Uber is a multi-billion dollar company that enables more than 110 million users to request a ride from their cell phone. The app connects customers to a whole host of drivers that are willing to drive them.
Put simply, people in Phoenix can get a ride at any time, from anywhere, for an affordable price. However, Phoenix Uber accident lawyers know that like any other vehicle, rideshares are at risk of dangerous crashes that can put drivers and riders at risk of injury.
The Popularity of Uber in Phoenix
- Unlike a taxi cab, Uber vehicles and drivers do not have to roam the streets looking for fares.
- An Uber ride, unlike a city bus, can travel on any road in the service area and is not confined to a fixed route.
- Unlike a private vehicle, an Uber ride enables a person to get from one point to another without having to worry about a variety of concerns like parking, directions, or even planning an evening ahead of time.
Uber has been making waves in Phoenix recently and its service area has grown expansive. Currently, the service accepts trips in the entire Valley, including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, Glendale, and Peoria. The app advertises itself as a safe means of alternative transit.
Uber functions on a fare-based system with each trip having a low base rate plus a per-minute charge based on time or miles. It also claims to be more consumer friendly than some other forms of transportation because additional charges, like tipping, are optional when traveling with Uber.
This rise in popularity naturally means that there has been an increase in Uber-related accidents in the Phoenix area.
Uber Accident FAQ
What are the Risks Associated With Uber Rides?
Before choosing to travel with an Uber driver, those in Phoenix should consider the risks that may be associated with this service. Uber trips pose many of the same threats as other types of car travel. The risk of a car accident is always present due to driver error or factors beyond the control of an Uber driver. Those accidents can lead to serious consequences for passengers, including personal injuries. However, there are additional safety concerns to be aware of.
Safety Features Vary in Different Vehicles
Additional risk factors not present when traveling in a private car may be faced by those who use Uber. One risk is that the vehicles used by the drivers are not owned by Uber itself. Rather, drivers operate their own personal vehicles when providing rides.Therefore, there is significant variability among the design, construction, and safety features of these vehicles.
Uber does set standards to which all vehicles must adhere. But, the company does not go so far as to require drivers to operate particular makes and models.
In many cases, people who request an Uber ride are unaware of the type of vehicle they will receive until your driver is on the way. Further, those riders are not given an overview of the car's safety features when they enter the vehicle.
Riders are Unaware of Their Driver’s Safety History
Not only are passengers unaware of the make, model, and safety features that they will receive, but these riders won’t know their driver's history as a motor vehicle operator.
Those who drive for Uber are subjected to background checks. This reportedly includes an analysis of the driver's past conduct while behind the wheel. However, these reviews are limited in their ability to reveal the true nature of a motorist.
Only conduct that leads to a citation or other disciplinary action appears on a driver's official record. As a result, conduct that goes unnoticed by a police officer likewise will go unnoticed in a review.
If a driver is a chronic speeder, a tailgater, or operates in a reckless manner, there may be no good way to discern this driver as unfit until after he or she begins providing rides. Those passengers who are in a vehicle with a dangerous driver will be at a higher risk for a collision due to the conduct of that motorist.
What are Some Common Causes of Uber Accidents?
There are many causes of accidents involving rideshares. One common of Uber accidents is drowsy driving. Uber drivers are allowed to drive 12 hours before the app requires a 6-hour break.
For many drivers, Uber is a source of income that they cannot afford to live without. Because of this, many drivers will stay logged in to Uber for the full 12 hours allowed. Even as a cap, 12 hours is a long time for a driver to be staring at the road. This can lead drivers to put passengers in unsafe situations that lead to accidents.
Uber drivers and passengers are also at serious risk of distracted driving. Obviously, operating an Uber requires the use of a cellphone while in a vehicle. Rideshare companies try to limit this as much as possible, but the fact is, it is a common part of the job.
- Riders can text or call their driver while they are on the way (meaning driving).
- Drivers can accept new rides while in route with a passenger
- GPS operation is often in use during the ride.
These are all prime examples of how distracted driving can play a huge role in Uber accidents.
What Should I do if Injured in an Uber Accident?
If Injured as an Uber Passenger
- Wait for police to arrive. You want your name to be listed on the crash report. You do not want questions to arise later as to whether you were still in the vehicle at the time of the accident.
- If possible, take photographs of the accident scene and the vehicles involved.
- Although Uber should have a record of the ride, take down your driver's name and number. Further, take photos of the driver's ID and insurance card.
- If you suffer injuries, seek medical treatment as soon as practicable.
- Contact an Uber crash attorney in Phoenix for a free consultation. Further, make sure to seek this legal advice before contacting any auto insurance carrier.
If Injured by a Negligent Uber Driver
- Follow the same advice above.
- If you were the driver of a vehicle in a crash with a careless Uber driver, you definitely need to make a police report. Do not let the rideshare driver talk you out of this important step.
- Sometimes it is not readily apparent that the at-fault driver is working for Uber. If you notice that he or she has a rear-seat passenger after an accident, inquire as to whether this person is a rideshare driver. Your injury lawyer will want this information.
Does Uber Provide Liability Insurance for its Drivers?
Whether you are an Uber passenger or the driver of another vehicle that is injured by a negligent rideshare driver, there is insurance to cover your damages. If an Uber driver is on a ride or on the way to pick up a passenger, the company provides $1 Million in liability coverage. They also provide the same amount for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM and UIM).
If the Uber driver has the app on, but is not on a ride, the coverage drops down to $50,000 per person, $100,000 per occurrence, $25,000 property damage.
If the Uber app is not in use, the driver's own personal auto insurance will cover the loss. In Arizona, unfortunately, the minimum coverage for auto insurance is only $15,000 per person, $30,000 per occurrence.
Can I Pursue a Case as an Injured Uber Driver?
Yes, an Uber driver can pursue a personal injury claim if they are injured by the negligence of another. Further, if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, an Uber driver can pursue the company's UM and UIM coverages discussed above. Our law firm often represents rideshare drivers that sustain injuries in crashes.
Legal Relief for Victims of Uber Car Accidents
The rise of Uber has led to Rideshare accidents. Some of these are the fault of Uber drivers, while others are due to the negligence of motorists in other vehicles. As a result, the fallout from these collisions can be very complex and can leave victims unsure about their legal options.
In Phoenix, those with injuries from traffic accidents have the right to seek financial compensation for their injuries. If an accident turns tragic and a person loses his or her life, the victim's family may pursue a claim. Although, no amount of money will ever be adequate in a wrongful death case.
Contact an Experienced Uber Accident Attorney
If an accident has affected your life and you need answers, call the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. today. Let us provide you with a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation.
Call a Phoenix Uber accident lawyer today at (602) 819-5191 or contact us online. We have lawyers available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call.