Fort Worth Uber Accidents Attorneys
Ride-sharing applications such as Uber have grown explosively popular during the last few years, because they offer an affordable and accessible alternative to public transportation and taxi cabs. Despite the convenience of the Uber app, there has been a great deal of discussion concerning liability for accidents involving Uber drivers.
If an Uber driver causes an accident, does responsibility fall on the driver or the company? How does insurance work with Uber accident cases? It’s vital for Fort Worth, Texas residents to understand the legislation surrounding Uber and other ride-sharing apps in case an accident happens. If you or a loved one sustains injuries in an Uber, call the Law Offices of Tom Hall in Fort Worth, and we will let you know how we can help.
General Risks of Uber Accidents
The risks of riding in an Uber are generally the same as riding in any other car. Passengers are at the mercy of drivers’ skill, vehicle condition, changing road conditions, and countless other factors. Uber has an obligation to carefully vet its drivers to ensure they meet the highest standards of safety, and Uber drivers have a responsibility to uphold a higher standard of care than typical drivers. Uber falls under common carrier law, as it provides transportation as a service to the public for a fee, and common carriers must ensure they uphold an acceptable standard of care during all business activities.
Inexperienced drivers are a significant risk when travelling via Uber. The passenger has no tangible way of knowing the driver’s level of skill and experience behind the wheel. Additionally, many people are becoming Uber drivers as secondary sources of income, but this can mean overworked, tired Uber drivers who are more likely to make mistakes and cause accidents. Uber also leaves vehicle maintenance up to drivers, so you have very little assurance that your Uber vehicle is in fit condition for travel until you’re already on your way.
Texas Regulations for Rideshares
In response to the widespread uncertainty following the rollout of ridesharing apps such as Uber, Texas lawmakers have enacted several policies pertaining to rideshare companies, their drivers, and the rights of passengers. A few of these policies include:
- Uber drivers must provide passengers with an estimated fare for their travel, and the ridesharing company must provide the passenger with the driver’s picture, name, and vehicle identifiers before every fare.
- Uber drivers must provide fares with receipts shortly after completion of a ride.
- Uber drivers must refrain from any type of intoxication while taking fares.
- All Uber drivers must be over the age of 18 and possess a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and personal auto insurance coverage that meets the state’s minimum requirements for liability coverage.
- Uber drivers may only accept fares using the digital app. They cannot pick up random fares to provide rides off the street while logged in as drivers.
- Uber drivers have the right to refuse service to a passenger who acts in an unlawful, unruly, or dangerous manner.
- Uber drivers may not discriminate against any passenger based on race, sex, religious affiliation, or any passenger who requires the assistance of a service animal. They must also accommodate passengers who require wheelchair-accessible vehicles. If no such vehicle exists in the area, the ridesharing company must refer the passenger to an alternative transportation service.
- Uber drivers operate as independent contractors, not as employees of Uber.
These are just a few of the regulations imposed on Uber and Uber drivers in Texas. However, it’s also vital to know how Texas addresses the issue of liability for accidents.
Is Uber Liable for Accidents?
Uber’s liability for passenger injuries exists in something of a gray area. While the company acts as a common carrier and must ensure drivers uphold an acceptable standard of care while on the clock, drivers are also independent contractors. This means that liability for any actions outside the scope of Uber’s service will fall on the driver, not the company. When accidents happen during fares under the purview of Uber’s service, the company may then absorb some or all the liability, depending on the circumstances.
Liability for an accident with an Uber driver depends on several factors. If the driver was off the clock, and not logged in for accepting fares at the time of the accident, then liability falls solely on the at-fault driver. An injured driver will need to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s personal auto insurance policy. Uber insurance coverage does not extend to Uber drivers who get into accidents off the clock. If the driver logged into the Uber app but had not yet accepted a fare or was waiting for a fare at the time of the accident, Uber provides up to $50,000 liability coverage per person, $100,000 liability coverage per accident, and up to $25,000 coverage in property damage. Once a driver accepts a fare, Uber provides $1,000,000 in liability insurance coverage and $1,000,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Protect Your Rights
If you put your trust in a rideshare driver only to suffer injuries due to negligent driving, it’s essential to act quickly and protect your rights. An attorney will be an asset in this regard. A good personal injury attorney will not only help you build a lawsuit against a negligent Uber driver, but also help you navigate issues with insurance claims and handle medical bills and other expenses as your legal case moves forward.
The Law Offices of Tom Hall have a track record for successful cases, thanks to our unwavering commitment to client recovery. We pride ourselves on providing one-on-one consultations with attorneys, not just staff members, for every new client. We also know how to aggressively pursue compensation on behalf of our clients, and we do not back down from intense litigation. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation about your Uber accident claim. One of our attorneys will meet with you to determine liability for your damages and discuss your legal options for recovery.