Since its inception in 2009, Uber has transformed the transportation industry. Whether in Tampa or other parts of the world, you can request a taxi ride and pay for it right with a click on your smartphone. Although it has become easy to find a ride anywhere, the number of accidents involving Uber cars on the road has also increased.
It can get tricky to receive financial compensation when an accident involves rideshare vehicles like Lyft or Uber. Hiring an experienced Uber car accident lawyer is suggested for passengers or riders of an Uber vehicle and third-party pedestrians or vehicle drivers. Uber and other insurance companies will try to offer as low money as possible, and an attorney will provide the necessary legal assistance in complex accident cases.
Few Facts Regarding Uber Rideshare Service
- Starting in 2009 as Ubercab, Uber has services in over 80 countries with millions of customers.
- Uber does not use a meter system like a regular taxi, and customers get an estimated fee for their ride before the driver picks them up.
- Drivers for Uber are independent contractors who decide when to work and for what time. Drivers use the Uber application to accept requests from nearby customers. Through GPS, they pick up the customer and drive to their destination.
- Uber has a rating system on its application. A passenger has to rate their driver after the ride ends. The rating depends on the ride experience and satisfaction level. A driver with regular low ratings is barred from driving for Uber.
What Victims Should Know About Uber Accidents
Rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber are worth billions, ensuring drivers have a $1 million cover in liability and underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. Typically, vehicle drivers in Tampa just have $15,000 coverage in injury liability.
The insurance coverage provided by Uber ensures that victims in a crash or collision can receive financial compensation for their injuries, provided they were not at fault for the accident. However, you should hire an Uber car accident lawyer to obtain your maximum compensation. A victim is eligible to file a compensation claim in these scenarios-
- A passenger or vehicle driver was injured in an accident where an Uber driver was liable.
- An Uber driver was injured in a crash where a third-party vehicle driver was liable.
- Any passenger riding in an Uber vehicle, no matter which driver was liable for the accident.
Florida Insurance Requirements
Under Tampa, Florida laws, all drivers who purchase and register a vehicle in the state must get a minimum amount in personal injury protection or PIP coverage and property damage liability or PDL coverage. Tampa laws also stated in 2018 that Uber drivers have to increase the coverage provided by their insurance policy.
These requirements vary if the driver is logged in to the Uber application and if he has passengers in his vehicle. Here are the requirements-
- Minimum $50,000 death and BIL coverage per passenger
- Minimum $100,000 death and BIL coverage per incident
- Minimum $25,000 PDL coverage per accident
Uber drivers with riders need to have a minimum of $1 million in each coverage type. The driver can buy a separate commercial insurance policy or meet Uber’s insurance coverage requirements.
Leading Causes Behind Uber Accidents
Uber accidents in Tampa are common and are caused for various reasons. Every collision is unique, but here are the leading causes behind Uber accidents-
Usually, drivers are distracted while driving the Uber vehicle and Uber drivers have extra distractions. It is illegal to operate mobile phones while driving in Tampa, but drivers may need to use the Uber application on their phones while driving. Sometimes, drivers come across drunk and rude passengers who distract them and can lead to crashes.
Uber has a limited daily drive time to 12 hours because most drivers operate their vehicles without enough rest. However, this limit is the time spent driving behind the wheel, which is still really high. Drivers also have other responsibilities; some drive for multiple rideshare companies. Thus, many drivers partake in drowsy driving that can lead to accidents.
Some drivers take banned drugs or drink alcohol before driving. They are not in a good state of mind to drive, yet they still pick up passengers and drive them around. Also, drivers don’t have a commercial license and don’t follow the 0.04 breath alcohol level like other truck or commercial drivers. Drunk driving is a significant cause of Uber accidents.
Speeding or Rash Driving
Drivers are usually in a hurry to finish one ride and pick up the next one. Sometimes, the passengers are in a hurry and urge the drivers to drive fast. Driving at high speeds can lead vehicles to go out of control and crash. Also, collisions at high speeds are more likely to be fatal and result in severe injuries. Not obeying traffic rules and reckless driving can cause a lot of crashes.
Poor Maintenance of Vehicles
Uber urges their drivers to get their vehicles checked once every year at their Greenlight Hubs. However, this does not ensure that the driver has maintained their vehicle correctly and in good condition. Many vehicles are in bad condition with unchanged fluids and bad tires. It is possible to experience a tire blowout or other mechanical failures that lead to accidents.
What to do Immediately After an Accident?
First, do not panic when you get hurt in an accident. Follow these steps-
Seek Medical Care As Soon as Possible
Your health comes first, and your first step should be getting medical care as soon as possible. Preserve the medical report of your injuries and all the treatment bills and medical costs.
Call the Police at the Accident Scene
Call the police at the scene of the accident. The police will talk to bystanders and eyewitnesses regarding the accident. They will conduct a report of the accident, which will help your claim.
Collect All Possible Evidence
Collect all possible evidence at the scene of the accident that helps prove who was liable for the accident. You can record the statement of bystanders and collect insurance information of the Uber or third-party vehicle responsible for the accident.
Click Pictures and Record Videos
Take pictures of your injuries, the damage caused by the accident, etc. Uber and other insurance companies are tough to deal with, and you want concrete evidence to support your claim.
Tell Uber About the Accident
Uber drivers must report crashes to the company, but victim passengers should also inform Uber about the incident. Visit the company website to file your report and describe your experience of the accident.
Get in Touch with an Uber Accident Lawyer
Uber is a big company with an extensive legal team. As a result, it can be challenging to deal with them and receive your entitled compensation. The best option is to partner with an Uber car accident lawyer who will help you through the legal process and help you receive the money you deserve for your injuries and suffering.
What Damages can an Uber Accident Victim Recover?
A victim in an Uber accident is eligible to receive compensation for the following-
- All medical bills, including treatment costs, rehab procedures, medicines, and future treatment costs.
- Loss of wages that results when a victim cannot go to work. Also, if a victim suffers permanent disfigurement or disability, they should get compensated for the loss of future wages.
- Physical and mental stress, trauma, emotional turmoil, depression, anxiety, etc.
- In Tampa, Florida, victims are entitled to file for wrongful death if they lose a family member in an accident. In some cases, the victim may also be awarded punitive damages if the responsible party showed unacceptable behavior at the time of the accident.
Coleman Law Group Can Help You
If you or your loved ones fall victim to an Uber car accident in Tampa, do not worry. The Coleman Law Group is there to help with your case. Feel free to contact us, and our attorneys will evaluate your claim.