Ride-sharing apps are on the rise as a common transportation option nationwide, including in South Florida. Uber was at the forefront in offering a way to match drivers with passengers. Unfortunately, Uber drivers are not always properly screened and supervised, leading to some drivers taking the road fatigued or otherwise acting carelessly to endanger their passengers, as well as other motorists. Head-on crashes, chain reaction accidents, and rear-end collisions can all be caused by a negligent Uber driver. The Port St. Lucie Uber accident lawyers at Donaldson & Weston understand the complexities involved in holding an Uber driver responsible. Our attorneys have vast experience dealing with insurance companies as well as corporations responsible for putting dangerous drivers on the road.
Because of the relative newness of litigation involving ride-sharing apps, special considerations and meticulous attention to detail are necessary in pursuing these types of cases, and we are dedicated to ensuring that all of the aspects of our clients’ cases are handled with the utmost care. If you have been involved in an accident with an Uber driver, contact our office today to find out more about your legal rights and options.Regulations Regarding Ride-Sharing Companies
Traditional taxi companies are required to hire drivers with specialized licenses and bonds. However, as a ‘transportation network company,’ Uber is not subject to government or industry regulations regarding the drivers whom it hires. Because of this lack of oversight, Uber sets its own standards for practices like background checks, driver training, and supervision. As a result, Uber drivers could have a history of accidents, or they might even not be properly licensed by the state of Florida.
The company takes pride in advertising its high-limit insurance policies, allowing for a million dollars in damages for passengers injured in an Uber accident. However, this limit can be insufficient to cover costs associated with severe and permanent injuries, such as spinal cord damage or traumatic brain injuries, which can be sustained in serious motor vehicle collisions. Additionally, this amount is divided among all of the passengers involved in an accident, which does not go far if multiple passengers are seriously hurt. In these instances, victims may need to retain an Uber accident attorney in the Port St. Lucie area to pursue a personal injury claim in order to recover additional financial assistance to deal with the extent of their injuries.Uber Accident Liability
Uber accidents can involve injuries to passengers, as well as pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists. Any of these victims may be able to pursue a personal injury action against a negligent driver. To show negligence, a victim must establish that the defendant driver owed them a duty to act as a reasonable and prudent person would, given the situation, and that the duty was breached by the defendant’s actions, causing injuries and damages. All Florida drivers owe other road users a duty of reasonable care. An Uber driver who is distracted by an electronic device, trying to figure out where they are going or preparing to pick up the next ride, and strikes another vehicle in the process, may be found to have acted unreasonably and therefore negligently. A Port St. Lucie Uber accident lawyer can help investigate the cause of a particular crash.
Although Uber has argued that its drivers are categorized as independent contractors, rather than employees, the company itself may still be held accountable in some personal injury cases. Additionally, a growing number of Uber drivers have filed employment lawsuits to change their classification status, ending with differing results. As these issues continue to play out in court, their impact on personal injury claims also remains uncertain. When a successful argument can be made that a driver is an employee, acting in the scope of their employment by Uber, the company may be held vicariously liable for the negligent actions of the driver. Uber could also be found directly liable if it negligently hires or keeps drivers with histories of drunk driving or multiple accidents on their records.Contact an Experienced Uber Accident Lawyer in Port St. Lucie or Beyond
The attorneys at Donaldson & Weston understand that car accident victims’ primary focus should be on their recovery efforts. As a result, we remain focused on the legal process and fighting for our clients’ rights. Our firm offers dedicated legal advocacy to residents throughout Martin, St. Lucie, and Palm Beach Counties, including in Stuart, West Palm Beach, and Jupiter. If you have questions regarding your legal options following a collision with an Uber driver, call our office today at (772) 266-5555 or contact us online to schedule a no-cost, risk-free appointment about your case.