Why You Need an Uber Accident Lawyer

Uber Technologies Inc., or Uber, is a transportation network company that has its headquarters in San Francisco, and operates in 570 cities throughout the world. It is also referred to as a transportation network entity (tne). It is involved in the development, marketing and operation of the Uber car transportation and mobile apps, and is the first company to offer ride-hailing. Uber divers operate their own cars. However, drivers have the option to rent a car to drive with Uber. In spite of its ever-growing popularity, Uber has been the topic of protests and lawsuits.

Uber’s popularity in New Jersey

This Memorial Day weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of Uber in New Jersey. It was just last year that Uber began attracting passengers at the Jersey Shore, where it rapidly became a popular mode of transportation for beach goers, according to New Jersey Uber General Manager Josh Mohrer. The efficiency of Uber is unmatched by that of taxis, for which you must call on the phone, and describe your location.

When using Uber, you are just one click away from obtaining a ride. You only have to open the app on your phone, and a list of cars in the area appears right away. As one Uber passenger from Point Pleasant describes the experience, there are no inconveniences or difficulties when using Uber. Upon opening your app, you click three buttons, and a driver will be en route to your location immediately. There is no need to access Google to search for a cab service, and no disrespectful dispatchers. It is unnecessary for you to even know your precise location. The driver receives immediate coordinates of your whereabouts, and is given directions by way of GPS.

Another benefit of Uber is that there is no need to walk with cash. You can pay using apps such as Venmo and Virtual Wallet. Uber has a direct connection to your credit or debit card, and you can even share the cost of the ride with friends. Additionally, prior to accepting a ride with Uber, you can check the cost by entering your pickup and drop-off addresses in the app.

In comparison to taxis, Uber offers perks, including convenience, reliability, comfort and savings. According to Uber Northeast Communications Lead Matt Wing, the most significant benefit of Uber is its reliability. You only have to be within reasonable distance of an Uber to have a driver arrive at your location to transport you to your destination. Whereas taxis stop by less frequently, an Uber ride is more dependable in that it will not require a lengthy wait. Moreover, upon entering an Uber, you will be able to check the time at which you are likely to arrive at your destination, and share such information with those who are waiting for you.

What is required of Uber drivers?

Transportation Network Company Safety and Regulatory Act (A-3695/S-2179) was signed into law February 10, 2017, and became effective May 1, 2017.

In order to become an Uber driver, people must meet certain requirements. They must be at least 21 years old, and have a minimum of three years’ driving experience. The insurance for the car must be under their name, and it also has to be in the same state in which they will be driving, and comply with the state’s requirements. Also, a Social Security number and a background check is necessary. The background check looks for the following:

  • DUIs
  • history of driving a vehicle while unlicensed
  • suspended licenses
  • accidents
  • reckless driving charges
  • history of criminal charges

Anyone with a clean driving history and no criminal record, may be in compliance with the general requirements to be an Uber driver. In most cities in the United States in which Uber operates, drivers do not have to possess a commercial driver license (CDL) in order to be an UberX driver, which is the most basic level of service. However, upon starting the driver application process, instructions are provided as to the class license needed for the selected position.

In addition to driver requirements, there are specific criteria that driver’s vehicle must meet. The vehicle has to be model year 2000 or newer for most cities. Certain cities may have more stringent requirements. For instance, in New Jersey, the model year of the car must be 2002 or newer, and the vehicle must be a four-door car or minivan. The vehicle is required to have seats and seat belts for four passengers, and should have license plates issued by the state. It must not have been previously salvaged or used for taxi-related purposes.

Uber insurance requirements

When Uber drivers are offline, they are covered by their own insurance. Upon accepting a trip, and until its conclusion, drivers are covered by a commercial automobile insurance policy with $1.5 million of liability per incident. Additionally, Uber’s policy provides $1.5 million uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage to all who occupy the vehicle in case another motorist causes an accident, and does not have sufficient insurance.

If an Uber driver’s own policy consists of comprehensive and collision insurance, Uber’s policy offers coverage for physical damage to the vehicle that takes place during a trip up to its cash value. The coverage has a $1,000 deductible.

Most personal automobile insurance companies will provide coverage during those times when an Uber driver is available but is between trips. However, if the driver does not have this type of coverage, Uber has a policy that provides coverage for the driver’s liability up to $50,000 /individual/accident with a total of $100,000/accident and up to $25,000 for property damage.

Uber car accidents

There have been some high-profile accidents involving Uber drivers. One such incident occurred when an Uber driver attempted to make a U-turn in his Chevrolet Cruze. The motorist drove into the path of a Mustang that was already in the median lane, and the Mustang struck the driver’s side of the Chevrolet. While the driver and passenger in the Mustang suffered minor injuries, the Uber driver sustained life-threatening injuries, and his passenger suffered severe injuries. The Uber driver subsequently died from his injuries.

In another accident, an Uber driver was found not guilty of running a red light that caused him to collide into the car of a Seminole County deputy, thus causing the death of his passenger. The Uber driver received a sentence to pay a $1,000 fine, and a six-month suspension of his license.

According to police, in an accident involving a Lamborghini Murcielago and a Prosche 911 convertible, both of which were speeding, the Lamborghini crashed into a Buick Enclave driven by an Uber driver, who was 82 years old. The drivers of the other cars were both over age 60. The accident claimed the life of the Uber driver.

In a bizarre case, an Uber driver was transporting a passenger from Philadelphia to New York, and requested that the passenger take over the wheel so that he could get some sleep. However, the Uber driver awoke from his nap to find his passenger speeding. The passenger explained that the cops were chasing him. Although the Uber driver said that he continually told the passenger to stop the car, the passenger still drove at an excessive rate of speed until he crashed the car into a guard rail. Both driver and passenger suffered minor injuries.

Seek medical attention immediately after an Uber car accident

If you have been involved in an Uber car accident, it is very important that you seek medical attention right away. Visit the emergency room or consult your doctor, especially if you have suffered severe injuries. If your primary care physician is unwilling or unable to treat you following a car accident, then see another doctor or go to the emergency room. The sooner you obtain medical treatment for your injuries, the better you will be able to handle any issues that may arise.

Even if you feel fine or believe that your injuries are not serious, certain symptoms may not manifest themselves until days after the accident. Among them are:

  • pain
  • discomfort
  • dizziness
  • feelings of numbness

If you wait to seek medical attention until many days or weeks after the accident, it will be more difficult to prove that your injuries resulted from the motor vehicle crash. Obtaining medical attention right away will only serve to bolster your personal injury claim.

It is imperative that you document the names and addresses of all treating physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors and other health care professionals who treat you for the injuries you sustain. You may need to produce them at a later date in the event you decide to file a claim and/or a personal injury lawsuit. Such information will be necessary in securing full reimbursement of your medical expenses from the insurance company.

Why you should talk to a lawyer

After a car accident, you should talk to a lawyer, particularly if you are injured, or you lose time from work, school or household responsibilities. Even if you are not injured, you should consult an attorney if any of the following occur:

  • fault is an issue
  • a fatality resulted from the accident
  • the accident took place in a construction area
  • a police report does not correctly depict the accident, and states that you are liable
  • you have no insurance
  • your insurer is represented by its own attorney

Todd J. Leonard Law Firm will visit you in the hospital after your Uber accident

The attorneys at Todd J. Leonard Law Firm will visit you in the hospital after an accident involving an Uber driver. They will review with you how the accident happened, and conduct a thorough investigation into the cause. They will also advocate tirelessly for your rights, and endeavor to hold the responsible party or parties liable for causing the accident that resulted in your injuries.

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Contact Us Today

Being injured in an accident can have serious and lifelong consequences. The New Jersey Personal Injury lawyers of the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm can help you fight for maximum compensation for your injuries and losses from the responsible parties. Contact us today at (973) 920-7900 to learn more about how our team of experienced New Jersey Accident attorneys can help you through these challenging times.