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Can You Sue Uber? What Happens if You Are Injured in an Uber

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As the travel sector gradually recovers from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rideshare industry has begun to bounce back as a dominant form of transportation. In the third quarter of 2021 alone, Uber reported 1.64 billion trips across 109 million monthly active platform consumers – a year-over-year increase in both categories of roughly 40%.

However, with such a sharp resurgence in rides, incidents requiring the services of an experienced Uber lawsuit attorney have been on the rise as well. Understanding what happens if you are injured in an Uber and finding the right law firm to take your case is a vital step toward obtaining the maximum Uber accident settlement for your injuries.

Breaking Down the Available Rideshare Safety Statistics

Current comprehensive rideshare accident statistics are scarce, and subject to major gaps in reporting. Uber’s most recent safety report was published in December of 2019, and only covers the years of 2017-2018. Broadly, the report states that during those two years Uber drivers in the United States gave over 3.1 million rides on average each day, and approximately 2.3 billion rides in total.

How many Uber accidents resulted in fatalities between 2017 and 2018?

From 2017 to 2018, Uber crash statistics reported by the company revealed:

  • 97 fatal Uber-related crashes, resulting in 107 deaths
  • A fatal Uber driver accident rate of 0.59 motor-vehicle related deaths per 100 million miles traveled, and 0.57 by the same metric in 2018
  • Urban areas were the scene of 90% of all fatal crashes in that time
  • Among the fatal crashes, 30% involved pedestrians, and 25% of these those were Uber riders or drivers outside of the vehicle at the time
  • Cyclists riding non-motorized forms of transport accounted for 2% of the fatalities during the 2-year period

By comparison, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported approximately 37,473 motor vehicle crash fatalities in 2017, and 36,560 in 2018. As stated in the Uber Safety Report, this means that less than 1% of traffic-related deaths in the United States during this time period occurred as a result of Uber-related accidents.

Non-fatal Uber crash statistics, however, have been left out of the report entirely, due to the stated difficulty of quantifying such incidents:

“Fatalities, while extremely tragic, can be classified consistently with a clear outcome. Motor vehicle crashes resulting in non-fatal injuries or damage (e.g., with serious, minor, or no injuries) are more challenging to consistently classify.”

It is unclear whether the company has maintained internal tracking for the total number of Uber accidents (including incidents with nonfatal injuries or no injuries at all) that occurred during this time frame. As some critics have suggested, however, it is highly likely that other crashes involving Uber are far more common than the reported fatalities suggest.

What happens if you are injured in an Uber crash?

After any motor-vehicle accident, it’s important to check on the well-being of all those involved in the crash. Once everyone is out of immediate harm’s way, contact the appropriate emergency services. After a crash, it is generally recommended to document the incident and take photos of any injuries or damages. This will be valuable evidence if you decide to pursue a rideshare lawsuit or submit an insurance claim.

Similar to what happens if you wreck a rental car, the steps to follow next after an injury involving an Uber will differ depending on various circumstances, including your role in the incident, and what state the crash occurred in. Whether you were the driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian involved in the collision, Uber recommends that you report the incident to their company online.

Can you sue Uber if you get in an accident?

Masked driver with masked passenger in backseat - what happens if you are injured in an Uber?

Although it is possible in certain cases to sue the company of Uber itself for an accident, a successful rideshare lawsuit can be extremely difficult to win without the proper circumstances and lawyer to sue Uber. In 2018, the debate about who is responsible for self-driving car accidents was reignited when a woman was killed in Arizona by an Uber driver during the testing of the company’s autonomous vehicle control system.

Following a report on the fatal incident from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the organization’s chair made a statement on the crash, suggesting that the company of Uber itself may have been at least partially at fault for the incident: “The collision was the last link of a long chain of actions and decisions made by an organization that unfortunately did not make safety the top priority.”

Despite this, prosecutors declined to bring charges against Uber, instead assigning blame for the Uber fatal accident solely upon the operator of the autonomous vehicle, and framing the case as a distracted driving incident. As reported in WIRED, a law professor from The University of Washington School of Law attributed this decision to the difficulty of successfully resolving such a case: “Bring a case against the company, and you have to tell a more complicated story about how driverless cars work and what Uber did wrong.”

Is Uber responsible for accidents involving its drivers?

With the passage of California’s Proposition 22 in 2020, Uber drivers in the state have been solidified as independent contractors. Since independent contractors are not considered employees, Uber is less likely to be found at fault for its drivers’ actions. As a result, fault in a crash will rarely fall on the company of Uber itself, and will instead typically be assigned to the individuals directly involved in a crash.

For at-fault accident states such as California, finding fault among the parties involved in a crash is a necessary step in case resolution. Although this may seem like a straightforward process, determining fault in an accident is often more complex than anticipated. For example, in tire blowout accidents, fault can be assigned to a number of different parties depending on what caused the blowout. Hiring an experienced Uber lawsuit attorney is the best way to resolve any unexpected disputes in regard to fault.

Current Lawsuits Against Uber

Despite rigorous attempts by the company to shield itself from liability in its drivers’ accidents, Uber is no stranger to lawsuits. In 2016, CNN reported on Uber’s notorious legal troubles: “Since its launch in 2009, Uber has been juggling a nonstop barrage of lawsuits from governments, drivers, passengers and competitors. Some have been settled out of court while others have dragged on indeterminably.”

More recent lawsuits span a variety of issues, from a new Department of Justice case alleging discrimination against riders with disabilities, to numerous Uber lawsuits tied to sexual assault.

What happens if you are injured in an Uber – can you sue if your Uber crashes?

Although Uber claims to provide insurance for driver and rider alike in every ride, there are complex stipulations to that insurance, and limits to what it provides. If you’ve been injured in an Uber accident and are unable to obtain proper compensation, contacting an experienced Uber lawsuit attorney can help you recover the maximum Uber accident settlement for your case.

With more than 50 years of combined experience in the successful resolution of cases for injury victims, and over $1 billion recovered in more than 10,000 cases, Avrek Law is here to help. Our team is experienced in rideshare lawsuit cases, with past settlements as high as $3,250,000. Contact us today for a free Uber compensation lawsuit consultation or view our locations to find an Avrek Law personal injury attorney near you – we want to hear more about your case!

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