Driving in Houston is already a stressful experience but when you put your life into the hands of an Uber driver, or other rideshare driver, just how dangerous can it be? While Uber and Lyft are great options for those seeking a safer ride home after having a few drinks, many rideshare drivers do not leave their usual driving habits behind when they have a paid passenger in the vehicle. This can lead to serious car accidents that can cause severe injuries and even death. A recent survey revealed rideshare passengers have witnessed Uber and Lyft drivers driving while texting, checking social media, watching videos, having intense road rage, and driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These behaviors are common causes of serious accidents, as well as speeding, unfamiliarity with the city’s roads, and being mentally distracted by the passenger themselves. Houston has an incredible amount of Uber drivers on the road which inherently increases the risk of a serious motor vehicle accident involving a rideshare service.
Causes of Houston Rideshare Accidents
Uber and other rideshare service drivers make money by carrying passengers to their destinations as efficiently and quickly as possible. This may include Uber drivers speeding, making quick route changes without thinking, and being distracted in multiple ways – by navigation systems, communicating about their next pickup, and more.
Rideshare drivers may also be increasing the likelihood of a serious accident by:
- Driving while distracted – including texting and driving
- Being unfamiliar with Houston roads
- Paying attention to a GPS unit instead of the road
- Adding another passenger to their pickup list via the rideshare app
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while fatigued
- Having road rage
- Checking social media
- Making sudden turns or lane changes
- Driving the wrong way on a one-way street
- Not using turn signals
All of these actions and more can contribute to a serious Uber accident that can result in the driver, passengers, and others being severely injured or killed.
What Happens If I Am Involved in an Uber Accident?
If you or a loved one becomes injured in a rideshare accident involving Uber or another rideshare driver, liability may be difficult to determine. You may be a passenger in the Uber who was injured during the accident. You may be the driver of a vehicle or a pedestrian hit by an Uber driver. There are multiple situations that can arise from a rideshare accident that may make it more complex when seeking compensation for your injuries and other damages.
If you were utilizing an Uber, and the driver was involved in an accident that left you and other passengers injured, or you were hurt in a crash with an Uber driver, you may be able to seek compensation from Uber. According to its website, Uber claims to have commercial insurance coverage for its drivers and sets forth the following information about how the stage at which the driver is operating the vehicle affects the amount of insurance coverage available should a collision occur:
Offline or the driver app is off:
Your chosen personal insurance company and coverages apply.
Available or waiting for a ride request:
Uber maintains the following auto insurance on your behalf in case of a covered accident. Third-party liability if your personal auto insurance doesn’t apply in the amount of:
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
En route to pick up riders and during trips:
Uber maintains the following auto insurance on your behalf in case of a covered accident:
- $1,000,000 third-party liability
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury
- Contingent comprehensive and collision
- Up to actual cash value of car with a $2,500 deductible (Effective 3/1/2021)
- Certain vehicles offered through the Vehicle Marketplace are subject to a $1,000 deductible
It is important to note that this coverage only applies when an Uber driver is deemed to be at fault for the car accident and does not have adequate car insurance coverage of their own with which to pay for your injuries and other damages. Other rideshare services – like Lyft – have different policies that apply to motor vehicle accidents. There are many loopholes that exist that make an Uber accident an even more stressful experience. Having an experienced Houston car accident attorney by your side to help you navigate the legal process of seeking compensation will help relieve that stress and let you focus on recovering. Uber will try to deny responsibility and will try to pin the blame on the driver, since many rideshare services consider their drivers “contractors” and not employees. Uber may deny responsibility for a driver’s negligence or reckless behavior. The Uber driver, on the other hand, may try to push blame on the parent company. This can be exceptionally frustrating to deal with and will require legal finesse.
Houston Uber Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an accident involving Uber or another rideshare company, we are here to help. You should be focusing on recovering from your injuries, not worrying about chasing down insurance companies and filing lawsuits. Contact J.D. Silva & Associates today at 281-971-3200. We will review your case and help you navigate the process of getting what you deserve from these companies.