North Carolina Uber Accidents Attorney
Ride-sharing services, such as Uber, have put many taxi companies out of business, and they have truly transformed transportation based on the use of mobile devices to secure a car for hire. Customers who request a ride from nearby drivers through Uber’s mobile device receive rides within minutes, reaching their destination without the hassle that often accompanies a taxi. Throughout North Carolina, the increased ridership with drivers for companies such as Uber has also unfortunately led to more car accidents involving these vehicles.
Our law firm has successfully handled several cases against Uber and Lyft drivers, and we have collected large settlements for victims of Uber accidents. If you or someone close to you has suffered injuries in an accident with an Uber driver, you should immediately secure a free consultation with a car accident lawyer to discuss your options. Whether you hire an attorney or not, investing a few minutes to learn your rights from an experienced Uber accident lawyer will help you protect your legal rights and determine your best plan of action.
Raleigh Uber accident attorney Carl Nagle and the team at Nagle & Associates understand how to locate the insurance carrier for the Uber driver, how to determine the Uber driver’s status at the time of the collision, and how to collect maximum payment on all legal claims against the Uber driver, as well as all other drivers and/or entities and insurance companies that may be responsible for causing an accident. The unique challenges posed by an accident typically center on issues of insurance coverage and liability. Since Mr. Nagle formerly worked as an insurance claims adjuster and insurance defense attorney, he understands the tactics often used by insurers to attempt to deny or minimize compensation to injured individuals. Our firm ONLY handles motor vehicle accident cases, we offer the lowest legal fee in NC, and we help crash victims throughout the state, including in Wilmington, Asheville, Winston-Salem, and Raleigh.
Victims Can Recover Generous Compensation for Injuries Suffered in an Uber Accident
Uber companies employ drivers who have not necessarily been trained in how to safely transport passengers. Additionally, Uber drivers are not necessarily required to submit their vehicles to inspection or testing, as are traditional cab owners. Further, the very nature of the Uber program requires their drivers to stay on the Uber App while driving, to divide attention between driving and monitoring the Uber navigation instructions, and to also attend to passengers who are paying for the ride. Because riders always have unique points of departure and destinations, Uber drivers are also often traveling on roads and in areas that they are not familiar with. These factors coupled with the frequency of the rides create a significant risk of serious accidents involving Uber vehicles.
In Uber accident cases, the analysis of which insurance carrier pays for victim losses and how much insurance coverage can be collected is unique and complex. Uber does not define itself as a transportation company or car service. Terminology matters, since as a “technology provider,” the company may be capable of placing blame on drivers and avoiding its own liability. Uber maintains insurance that applies to a driver with active passengers through the service, but this insurance is often secondary to a driver’s personal insurance policy. Unfortunately, this becomes complicated by the fact that the standard North Carolina personal auto policy EXCLUDES liability coverage when the insured driver uses the vehicle to carry people for a fee. Simply put, an Uber driver is not covered by their own car insurance policy. While it is a slow process to get the claim properly set up and ready for payment, the good news is that Uber and Lyft both have large insurance policies that cover their drivers if they cause an accident during a paid journey.
Because Uber’s insurance policy carries high limits, they employ highly experienced and skilled claims adjusters to oppose and avoid victims’ claims. Former insurance claims adjuster Carl Nagle knows how these cases are defended, and he stands ready to present your claims in a way that cannot be minimized or ignored. Further, by adding Uber, Lyft, or any other employer who hires professional drivers, we enhance case value both in settlement or in a trial setting. The reason is that jurors typically are more generous if they see a large corporate defendant facing a claim for collision-related injuries. While they may hesitate to grant a large verdict against a private driver, they know that Uber put their driver on the road to make a profit, and they also know that Uber can afford to pay the full value of a victim’s claims for past and future medical care, lost income, and lost quality of life.
Victims should also be aware that in North Carolina if the victim is slightly at fault for causing their own accident, they have no payment rights. This defense is called “contributory negligence” and large companies like Uber will always work to avoid payment if they can place some blame on the accident victim. An Uber accident lawyer can help Raleigh residents and other victims throughout North Carolina prove their innocence, show the Uber driver was at fault, and overcome the defense of contributory negligence when needed. Nagle & Associates only handles motor vehicle collision cases, and we can begin working today to gather and protect crash-scene evidence, build evidence to prove fault and legal liability, and overcome the defense of contributory negligence. We are paid only at the end of the case, and only if we succeed in collecting money through settlement or trial. We also take over all communications with Uber and their insurance carriers to ensure that your rights are protected and enforced from day one.
Our firm takes great pride in our extensive medical experience. We have dealt with the very best trauma surgeons and physicians throughout North Carolina, and we understand how to collect, interpret and build medical evidence in severe injury cases. Relying on medical evidence to prove the extent of a victim’s injuries is the KEY to collecting maximum payment for past and future medical needs, and additional cash payment for pain, suffering, lost mobility, lost physical function, and reduced quality of life.
Who Is Liable When a Rideshare Driver Causes an Accident?
When Uber drivers cause accidents, it is difficult to identify and contact the proper insurance company that owes victims damages. The Police Report will show the rideshare driver’s personal auto insurance information. However, if the driver is actively involved in a rideshare journey, that coverage does NOT apply. The exclusions in the North Carolina auto policy specifically exclude liability coverage whenever the driver is carrying people or property for a fee. Thus, Uber drivers are not covered by their own car insurance policies when they have passengers on board.
Uber and Lyft recently changed their insurance carriers, and they now have insurance partners that share the United States territory for their rideshare drivers. For Uber drivers, the liability coverage is with one of these four carriers: Allstate, Farmers, Liberty Mutual, or Progressive. These carriers often change so you may find another insurance company involved if you are an Uber accident victim.
In all Uber accident cases, to determine which insurance company owes for your injury and property damage claims, you first must first identify the driver’s on/off duty status to determine which insurance company will owe for your injury claims and property damage claims. Here’s how it works:
- When an on-duty Uber driver causes an accident: Rideshare drivers are officially ”on duty” when they log in to their company’s app and when they pick up, transport, or drop off passengers. The rideshare company’s liability insurance policy will apply if drivers cause an accident while on duty.
- When an off-duty Uber driver causes an accident: If a North Carolina rideshare driver causes a wreck while clocked out, their personal auto insurance policy will cover the victims’ claims. Other factors may come into play, but you can typically expect off-duty rideshare driver accidents to work this way.
For On-Duty Uber Drivers, Available Insurance Coverage Depends on Whether a Rideshare Journey is in Progress
People injured in car crashes caused by drivers often must wait to determine which insurance company will come forward to pay car damage and injury claims. Once the insurance company is identified, you may ask “How much insurance coverage does Uber provide to cover injury claims for accident victims?” The answer varies depending on the driver’s status while they are on duty.
For Uber drivers who are on the App, and available to accept a ride, but who have not yet received, accepted, or started a rideshare journey, liability coverage is limited to $50,000.00 per victim. Thus, regardless of how serious the victim’s injuries are, the limits of coverage for all injury claims are rather low for drivers who are waiting for assignments. For victims of serious injuries with this lower tier of coverage, we always next look to see if other drivers or parties also owe for all injury claims, and also to see if we can collect additional benefits through multiple underinsured motorist policies. For drivers who are on the way to pick up a passenger, or who are in the process of transporting passengers, liability coverage available to pay personal injury claims increases to $1,000,000.00.
Our firm has handles a great number of Uber and Lyft accident cases, and we handle all of the necessary initial driver status analyses for you. We report your claims to the Uber driver’s personal insurance carrier, and then follow the chain until we know whether the Uber driver was on duty, and, if so, we confirm the exact status of the driver to determine how much coverage is available. This assistance begins as soon as we become involved in your case, and you pay no legal fees for our assistance unless AND until we settle your personal injury case on terms that you accept.
In serious injury cases with high coverage limits, the best insurance adjusters are assigned, and their sole goal is to minimize victims’ claim payments. In these cases, aggressive personal injury lawyers can dramatically increase the value of your claims. Injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no fees unless AND until the lawyer collects money for you. In most cases, the lawyer more than pays his own fees by building proper medical evidence, presenting the strongest case, and negotiating toward a settlement that reflects the full value of all injury claims. Also, personal injury lawyers handle all paperwork and all insurance claim filings so you can focus on your medical recovery and leave the homework to your attorney.
What if I am a Passenger in the Uber Vehicle?
If a rideshare passenger is injured in an accident involving an Uber driver, the $1,000,000.00 policy applies to pay your injury claims. Since a rideshare journey was underway, the higher coverage limit applies. For the Uber driver, if they did not cause the accident, they can present claims against the other driver AND they also have the benefit of $1,000,000.00 in Underinsured Motorist coverage on their rideshare policy. Uber passengers also have this Underinsured Motorist coverage available to pay over-and-above the at-fault driver’s liability policy in cases where the rideshare driver did not cause the accident. If the Uber driver did cause the accident, the rideshare customer has coverage up to $1,000,000.00 to cover claims for past and future medical bills, lost wages, and past and future pain and suffering. Simply put, for an Uber passenger injured during an Uber rideshare journey, the coverage available to fund personal injury claims will always be $1,000,000.00.
What Compensation Can You Expect?
Settlements vary depending on your circumstances, the severity of your injuries, and how long the injuries last. In many cases, individuals recover compensation related to the following:
- medical expenses, including pre-settlement medical care costs and full payment for future medical care if doctors agree that future care will be necessary.
- lost wages up to the time of settlement, future lost earning capacity if injuries require a job change which reduces the victim’s pay rate, and payment for “lost work-life expectancy” if doctors and vocational rehabilitation experts agree that physical impairment imposed by injuries will likely mandate early retirement.
- payment for medical devices, home modifications, or any other expenses that will be needed to help the crash victim adapt their home and lifestyle to all disabilities imposed by their injuries.
- tax-free payment of “general damages” which includes money for pain, suffering, emotional distress, loss of quality of life, etc.
Car accidents can be overwhelming and traumatic, leaving you with many unanswered questions and financial concerns. If you’ve been involved in an accident with an Uber driver, there are additional complexities when it comes to identifying the proper insurance carrier, determining the Uber driver’s status, identifying all other parties who owe for your losses, and the tasks of properly building and presenting all collision and medical evidence to ensure that you collect maximum payment from all responsible parties. With an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, you don’t have to figure these issues out on your own.
Contact an Uber Accident Attorney in the Raleigh Area
At Nagle & Associates, our team of dedicated professionals can effectively assert your right to recover compensation following any North Carolina vehicle accident caused by for-hire drivers who work for Uber, or other pay-for-ride drive services. We offer a lower legal fee than other personal injury law firms, and we collect a legal fee only if and when we recover money on behalf of our clients. Since our firm only represents injured individuals, we understand the importance of financial stability for a victim and their families. Raleigh Uber accident lawyer Carl Nagle maintains seven offices across the state, assisting people in Winston-Salem, Asheville, Raleigh, Wilmington, Greensboro, Hickory, Charlotte, and other communities in Forsyth, Mecklenburg, Wake, Durham, Guilford, Catawba, Cumberland, and New Hanover Counties. Reach us online or by phone at (866) 944-4257 to discuss your situation with Carl Nagle today.