Dealing with the insurance company after a standard car accident is difficult enough, but when you are forced to deal with a ride-sharing company like Uber or Lyft, you will be surprised at the complexity. Despite the fact that Uber claims to offer resources for accident victims, many individuals still find themselves confused and alone after the wreck. Since Uber does not require any type of professional training, licenses, or education, their drivers may not be able to provide you with any useful information.
Many accident victims have extreme difficulty contacting Uber in the wake of an accident. The company provides an emergency number for its passengers to call, but the number is not widely publicized, and many victims are not even aware of its existence. The vast majority of passengers elect to report their ordeal through email or regular mail. Having to do this and wait for a response can take weeks, and during this time, you may be suffering from injuries and other problems related to the initial accident.
Traffic accidents happen far too often in Colorado. In 2016, there were a total of 18,005 traffic accidents in the state, resulting in 967 fatalities. That averages out to 51 traffic accidents per day, with four people dying as a result. While that may seem like a lot, it’s actually a decrease from the previous year, when there were 975 traffic fatalities.
Human error is the leading cause, accounting for nearly 94% of all traffic accidents in Colorado. That includes things like speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence. If you’ve been injured in an accident with an Uber or Lyft and need to talk to an experienced car accident attorney, contact the professionals at the Bussey Law Firm, P.C. (719) 401-0585.
The good news is that traffic fatalities have been on the decline in recent years. In fact, 2016 had the lowest number of traffic fatalities since 2013. But even one death on the road is one too many. We need to continue to work to make our roads safer for everyone.
Dealing With Uber’s Insurance Company
If you do manage to reach Uber, you may be asked to provide their insurance company with a statement about the accident. From a legal perspective, it may be wise to avoid giving a statement, and you should remember that you are not legally required to speak with their insurance representative. If the representative obtains a statement from you, he or she will probably use it against you in court or attempt to provide you with the smallest settlement possible.
Insurance adjusters frequently attempt to scrutinize passenger statements and take them out of context. They also know what questions to ask, and how to ask them in a manner that maximizes the possibility of you making a statement that will compromise your claim. When this happens, accident victims frequently end up revealing more information than is necessary, which can have a negative impact on their case.
One of the ways that Uber attempts to avoid paying accident victims is by claiming that they aren’t an actual taxi service. Their drivers are classified as independent contractors, and unlike drivers of other forms of commercial transportation, they are not required to possess a commercial license. These minor differences in business structure allow Uber to operate outside of the traditional commercial transportation regulations, although many states are working to change that.
Distracted driving is a serious issue, and many Uber accidents have been caused by inattentive drivers. Drivers are required to use their phones to find passengers, collect fares, and book jobs, and many drivers simply refuse to put their phones down. This constant need to check the phone can be immensely dangerous, and if you notice your driver constantly looking at his or her smartphone, you should speak up.
Uber also fails to conduct thorough background checks on its drivers. The company does require that all of its drivers undergo a basic background check, but the check does not utilize fingerprints. This means that there have been times when drivers with previous traffic violations were given permission to drive for Uber. Many critics have been outspoken about the company’s refusal to perform more extensive background checks on its drivers.
If you are injured in an Uber or shuttle accident, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and helpless. After all, you are attempting to take on a massive transportation company. Having to face a company like Uber alone would be intimidating for anyone, but when you hire an experienced Colorado personal injury attorney to represent you, you significantly increase your chances of winning the case. The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. can provide you with an attorney who knows how to handle commercial transportation companies and traffic offenses. Contact us today at (719) 401-0585 to schedule a consultation.