History of Uber
- How long has Uber been around? Uber was founded in 2009 and has been in operation since 2010.
- What are some of Uber’s competitors? Uber has various competitors for all of its services, including Lyft, Lime, Spin, Doordash, Postmates, Amazon Fresh, Sidecar, Turo, and others.
- Where does Uber operate? Uber has operations in 785 metropolitan areas, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Bangalore, Beijing, Taipei, London, Paris, and more.
Uber was initially funded as UberCab in 2009 as a way to provide luxury private drivers to individuals at a discounted price. Regular private drivers and limousines are quite expensive, but Uber’s initial price model only resulted in being a bit more expensive than regular taxicabs. Eventually, UberX was created after a rebrand left the company with just the name Uber; UberX allowed ordinary and non-luxury vehicles to transport customers. As rates were lowered, more options for customers began popping up. UberPOOL debuted four years after Uber hit the streets, eventually becoming its most popular service. In just two years after its foundation in San Francisco, Uber went live in New York City and Chicago. It would eventually reach other big cities but would face backlash in some and competition all around the world. For example, New York City is well known for its yellow taxi cab services and subway system. With the introduction of Uber, many taxi drivers and companies pushed back; there were claims of a lack of safety of the passengers, the company taking advantage of its workers, and of violating business practices and forcing workers to take less or lowered wages to compete. New York passed a law that forced Uber drivers to hold a commercial driving license, which takes a bit of time and training to acquire. As such, many Uber drivers were unable to pick up and transport customers with the same ease as they would in other parts of the country.
How Uber Works
- What do I need to use Uber? You will need a smart phone like an Android or iPhone, a payment method as a passenger, and various required documents as a driver.
- Does Uber operate all night? Uber drivers work according to their own schedules, and may or may not be available throughout all hours of the night. It is to be expected that later hours will yield longer wait times, as fewer drivers will be available.
Costs of Uber
- Do I have to tip on Uber rides? Tipping is optional, but if you do elect to tip, there is a selection you can make to input your number.
- How do I pay for Uber? Uber will take payments from PayPal, credit card, debit card, bank account, Google Pay, and more. It is meant to be a cashless experience in the majority of cities served.
- Cancellation cost of $5.00 if you cancel a ride a few minutes after requesting it or if you do not show up to the Uber when it arrives at your pick up point
- Wait time fee of a $0.10 per minute if you continue to stall or delay the driver from leaving
- Booking fee of $2.40 that applies to all rides
- Cleaning fee which can vary in cost between $20 and $150; it is activated if you leave a mess in a driver’s vehicle, such as by spilling trash, leaving animal waste behind, vomiting or bleeding in the car, and more
- Lost and found item fee of $15 in some cities if a driver brings you back a personal belonging that was left in the vehicle during your ride
- Tolls and highway prices, which vary depending on the state
Types of Uber Rides
- Can I specify what kind of car picks me up? You cannot select a specific model of vehicle, but you can select the luxury level of the Uber vehicle.
PoolUber Pool is an option that allows riders to share rides with other people going in the same direction as them. You often have to walk to a pick up point that is a short distance away from your original location, and on the route to your destination, additional riders may be picked up. You will receive an alert that another person will be joining you on your trip. Once the driver has reached your destination, you will be let out near the drop off point. You can only request 2 seats maximum per ride.
Uber XUber X allows you to take private rides without having any other individuals come into the car with you. This can be selected at the start of the trip. Uber X vehicles must be in good condition and must have been manufactured in 2006 or later. The car must also have working air conditioning and heating systems.
Uber XLUber XL is essentially the same as an Uber X vehicle, except that it is a high occupancy vehicle that can fit a minimum of 6 individuals. The SUV must also be in good condition like its Uber X counterpart. Uber XL vehicles are generally used for large groups of friends going on outings, for terms who do not have ample transportation to events, and for businesses taking out their employees.
Uber SelectUber Select allows passengers to have a more luxurious ride than a regular Uber. Uber Select vehicles need to have 4 doors, must not have been manufactured later than 15 years ago, must be a high-end luxury sedan, must have a leather interior, and more. The drivers of Uber Select must maintain a 4.7 or higher rating. Because Uber Select provides more amenities and a more luxurious options, it is, fittingly, more expensive. One of the primary differences between Uber Select and Uber Black is the color of the vehicle – Uber Select cars can be any color.
Uber BlackUber Black is a step up from Uber Select. All of the vehicles are luxury and are operated by professionals drivers; further, every car is, as you may have guessed, black in color. A driver must be certified by the state or possess a commercial driving license, and he often dresses the part as a limo driver and acts in the same manner. Further, the vehicles must be manufactured in 2010 or later and have leather interiors. It is essentially meant to be a ride that shows distinction and provides an air of importance and elegance.
Uber LuxUber Lux vehicles must be black in both exterior and interior, be in nearly pristine condition, be manufactured no earlier than 2013, and must pass and Uber inspection. Drivers must also have an airport permit, a commercial license, a TCP permit, and be professionally certified. They must adhere to a dress code; these drivers will likely be dressed in suits and ties and offer various goods in the car, such as in-ride entertainment, refreshments, charging capabilities, and more. Uber Lux vehicles have a higher base fare rate than the other options, resulting in a $20-$30 minimum. The service is not available everywhere, but only in specific metropolitan cities that attract a certain type of clientele.
Self Driving CarsUber rolled out self-driving vehicles in Pittsburgh in 2016, aiming to use the city’s many dead ends, labyrinthine twists and turns, bridges, narrow streets, and large population as a testing ground that would be able to emulate cities across the country. The initial vehicles were Ford Fusions but later became Volvo XC90 models. Each vehicle had numerous sensors and radar devices equipped to it, such as sensors and cameras, as well as a lidar system on the roof. Inside each vehicle were Uber technicians prepared to take over the vehicle in case something broke or went out of control. Uber’s self driving cars were in the experimenting phase for some time, but a tragedy eventually struck. A woman was walking her bike across the street at nighttime in Arizona when the self-driving Uber vehicle struck her. Initially, it registered the woman as an unknown object, but eventually recognized the bicycle and recognized that it needed to brake. The driver in the car was not paying attention to the road and was instead fiddling on a phone. The woman died from her injuries. The crash prompted Uber to withdraw self driving cars from the road for some time. They were eventually reintroduced with better sensors and cameras as well as more limitations, such as not driving at night and not exceeding speeds of 25 mph. It should be known that Congress passed the Self Drive Act, which allowed companies that create self driving cars the ability to bypass safety standards for the first 100,000 vehicles manufactured. The companies must also go to lengths to prevent any cyber attacks on the cars and ensure that no hackers can control the vehicle remotely. States will also not be allowed to ban self driving cars.
Causes of Uber Accidents
- Who is responsible for most Uber accidents? Human error accounts for over 90% of automobile crashes, so an Uber driver or third-party is most likely responsible for the crash.
- Do I get reimbursed if my Uber driver gets into an accident? You may receive a refund for your trip if your driver was involved in an accident.
SpeedingUber drivers may drive recklessly by speeding, which can create dangers for many people on the road. Speeding vehicles have a harder time coming to a stop and drivers have less time to react to sudden dangers on the road, such as cars turning from hidden driveways, vehicles merging, animals darting into the street, pedestrians crossing at crosswalks that aren’t at lights, and more. Uber drivers who speed in residential areas run the risk of injuring more pedestrians, children, and homes, while Uber drivers who speed on highways and freeways raise the chances of severe or fatal injuries in crashes.
TailgatingTailgating is the act of driving too closely to other vehicles, which can cause rear-end accidents due to being unable to stop in time. It can sometimes be viewed as an act of aggression, but often, drivers tailgate because they are in a hurry and believe that they are getting closer to their destinations. It does not actually result in arriving faster; in fact, tailgating and having to constantly brake and ease up has been shown to create more traffic than it alleviates.
Running Led LightsUber drivers may run red lights if they are in a hurry or need to get to a destination before a deadline. For example, there are times when drivers need to get their passengers to the airport to catch a flight and they take many risks and chances to arrive on time. It is also common for Uber drivers to go through red lights when caught a bit in the intersection or when proceeding through a jammed or packed yellow. Continuing through a light that has already changed is dangerous, and drivers from the opposing direction could get involved in accidents very easily.
Improper MergingIt is common for Uber drivers to go out in packed or traffic-ridden areas, which are usually filled with people who do not exert a lot of courtesy. This forces Uber drivers to be more aggressive and force their way into lanes if they want to enter or exit. Some individuals refuse to give up space, and Uber drivers will try to fit in the gaps. In slow-moving traffic jams, this may simply result in a sideswipe or a less damaging accident, but on freeways where there are plenty of cars traveling at high speeds, an improper merge can lead to a fatal accident. The Uber driver may signal too late, merge too slowly, or cut someone off, which can cause someone in the lane to hit the vehicle.
Running Stop SignsOne of the most common violations that Uber drivers commit on the road is running stop signs. Not every driver runs a stop sign by fully blowing through it and not even coming to a stop. In fact, many Uber drivers simply come to a rolling stop and then proceed as normal. This can be problematic – driving through a stop sign prematurely can throw off the flow of traffic and cause accidents among those who believe they have the right of way.
Right of Way ViolationsIt is important that drivers acknowledge who has the right of way, but Uber drivers sometimes overstep boundaries and try to ignore the courteous and rightful way in traffic. For example, individuals who have to turn left into oncoming traffic should wait for an appropriate break or for the cars to slow down for them. By speeding through the turn, the other drivers must quickly brake, which can create a chain reaction of accidents, including rear end crashes and swerving.
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Parking Lot CrashesUber drivers often drop people off in parking lots and parking structures if the passengers make special requests. There are very low speed limits in parking lots and Uber drivers must constantly be aware of people pulling out of narrow spaces, coming around tight corners, and walking from in between vehicles and out of doors. Uber drivers who do not pay close enough attention or who speed in parking lots can easily crash.
Drunk DrivingSome Uber drivers make poor decisions and decide to go driving after having a few drinks. This is extremely risky and dangerous, as it doesn’t only place the drivers themselves in danger, but also places the lives of everyone nearby at risk. Drunk Uber drivers have lowered inhibitions, poorer reaction time, and may pass out while behind the wheel. It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher, but because Uber drivers have passengers and are driving commercially, they are held to the lowered standard legal limit of 0.04%.
Tired DrivingAnother huge issue with Uber drivers and accidents is the fact that many drivers tend to go on the road while tired or exhausted. Fatigued drivers are equally as dangerous as those who have ingested alcohol; falling asleep at the wheel can cause a vehicle to veer off the street or swerve into oncoming traffic. Drivers may get behind the wheel to pick up Uber customers after having long shifts at their primary jobs or after traveling for some time; others will work long shifts that drain their energy.
Using Phone While DrivingThere are some instances in which Uber drivers must use their phone, such as when they approve new passengers to join the ride. However, there are times when Uber drivers simply excessively use their phones, such as by remapping or rerouting their GPS directions, replying to text messages or emails, contacting passengers, and more. Texting while driving or using the phone while driving is extremely dangerous, and it is crucial that Uber drivers be held accountable for their actions. Passengers can give low ratings and file complaints if the driver does not drive with any regard for safety.
Vehicle MaintenanceUber vehicles must adhere to certain standards. If drivers do not take care of the cars, they can be barred from driving for the company. Of course, most of the time, there are no specific Uber engineers or quality assurance workers who travel around the different cities and inspect cars. Improperly maintained vehicles can cause sudden accidents; there can be brake failure, engine trouble, broken lights, no seatbelts, fan belt issues, radiator problems, improperly filled tires, and more.
WeatherPoor weather contributes to more Uber accidents than one would expect. The presence of fog, rain, snow, sleet, storms, haze, and other such conditions can make driving very difficult. Not only does it become more problematic to actually operate the vehicle because of slick roads, but there is also the risk of how other drivers will handle the weather. Even Uber drivers who are extremely careful and defensive in poor weather may be hit by someone who was going too fast through the fog or who was speeding in the rain.
Common Injuries from Uber Accidents
- Will Uber cover my injuries if I was hurt in an accident? Yes, liability for injuries to third parties is coverd under Uber’s insurance.
- How dangerous are Uber rides? Uber rides are no more or less dangerous than any other drive you would take.
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Bone DamageFractures, breaks, cracks, and crushing injuries can all permanently affect the way you use your body. A broken bone may not set properly and heal wrong, which could limit the range of motion for the rest of your life despite physical therapy and repairs. Broken bones and other damages can also increase the amount of time you spend recovering and could easily put you out of work for weeks. Crushing injuries could also shatter the bone and leave it permanently disfigured; victims may suffer crushing injuries when their hands, feet, and other body parts are caught between the vehicle and the seat, door, window, and more.
Muscle InjuriesSprains, strained muscles, tears, and more can damage numerous parts of your body. Knee injuries, such as LCL, ACL, and MCL tears, can take months to properly heal, and in that time, you may be extremely sensitive and suffer a lot of pain while walking. You could suffer a torn rotator cuff, which is an extremely common shoulder injury in Uber accidents as your shoulder is directly next to a door.
Brain InjuriesThe sudden impact can cause your head to crash off the window or steering wheel, and even moderate damage can cause irreversible brain damage. Victims may suffer concussions, which can cause haziness, dazed behavior, memory loss, dizziness, trouble concentrating, sensitivity to light and sound, and more. A concussion – or worse, a traumatic brain injury – can make victims unable to drive or work. Closed head injuries, such as brain bleeds, cracked skull, and others, can also be detrimental to brain health.
Internal InjuriesBecause of how vicious an Uber accident can be, some victims may suffer intense internal damage. There may be bleeds, liver damage, kidney damage, heart trouble, collapsed lung, intestinal injuries, and more. Some of the injuries may be exacerbated during treatment or may occur as a result of surgery. Of course, if an organ is removed, it could lead to a change of life; removal of a gallbladder may not change much, but removing part of a lung can drastically impact day to day activities and recreational habits, if not job capabilities.
Neck and Spinal Cord InjuriesNeck injuries are common in Uber accidents because of how fragile the neck is. A crash can cause whiplash which is a condition where the neck suddenly swings due to impact. There can also be spinal cord injuries; spinal cord injuries are extremely problematic because of how crucial the spinal cord is to movement and for transmitting information to the rest of the body. There is the chance that the discs in the back will get herniated or slip out of place in the accident. If these disc issues do not get resolved, treatment can eventually necessitate surgery, which would require the discs to be fused to the spine, thus preventing mobility and increasing stiffness.
Severed LimbsCircumstances in Uber crashes can cause victims to lose limbs and digits. Some people may have their hands and arms outside of the window when they are struck by a vehicle and others may have their legs pinned or crushed beneath broken seats or caved-in doors. The limbs may not get any blood flow and may have the tendons, bones, nerves, and other crucial parts mangled beyond repair. There may be no hope for repair and only a prosthetic limb can be used to return to normal. These victims may have to live with phantom pain, lingering nerve damage, and more. They will also need intense and lengthy physical therapy and must learn how to live without a limb, which could completely change their lives. Additionally, prosthetic limbs and treatment for such injuries can be extremely costly, and health insurance may max out and not cover all the expenses eventually.
Permanent InjuriesAlthough severed limbs are permanent injuries from Uber accidents, there can also be burns that result in scarring, facial damage like loss of eyes, need for facial reconstruction, coma and brain damage, and more. These permanent injuries wreak havoc on family and friends, and victims will never be the same as they were before.
ParalysisParalysis can take on many forms. In the least impactful cases, only parts of the body are paralyzed or numb, such as fingers and toes. However, the more intense forms of paralysis include paraplegia, which is the loss of function in the legs, and quadriplegia, which is the loss of function of all limbs and body parts below the neck. Those suffering from paralysis are often confined to wheelchairs and must learn to adapt to a new lifestyle. Their homes must be restructured or have additions tacked on, they must purchase new vehicles that are handi-capable, and much more.
DeathThere are over 30,000 deaths per year from car accidents, and Uber accidents themselves have resulted in many different crashes where individuals have passed away. Victims have died at the scene of the accidents and have also perished in the aftermath during treatment from lingering damage. They may have suffered extreme bodily trauma, loss of blood, brain damage, and more. Many similar injuries can also occur if you fall from an Uber Jump bike or scooter or if you are struck by these vehicles. In the event that you are struck by an Uber car while walking on the street, you could suffer much worse damages. Pedestrians are not as protected as passengers in vehicles; they do not have seatbelts, cushions, and other forms of safety. These individuals may be left in worse conditions and could be hit by other vehicles passing by.
List Of Steps To Take After An Uber Accident
- If I can’t take pictures at the scene of the accident, can someone else do it for me? Yes, you can have a friend or witness take photos for you.
- What if the Uber driver doesn’t report the incident? You should always make sure to report the accident to Uber just in case the driver tries to hide it to prevent any action, such as getting barred from driving or from paying an insurance claim.
- In the immediate aftermath of an Uber accident, get medical attention as quickly as you can. Victims may sometimes not feel as though they have been severely injured or may not notice certain injuries. Paramedics called to the scene of the accident can check your health and determine how hurt you are. You may be transported to the emergency room for urgent surgery and treatment, or you may simply be able to go home and see a doctor later. If you plan to file a lawsuit, this initial period of medical attention is extremely important to your case. If there is a noticeable gap between the accident and the treatment you received at the doctor’s office, the insurance agent handling the claim could state that you were not as injured as you proclaimed or that you were hurt in another incident and you are trying to use the Uber crash to collect compensation for separate injuries.
- You should have ample proof of your medical treatment and the damages you suffered. The hospital or healthcare facility will give you a receipt or a bill that details the services you had done at the hospital. You may also request to keep the notes from the paramedics.
- In addition to medical proof of your damages, you should also have ample documentation and photos. You should take pictures and videos from different angles and at different times after the accident. If you can show how injured you were and the extent and impact of the injuries, your evidence will be much stronger.
- Ample photos that also document the circumstances of the case can be worthwhile for your evidence. You may take photos of the scene of the accident to show a few problems or issues. For example, the road may have had a large pothole in it or there may have been debris in the street. There may not be adequate lighting from street lamps and there could have been bad weather that completely clouded vision or caused the environment to become dangerous to drive through. You can also document the state of the vehicle and the damage to any other cars or objects. This can serve as a way to identify the angle of impact, and thus, some degree of responsibility. For instance, if the Uber vehicle were rear-ended, you should photograph the rear of the car and the front of the other one.
- If you were a passenger or a driver, your Uber app will have the details of the trip. You should screenshot the trip information, name of all parties involved, and the payment information. This information will show that you were a rightful customer or lawful driver in the incident.
- Beyond the information gathered on the Uber app, you should collect necessary contact details and insurance details from those involved. Drivers should exchange information and parties should be sure to file a claim in a speedy and efficient manner.
- There were likely other individuals nearby who saw the accident happen. They may have been at store, walking on the street, or even been in other cars as passengers. You should interview these eyewitnesses and take down their statements and testimonies to have additional evidence for a claim. This will cut out a lot of the dissenting opinions on who was responsible and who was carelessly driving. In addition to bystanders, you could ask nearby businesses if they had security cameras installed; the surveillance footage could show the incident happen and provide crucial evidence.
- In some Uber accidents, especially those that occurred on the freeway or resulted in physical injuries and the presence of paramedics, the police may come to the scene. They will likely conduct an investigation to see if there were any criminal activities; for example, one of the drivers may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol or he may have committed some kind of violation while driving. The police will interview all those involved and will file the report at the station. Once it has been finalized, you can ask for a copy of the report.
- You should alert Uber to the accident so that they cannot deny any liability or knowledge of it. There is a section on the app that allows you to report a serious incident involving a driver. You must provide the date, time, and location of the incident, as well as the rider or driver name. Other additional details can be submitted.
Uber’s History with Drivers
- Why do companies hire independent contractors? Independent contractors are usually hired because they are cheaper than employing full time workers and because they provide services that the company may not offer.
- Do Uber drivers get benefits? Uber drivers are not offered the same types of benefits that full time employees are offered.
Find out more about how we can help you. CHAT LIVE with a representative now.Additionally, Uber drivers, if they were considered full or part-time employees, would be subjected to various labor laws. They would have the right to minimum wage, anti-discrimination laws, tax withholdings, unemployment benefits, worker’s compensation benefits, mandated meal breaks, and more. Uber contested that because its drivers set their own hours and is free from the control and boundaries of the company, they are not full time employees and are essentially freelance workers. The labor office of California was one of the first to grant Uber drivers damages owed by the company and stated that there are numerous examples of the business acting like an employer. In 2015 and beyond, various rulings set the stage for the unfolding landscape of the future of Uber.
Important Uber Cases
- Has Uber been sued before? Yes, Uber has been sued by accident victims, drivers, cities, and more. Laws have been created and changed because of the impact Uber has had on the economy, worker’s rights, and the current state of transportation on the road.
2013 Vehicular Manslaughter of 6-year-old GirlSyed Muzaffar was driving his Honda Pilot, a sport utility vehicle, when he approached the Civic Center in San Francisco on New Year’s Eve in 2013. The 57-year-old had dropped off one individual earlier and planned to take more fares as the night went on, transporting people around the city, as the holiday was guaranteed to bring in a lot of fares. In between rides, Muzaffar was in the Tenderloin district when he failed to notice a family crossing the street at a crosswalk. He negligently turned into the crosswalk during a green light and struck the Liu family, killing the 6-year-old daughter in the process and greatly injuring the mother. The mother required an extensive stay in the hospital and eventually underwent surgery to repair her damaged eye. Muzaffar was charged with vehicular manslaughter some years after the incident. The contents of the case were primarily focuses on the level of negligence Muzaffar displayed at the time of the crash. Although he had the green light, he did not have the right of way on the turn; the Liu family was proceeding through the crosswalk as they rightfully should have. Muzaffar’s defender said that the fact that the lights changed at the same time contributed to the crash. Additionally, the mother who was struck claimed that Muzaffar was continually looking at his phone and back to the street, and that the light from his phone illuminated his face. It was confirmed by Uber that Muzaffar was in between fares and was waiting to accept a ride. According to the company, he had no reason to be looking at his phone repeatedly. After deliberation, Uber reached a settlement with the Liu family for a sum of money that was not disclosed by the courts. The accident was the main catalyst behind the change in Uber’s insurance system, branching out to cover drivers who were in between fares and logged into the app while waiting for a customer to request a ride. A large issue that was discovered with the incident was the fact that Muzaffar had previously been convicted of reckless driving in Florida some years before. However, the background check was limited to information from no later than 7 years beforehand, and California law prevented the company from learning about the previous conviction.
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2015 Ruling for Driver ReimbursementIn 2015, Barbara Ann Berwick took Uber to court for reimbursement for wages she earned in 2015. The wages and expenses totaled over $4,000. She had taken on the job to supplement her regular income at a trading company, for which she spent a lot of time at her computer. She claimed that she was essentially paid less than minimum wage for her driving. A California court ruled in her favor and awarded her the damages she sought. However, at the time, there was no blanket ruling that would allow other drivers who suffered the same fate to be automatically reimbursed for their lost wages or to receive what they were owed. Instead, it was a situation that would likely result in many small lawsuits from drivers, even culminating in a class action claim.
Ongoing Class Action LawsuitWhat initially started in California has spread to other parts of the country. Uber drivers collectively filed a class action lawsuit that challenged the notion that Uber classified them as independent contractors or freelancers and would thus be exempt from certain business practices. Despite Uber offing insurance coverage thanks to a previous ruling, the company is still fighting against categorization of its drivers as employees.
Incident with Blind Passengers and Service DogsIn 2016, three different blind passengers joined a class action claim against Uber that resulted in them getting $15,000 a piece for the actions against them. Uber drivers denied these blind passengers the ability to ride because they had service dogs and guide dogs with them. The drivers did not want animals in the vehicles and refused to accommodate the blind passengers. This is a blatant violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act that requires service dogs to be allowed wherever the afflicted owners are going. Uber drivers are not exempt from this rule, but there is speculation that many simply do not know it exists. They merely see a dog and may want to keep their interiors clean and have a kneejerk reaction. Drivers who do not agree to transporting service dogs or allowing guide dogs onto the ride will be barred fro picking up customers until they agree. As a result of the incidents, Uber paid out an additional $225,000 to the National Federation of the Blind.
Types of Uber Accidents
- Can Uber be held responsible for an accident with any of their services? As long as Uber had a part in the incident in some way, yes, they can be held responsible.
- If an Uber vehicle malfunctions, what can I do? You should be sure to document your evidence accordingly so that you can prove that the Uber vehicle malfunctioned, and then file a claim for reimbursement or compensation if you were injured.
BikesUber’s JUMP branch provides electric bikes for use across various cities. The bikes can be made to go faster the harder you pedal. They can be unlocked for free and cost 15 cents per minute to ride. They can be placed on hold for up to one hour (and your account will be charged during that time); when you’re finished, you simply lock the bike and go about your business. There is also a Boost Plan offered by Uber that allows drivers one hour of ride time per day. It costs $5 per month, 7 cents per minute after the initial 60 minute ride, a $25 fee if the bike is parked out of the system, and more. It can be used by individuals enrolled in certain programs, such as Medi-Cal and CalFresh. Bikes must be ridden in bike lanes and not on the sidewalk. Because they are electric and may malfunction while being ridden, it is very possible that riders can get in accidents with other people.
ScootersJUMP scooters can be reserved or unlocked in the same way that bikes can. They cost $1 to unlock, though, but run the same 15 cent charge thereafter, except after 5 minutes of ride time. They can be left anywhere within the appropriate zone (scooters left outside of the zone incur a $25 pick up fee). As with all scooters in California, there is a set of rules that must be abided by when on the vehicles. You must be over the age of 18 to ride, ride in bike lanes, have a valid US driver’s license, and obey all applicable traffic laws (yield, ride within speed limits, do not leave the scooters on the sidewalk or in the street when they’re not ridden, have at least one hand on the scooter, do not ride while inebriated or distracted, only have one person on the scooter at a time, and more). Because scooter riders are usually zipping around the beach and in areas with a lot of traffic, they may not be paying attention to all of their surroundings. A scooter accident can be problematic for a rider, as they have essentially no protection besides the mandated helmet, and equally as troublesome for victims. They are quite mobile and fast compared to pedestrians, and accidents can happen very quickly.
CarsThe most common form of Uber accidents occur with rideshare vehicles. Almost any type of vehicle can be an Uber car; there are compact coupes and large SUVs driven by workers, and everything in between. You can select your ride type at the start of the Uber interface and the car will come to your location within a few minutes. Trips are generally a few dollars and cost more when you need more seats or additional passengers. You should be aware of all the normal traffic rules and regulations, whether as a passenger or driver. You should always wear a seatbelt and avoid any reckless behavior. Uber drivers may be in a rush to finish fares, especially if they are going to certain bus areas. For example, if a person requests a ride to the airport and the fare is only 5 dollars, there is a chance that the ride will take as long as an hour. This entices drivers to speed and drive carelessly in an attempt to squeeze as many fares into a shift as possible. Further, Uber drivers are responsible for the care and maintenance of their own vehicles. The more a car is used, the more wear and tear it suffers, and thus, the risk of accidents stemming from malfunctions rises.
PedestrianPedestrians may very well be in harm’s way with all the Uber vehicles traveling the streets. Pedestrians are seemingly unsafe everywhere. There are many individuals who are in danger due to bikes and scooters that riders operate on the sidewalks or on the beach, where they go too fast for comfort. Pedestrians also have to worry about Uber drivers not paying attention while behind the wheel because they are using the app, picking up new passengers, inputting different GPS directions, answering messages, and more. It is recommended that pedestrians grow accustomed to areas that are hotspots for Uber vehicles and exercise caution in those regions. For example, if a specific cross-street is a popular pool pick up location, pedestrians are advised to walk elsewhere or be extremely careful when traveling. The majority of pedestrian accidents occur when the individual is walking in the crosswalk and an Uber vehicle turns on red or turns into the intersection. The driver may not have been paying close enough attention or the pedestrian may have been in his blind spot. No matter what, though, the driver can be held responsible, as can Uber. It is extremely rare for the pedestrian to be held accountable for an accident.
AssaultsPerhaps the most troubling type of Uber accident involves assault and sexual assault. Uber was largely used as a way for inebriated individuals to return home after a night out. In some cases, people went back to their apartments and were followed inside by the Uber drivers, or else they were outright harassed or assaulted inside the Uber car itself. The trouble with many assault cases is that Uber drivers may have a history of aggravated behavior, but it may not have been picked up by the background check, or the driver may have been reinstated despite previous complaints. He may even have circumvented the system and managed to get back onto the app himself. Assault victims may be traumatized and swear off the app and similar services. Worse, they may not take any legal action against the drivers or even report them to the company – which could leave the door wide open for future transgressions and attacks.
Legal Rights Of Victims
- What are my rights if I am on the road? Essentially, all individuals on the road are entitled to a safe trip and must not be placed in harm’s way by any drivers or operators of vehicles.
Uber DriversUber drivers can be involved in accidents the same way that other individuals are. They may be hit from behind, cut off, sideswiped, T-boned, and more. In the event that there is an accident with another car, Uber drivers can take legal action against the responsible party’s insurance agency to receive compensation for their damages. If the responsible driver does not have adequate coverage, the worker can turn to Uber for coverage options. This uninsured/uninsured motorist coverage allows Uber drivers to have some medical bills paid and for their vehicles to be repaired if the opposing drivers flees or if he cannot pay the full extent of the damages.
Uber PassengersUber passengers are almost never at fault for an accident given the fact that they are merely customers in the service. They may have been asleep, on their phones, intoxicated, or otherwise minding their business when the accident happened. Regardless of who caused the crash – an Uber driver or another vehicle – the passenger could be aptly reimbursed for subsequent damages. He can take legal action against the opposing driver if a third-party hit the car; he could also take action against the Uber driver himself; or he could potentially file a lawsuit against the company.
Third-partiesThird-parties are those not directly involved in the Uber ride but are affected in the accident. If your Uber driver crashes into another vehicle or an individual, the affected individual is the third-party. It is possible that a third-party can take legal action against Uber for the actions of the driver, especially if there were severe injuries as a result of the incident.
Uber’s Partner Insurance Policies and Information
- What is liability? Liability insurance covers physical injuries caused to other individuals, not damages to your vehicle or injuries you yourself suffered.
- What is collision coverage? Collision insurance protects your vehicle by repairing or replacing it after it was involved in an accident with another car or object.
- What is comprehensive coverage? Comprehensive insurance covers anything else that is not a result of an accident with a vehicle or some kind of collision. This includes storm damage, vandalism or intentional destruction, animal accidents, and more.
- $50,000 in driver liability for bodily injury to one individual
- $100,000 per accident
- $25,000 for property damage caused to other individuals
- $1,000,000 in liability coverage
- $1,000,000 in underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage
- Contingent collision and comprehensive coverage (with a $1,000 deductible that must be paid off first before additional coverage comes into play)
UberEATSIn addition to transporting passengers to their destinations and providing bikes and scooters for people to ride at their whims, Uber also offers food delivery options. UberEATS was launched in 2015 and allows people to have takeout delivered to them by Uber drivers. The advantage of the program is that many of the restaurants do not have delivery options in the first place, thus allowing them to get more business without having to hire additional employees. They are generally contracted with Uber and a portion of the sale will go to the company. UberEATS accidents are essentially no different from regular Uber accidents, but there are no passengers in the UberEATS vehicles. There can be third-party incidents, however. The insurance coverage is thus practically identical, with $1,000,000 in liability coverage, contingent comprehensive and collision insurance, $50,000/$100,000/$25,000 between trips (liability per individual per accident/total per accident/property damage), and more. However, UberEATS drivers are not covered during the initial period of the delivery like Uber drivers are. That is, UberEATS drivers who are logged into the app and waiting for deliveries are not protected by James River Insurance.
How Uber Is Liable In Accidents
- Can I sue Uber if I was not injured in an accident? You cannot file a personal injury lawsuit if you were not injured in the Uber accident.
How To File A Lawsuit Against Uber
- Do I need an attorney to sue Uber? It is highly recommended that you hire an attorney if you wish to sue Uber, as many people do not have the necessary legal acumen or negotiating knowledge required to win a case.
- You were owed a duty of care by the responsible party
- The duty of care was breached in some manner
- The breach of duty led to an accident or incident
- The accident or incident resulted in actual physical injuries
- Why are some settlements public and others private? There are generally clauses in lawsuits and verdicts that dictate whether or not a party can disclose the settlement amount. This is often done to protect both parties.
Gratuity/ Tip CaseUber was forced to pay 47,000 drivers nearly $385,000 in tips that the company had wrongfully taken from their pockets. Initially, the tips were thought to be a forced gratuity in the vein of taxi services, but it was soon discovered that the money was not going to the drivers. The forced 20% gratuity was later removed and an optional tip service was implemented.
Background ChecksUber terminated hundreds of drivers for not having records that were up to the standards of the company. However, Uber illegally acquire the background checks without the permission of the drivers. The company owed over $7,500,000 to the affected individuals who lost their positions. In addition, Uber is said to have misguided or misled prospective drivers and to have missed important information by not using fingerprint methods for background checks. As a result, the company missed 25 drivers who had criminal records and would not be allowed to drive, as per Uber’s standards and regulations. The choice to lobby against fingerprint methods and the ensuing risk cost Uber $25,000,000 to be paid to the District Attorneys of Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Discrimination LawsuitUber’s employees who worked in Information Technology and Programming filed a claim stating that Uberr practiced discrimination in the workplace and had problematic wage distribution. 56 employees joined together in a class-action lawsuit claiming sexual harassment in the workplace, for which each individual would won roughly $30,000 in a nearly $2 million dollar case. In addition, over 400 others joined the lawsuit that showed that there were pay disparities at the company. Women and people of color received a collective $5 million in the class action claim.
Embellishment ClaimThroughout 2015 and 2016, Uber claimed that its drivers in New York and San Francisco made median yearly incomes of $90,000 and $74,000, respectively. However, it was later discovered by the Federal Trade Commission that the earnings were drastically lower – $61,000 for New York drivers and $53,000 for San Francisco drivers. Few drivers earned the numbers that Uber initially stressed. In addition to the misrepresentation of earnings, Uber also wrongly advertised the details of its vehicle leasing program. Drivers were slated to pay much more than they had previously thought due to additional fees and charges that Uber did not list. As a result of the embellishment, the FTC won a $20,000,000 settlement from Uber, the criteria of which included Uber to stop advertising false or unsubstantiated claims or representations about driver income and vehicle leasing programs.
Sexual Assault LawsuitTwo different women filed a claim against Uber alleging that their drivers sexually assaulted them. The incidents took place in Boston, Massachusetts, and Charleston, South Carolina. The history of sexual assaults by Uber drivers played a part in Uber quietly settling the claim with the women, although the amount was not disclosed. In fact, many settlements from Uber cases are not made public. One of the stipulations of the agreement is that the insurance company and the plaintiff do not make t known how much the settlements were for, as it could lead to a lot more public scrutiny – scrutiny that Uber likely does not want and would not benefit from.
Undisclosed Settlements from Accidents2015: A young individual in Miami called an Uber to bring his party home, but was killed when the driver turned into oncoming traffic and flipped over. The vehicle was set ablaze and killed the 20 year old. The crux of the case centered n the fact that many drivers elect to drive late night shifts despite working all day or not getting adequate sleep, thus resulting in higher risks of accidents. The other people in the party claimed that the driver was indeed not looking at the road when he turned. 2015: Also in Miami, a couple was involved in an accident with an Uber driver who did not follow the correct right of way and turned across a lane of traffic. The couple suffered umerous injuries, but the wife was left with brain damage that required surgery to fix and permanently altered her ability to continue working as a nurse. The Uber driver did not get all the proper licensing and did not fit the necessary qualifications for the position. 2015: An Uber driver in a minivan picked up a young woman and her group after the group had been at a few clubs throughout the night. The minivan driver ran a red light and was T-boned by a truck that was passing through the intersection. The crash left the young woman paralyzed from the neck down. A lawsuit filed against the company stated that the driver was not properly insured and had a history of arrests for reckless driving, thus showing Uber’s negligence in its hiring practices. 2017: An individual was present in an Uber that was on the highway. The passenger was legally in the car and due to the nature of fast lane and carpool lane laws, the Uber driver was allowed to travel off to the left. However, while driving, he did not notice that a vehicle had stopped and was not moving in the car pool lane. The Uber driver struck the vehicle and the crash severely injured the passenger. The car that was stopped had come to a stationary position because it had just been involved in an accident, and it was now struck again. The victim in the crash sued the driver and Uber for negligence; he suffered severe pain and injuries to his back and neck, including the need for surgery on his spine. 2017: A woman was driving for Uber and on her way to pick up a passenger. While driving on the freeway, she was rear ended by a negligent driver. The driver in question did not have adequate enough insurance to cover the damages; the insurance company’s limits only covered a small portion of the incident’s expenses. As a result, James River Insurance and Uber were held responsible for the remaining 95% of the debts.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Lawsuit against Uber
- Can my statute of limitations be extended? Yes, depending on the circumstances of your case.
- If there is new evidence or injuries, can I file a claim against Uber? If you have not previously filed a claim, you can still pursue damages for your injuries, provided you are within the time limit.
Determining the Value of Your Uber Lawsuit
- Why is there no set amount for the value of a claim? Each claim is different, and it would be wildly unfair to victims if everyone received the same amount of compensation for injuries that could affect one person more severely than another.
- Your age: If you are younger and have fewer financial responsibilities, you may receive a smaller offer than if you were older and had various bills to pay.
- Your job: Your job may be able to be completed remotely or with reasonable accommodations from your employer; if this is the case, you do not have to worry about losing too many wages. However, if your job is nuanced or unique, you may be in for more compensation. Being unable to return to work or having to go on permanent disability would result in a larger sum.
- Your injuries: The severity of your injuries will greatly impact the value of your claim. The amount of damage you suffered will be an important point to consider, as well as how extensive and long lasting they were. If your injuries were simple and did not require surgery, such as a sprained ankle, cuts and bruises, or a concussion, you would earn less than if you suffered a severed limb, were rendered paralyzed, or had an internal organ removed.
- Your level of negligence in the accident: If you were a fellow driver n the Uber accident, the insurance agent will look at your statements and weigh them against the other evidence. If you contributed to the accident in some way, the agent can reduce the offer he makes you or the court can find you a certain percent negligent and deduct from there. For example, if you were driving with your lights off at dusk when you were hit by an Uber driver, you could be held partially accountable. The driver may have run a red light but did not see you because of your lack of lighting. Had he seen the headlights, he may have been able to stop, but he was still driving too fast and was going to run the light regardless.