Since Uber began offering rideshare services in the Houston area in 2017, car accidents have resulted in injuries to passengers and other motorists. Nonetheless, Uber and its drivers, like all drivers in Texas, have a duty of care not to cause injuries to others. Because the insurance rules governing rideshare accidents make obtaining compensation complicated, having proper legal representation crucial.
Sherman Law Firm is dedicated to fighting for injury victims in Harris and Montgomery Counties and throughout Houston. We are knowledgeable about the state’s no-fault insurance law and the rules governing rideshare accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in an Uber accident, it is important to know your rights. Our legal team is here to offer you support and to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
How Does Uber Work?
Rideshare services such as Uber combine smartphone apps and satellite technology to connect passengers with drivers. A consumer requests a ride through the app and an Uber driver is notified. The driver uses GPS navigation to locate and retrieve the passenger as well as to map out a route to the destination. The passenger either pays through his or her smartphone or with a credit card.
Uber has proven to be popular for a number of reasons. Uber drivers respond quickly, arrive at your precise location, and take you to your exact destination. Uber provides transportation services to communities that have traditionally been underserved and rides are typically less expensive than taxis. Uber vehicles also tend to be cleaner and more comfortable because they are privately owned. Finally, fares are paid through an app, so there’s no need to carry cash, and passengers rate drivers at the end of the ride, making better service more likely. In spite of these advantages, Uber accidents are not uncommon.
Factors Involved in an Uber Accident
Whether you are an Uber passenger who has been injured in an accident or a driver who has been involved in a collision with an Uber driver, it is important to know your rights.
Uber drivers in Houston, unlike taxi and limousine drivers, are independent contractors who are not professional drivers. Uber drivers use their own cars, usually, don’t have commercial licenses, and design their own schedules. It is not uncommon for Uber drivers to hold down other jobs, and rely on driving to supplement their income. For this reason, Uber drivers may work long shifts or not have sufficient rest, which puts them at a greater risk of fatigue than other drivers. Uber drivers are also more susceptible to distracted driving since they rely heavily on GPS devices and smartphones.
Depending on the circumstances, Uber and the driver may be legally responsible for accidents that result in injuries. Obtaining coverage depends on a variety of factors, including:
- Was the driver logged into the app and being connected to a rider?
- Had a trip been accepted and was the driver going to pick up the passenger?
- Was the rideshare driver taking the passenger to his or her destination?
Uber is required to carry a mandatory minimum of $1 million in automobile insurance and such policies are required to be the primary coverage for damages caused while rideshare drivers are providing a rideshare service. Nonetheless, Uber will likely deny any liability for the actions of its drivers while insurance companies often try to deny the claim or pay as little money as possible.
If a passenger sustains injuries that exceed the rideshare company’s policy limits, it may be necessary to look to the rideshare driver’s personal car insurance to recover the remaining damages. This is why Uber drivers in Texas are also required to carry liability coverage beyond the basic minimum.
The basic minimum liability coverage for Texas drivers is 30/60/25, which means that the holder is covered for $30,000 per person injured in an accident, up to a total of $60,000 per accident and $25,000 in property damage per accident. Rideshare drivers are required to have 50/100/25 coverage when the app is on and $1 million in coverage when they are giving a ride.
If a third-party is deemed to be at least partly at fault, the state’s law of comparative negligence applies. In this situation, it may be possible to recover damages from Uber, the Uber driver and the other motorist, based on the percentage of liability that is assigned to each party. Given how complicated determining liability in an Uber accident can be, it is important to work with the experienced attorneys at the Sherman Law Firm.
Contact Our Houston Uber Accident Lawyer
Uber passengers have a right to expect that they will arrive at their destinations safely. When individuals are injured in Uber accidents, we believe the responsible parties must be held accountable, whether they are the driver, Uber, or another motorist.
We will leverage our knowledge of the state’s no-fault insurance law and negligence laws to determine liability in an Uber accident. By conducting a thorough investigation, which includes obtaining and reviewing a copy of the police report and identifying and interviewing witnesses, we will work to build a successful claim.
Our personal injury attorneys will use their negotiating skills to make sure you receive just compensation. If the insurance company fails to make a reasonable offer, we are prepared to litigate the case in court. All Uber accident cases are handled on a contingency basis which means that you will not pay any attorney’s fees until we win. Call us today or complete the contact form on our website to set up a free consultation.
The Sherman Law Firm serves clients in Harris and Montgomery Counties and throughout the Houston area.