Woodbury Uber Accident Attorneys
Whether you’re looking for transportation to the airport or you want a sober driver to take you home after happy hour at Cowboy Jack’s, chances are a Woodbury Uber driver can get you there. However, what happens if you are injured in an accident involving an Uber vehicle? Who will pay for the expenses of your injury? Read on for more information about the different types of accidents in Woodbury that can involve an Uber vehicle, and the special factors that add to the complexity of this type of case.
If you were injured in an accident involving an Uber, an experienced Woodbury Uber accident lawyer from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you understand your legal options, and assist you in the often difficult task of dealing with insurance companies in the attempt to obtain compensation for injuries caused by their insured.
We are committed to fighting for the rights of our Woodbury neighbors when it comes to compensation, whether that fight occurs through aggressive negotiation in the settlement process or the courtroom through litigation.
The Types of Accidents Involving an Uber Vehicle
When someone mentions an Uber accident, the first thought many people have is that the Uber driver was driving dangerously and caused an accident. This actually happens in some cases, though it isn’t the only way that an Uber accident can occur.
We represent Woodbury clients who have become injured:
- As an Uber passenger injured by an accident caused by the Uber driver.
- As an Uber driver or passenger in an accident caused by another driver.
- As the driver or occupant of another vehicle injured in an accident caused by an Uber driver.
- As a pedestrian or bicyclist injured in an accident with an Uber vehicle.
The Dangers of Uber
Uber is one of the most popular apps available, and it provides a whole new method of transportation and other services based on the model of pairing individuals who need transportation with individuals who will provide it. Despite the convenience of the service, there are some dangerous aspects of it.
Uber’s own safety numbers indicate that over 50 people die each year in Uber-involved traffic accidents in the U.S.
Here is a look at some of those dangers.
- Stranger danger: When you schedule a pickup from an Uber driver, you are getting into a car owned, maintained, and driven by a stranger. Uber supposedly takes safety precautions during the driver application process, requiring a basic health exam, vehicle safety check, and driving record/ background history check for all new drivers. Their vehicles must be less than 15 years old, in good working condition, and have no major cosmetic defects. Despite these safety requirements, the fact remains: you are trusting your safety to a driver you do not know.
- Uber’s avoidance of liability. Uber does provide a third-party liability insurance policy for its drivers. Beyond that, however, the company’s classification of drivers as independent contractors rather than as employees relieves Uber of much of the vicarious liability that employers have for the actions of their employees. Because of this, Uber has avoided liability for accidents caused by drivers distracted by the Uber app, as well as injuries resulting from sexual assaults and other crimes committed by Uber drivers and by Uber passengers on their drivers.
- Deadheading: A study performed by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business revealed a 3 percent increase in traffic fatalities in cities where rideshare companies, including Uber, operate compared to that city before rideshare services became available. One cause of this increase, researchers discovered, was deadheading drivers. Deadheading involves a driver with his or her Uber app on is driving around town awaiting a ride. The activity is dangerous for the fact that it needlessly increases traffic on the roadways.
- Late-night dangers: Many individuals rely on Uber for a ride home after a night of drinking. This is a wise decision to make. Unfortunately, this places Uber drivers and their passengers on roadways during the most dangerous hours—late night—when there is a much higher number of other alcohol-impaired drivers on the road, as well as less visibility.
Insurance Issues Associated With Uber Accidents
Uber drivers don't need any special insurance to drive. Instead, they must only meet the minimum insurance requirements in their state. They don't need to tell their insurance provider that they are using their vehicle for rideshare services, and many of them don’t, as this will increase their premiums.
However, problems arise if the Uber driver causes an accident resulting in injury, as his or her failure to inform the provider of rideshare activity can result in dropped coverage and refusal to pay for your injuries. While Uber’s third-party insurance policy supposedly kicks in at this point, many individuals struggle with the time-consuming and frustrating process of trying to determine where to submit a claim or who is paying the claim. This is one of the many services that an experienced Uber accident lawyer can perform for you.
Frequently Asked Questions About Seeking Compensation After a Woodbury Uber Accident
From sorting out liability to determining whose insurance policy will cover your injuries, Uber accident claims are frequently complex. Here are some questions our Woodbury Uber accident lawyers often hear about seeking compensation after this type of accident.
If an Uber accident injures me, how do I recover compensation?
According to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, your first resource for obtaining compensation for the expenses of your injuries is through your personal injury protection (PIP) policy that you were required to purchase when you registered your vehicle in Minnesota, regardless of who is at fault. Minnesota requires all drivers to purchase a PIP policy with a minimum coverage limit of $40,000 per person/per accident, with $20,000 for medical expenses and $20,000 for non-medical expenses such as wage loss.
Once you have incurred at least $4,000 in medical expenses or have suffered disability, permanent injury, or permanent disfigurement for at least 60 days, the individual can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for compensation of remaining expenses and quality-of-life impact.
You file a lawsuit in civil court, but must do so within a short time after the date on which the accident occurred.
The lawsuit usually names both the at-fault party and in some states it also names the at-fault driver’s his or her auto insurance provider, because insurance pays the vast majority of injury claims. However, in Minnesota, even though the at-fault driver’s insurance may end up paying the claim, that insurance company is generally not allowed as a party in the lawsuit.
Your lawsuit attempts to show:
- Who was at fault for the accident?
- Show the expenses and impacts that the claimant incurred because of the injury the accident caused.
Is the Uber driver always liable in an accident?
Absolutely not. Many potential sources of liability (legal responsibility) can cause an accident involving an Uber driver.
In addition to an Uber driver whose careless or reckless actions could have been the cause of the accident, some other examples of potentially liable parties in a crash involving an Uber include:
- Another driver whose careless or reckless actions cause an accident that injures an Uber driver and/or the passenger in the Uber driver’s car.
- In certain cases involving an alcohol-impaired driver who causes an accident with an Uber car, a business establishment that knowingly sold alcohol to the driver can be held responsible. However, this does not apply to every situation involving a driver who bought and over consumed alcohol getting behind the wheel. Minnesota’s dram shop laws generally apply to situations where the establishment furnished alcohol to a minor or an obviously intoxicated patron.
- If defective auto parts on either the Uber vehicle or any other vehicle caused the accident, you can pursue the manufacturer or distributor of the defective part.
How does Uber’s $1 million insurance policy work?
Perhaps you have heard that Uber has a $1 million liability insurance policy that comes into play if your driver causes an accident.
However, this full policy is only in effect in certain situations. Here is how it works:
- If the Uber driver has his or her app off and is using the car for his or her personal purposes, his or her own auto insurance policy must cover the expenses and impacts of injuries caused to others.
- If the driver’s app is on and he or she is awaiting a ride request when the accident occurs, the primary insurance source will be the driver’s personal policy. However, if that policy will not provide coverage, Uber provides this third-party liability coverage: $50,000 in bodily injury per person; $100,000 in bodily injury per accident; $25,000 in property damage per accident.
- If the driver is en route to pick up a passenger or transporting a passenger, Uber provides $1 million in third-party liability coverage.
This doesn’t mean you will recover $1 million in a lawsuit against Uber in those situations—you need to suffer $1 million in losses to do so. In a serious accident involving catastrophic injuries, however, that can happen, and the expenses can far exceed the minimum car insurance policies most people carry. Uber’s policy may cover more of your damages.
What damages can I recover from an Uber accident lawsuit?
Minnesota allows the recovery of both economic and non-economic damages through the claims process. In this setting, the word “damages’’ refers to a payment made in compensation for harm. Economic damages compensate for the direct and indirect expenses of your injury, while non-economic damages pay for the psychological impacts of your injury.
Some common damages claimed in Woodbury Uber accident lawsuits include:
- Medical expenses, such as emergency treatment, transport, hospitalization, diagnostic testing, physician and surgical services, prescription medication, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and the provision of assistive devices such as prosthetic limbs, crutches, or a wheelchair.
- Lost wages, if you are too injured to work.
- Loss of future earning capacity, if your injury results in a permanent disability that prevents you from returning to work or earning what you did before the accident.
- Property damage you experienced in the accident, such as the cost of repairing or replacing your damaged vehicle.
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Why do I need a Woodbury Uber accident lawyer? Can’t I just file my claim on my own?
The legal process of obtaining compensation after an injury involves complex court formalities, deadlines, and other requirements that an individual without training in the field of tort law would know.
An experienced Woodbury Uber accident lawyer can bring experience to your case, providing services aimed at assisting you in pursuing the maximum amount of compensation available in your case, such as:
- A no-obligation, free case evaluation that will provide you time with one of our attorneys to obtain answers to your questions and gain a further understanding of your legal options.
- A valuation of your case that is based on the expenses and impacts you have experienced due to your injury as well as those you may incur in the future.
- A determination of all sources of liability and all insurance resources that may pay your compensation.
- Skilled negotiation with the at-fault party’s insurance provider to garner a fair settlement offer on your behalf.
- Timely filing of all court-required documents and attendance at all pre-trial conferences and hearings.
- The gathering and organizing of the evidence and witness testimony that can help prove your case.
- Litigation, including the presentation of evidence and the examination of witnesses.
- Assistance collecting your settlement or award.
An experienced Woodbury Uber accident lawyer from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers is ready to talk to you about your case. For a free case evaluation, contact us online or by calling (651) 815-0017.