You're new to Queens, or you've lived in New York for many years, but you still don't know all the streets by heart. To avoid driving in the overcrowded traffic of the city, or to avoid riding the subway, or maybe you want to save on gas, there are many reasons why using Uber has become an exciting alternative for specific situations.
We have talked to several clients who had only been living in Queens for a few months, and in situations where they didn't know exactly how to get home, an Uber made their life much easier. These cab services can be a wonder when you are new to a city. They get you from side to side, with short wait times and, in most cases, with well-maintained cars.
However, these services are not exempt from the common risks that affect other motor vehicles in Queens and throughout New York City. These cars are primarily immersed in high-density traffic and often work long hours to create the perfect scenario for an accident.
But what are the legal implications of this type of event? Is there any responsibility for the Uber company itself? Are the drivers liable independently of the company? Is there insurance to cover possible damages to passengers? These are some of the questions that arise in this type of accident. In some cases, the technical filter to provide this service may not have been carried out most efficiently, so a driver could be liable for the damages caused to the passengers.
The Uber homepage provides some specifications about the insurance this company offers to its drivers. It is indicated: "Uber maintains commercial auto insurance to help protect you in case of a covered accident while ridesharing on the Uber app. Here's how it works: As of September 1, 2020, the coverage described below is provided by Economical Insurance in Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta. Coverage for incidents that occur before that date continues to be provided by Intact insurance."
It is understood that this type of insurance would seek to cover possible consequences of accidents while using the service for up to 2 million dollars of coverage according to the legal responsibility of those involved.
However, these scenarios are sometimes not so simple to determine. As mentioned in other posts, usually, what is required initially is an exhaustive investigation that manages to determine the responsibilities and legal implications around this type of fact.
Therefore, insurance companies will always seek to reduce their liability as much as possible and separate possible charges or possible amounts to be covered on their part. So, we are in a kind of legal battle to get the victims' rights recognized and compensation adjusted to the reality of the facts. Fair compensation should involve coverage of damages or injuries that can be measurable objectively. In this way, the investigation also involves collecting evidence that precisely demonstrates a factual consequence, and it is up to the service user to compensate in such a case.
Uber accidents can involve lengthy legal battles; however, we have experience fighting this type of process at The Ward Law Group. Many years support us, and we know strategies to make the road much more bearable with efficient decisions. A Queen's Uber accident attorney from our firm will guide you through the process until you receive the best possible agreement you deserve.
Compensation and Damages
Victims of an Uber accident may be eligible for various forms of restitution to cover their losses and damages. The following are typical forms of compensation:
- Medical costs: These cover the price of accident-related medical care, including hospitalization, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and follow-up care.
- Lost Wages: If the accident leaves the victim unable to work, they may be entitled to compensation for the wages they could not earn due to their injuries.
- As a result of the accident and injuries, financial compensation may be given for mental, emotional, and physical pain and suffering.
- Property Damage: If the victim's possessions, such as their car, were harmed in the collision, they are entitled to compensation for the costs of replacement or repair.
- Loss of Earning Capacity: The victim may be entitled to compensation for the loss of future earning capacity if the injuries they sustained in the accident result in a long-term or permanent reduction in their ability to earn money.
- Damages for Wrongful Death: If a fatality results from the accident, the surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for funeral costs, lost support, and emotional suffering.
- Damages for Emotional Distress: Accident victims who suffer from emotional trauma, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder may be entitled to financial compensation. These damages are intended to ease mental suffering.
- Loss of Consortium: The victim may be entitled to compensation for lost companionship, intimacy, and support if the accident has a significant negative impact on their relationships, such as those with their spouse.
- Punitive Damages: These may be granted when the negligent conduct of the at-fault party was careless or deliberate. The purpose of these damages is to hold the wrongdoer accountable and deter future misconduct.
Case Studies and Past Verdicts/Settlements in Queens
Understanding how compensation is awarded in real-life cases can provide valuable insight. Here are a couple of case studies involving Uber accidents in Queens:
- Case Study 1: In a recent Uber accident case in Queens, a passenger suffered severe injuries due to the negligent driving of the Uber driver. The victim underwent multiple surgeries and extensive rehabilitation. The court awarded compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages, totaling $750,000.
- Case Study 2: Another Uber accident involved a pedestrian struck by an Uber driver while crossing the street. The pedestrian sustained fractures and head injuries, leading to long-term disabilities. The court awarded a settlement of $1.2 million to cover medical costs, ongoing care, and loss of earning capacity.
These 2 cases are just examples of many that abound. However, let's remember that each thing must be used personalized to determine the possible monetary compensation in this regard. Discussing very high compensation amounts is not alien to reality.
Obtaining high compensation after an Uber accident is nothing out of the ordinary; it is feasible and can be determined after the investigation. Would you like to be rewarded with these amounts after being affected in this type of accident? Contact The Ward Law Group right now to take the next step and receive a free evaluation from us!
The Legal Process
Being involved in an Uber accident can be overwhelming, but understanding the legal process can help victims navigate the path toward compensation. Here are the critical steps involved in this type of situation:
- Consultation: The procedure usually starts with a meeting with an accomplished Uber accident attorney. In this initial consultation, the attorney will learn more about the accident, evaluate the case's potential merits, and outline the victim's legal options.
- Investigation: After accepting the case, a Queens Uber accident lawyer will thoroughly investigate the situation. Evidence such as accident reports, witness statements, medical records, and any available photographic or video proof must be gathered. This information aids in determining the degree of damages and establishing liability.
- Demand Letter: Following the conclusion of the investigation, the attorney may prepare a demand letter. The victim's case is described in this letter, along with the injuries they suffered, medical costs, lost wages, and other damages. It is delivered to the at-fault party's insurance provider as a first step in the negotiation process.
- Filing a Lawsuit: If negotiations do not result in a fair settlement, the attorney might suggest the victim sue. This official legal action starts the court procedure and gives the case a chance to be heard by a judge and, possibly, a jury.
- Both parties in a lawsuit participate in the discovery process. This entails sharing pertinent data and documentation, including medical records, accident reports, and expert witness testimony. Discovery aids in developing a solid case and may result in settlement negotiations.
- Mediation: It might be advised to try mediation first rather than going to trial. Through a voluntary process called mediation, a disinterested third party assists both parties in coming to a resolution. It might be a quicker and less adversarial substitute for a trial.
- Trial: The case may go to trial if negotiations or mediation fail to produce a resolution. Both sides present their arguments and evidence during the trial. If the victim's claim is successful, a judge or jury will then decide the case's outcome, including the amount of compensation to be given.
Throughout the entire legal process, an experienced Uber accident lawyer provides guidance, representation, and advocacy to ensure the victim's rights are protected and they have the best chance of obtaining a fair settlement or court verdict.
Uber's Safety Measures and Policies
Uber has implemented several safety measures and policies as a ridesharing platform to improve the safety of both drivers and passengers. Users can reduce risks when using Uber by choosing wisely and being aware of these initiatives.
- Uber has put in place a comprehensive screening procedure for potential drivers. This process includes background checks, reviews of driving records, and inquiries into criminal histories. Uber wants to ensure that drivers with a history of reckless driving or criminal behavior are not permitted to use the platform, so it conducts these screenings.
- Uber enforces strict vehicle specifications for drivers, including the vehicle's age, make, and condition. The maintenance of safety standards may also call for routine vehicle inspections.
- Safety features built into the app: To improve the overall user experience, Uber has added safety features to its app. Passengers can share trip information with friends or family for greater security using features like "Share My Trip."
- Emergency Assistance: Both drivers and passengers can quickly contact local authorities in case of an emergency thanks to the emergency assistance button on the Uber app.
- Feedback and Driver Ratings: Uber invites customers to rate and comment on their driver after each trip. This two-way feedback system enables drivers who consistently receive low ratings to be identified, and remedial action is taken.
Passenger Safety Tips When Using Uber:
- Check Vehicle Information: Before entering the car, check the app for the driver's name, picture, and license plate number. This guarantees you board the appropriate Uber.
- Choose a Seat in the Back: When traveling alone, sit in the back of the car. This increases safety and gives people more personal space.
- Wear seatbelts: Just as you would in any other vehicle, always buckle up.
- Use the GPS function in the app to follow the route to ensure the driver is going in the right direction.
Uber's Stance and Response to Accidents:
In the event of an accident involving an Uber vehicle, the company has implemented policies to address the situation:
- Insurance Protection: In the event of an accident, Uber offers insurance protection for both drivers and passengers. As was already mentioned, the amount of coverage is based on the driver's situation at the time of the collision.
- Uber has an accident response team that helps drivers and passengers injured in collisions. This group offers direction on the claims procedure and aids in facilitating communication with insurance providers.
- Support and Assistance: Uber provides drivers and passengers injured in accidents with support and assistance. This includes giving instructions on how to file insurance claims and report accidents.
Contact the Ward Law and do not feel alone in this journey!
As we can see, the fact that this type of taxi by an app has become so common in recent years has generated a whole debate around the legal implications that an accident on the verge of one of these vehicles could have. Over time, more cases and situations will be generated that merit the corresponding legal analysis to create antecedents that define the practical implications of this type of situation. Faced with new times, with technology becoming an indispensable part of our lives, lawyers adapt our knowledge to these new challenges.
At The Ward Law Group, we are constantly updating our knowledge. We believe that change is inevitable, and the best thing we can do to become better professionals daily is to adapt. Regardless of the circumstances, what is maintained over time is our vocation of service and our desire to build a better community for everyone.
Let's make Queens a better place every day. Let's make this hard-working, hard-fighting community a safer space for everyone. Let's start today by building a more orderly and peaceful future for everyone. Do not travel alone on the road of uncertainty; let yourself be advised by our professionals. We will be by your side throughout the process.