Uber Accidents Happen in KatyUber accidents can occur just as easily and often as accidents in other types of vehicles, and Texas already experiences car accident rates significantly above the national average. In fact, a fatal Uber accident recently occurred off the Katy Freeway. In this particular instance, the driver died, but anyone could be hurt or killed in a Katy Uber accident—the driver, passengers, occupants of another vehicle, or even pedestrians.
Who Is Responsible For Injuries Suffered in a Katy Uber Accident?Under Texas law, the party that caused an accident is responsible for injuries and deaths resulting from the accident. This system is known as “fault” insurance, and it stands in contrast to “no-fault,” in which injured individuals must first turn to their own insurance policies. Make no mistake: in Texas, the party that caused an accident pays for injuries and other harm. This principle applies in Uber accidents just as much as in other car accidents, but because it’s an Uber, actually receiving damages and assessing fault becomes much more complicated. If you’re in a regular, non-Uber accident with another car, there’s only one driver per car. You only need to find out what insurance carrier the driver uses, and if the driver is found to be at fault, you can approach the insurance company for payment of damages. If a Uber driver bears responsibility for an accident, some elbow grease is required just to determine what stage of the ride the driver was in—because each stage of an Uber ride is covered by separate insurance policies. Uber itself will only cover accidents in specific stages, and each stage has separate insurance coverage, as follows:
- If the driver has the Uber app on and is available or waiting for an app request, an Uber policy applies. The limit is $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident. These cases may also involve the Uber driver’s personal auto accident policy.
- If the driver is on the way to pick up passengers or has the passenger in the vehicle already, Uber’s insurance also applies. The limit here is $1 million in third-party liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury, and contingent comprehensive and collision. This stage is somewhat complicated, as the coverage will apply only if the driver is responsible and is under- or uninsured.
- If the driver has the Uber app turned off (say they are on the way home or have not yet begun working), then only the driver’s personal car insurance coverage will apply.
- First, Uber set up its insurance coverages to be secondary. In practical terms, that means injured people must first exhaust all other avenues to insurance compensation, such as the driver’s insurance policy.
- Second, Uber drivers are not employees of Uber. Uber drivers are independent contractors. Uber uses a contract system partly to save money: Uber doesn’t pay drivers benefits and doesn’t contribute to the purchase or maintenance of the cars. The cars are the driver’s responsibility. Uber maintains this distance for economic reasons, and you can bet that Uber will fight to deflect insurance responsibility in an accident as much as possible.
- Third, proving the stage the Uber driver was in might pose difficulties. Suppose the driver dropped a passenger off at a restaurant or nightclub, and then was immediately hailed by an exiting patron. Hopefully, the driver resets the app (and refuses a ride that doesn’t come through the app, because of potential insurance headaches). With the help of a lawyer, phone records can be obtained to confirm the context of your accident and the stage of the Uber ride.
Why Do Ubers Have Accidents?While Ubers can have accidents for the same reasons all cars do—poor judgment, disobeying traffic laws, maintenance, manufacturer issues, and so on—Ubers may be more prone to accidents for several reasons. Excessive speed is one of the primary causes of car accidents, both nationwide and in Texas. Uber drivers may be more tempted to speed than the average driver. Why? Because the quicker they complete a trip, the faster they can get to the next one, and the more money they ultimately earn. Additionally, some passengers may want to get somewhere quickly, such as to a movie or airport. Like all of us, Uber drivers want to earn repeat business, 5 star reviews, and good tips, so they may be pressured into speeding at their passenger’s behest. Distracted driving is a prime source of car accidents nationwide, but many car drivers operate their vehicles in familiar territory. Uber drivers, on the other hand, may drive in unfamiliar places and need to frequently consult their phones and GPS devices, or scan for pick-up and drop-off locations. Uber drivers may also work long shifts to increase their incomes. Unsurprisingly, exhaustion and drowsiness are also leading causes of Uber accidents. The more Uber drivers become fatigued or tired, the greater their chances of causing an accident. Fatigue causes a noticeable drop in reflexes, reaction time, and judgment—all accident-causing factors. Furthermore, Uber drivers may have received only cursory training as commercial drivers. Unlike federally-regulated commercial semi truck drivers, there is no accepted set of training and credentialing requirements for Uber drivers. In fact, Texas has only recently mandated background checks for Uber drivers. As such, Uber drivers may simply not follow good driving practices. Finally, Uber drivers are responsible for the condition of their own vehicles. This brings up a ton of safety issues. What if drivers are concerned about shelling out for adequate maintenance or repair? What if they don’t want to put their cars out of service for the required amount of time? Once again, no agency oversees the quality and condition of the vehicles, and Uber’s current employment scheme doesn’t incentivize drivers to keep their vehicles in top condition.
What Kind of Injuries Stem From Uber Accidents in Katy?Uber accidents are car accidents. Many types of injuries can result from car accidents, depending on the site of impact, the intensity of the impact, and the speed of the respective cars. Potential injuries include:
- Cuts, sprains, and bruises
- Soft tissue injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury (SCI)
- Amputations or loss of bodily organs
Damage Compensation for a Katy Uber AccidentThe settlements injured individuals receive should be designed to compensate them monetarily for damage and losses of all kinds. Victims can seek damage compensation in the following areas:
- Medical bills, present and future—for emergency treatment, doctor’s visits, diagnostic testing, surgery, hospitalization, prescription medication, rehab, and more
- Wages lost from work, if the accident causes victims to need time taken off work
- Lifetime value of earnings, if injured victims cannot work
- Personal property damage
- Pain and suffering for emotional, mental, and physical damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life
What to Do If a Katy Uber Accident Is FatalTragically, people die in Uber accidents, either immediately or as a result of injuries sustained. If a decedent would have had grounds for a Uber accident suit had they lived, certain family members can bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas. The family members entitled to bring a wrongful death suit are:
- Surviving spouses
- Children, including adopted children and adult children
- Parents, including adoptive parents
- The decedent’s mental and emotional anguish, pain, and suffering
- The decedent’s lost earning capacity
- Lost inheritance, including what the decedent would likely have passed on to surviving loved ones after a normal life span
- Lost care, maintenance, services, support that the decedent once supplied to family members
- Lost love, companionship, and comfort
Is Uber liable for my injuries?When you are in an Uber accident as a passenger, you may not know who can be held liable. Unfortunately, Uber’s official policies don’t do much to clear up the confusion. That’s why you need to speak with an Uber accident attorney in Katy as soon as possible after your Uber accident. By leaning on the knowledge and experience of a legal advisor who has been down this road before, you can give yourself the best chance of making a complete recovery. The most important factor in determining who is liable is the status of your Uber driver at the time of the accident. If the Uber driver caused the accident, depending on driving status—whether they had a passenger or were on their way to pick one up—you can file a claim with Uber’s insurance. If an Uber driver hit your car, things can get even more complicated. Uber provides a $1 million policy but only when the Uber driver is heading to pick up a rider or has a rider in the vehicle. In those cases, when they cause an accident, we can help you tap into that policy. However, if the Uber driver does not have a passenger or if they are not en route to pick someone up, then only the Uber driver’s personal insurance would apply. This often leaves a gap in coverage, since individuals often carry far less coverage than companies. Finding out the status of the Uber driver at the time of the accident is the responsibility of your lawyer, along with many other investigatory matters. This is a newer area of the law, but it’s also a complex one. You don’t want to trust this important responsibility to just any lawyer. Look for a lawyer with proven experience investigating Uber accidents and aggressively protecting victim’s rights. The team of lawyers and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, has extensive experience with Houston rideshare accidents and may be the right fit for you. Contact the office today to schedule a consultation.
How do I get money for my injuries?To get compensation for your injuries, you need to file a claim for damages. Your Katy Uber accident claim may allege that the Uber driver was negligent, careless, or reckless in the manner in which they drove, resulting in your injury. It doesn’t matter if you suffered these injuries as an Uber passenger or while driving your own vehicle when an Uber struck you. All that matters is that you have suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence. Your Katy Uber accident attorney will work to prove the Uber driver was negligent in their operation of the car and hold them responsible and liable for your injuries.
What compensation could I get?The point of filing a Katy Uber accident claim against the at-fault party is to collect compensation for your injuries. Your lawyer may try to get you compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Present and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
Why can’t I just settle quickly?Contrary to popular belief, insurance companies are not always on your side. Insurance companies are in the business of making money. If they pay out all of the damages you ask for right away, they may not make any money at all. Generally, the goal of insurance companies is to make you go away for as little money as they possibly can. No matter how bad your injuries and your pain are, the insurance company may try to downplay it in an attempt to get you to settle for less than your case is worth. The insurance company representing the at-fault party in your Uber accident will call you soon after your accident and may offer you a quick settlement. Many Uber accident victims get excited about putting this legal process behind them and want to take this quick offer. Not so fast. That is exactly what the insurance company wants you to do. If the insurance company wants you to take the settlement, think about whether it is actually in your best interest. It might not be. The initial offer from the insurance company will likely be a low ball offer. It may not even include enough money to cover all of those medical bills you have sitting on your kitchen table. Without an experienced Katy Uber accident attorney at your side, you could end up paying out of pocket for your medical expenses. Your lawyer could help you by reviewing the initial settlement offer and confirming it includes enough funds to cover your existing and future medical expenses, as well as all of your financial losses. It’s also important to remember that, most likely, the majority of your financial needs have yet to come. Together with your lawyer, you can create an accurate estimate of your future needs—taking into account your medical prognosis and your financial burden. At Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, we can help determine a starting point for the amount of money you need to recover. If you sign the low ball settlement offer without a lawyer guiding you, you may waive your right to bring any future claims against the insurance company for your Uber accident. This means that you could be on the hook for your medical expenses and financial losses. Did you know? Two-thirds of all Americans who file bankruptcy each year do so because of medical bills. Don’t let yourself become a statistic. Partner with a trusted Uber accident lawyer in Katy who can help you determine how much money you will need to recover. We will aggressively negotiate with the insurance company to get you every dollar you deserve.
Will my case go to trial?We know you want to wrap up the legal process as quickly as possible and get back to your regular life. However, what we don’t want to see is you or your family experiencing financial hardship because of injuries you played no part in causing. If you settle for too little, that’s exactly what could happen. Months or years later, after the settlement funds run dry, you’ll still have medical expenses and financial responsibilities, but it will be too late to get assistance. This is also why it can be vital to the success of your claim to work with a lawyer who has proven Uber accident trial experience. When we expect that the insurance company will not settle for a reasonable amount, you may need to go to trial. While our goal is to settle your case quickly and for a fair and reasonable amount, we can also begin trial preparations the moment you hire us. That helps speed up the process, should a trial become necessary. The vast majority of Katy Uber accident cases settle out of court. We do everything in our power to aggressively protect your rights and settle your claim quickly and collect maximum damages for you.
Do I need to file a claim soon?Yes. The statute of limitations for car accidents in Texas is two years. This means you only have two years after the date of your accident to file a Katy Uber accident claim for damages against the at-fault party. You might think that two years is a long time, but think about everything you may deal with during that time:
- Extended hospital stays
- Multiple surgeries
- Extended time out of work
- Multiple doctor visits
- In-facility rehabilitation
- In-home care
Why do I need a lawyer?You need to focus on your health, your wellbeing, and getting back to your regular life. Your Katy Uber accident lawyer can help you by taking the legal stress off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on your physical recovery. Your lawyer can work to collect every dollar you deserve so you do not have to pay out of your own pocket for your Uber accident injuries. You may not know exactly how much your Uber accident injury claim is worth, but it’s our job to! The lawyer you choose can make a difference in your ability to recover compensation for your injuries and your financial losses. You want a lawyer with the skills and resources necessary to investigate your Uber accident, speak with medical experts, interview witnesses to your accident, aggressively negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and help you collect maximum compensation. Entrust these responsibilities only to a lawyer with proven experience standing up to the big insurance companies. We’ve helped many Uber accident victims just like you recover. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries while riding in an Uber, reach out to an aggressive Katy Uber accident lawyer today. Contact Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, for an initial consultation and see what we can do for you.
How Is Responsibility for an Uber Accident Determined?Evidence will answer the question of who or what was responsible for an accident. All victims and their legal teams need to present evidence to receive compensation. Many different forms of evidence are usable, including:
- The police report from the accident. Be sure to obtain a copy of this report, either at the scene or after.
- Pictures or videos showing the accident
- Eyewitness testimony
- Pictures or videos of the accident scene. The position of vehicles, the environment, signs (such as skid marks and property damage), and more can all contribute to an analysis of how the accident occurred.
- Doctor and other medical personnel’s reports of your injuries. The nature, position, and extent of a victim’s injuries can often contribute to an analysis of how the accident occurred.
- Forensic analysis reports. If other evidence isn’t available, lawyers can commission a forensic analysis. This involves looking at signs of impact on vehicles, the surrounding area (such as barriers, trees, and bushes), recreating the conditions at the time of day the accident happened, and more.
If you're searching for a car accident lawyer in Katy, Texas, look no further. Stewart J. Guss and his team have over 20 years of experience handling insurance accidents claims of all kinds. Whether you were in a car accident or a commercial slip and fall premises liability case, we're here to help.
Contact an Uber Accident Attorney in KatyThe legal team of Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, is nationally recognized for protecting the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years. If you were injured in a Katy Uber accident, call our office right now for a free consultation! We can help investigate an accident, determine responsibility, and help maximize the compensation you receive for your injuries. Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a dime unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by clicking here.
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