A serious injury from an Uber accident can turn your world upside down. A Las Vegas Uber accident attorney can help you make sense of the legal process.
The best time to retain an accident attorney is right after the car crash. You should always talk with a reputable attorney before speaking with Uber or the insurance companies. This is a vulnerable time when you are dealing with physical, emotional, and financial issues caused by the accident. This is often when insurance companies will try to take advantage of you. Some tactics they might use are to offer you a too-low settlement or try and put the blame for the accident on you.
Getting compensation for your injuries lets you take time to rest and heal. Instead of worrying about how to pay your bills, you can focus on getting the right medical treatment for your injuries. An Uber accident lawyer will even help you find the best medical specialists for your needs.
The Las Vegas auto attorneys at Bay Law will give you personal attention throughout every stage of your case. Our team has years of experience negotiating with insurance companies. We aren’t afraid to take on large companies like Uber and Lyft. Whatever your situation, we will work to get the best settlement for you. If someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, you deserve to be compensated. Get started with a free consultation to evaluate your case. If we move forward, it won’t cost you anything unless you get paid.
Are Uber Drivers Going to Drive You Safely?
Uber and other rideshare companies require drivers to undergo a screening process that includes their driving history and criminal record. The specific requirements for background checks vary from state to state. The screening process isn’t a guarantee that an Uber driver won’t cause a car wreck that leaves you injured. Road conditions can change with the weather or from one location to the next.
An estimated 25% of all fatal crashes happen at intersections where other cars are making turns and yielding to the right of way. Some crashes occur when drivers speed through the intersection. They might run red lights, stop signs, or simply not know the laws about which vehicle goes first. T-bone accidents where the front of one vehicle hits the side of another are common at intersections. The lack of metal between the front of one vehicle and the passenger in the other frequently causes serious injuries and death.
One intersection crash in Las Vegas led to nine deaths and multiple injuries, ranking Cheyenne & Rancho as the deadliest intersection in Las Vegas. Two intersections in New Jersey are tied for the deadliest in the country after accidents claimed nine deaths at each.
Serious accidents can happen on any road under any circumstances if the driver isn’t driving safely. If your Uber driver wasn’t obeying traffic laws before the crash, let us know. A Las Vegas Uber accident attorney can help you understand your rights.
How to Handle an Uber or Lyft Accident in Nevada
Uber maintains a commercial liability personal insurance policy on their drivers, which pays damages up to $1,000,000. The coverage protects Uber drivers and passengers who are injured. The coverage only applies when the driver was in certain phases of the driving process.
During the first phase, the driver is not carrying passengers and is not logged into the app seeking them. The driver is not working for Uber and is using their vehicle for personal use. During this period, the rideshare company isn’t responsible for anything the driver does. If the driver causes an accident, their personal insurance policy applies. Unlike the company’s liability coverage, most Nevada drivers carry the minimum amount by law. Their insurance might only pay $25,000 per accident for injuries or death and $20,000 for property damage.
Rideshare drivers have the option to take out gap insurance that offers liability coverage when they are off-duty. If the driver fails to carry this additional coverage, you might need to talk with your Las Vegas Uber accident attorney about filing a lawsuit to recover the rest of your compensation.
The second phase is when the driver has logged into the Uber app and is actively seeking passengers. The driver’s personal insurance remains their primary coverage throughout the second phase.
Both Uber and Lyft provide contingent liability coverage during this phase. The insurance covers excess damage above the limits of the driver’s personal insurance. The coverage pays up to $50,000 for an injury or death and up to $25,000 for property damage.
Phase 3 begins when the driver accepts a ride request. Once the driver drops the passenger off and ends the ride in the app, the process reverts back to the first phase. During the third phase, the company liability policy is usually the primary coverage.
Whom to Sue After an Uber Accident
Proving liability in an Uber accident is complex. You might need to file a claim against any one or a combination of the following parties:
- The driver
- The rideshare company
- The mechanic that serviced the vehicle
- The vehicle or parts manufacturer
- Another driver
A Las Vegas Uber accident lawyer can help you determine who was liable for your injuries. They will advise you on filing for damages and determining which parties to bring a lawsuit against.
Common Rideshare Accident Injuries in Las Vegas
After an Uber accident, you will follow many of the same steps as you would with a regular car wreck. Always make getting medical treatment for your injuries a priority. Check to see if anyone else in the accident is injured and call 911 if they are seriously hurt.
Once you contact the Las Vegas Uber accident lawyers at Bay Law, we will refer you to the right medical practice for your needs. Some medical providers specialize in the types of injuries commonly seen after car accidents. Getting immediate medical attention is important in treating injuries that might get worse if left undiagnosed or untreated. You should also begin recording your injuries and follow the doctors’ advice to help prove your case. Some common injuries treated after rideshare accidents include:
Whiplash is a neck injury that usually occurs from a forceful impact to the rear of a car. The force of the crash causes the neck to move rapidly back and forth. The motion can cause injuries to the bones or disks in the spine or soft tissue in the neck.
Symptoms of whiplash sometimes don’t appear until hours or days after the car wreck. The first signs of whiplash might include neck pain and stiffness that gets worse when you move your neck. Other common symptoms include headaches beginning at the base of the skull and tingling or numbness in the arms.
Even if symptoms are mild, you should get medical treatment and a diagnosis to rule out other, more serious conditions like broken bones or severe tissue damage. Letting these injuries go without treatment can lead to serious complications.
Whiplash usually subsides within a few weeks after the accident. But for some people, the symptoms might last long after the injury occurred. If you have had whiplash before, are older, or have existing neck or low back pain, you might have a worse outcome.
If you have severe symptoms or your pain continues after the accident, talk with your accident attorney about getting the compensation you deserve. If an Uber driver caused your injury, the liable party should pay.
Your neck is a vulnerable area that is made up of bones, disks, and facet joints. The arrangement of soft and hard tissue supports your neck and gives it the ability to move. The force of the impact from the accident puts the laws of motion into play, causing your head to rock back and forth. This motion causes the vertebrae to slip out of alignment, creating a condition called cervical spondylolisthesis. The symptoms of this condition include weakness, pain, numbness, and difficulty walking.
A neck strain is damage to the facet joint and the tendons that connect bone to the muscle. A neck sprain is a tear to the ligaments that connect bone to bone. Both strains and sprains cause pain with movement, decreased mobility, and sometimes muscle spasms.
When bones, disks, or tendons become displaced, they can rub against surrounding nerves. A pinched nerve can cause severe pain or numbness and tingling. These injuries often occur along with strains, sprains, or damaged disks.
A car accident might damage the facet joints in your neck that normally facilitate a range of motion. When the facet joints get damaged, they become inflamed and irritated resulting in neck pain.
Cuts and bruises often occur in car crashes when debris strikes your neck. Deep cuts can reach the tendons and ligaments, causing damage to the tissue. You might need stitches or other treatment to repair the damaged tissue or to stop severe bleeding.
The spine extends from the cervical (neck) region to the tailbone. The spine has the same structure as the neck and is prone to many of the same types of injuries. Back pain after a car accident is common, but the degree of damage varies. The injury that causes back pain ranges from minor to severe. Often, the pain radiates out from the injured area, making it difficult to pinpoint the source. You might need X-rays to detect the injury that is causing your discomfort.
It’s always a good idea to get checked out by a medical doctor after an Uber accident even though you don’t have symptoms of a serious injury. Soft tissue injuries don’t always show up right away. Early treatment might help prevent the pain from getting more intense, and it could shorten your recovery time.
Ruptured or dislocated disks, torn ligaments, tendons, and muscles, and fractures to the facet joints are also common back injuries you might get from an Uber accident. A fractured spine or neck is always a medical emergency that requires immediate medical care. These injuries can cause damage to the spinal cord nerves resulting in paralysis or death.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the head or brain. It results in tearing, bruising, and/or bleeding of the brain. You could get a TBI during an Uber accident if you hit your head on the seat in front of you, the window, dashboard, or any other hard surface including another passenger in the car.
TBIs can affect your mental and physical abilities. They can limit your mobility, alter your senses, and reduce your muscle strength and control. More severe symptoms include seizures and problems with bladder and bowel control. Sometimes people with TBI experience paralysis.
Studies show that Uber passengers have a higher incidence of TBIs. Most rideshare passengers ride in the back seat where they don’t have the same safety features to protect them as front seat passengers. If you experienced a TBI from an accident while riding in the back seat, ask a rideshare accident law firm how this study supports your case.
Broken Bones and Damage to Joints
In some car crashes, one vehicle hits the other with enough force to cause broken bones. The joints where different bones come together are especially vulnerable to fractures. Your joints include your shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles. The spine is also made up of joints called “facet joints.” In addition to bone, joints also contain soft tissue that is prone to tears, cuts, and other injuries that are painful and debilitating.
You might get broken bones in any of several ways during a car wreck such as:
- Reaching for the dash to brace yourself
- Slamming forward into the seat belt
- Getting thrown from the vehicle when not wearing a seat belt
- The force from colliding with a large, speeding vehicle
Broken bones vary in severity, from small hairline fractures to compound fractures in which the bone pokes through the skin. A hairline fracture might initially go undetected, while the compound fracture typically requires immediate surgery and treatment with antibiotics to prevent an infection. While a hairline fracture might seem insignificant, if left untreated, the crack might continue to grow.
You should never assume that the pain is from bruising caused by the accident. An early diagnosis could make a huge difference in the outcome of your injuries.
You might get burned when the Uber vehicle you are riding in catches on fire after the crash. If the vehicle collides with a large truck that carries flammable fuel, a fire can happen quickly. You are at risk of getting severe burns when the fire spreads to your vehicle. You could also get burned from touching hot vehicle parts.
There are four degrees of burns that are increasingly severe.
- First-degree burns: Affect only the outermost layer of skin and typically heal on their own in a few days.
- Second-degree burns: These burns involve multiple layers of skin. They take several weeks to heal but do not typically cause scarring.
- Third-degree burns: These burns destroy the nerve endings in the surrounding skin, often delaying the pain. They destroy the outer layer of skin, leading to permanent scars and pigment changes.
- Fourth-degree burns: These injuries are severe and often fatal. They destroy the skin and the muscle or bones underneath them.
Burns are among some of the most devastating injuries from Uber accidents. They often have long-lasting or permanent consequences. If you experienced burns in an Uber vehicle crash, you could need years of medical treatment. Discuss your legal options with a Las Vegas Uber accident attorney from Bay Law. We can help maximize your chances of getting the recovery you need for your burn injuries.
Las Vegas Uber Accident FAQs
How can a Las Vegas personal injury attorney help with an Uber accident?
Dealing with the aftermath of an Uber accident is complex. Although the injuries and emotions are the same as in any car accident, the process for pursuing compensation is different in several ways. Some issues you must deal with include:
- Getting the right short-term and long-term treatment for your injuries
- How to report an accident to Uber
- Understanding the policies for Uber in Las Vegas
- Determining whom to sue and when
- Juggling your responsibilities with getting treatment
- Earning an income while trying to heal
- Negotiating with insurance companies
An Uber accident lawyer has experience dealing with these situations and more. Experienced Uber attorneys will provide you with guidance on how to handle your case every step of the way.
What can I expect if I choose Bay Law Firm to help me with an Uber accident?
The Las Vegas Uber accident lawyers at Bay Law have extensive experience dealing with these issues and more. We understand how confusing dealing with an Uber accident can be. If you choose our firm, we will:
- Suggest medical providers to get you the specialized care you need for your injuries and get the documentation you need as evidence in your case.
- If your car was damaged in an Uber accident, we will refer you to reputable mechanics and/or body shops to get your vehicle fixed and running.
- Negotiate with the insurance companies for anyone involved in the car crash.
- Communicate with Uber, other drivers involved in the accident, and any third parties such as mechanics or car companies.
- Listen to your concerns, look at the conditions surrounding your Uber accident, and advise you on which legal path to pursue.
We understand that the impact of your injuries affects you financially and emotionally. We will give you personalized attention and compassionate representation throughout your case. “Better with Bay” means getting the best possible outcome for you.
How does Uber’s insurance policy system work?
Uber’s insurance cover is complicated with “what ifs” and “it depends.” Every question you ask depends on what phase of rideshare service the driver was in. If the Uber driver was transporting passengers or had accepted a ride request, they are working for Uber.
Uber doesn’t consider their drivers as regular employees but as independent contractors. When the driver isn’t “on the clock,” their personal auto policy covers them. Basically, the Uber app serves as the time clock for Uber drivers. If they are logged in, then Uber is liable for any damages caused by their driver. If they aren’t, you will pursue your claim like you would with a regular driver. The problem is that it might not be clear initially what caused the wreck or what the driver was doing at the time of impact.
Ridesharing is still a relatively new business model. Legal disputes are still being fought out in court throughout the country. The safety of the rideshare system is often a factor in these disputes. As more Uber accidents go to court, more records and precedents will be in place to aid in deciding these cases in the future. For now, Las Vegas Uber accident attorneys must work within the established legal system for determining liability in any car accident.
How thorough are Uber’s background checks?
Uber background checks follow local and state laws. In most states, including Nevada, background checks only go back for seven years. If an applicant committed a crime before that, it won’t show up on the background check. The company must also perform a check every three years.
Applicants with a criminal record can’t work for Uber. Nevada law also prohibits hiring applicants whose name appears on the state’s Sex Offender Registry. One problem that might result in a missed criminal charge is the company’s use of slow, less-expensive methods for running background checks that rely on searches of criminal databases. This type of service is less dependable than those that rely on fingerprints. In addition to checking the applicant’s criminal background, they also check their driving record. The company doesn’t hire drivers with more than three major moving violations in the past three years.
The 7-year limit and the use of commercial background checks mean that there is no guarantee that your Uber driver is safe. If you are injured in an Uber accident, a Vegas Uber attorney can help. If the company hired an unsafe driver, they might be liable for your accident and the injuries it caused.
What should I do if the Uber driver contacts me?
After an Uber accident, you need to make a report to the police and to your insurance company. Uber might contact you and everyone involved in the accident to make sure you are okay. You might also receive a call from the insurance adjuster with an initial settlement offer. The best way to handle contact from anyone involved in the accident is to refer them to your Uber accident lawyer.
A phone call to ask if you’re okay after the crash might seem innocent enough. While the other party sounds concerned about your well-being, they are really hoping to hear you say you are fine. That’s all it takes to ignite claims from the insurance company that you aren’t injured or that they aren’t liable for your medical expenses.
Retaining a Las Vegas Uber attorney will help you in many ways. They can identify the liable party or parties, gather evidence to support your claim, and put a fair value on your case. The attorney you hire to represent your Uber accident claim will negotiate with the rideshare company and any insurance companies involved. An Uber accident lawyer from Bay Law will help you get the best possible settlement for your claim.
How is an Uber accident unique from other types of accidents?
When you have an auto accident with an Uber driver, you must file a report with the rideshare company. This is in addition to filing a report with your insurance company. Once you report the accident and file a claim, your insurance company will pursue compensation from the liable parties.
Uber has limits on financial liability for its drivers. The liability coverage they provide is only in effect when the driver is actively working for them.
Many people like the convenience of driving for Uber whenever it fits into their schedule. It’s a flexible way of making a little extra money. There are also Uber drivers who rely on ridesharing as their primary source of income. Since there are no limits on how long they can drive, some drivers work long shifts, increasing the risk of driver fatigue. Extended hours on the road also increase the risk of having a car accident.
Unlike other commercial vehicles, Uber drivers are responsible for maintaining their own vehicles. They don’t follow rigid maintenance schedules, making them more prone to mechanical failure.
Can I settle my case directly with Uber?
Proving who is at fault is the first step toward winning any car accident lawsuit. With an Uber accident, you must prove that the Uber driver was negligent and caused the accident.
The liability insurance provided by Uber is to cover damages and injuries caused by their drivers while working for them. To sue Uber directly, you must have proof that the company failed to meet its responsibility to you. You need evidence to prove they are responsible before you can present your case.
A Las Vegas Uber accident lawyer will investigate your case and determine which party or parties are liable. Your Uber lawyer might get a fair settlement by filing a claim or negotiating with Uber. It could also be complex and involve lawsuits with multiple parties. The Las Vegas Uber accident lawyers at Bay Law will guide you through the legal process every step of the way.
Do I sue Uber if the Uber driver was at fault?
The business model that Uber uses is difficult to regulate. Unless you are a passenger in the Uber, it’s difficult to tell who is liable for the accident. Uber covers their drivers with a $1 million insurance policy for accidents that happen while a driver is “on the clock.”
There are several scenarios where Uber accidents might happen. You might be a passenger in the Uber vehicle. In this case, you will never be at fault. You might be a pedestrian, a driver, or a passenger in another car that is hit by an Uber. As long as the driver was transporting passengers or on their way to pick passengers up, the driver is liable, and you will file your claim with Uber.
If the damages you suffered due to an Uber driver’s negligence are significant and you are unable to get a fair settlement, you can file a lawsuit against the rideshare company.
If a loved one died because of a rideshare accident, you can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against Uber to recover the loss of support and funeral expenses. Contact a Vegas wrongful death attorney to explain your options for getting recovery after a Las Vegas wrongful death.
What happens if I am injured and the other driver is at fault?
You don’t know at the time of the crash if the Uber driver or the other driver is completely or partially at fault. Due to Nevada’s modified comparative negligence law, more than one driver might share in the blame for the accident.
If your injuries are severe, get medical help right away. If you can stay at the accident scene, get contact and insurance information from both drivers. Talk with an Uber accident attorney about filing a claim against the liable party or parties.
What You Should Avoid After an Uber Accident:
What you do and don’t do after an Uber accident can have a far-reaching impact. If you are injured, worrying about missing work and paying medical bills might add to your pain and confusion. Making a misstep at this point in the process could cost you the compensation you need to get back on track.
Some things you should avoid include:
- Ignoring your medical condition: Get immediate treatment after the accident and follow the instructions given by your healthcare provider. Take your medications to help you recover from your injuries quickly. Keeping up with your medical treatment will give your claim credibility. Failing to treat your injuries seriously will discredit your claim.
- Posting on social media: People post everything on social media these days, from what they fixed for dinner to where they are vacationing. Posting pictures or comments about your Uber accident or injuries can have serious repercussions. It’s common practice to check out a person’s social media page for evidence that they aren’t seriously injured.
- Accepting a cash offer: If the insurance company makes an offer to pay you under the table, it’s much lower than you deserve. Once you accept it, you won’t have the chance to ask for more.
- Signing documents you don’t understand: This includes waivers, forms, or documents of any kind. You might sign away your right to compensation without realizing it.
- Talking with Uber or insurance companies: Insurance companies use deceptive tactics to get you to accept less money or to disprove your claim.
- Admitting fault: Never apologize or take the blame for the accident. A simple “I’m sorry” can sound like an admission of guilt.
A Las Vegas Uber accident attorney from Bay Law will handle every aspect of your claim. We know Las Vegas Uber laws and the tactics used by insurance companies. We will work with you to get your best settlement.
Why Uber Accidents Happen
When you get into an Uber vehicle, you put your safety into the hands of someone you don’t know. They might be having a bad day, be fatigued, or have their mind on something else. If they aren’t driving their best, their negligence could result in a serious accident. Some of the main reasons that Uber drivers have car crashes are:
Driving over the speed limit is a leading cause of all types of vehicle accidents. If a driver doesn’t take their time, maintain proper distances, and check ongoing traffic before turning, they can easily cause a serious accident.
Ridesharing drivers tend to focus on their driving schedule and not on the current road conditions. Fog, rain, or any inclement weather can make it difficult to see or navigate. When they aren’t focusing on the road, drivers put your safety at risk.
When drivers are tired, overworked, or didn’t get enough sleep the night before, they might get drowsy while driving. Driving while fatigued is sometimes as dangerous as driving under the influence.
Lack of Experience
Many of the qualifications to be a Las Vegas Uber driver apply to the vehicle they own more than their own driving record. Nevada law requires drivers to have a valid driver’s license, at least one year of driving experience, be at least 21 years old, and have the capacity to work six-hour shifts or longer.
Many drivers who meet these requirements lack the experience they need to navigate Las Vegas traffic safely. Some are also working at other jobs, making it more likely that they will become fatigued during their driving shifts. Your driver might be new to driving in Nevada’s largest city.
Driving while distracted is one of the leading causes of auto accidents. Drivers use their cell phones to talk or text even though any cell phone use while driving is illegal in Nevada. Other types of distracted driving include talking with passengers, eating, or adjusting the radio.
Rideshare drivers are especially vulnerable to the risks of cell phone use. They rely on the Uber app to find and accept passengers. When they aren’t familiar with the address, they might glance at the phone to see the route. If your Uber driver was distracted while driving, tell your Las Vegas Uber accident attorney. We need to know if distracted driving might have contributed to the wreck.
Contact Our Las Vegas Uber Accident Attorneys for a Free Consultation Today
Injuries from an Uber car accident can have a devastating impact on your life. It’s even more stressful and confusing when the same people who are responsible for your pain try to take advantage of you. It’s no surprise that you feel overwhelmed. You need someone you can trust to handle the complicated matters surrounding your case.
The team of Las Vegas auto lawyers at Bay Law knows how you feel. We will listen to your concerns and advise you on how to pursue your Uber accident case. Let us handle the negotiations with Uber and the insurance companies on your behalf. We will use our experience and knowledge to get the maximum compensation for your case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.