Many people believe that the number of vehicle accidents have gone down since the rise of rideshare apps like Uber or Lyft. However, a recent study shows that there was a modest increase in traffic-related emergency room visits in Virginia since Uber was introduced.
If you are a victim of an Uber accident, contact our skilled auto accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Emroch & Kilduff, LLP, today to find out your options to hold the responsible party accountable.
Experienced Lawyers Make a Difference
There is never a guarantee of success when filing an accident lawsuit; however, one of the best ways to determine whether a lawyer has the experience is to review their past successes. Our firm has successfully achieved the following settlements on behalf of our clients who were injured on Richmond roadways.
$1.5 million verdict: A vehicle operator struck a woman during an improper lane change. The victim had been hospitalized for nearly a month following the accident with a fractured hip, hand, and several ribs. Emroch & Kilduff successfully settled the case without going to trial.
$4.8 million verdict: A 25-year-old worker was injured when a vehicle struck, backed up and struck him again. The victim suffered a traumatic brain injury, vision loss, and damage to the pituitary gland. Despite the defendant’s insurance carrier alleging they did not own coverage in the case, Emroch & Kilduff settled with them two months before trial.
Since 1970, we have been helping victims of negligent drivers. While we cannot guarantee an outcome, you can feel confident that we will do our best to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Liability and Richmond Uber Accidents
Before a car accident victim in Virginia can file a claim for injuries, they must first establish who is at fault for the accident. When one of the vehicles involved in the accident is an Uber, the process is more complicated.
Potentially liable parties include:
Uber driver - Distracted driving accidents can occur when someone is texting, reading their phone, or using a GPS. In the case of an Uber driver, they are more likely to be distracted because they may receive another “pick-up” notice while they are traveling. If the driver is not “on the clock” their personal auto insurer would be responsible for the victim’s expenses if the Uber driver is found to be at fault.
Uber the company - If an Uber driver is on the clock and is responsible for the accident, the company may be partially liable for any injury you suffer. Since drivers are often moonlighting for Uber, they may be driving drowsy, they may have insufficient experience, or they may have been hired by Uber despite a less than perfect driving record.
Another vehicle operator - A drunk driver, distracted driver, or a truck driver who has been on the road too long may also be liable for your injuries. Establishing fault will require your attorney to investigate the circumstances of the accident which resulted in your injury.
Other parties - Unfortunately, it is not always easy to establish immediately where the fault may lie in a traffic accident. If a truck is involved, there could be a maintenance company, an employer, or the company that loaded the truck. There may also be a government agency involved if the accident was partially caused by a road defect.
Car accident claims grow more complex when one of the involved vehicles is operated by a Richmond Uber driver. Hire a Richmond Uber accident attorney as soon as possible.
Insurance Adjusters: Finger Pointing to Avoid Liability
No one wants to admit fault when it comes to an accident with an Uber. Every involved person will have notified their insurance company and once that happens, the finger-pointing begins. Every insurer has a vested interest in saying someone else is to blame so they can avoid paying a claim. Adjusters will ask leading questions, they will request medical records which have nothing to do with the accident, they will talk to witnesses several times in an attempt to get a different “story” about the accident. Insurers have one primary goal: to make sure they pay as little as possible out for any claim.
At Emroch & Kilduff we know insurance companies because we have worked with hundreds of them over the past four decades. We know what kinds of questions they will ask, and we know how to respond to those questions so a victim’s rights to compensation for their injuries is not jeopardized.
Affordable Legal Help for Accident Victims
We understand one of the many concerns victims of a car accident have is how to afford legal help when they have been injured and are out of work. We offer a free initial consultation to help you understand your rights and your options. Should you determine our firm is the right choice to represent you, we will work on a contingency basis. For you, this means you are not paying a lawyer’s fees unless and until we are successful in getting you the compensation you deserve.
Uber Injuries Mirror Normal Car Accident Injuries
Injuries are common in all types of car accidents, even when one vehicle is an Uber. Some types of injuries which a victim of a Richmond Uber accident may suffer include:
Internal injuries - Victims may not notice a “hidden injury" for days following a car accident, like internal bleeding caused by blunt force trauma to internal organs during a car accident.
Broken bones and strains - When you are a passenger of a vehicle and you are in an accident, there are serious injuries that can occur including broken limbs, fractured pelvis, or serious strains which can take weeks or months to recover from.
Head, neck, and back injuries - Traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord injuries, and neck injuries are complicated and also often require long-term care. Victims of car accidents can suffer these types of injuries and they are traumatic and may leave victims paralyzed or can’t return to work.
When you contact Emroch & Kilduff we will review your medical reports and make sure we have a good idea of how long it will take you to recover from your injuries and understand the long-term consequences of those injuries on your lifestyle.
Richmond Uber Accident FAQ
Uber rides offer conveniencea and affordability, and are thus increasingly common in Richmond and surrounding communities. Accidents in an Uber, however, pose complications for victims. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Uber accidents.
What type of accident insurance do Uber drivers carry in Richmond?
Victims of an Uber accident need to understand the insurance coverage issues, which are far more complex than in regular car accidents. However, Uber drivers are mandated to meet the same insurance requirements as other drivers in Virginia.
Depending on the exact situation, either Uber’s company-wide insurance coverage or the driver’s personal insurance coverage applies. Victims need to understand the three tiers of Uber and other ride-share insurance in the state to know with whom to file their insurance claim.
Uber divides insurance coverage into three tiers, as follows:
Tier 1: The driver’s Uber app is turned off. The driver is personally liable, and accident victims must turn to the driver’s own auto insurance.
Tier 2: The driver’s Uber app is turned on as the driver is seeking customers. Uber’s insurance applies, with a maximum of $50,000 in coverage for bodily injury per person ($100,000 maximum bodily injury liability per accident). A $25,000 property damage maximum is also available. (These amounts are subject to change.)
Tier 3: The driver’s Uber app is on, and the driver is traveling to pick up a customer or a customer is in the Uber. If the Uber is in an accident, Uber provides a $1 million liability policy that applies to people injured or otherwise harmed in the accident.
Why do different tiers exist?
The different tiers exist because Uber drivers in Virginia are independent contractors, not employees of Uber. They own and operate their own vehicles. Thus, if they aren’t specifically engaged in Uber business—looking for or providing rides for customers—Uber is not responsible.
Uber’s insurance applies only if the driver has turned on their app, and thus the driver is on the clock. If a driver who is not giving or looking for a ride hits you without the app on, the driver’s personal car insurance applies.
That said, this is an evolving area of law. While Virginia considers Uber drivers to be independent contractors, that could change. We’re ready to fight for you through any avenue the law will allow.
Do the tiers provide different compensation to victims of Richmond Uber accidents?
Car accident victims are entitled to seek compensation from the at-fault driver for their medical bills, wages lost, pain and suffering, as well as personal property damage. This compensation is available through both the driver’s insurance or Uber’s insurance.
The only difference is the amount of compensation. Virginia requires drivers to carry at least $25,000 maximum for the bodily injury of one person, $50,000 maximum per accident, and property damage of $20,000. Although that is the minimum requirement for Virginia drivers to have, they could have higher insurance limits.
Uber’s insurance has a higher limit than Virginia’s minimum requirement, with a maximum of $50,000 in coverage for bodily injury per person, $100,000 maximum bodily injury liability per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
If your economic damages from a car accident amount to significantly more than the available insurance coverage, it’s prudent to discuss your options with an attorney.
Are Uber rides dangerous?
While many Uber drivers are responsible and careful drivers, not all are. Ride-share drivers only get paid when they have an active customer. They are not paid by the hour or the shift. They may thus feel an economic incentive that leads to potentially dangerous behavior, such as:
Speeding to complete rides as quickly as possible.
Taking the fastest route possible, which may not be the safest or most prudent.
Operating in areas of high traffic, such as airports after flights land.
Consulting their app and phone more than is prudent while driving.
Additionally, the maintenance and upkeep of the cars is the financial responsibility of the driver, not Uber. There is no industry-wide quality standard that applies to ride-share vehicles at the current time. Poor maintenance and lack of repair can lead to accidents. While many Uber drivers keep their cars in good shape, ultimately, it is the driver’s decision and is not monitored by Uber.
What if I’m in a Richmond Uber accident caused by another driver?
If you’re in an Uber accident caused by another driver, you must approach that driver’s insurance company for damage compensation under Virginia law.
Call an Attorney Today
There is a time limit for filing an accident claim following an Uber accident. Once you have sought medical attention, you should ask for help from an experienced attorney immediately. Remember, complicated Uber accident claims can make dealing with one or more insurance adjusters frustrating.
Rather than taking a chance of getting a low offer that you feel you must accept, contact the experienced team at The Law Offices of Emroch & Kilduff, LLP, or dial (804) 358-1568 today for a free consultation. Let us explain your options and help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Emroch & Kilduff
3600 W Broad St #700
Richmond, VA 23230
Phone: (804) 358-1568
Fax: (804) 353-5817
Toll-free: (888) 358-1568
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Schedule A Free Case Evaluation
If you have been injured because of someone else s negligence, contact one of our experienced personal injury lawyers for a free consultation. For your convenience, Emroch & Kilduff has two office locations in Virginia: Richmond and Tappahannock.