Staying calm and gathering information – If you can stay at the scene of the accident, take the time to gather as much information about the people involved and the way that the crash took place as possible. If the Uber injured you as a passenger, make sure that Uber has stored the name of the driver and vehicle information. If you are in an accident with an Uber and are not a passenger, make sure to get the driver’s name and Uber identification number.
- Seeking medical attention – Always seek medical attention after an accident, even in cases in which you believe that your injuries will get better on their own or do not require treatment. Some injuries are much more serious than they initially seem and may get worse without medical treatments. In addition, any medical professional you see about accident-related injuries will generate a medical record that you can use to establish damages with the insurance company or in court.
- Taking notes – It is also important to take notes about the way in which your injuries have affected you. Examples of the kinds of issues that may be relevant to the issue of damages include any pain you experience, feelings of depression or anxiety, having to skip social functions, or problems sleeping.
- Calling a Lawyer – Accident victims should always call a lawyer after an accident, even if they have already received a settlement offer from an insurance company. The representation of a lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.
Call Us Today to Speak to an Uber Accident Attorney in Miami
If you were injured in an accident caused by a distracted Uber driver, speak to an attorney as soon as you can. At Uber Car Accident Law, we are committed to staying on the cutting edge of this newly developing area of law and work hard to ensure that our clients obtain the largest settlements or awards possible. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our Miami Uber accident lawyers, call our office today at (305) 964-8806 or send us an email through our online contact form.