Injured in an Uber Accident?
Uber provides rides for millions of people worldwide each and every day, and Californians certainly take advantage of the rideshare service to get around. In addition, many people in our state use Uber to make extra money or even provide their primary source of income. Uber driver control their own hours and have significant flexibility – all they need is a qualified vehicle, driver’s license, and a clean background check to start driving.
Unlike other commercial drivers, Uber drivers do not have to obtain a special license to transport passengers. California does have laws regulating the rideshare industry, also called transportation network companies (TNCs). These laws set out the following requirements for Uber drivers based on a check of their driving record:
- No more than three points on their license in the past three years
- No “major” traffic violations in the past three years, which include convictions for driving with a suspended license, hit and run, or reckless driving
- No convictions of driving under the influence (DUI) for the past seven years
Uber also conducts a criminal record check on prospective drivers. As long as an applicant meets the criteria and can show a valid driver’s license, they can operate as an Uber driver in a qualified vehicle.
Because of the lack of training or licensing, Uber drivers can – and do – make mistakes like any other driver on the road. Uber accidents can happen for many reasons, including:
- Fatigued driving – Uber drivers often drive as a second job after a full day or work or late into the night, resulting in increased driver fatigue.
- Distracted driving – Uber drivers have to pay close attention to the Uber app on their phones, which can regularly take their attention away from the road. Drivers can also be distracted by phone calls, conversations with passengers, and more.
- Violating traffic laws – Uber drivers have an incentive to complete rides as quickly as possible, so they may speed or violate other laws to do so. They also may make honest mistakes, such as failing to properly yield, which lead to traffic violations and accidents.
- Impaired driving – While California requires Uber to have a strict zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving, many drivers may risk it and try to work after drinking alcohol.
When an Uber driver causes a crash and injuries, you have the right to file an insurance claim with the driver’s insurance policy, which is mandatory for all Uber drivers in California. If you were a passenger in the Uber at the time of the crash or if the driver was involved in an active prearranged ride (picking up or transporting passengers), Uber’s insurance policy should also provide coverage. This is important as Uber has a $1 million policy for active drivers, which often covers substantially more expenses than a driver’s individual policy might.
While this insurance coverage is available, filing claims with Uber or Uber drivers is never simple. You should not hesitate to contact an experienced California Uber accident attorney to pursue the compensation you deserve after an injury.