Have You Been Injured in a Chicago Uber Accident?
Those who live in Chicago have many options to get around the city. There are city buses, L trains, taxi cabs, personal cars, and even walking or bicycling to get to your destination.
In recent years, Uber has arrived as an alternative to more traditional means of transit. Further, they are expanding the number of options available to commuters.
Uber is a company that allows customers to request rides from rideshare drivers. Drivers will take you from location to location within Uber’s service area.
Put simply, riders can use an app to request a ride from an Uber driver. They will typically pick up the rider within minutes and take that person where he or she wants to go.
Often, Uber’s fares are cheaper than those of a taxi and the vehicles may be of a nicer quality. Simultaneously, Uber vehicles have more flexibility than buses or trains that must follow a set route or path. Meanwhile, Uber cars in Chicago can move freely among the streets and expressways.
There are many upsides to traveling by Uber but there are also many risks. As the number of Uber vehicles grow in Chicago, so do the number of car accidents involving these cars. Further, so do the number of injuries. If you have already suffered injuries from a rideshare accident then contact the Chicago rideshare accident attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. today to discuss your recovery options.
Chicago Uber Accidents
Uber drivers are like other drivers on the road. They must make constant decisions which will affect their safety and the safety of others.
Unlike other motorists, though, Uber drivers are often trying to navigate unfamiliar parts of the city. This, while using an app that governs their fares. This can make an Uber driver more distracted and potentially more dangerous than other motorists in Chicago.
If you drive your own vehicle in the city, you know your starting position and typically your end point. Even if you have never been somewhere before, you have probably been in the area and therefore have some familiarity with it.
However, Uber drivers may find themselves going to entirely new sections of the city they have never visited previously. This leads them to encounter new intersections that may be confusing and may lead to dangerous situations.
Uber Safety Issues in Chicago
Further, there is pressure on Uber drivers to get their passengers to locations in a timely manner. Often, this results in speeding or driving in an erratic manner. This conduct may not only be dangerous, but can lead to traffic tickets, criminal charges, or even an aggressive driving car accident.
When a person chooses to drive herself, she understands that her safety is in her hands. However, when it comes to Uber, riders must trust their safety to strangers with unknown driving records.
Uber claims its drivers go through background checks which include a review of their driving history. However, this process can be flawed as only cited misconduct would appear.
Any dangerous driver who has not been caught by police would appear to be a safe motorist on paper. Further, past incidents reveal that these background checks sometimes fail to identify drivers even with dangerous histories.
Finally, the safety features that exist in Uber cars are not consistent. This is simply because drivers operate in their own personal vehicles which they maintain.
There are requirements governing the minimum acceptable standards for these vehicles. However, riders are unlikely to know the full extent of the safety features that may protect them in the event of a collision.
Will the vehicle have forward collision avoidance technology? What about side curtain airbags? What happens if they are in a vehicle that underwent faulty maintenance or with brakes that are not in proper working order?
Uber Accident Statistics
The following information was self-reported by Uber. In 2018:
- There were 97 Uber accident fatalities
- For every 100 million miles traveled there were 0.57 deaths
- 90% of Uber fatalities took place in urban areas like Chicago
- 30% of fatal crashes involve pedestrians
- 2% of fatalities were bicyclists
Rights of Uber Accident Victims who are Hurt in Chicago
The laws in Illinois are not clear when it comes to Uber vehicles. Are they private cars or taxis? Truly, they are neither but rather something in between these categories.
For victims who are involved in an Uber crash, it is important to know that they still have rights under local and state laws which may entitle them to a financial recovery.
From medical expenses to lost wages, being the victim of a car crash can become very expensive. Therefore, it is beneficial for those who are hurt to speak with a personal injury attorney to learn whether they are entitled to help.
Uber Auto Insurance Coverage
If you are injured in an Uber accident, the following insurance coverages apply:
- If the Uber driver is on a ride with a passenger, or on the way to pick up a passenger, the company provides its drivers with $1 Million in liability coverage. This is usually through Allstate Insurance in Illinois. They also provide $1 million in uninsured and underinsured coverage for Uber drivers and passengers.
- However, if the Uber driver is available or waiting for a ride request, the company only provides liability insurance of $50,000 per person, $100,000 per occurrence.
- Finally, if the app is off, the Uber driver’s personal auto insurance would cover the loss. Here, unfortunately, you will often find a lot of their drivers have minimum or substandard auto insurance coverage.
The Uber Employee vs. Independent Contractor Legal Battle
There is an ongoing issue as to whether an Uber driver is an independent contractor or an employee. Uber has taken the position that their drivers are independent contractors. Therefore, their position is Uber itself cannot be liable for damages from an accident.
Plaintiff’s attorneys and accident victims argue that the drivers are employees of Uber. Therefore, the company can be liable for personal injuries due to negligence in auto accidents.
This issue will come up when there are serious injuries after an accident, and damages are worth more than $1,000,000.
Contact the Chicago Uber Accident Lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C.
If you sustain injuries as an Uber passenger, or you are involved in a collision with an Uber vehicle, call the Chicago car accident lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today. Also, we represent Uber drivers with injuries due to other negligent drivers.
Call us at (312) 924-7575. We offer free case consultations without obligation to all victims and their families who call us or contact us online and we have a licensed attorney standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to speak with you.
If you were injured in a car accident involving an Uber vehicle, call Abels & Annes, P.C. toll free at (855) 529-2442 for a free case consultation.