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Uber Car Accidents

California was the first state to legalize ride-sharing companies such as Uber in 2013. The unique, community-driven companies put underutilized vehicles in the neighborhood to work for people who need rides. The service is a fantastic solution to much of societies environmental and travel issues but is not without its fair share of problems and concerns. New innovative businesses like Uber must go through a learning phase where practical issues are brought to light as actual usage of the service begins. While Uber is based on technology for much of its service, its drivers are still only human (for now) and humans make mistakes. An Uber car accident is a traumatic experience. You have entrusted your life and safety to the driver of your Uber car. An accident in this fashion can not only be physically harmful but mentally, emotionally and financially. Fortunately, if your injured in an Uber car accident, there are ways to help get back on your feet.

How Does Ride Sharing Work?

Uber is one of a few other ride-sharing companies to burst on the public transportation scene. All it takes is a Smartphone app and you can schedule a ride anywhere. Yu schedule and pay for the ride from the app as well as choose the type of car you’d like to ride in. UberX, UberXL, UberBlack and UberSUV levels cost more as the type of car gets more luxurious. The cars are people’s private cars they use on their own time to earn extra money. While it is much like a taxi service, there are not as many regulations to adhere to. In fact, these services were not originally approved because they were categorized as unlicensed taxicabs.

About Uber

Founded in 2009 by two friends, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, when they had trouble hailing a cab in Paris, Uber is now a major force in and around northern California. The company is now classified as a multinational online transportation network with services available in 58 countries and 300 cities across the globe.

How Can an Uber Car Accident Occur?

Uber car drivers are simply human-beings. Mistakes can even happen with self-driving cars, so it’s no surprise when even professional drivers make the occasional mistake. An Uber car driver can run a stop sign, red light, drive distracted, drunk or asleep, and any other issue we face on Sacramento roads. A passenger in an Uber car runs the risk of being injured by the Uber car driver’s negligence or the negligence of other drivers on the road.

Uber Insurance and Service Obligations

Uber is a TNC or Transportation Network Company and as such, required to carry a license bestowed by the California Public Utilities Commission. Uber is also required to provide a driver training program as well as run criminal background checks on their drivers. There must also be a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol use in place and a one million dollar per incident insurance policy. Insurance coverage for these drivers comes into play at three specific times.

  • Logging onto the App - turning on the app to look for a fare to pick up effectively turns off the driver’s personal insurance. It engages the insurance held by Uber but at a lower amount than if the rider was in route to the chosen destination.
  • Enroute to Rider Pick Up – Once the driver finds a rider on the app and commits to the drive, a higher amount of insurance kicks in. Uber is required to provide at least $1 million in coverage for death or bodily injury caused by the Uber driver. Furthermore, they are required to provide $1 million of uninsured and/or underinsured motorist coverage.
  • Passenger Secured and Ride Underway – When the driver picks up the rider and the ride is underway; the same amount of insurance is in play as when the driver is enroute to the pick-up. This ensures enough coverage for the driver and passengers should either become injured by someone else on the road, who does not carry enough insurance to cover all of the injuries.

The state of California has made sure that Uber has enough insurance in place to cover any accident caused by their drivers and others on the road. This does not mean any case against them is automatically won. The most important factor in any type of accident case is being able to prove who is at fault. This is accomplished in the investigation phase completed by an attorney skilled in personal injury law. Without a thorough investigation, the case cannot be won or not all of the victims costs will be reimbursed.