St Louis Uber Accident Lawyer
St. Louis Uber Accident Lawyer
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft make life easier for commuters who don’t have cars, live in places with poor access to public transportation, or are simply unable to drive for various reasons. Since the advent of these transportation options, people can now call for a car on their smartphone wherever they may be.
But despite the convenience that Uber and Lyft provide, passengers aren’t any safer in rideshare vehicles than in taxis or personal cars. There is always a risk of getting into an accident, no matter how careful or experienced the driver.
Did you or a loved one sustain injuries in an Uber accident? If so, you might be able to recover compensation from the rideshare driver, Uber, and other drivers involved.
Talk to the St. Louis personal injury lawyers at the Injury Lawyers Team sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices to learn more about how you can hold responsible parties accountable for your accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.
How Does Uber Protect its Passengers?
Uber drivers must satisfy several criteria to become independent contractors of the company. An Uber driver must:
- Meet the minimum age requirement
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Have proof of residency in their city or state
- Submit proof of insurance coverage
- Have a clean driving record and criminal history
- Pass a drug test
- Have a vehicle that meets minimum requirements
These requirements help Uber filter out potentially unsafe and inexperienced drivers. In addition, Uber drivers must undergo a training program on how to use the Uber app and navigation and a course on recognizing and preventing sexual harassment.
Common Causes of St. Louis Uber Accidents
Most St. Louis Uber accidents occur due to negligence, whether on the part of the rideshare driver or another motorist. The following are common causes of Uber accidents in St. Louis:
- Distracted Driving: Uber drivers often have to use their phones while driving to check the navigation system or accept another passenger. Unfortunately, it can only take a split second of inattention for a car accident to occur. Moreover, an Uber driver can cause an accident when they talk on the phone, eat, or drink while driving.
- Aggressive Driving: Speeding, swerving, tailgating, and other aggressive driving behaviors are the leading causes of traffic accidents. Although most rideshare drivers are taught to avoid these dangerous behaviors, some are still careless and put themselves and their passengers at risk.
- Intoxicated Driving: Any driver that uses drugs or alcohol can experience reduced concentration, coordination, and reaction time. Intoxicated drivers are also prone to making poor judgment calls. With all these factors combined, the risk of a catastrophic accident is significantly high.
- Inclement Weather: Snow, ice, rain, and fog may reduce visibility and make roads slippery. Uber drivers that don’t exercise extra caution when driving in inclement weather increase the risk of skidding on the road or colliding with another vehicle.
- Lack of Vehicle Maintenance: Uber sets standards for their rideshare vehicles. For instance, an Uber car must not be older than 15 years old or be refurbished. Despite these requirements, some Uber drivers fail to maintain their vehicles regularly, increasing the risk of tire blowouts, brake failures, engine problems, and other accident-causing vehicle malfunctions.
- Poor Road Conditions: Potholes, poor street lighting, uneven roads, and other road hazards increase the risk of an accident for everybody. These dangerous conditions can result in a fatal accident when combined with poor driving habits.
- Negligent Pedestrians: Pedestrians can cause accidents when they jaywalk, cross the street abruptly, or walk in restricted areas. In these cases, the Uber driver may have no liability for the accident if it was caused entirely by a pedestrian’s actions.
Common Injuries in St. Louis Uber Accidents
Many St. Louis Uber accidents result in drivers, passengers, and pedestrians suffering significant and sometimes even fatal injuries, such as:
- Head and Neck Injuries: A significant blow or jolt to the head can result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI), such as a concussion, contusion, or brain hemorrhage. Similarly, damage to the neck can result in complications such as a sprain, headaches, and chronic pain. Whiplash is the most common type of neck injury in car accidents, caused by the head’s rapid back and forth motion upon impact.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: An injury to the spinal column can lead to severe complications, such as chronic pain, muscle spasms, urinary tract infections, and paralysis.
- Fractures: Broken bones are common injuries in moderate to severe Uber accidents that produce enough force upon impact. Fractures can range from mild to severe but can be extremely painful and often debilitating.
- Lacerations: Uber accident victims may suffer deep cuts on the skin from broken glass, twisted metal, or plastic shards.
- Crushing Injuries: Some Uber accidents are so severe that a person gets crushed between two or more hard objects. When this happens, the pressure on the trapped body part can lead to nerve, muscle, and internal organ damage.
- Internal Injuries: Significant blunt trauma to the organs (e.g., spleen, kidneys, liver) can lead to internal bleeding, organ failure, and eventually death.
Who is Liable for Damages in an Uber Accident?
The Uber driver at fault for the accident will likely be the primary defendant in your personal injury claim. However, the party responsible for your damages depends on the driver’s status at the time of the accident.
- On-Duty: A rideshare driver is considered on duty if logged into the app, even if they have no passenger or are on the way to pick up someone. If the driver is on duty at the time of your accident, you could pursue damages against Uber. The company extends its liability insurance to drivers as long as they are on duty during the accident.
- Off-Duty: A rideshare driver is off-duty if logged out of the Uber app, meaning they are fully responsible for damages if the accident occurs outside their working hours. In this case, they must pay for the victim’s injuries using their personal car insurance or liability coverage.
Either way, you will likely have to deal with an insurer to recover compensation for your injuries. Your lawyer will discuss the best ways to deal with insurance companies during your free consultation.
Filing an Uber Accident Claim
All drivers must act with reasonable care to avoid injury to others. This legal obligation is called the “duty of care.” If a driver acts recklessly and causes an accident, they could be liable for victims’ injuries and other damages for breaching their duty of care.
To pursue damages against a negligent driver, you must file a personal injury claim and prove:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to you
- The defendant breached this duty of care
- The breach resulted in your accident
- The accident directly led to your injuries and other losses
Depending on your case’s circumstances, the defendant in your Uber accident claim can be:
- Your driver
- Another driver
- A pedestrian
- The local government
If multiple parties are to blame, your lawyer will help you file a legal claim against all of them.
Proving fault in an Uber or Lyft accident can be challenging. Your lawyer will need substantial evidence to hold the liable party responsible, such as:
- Photos of the accident scene
- Surveillance or dash cam footage
- Witness accounts
Furthermore, you need to prove the extent of your damages using:
- Medical records
- Photos of injuries
- Photos of damaged personal property
- Psychological evaluations
- Medical expert testimony
- Proof of financial losses, e.g., medical bills
Ask your lawyer about what evidence you should begin to acquire during your free consultation.
Compensation for St. Louis Uber Accidents
Uber accident injury victims deserve compensation for suffering harm due to someone else’s negligence. Whether the accident was caused by your driver, a pedestrian, or the other driver involved in the crash, you have the right to recover compensation for your losses.
Your Uber accident attorney can help you recover compensation for the following damages:
- Medical Bills: Compensation for treatment costs, including hospitalization, medication, surgery, treatment, and anticipated future medical expenses.
- Disability: Compensation for disability-related damages if your accident leads to permanent disability. These damages may include loss of future earning capacity, mobility aid expenses, and rehabilitation.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical and non-physical injuries, including physical pain, emotional distress, mental trauma, etc.
- Lost Wages: Compensation for wages and income lost while recovering from your injuries or caring for an injured loved one.
- Loss of Quality of Life: Compensation for quality of life lost following the accident.
- Property Damage: Compensation for personal property lost or damaged in the accident.
- Wrongful Death: Compensation for death-related damages if your loved one dies due to their injuries, including funeral and burial costs, pre-death medical expenses, and grief.
Compensation for Uber crashes varies from case to case. Your lawyer will estimate the potential value of your settlement during your free consultation to help you avoid accepting an unjust offer.
Reaching a Settlement
Uber and its drivers have liability coverage to protect them from accident-related expenses. After filing an Uber accident claim against the driver or Uber, their insurance company may offer you a settlement. You can accept the offer immediately, but doing so will take away your right to sue for additional damages.
Furthermore, initial offers for personal injury claims are rarely fair. Hence, it’s best to have your attorney negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company for a proper settlement.
Dealing With the Insurance Company
Here are some crucial reminders when dealing with insurers:
- Do not accept the first offer
- Do not sign documents or provide a recorded statement
- Do not give the contact information of other parties involved in the accident
- Have your lawyer handle communications with the insurer.
If the defendant’s insurer uses excessive pressure tactics to convince you to accept an unfair settlement, alert your attorney immediately.
Other Legal Options
Unfortunately, some Uber accident cases don’t resolve through settlements. An experienced St. Louis rideshare accident attorney can help you recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit if:
- The defendant’s insurance company refuses to make a fair offer
- The defendant denies liability for the accident
Our skilled attorneys resolve many Uber claims through litigation. During this process, a judge or jury will hear evidence from you and the other party before deciding on a verdict.
Alternatively, your lawyer can help you pursue fair compensation through arbitration or mediation, which are out-of-court procedures that are often less formal, less expensive, and less time-consuming than a trial.
Our lawyers will discuss your legal options during your free case review.
Statute of Limitations
According to Missouri law, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is five years from the date of the underlying incident. Our personal injury lawyers will help you file your case on time to avoid losing critical evidence or missing the deadline.
The Role of Your Uber Accident Lawyer
Our experienced lawyers have handled many St. Louis Uber accidents with varying circumstances and different levels of severity. Nevertheless, we guarantee the same level of excellence to all our clients.
Here’s what an experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyer can do for your rideshare accident case:
- Investigate how and why the accident happened
- Establish the liability of responsible parties
- Demonstrate the extent of your injuries and other losses
- Gather evidence to support your claim
- File your claim on time
- Negotiate a fair settlement with the defendant’s insurer
- File your case in civil court, if necessary
Your lawyer will discuss these responsibilities further during your free consultation, so you know what to expect.
Schedule a Free Case Review with an Experienced St. Louis Uber Accident Lawyer Today
Like any other driver, Uber drivers have a duty of care to prevent injury to others, including passengers, pedestrians, and motorists. Failure to uphold this legal obligation can result in a serious accident, causing injuries, property damage, disability, and even death.
The lawyers at Injury Lawyers Team have represented injury victims involved in Uber and Lyft accidents for years. If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a traffic accident involving a rideshare vehicle, our lawyers could help you recover compensation from responsible parties.
Contact the experienced St. Louis lawyers today for a free case evaluation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.
Our attorneys handle all accepted St. Louis Uber accidents on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t have to pay for our legal services unless we win your case.