Woman getting into the back seat of an Uber car

When you book a ride through a rideshare service like Uber, you don’t expect to get into a life-altering accident. But unfortunately, Uber accidents do happen, and they can sometimes leave their victims dealing with serious injuries.

If you’ve been hurt in an Uber accident because another person was negligent, you may be legally entitled to compensation. At Gautreaux Law, our Macon, Georgia personal injury attorneys believe that reckless people and institutions should be held accountable for their actions. Set up a free consultation with us today to find out whether we may be able to help.

Who is responsible for an Uber accident?

If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you probably didn’t need an attorney to tell you who was responsible. If another driver breaks a traffic law or otherwise causes the crash, they’re most likely at fault. If you’re in a rideshare accident, though, determining who’s at fault can be a lot harder than it may seem. 

In many cases, if the rideshare car is the one that caused the accident, the driver generally may be held responsible. That’s because people who drive for Uber are not employees: They are independent contractors, and that designation means that Uber will generally shoulder much less responsibility if one of its drivers causes a crash. Furthermore, Uber doesn’t train its drivers or closely supervise them as an employer would. It just approves them to drive for the platform.

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about whether a rideshare driver has their own insurance policy. Uber covers all of its drivers with a liability insurance policy. Unless the driver causes so much damage that it exhausts the Uber insurance policy, you (or your lawyer) will likely be dealing with the company’s insurance provider.

Is Uber ever responsible?

There is, in fact, one case where your Uber accident attorney might determine that Uber itself is at fault, and that involves negligence on the part of the company itself. 

When someone applies to be a driver on the Uber platform, the company reviews their application. It doesn’t publish the criteria it uses to accept or deny drivers. But if someone looks like they’ll be a liability, Uber will normally turn them down. That said, some dangerous drivers slip through the cracks. And if Uber was negligent by accepting a driver it knew was high-risk, you might have a case against the company.

Here’s an example: Imagine that a driver has faced three DUIs in the past five years. Somehow, Uber fails to catch them – maybe by not doing a proper background check, and it allows the person to drive for the platform. The driver proceeds to get drunk behind the wheel and causes a crash. In such a case, your attorney could argue that Uber reasonably should have known the driver was a danger.

What does it mean if a driver is negligent?

In order to receive compensation from Uber, an individual driver, or both, you and your attorney need to prove four separate things. Each is part of the definition of negligence under Georgia law:

  • The Driver Had a Duty of Care: The driver had a duty to obey all traffic laws
  • The Driver Breached That Duty: The driver violated a traffic law
  • You Suffered Damages: You experienced significant monetary losses, a decline in quality of life, etc.
  • The Breach of Duty of Care Caused Those Damages: Your losses were a result of the driver’s action (or lack thereof)

For example, if an Uber driver is texting behind the wheel, crosses into oncoming traffic, and hits you or your car, causing you to incur thousands in medical bills, you likely have a strong case. 

However, if the driver lightly clipped the car you were in and caused no injuries, you probably wouldn’t have a strong case. That doesn’t mean the driver wasn’t negligent, of course, but you wouldn’t have enough in damages (injuries) for an attorney to take your case.

Personal injury attorneys work on contingency, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. They get paid a percentage of the damages you recover. In the second case above, you’d recover barely any damages (even if you won). If an attorney were to take on your case, they’d likely lose money in the process.

Contact Gautreaux Law Today

At their worst, rideshare accidents can lead to lifelong injuries or death. But if you also have to contend with medical bills and other unexpected expenses, it can be hard to devote what little energy you have to the healing process.

The good news is that our attorneys might be able to help. For over 20 years, we’ve dedicated our time and talents to protecting Georgia residents from negligent people. We don’t just take every case that comes our way, though. We limit our caseload so we can give each person we represent the time and focus they deserve.

If you’ve been hurt in an Uber accident, we want to hear from you! Contact Gautreaux Law today to set up a free case review.