Many people enjoy using rideshare programs like Lyft and Uber. They exist in virtually every city and state now, and they’re quite useful.
If you consume alcohol at a bar or a friend’s house, you can call for an Uber instead of driving home. If you’re at work, and you don’t want to take a bus or train home, you can call an Uber then as well. You might take one to a physical therapy session or a doctor’s appointment.
While rideshare programs have taken the country by storm, there are potential issues with them as well. For example, maybe your Uber driver gets in an accident. If that occurs, there are a few things you should know.
1. You Might Sue Him
As the May Firm notes, “we live in a world where Uber has become a top source of transportation for individuals who do not have a motor vehicle.” Even if you own a car, you still might take one for various reasons sometimes.
Let’s say you’re in an Uber, and your driver hits another car. Maybe that happens because:
- They’re adjusting the radio station
- They took a Bluetooth call, and it distracted them
These things happen fairly frequently. When they do, it might be obvious to you that your driver caused the crash. You’re right there in the car, so you’re an eyewitness to what occurred.
If you hurt yourself in the crash, you can certainly sue the driver if you believe they acted recklessly. They should have kept their eyes firmly on the road, and if they didn’t, they endangered your life, as well as other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
You might take the driver to court to try to recover lost wages if you can’t work. You might also need hospital bill money. It all depends on how badly the accident hurt you.
2. You Could Sue the Company as Well
Apart from suing, you also might sue the company. You should consider suing Uber if:
- You delve into the background, and you discover they have a suspended license
- You look into their background, and you see they’ve had many prior accidents
It’s up to Uber to check on their drivers before they let them work for the company.
However, a bad driver might slip through the cracks from time to time.
If that happens, and you feel like Uber didn’t check up on your driver as thoroughly as they should have, there’s no reason not to go after both the driver and the company. Uber has deep pockets, and they should compensate you if they allowed a potentially dangerous driver to pick you up.
3. You Can Pursue an Intoxicated Driver Lawsuit
You might also feel like your driver ingested alcohol before picking you up. May states have legal weed now, so it’s possible your driver smoked or ate an edible before they started their shift.
There is no way for you to prove that, but the cops can. If your driver seems drunk or high, and they get in an accident, you can suggest that the police give them a breathalyzer when they arrive on the scene.
It’s more challenging to prove marijuana use, but not impossible. Glassy eyes, slurred speech, or a weed smell are all circumstantial evidence.
Some trust their skills to the point that they will act recklessly and ingest alcohol and drugs before every one of their shifts. They might have crashed this particular time, but this may not have been anywhere near the first time they engaged in this behavior.
4. You Don’t Need to Be in the Car to Sue an Uber Driver
You should also realize that you don’t only get to sue Uber or the driver if you were in the vehicle. If an Uber driver does hit your car, or their vehicle hits you when you’re walking in a crosswalk or biking next to them, you might have lawsuit grounds.
Uber drivers need to share the road with pedestrians and cyclists, and other vehicles as well. They don’t get any special privileges, so you shouldn’t ever see one running a red light, running through a stop sign, making an illegal turn, etc.
If a driver strikes you because of any of these behaviors, you can probably sue them if their insurance doesn’t cover all your medical bills, therapy bills, and so forth. Uber carries up to a one-million-dollar insurance policy on their drivers, in addition to the driver’s own insurance. It’s not likely your medical bills will ever exceed one million dollars.
However, you might try to go after the driver for punitive damages if they behaved recklessly. If they were going seventy-miles-per-hour in a thirty zone, for instance, that’s either reckless endangerment or depraved indifference. If that ever happens, you might ask for even more than the million-dollar policy assures you.
5. You Can Probably Hire a Lawyer Even if You Don’t Have Any Money
If an Uber hits you and injures you, Uber might offer you compensation, but you may not feel certain that it’s enough. It might cover your medical bills, but what about your pain and suffering? You might have PTSD from the experience.
You may not think you have the money to hire a lawyer to represent you if you decide to take Uber or the driver to court. You do not always need to hire a lawyer with money upfront, though.
You can find an attorney who will represent you on a contingency basis. That means you will never have to pay them anything unless they win your case and get money for you. If they win, you will have to pay them a significant chunk, up to forty percent in some instances.
Uber people need to follow all traffic laws, and the company should only hire responsible drivers. If you’re in an Uber vehicle that crashes or one hits you, make sure you hold both the driver and company liable.