Virginia Uber Accident Attorney
Uber and other ridesharing platforms have become the way to get around for people in Alexandria and Northern Virginia. The app has made the old art of “hailing a cab” a thing of the past, since all one has to do now is sign onto an app that brings a car and driver to your door...or your restaurant, store, or place on the sidewalk.
Unfortunately, as with any new technology, or even new use of an old technology, there are bumps along the way. With Uber, some drivers get into car accidents, and those accidents can be pretty bad.
If you have been involved in an Uber accident, it is important to contact a Virginia Uber accident attorney right away to evaluate, investigate, and assert your claim on your behalf.
Virginia Did Not Always Welcome Uber
Virginia was not friendly to Uber when it was rolled out, and even directed local law enforcement officers as well as state government regulators to issue citations and fines to drivers. Many unsuspecting drivers were caught up for picking up and dropping off their passengers. It took executive action to smooth things over.
Virginia classified Uber as a Transportation Network Company. This classification, and the laws that came with it, made things a bit better, as it set mandatory minimum insurance coverage for Uber drivers.
Investigating the Uber Accident
The experienced car accident attorney investigates a car accident right away. This allows the attorney to appreciate who is liable for the accident, and thus who is liable for the injuries you sustained. Many people believe that the insurance company for the at-fault driver is liable: this is a common misconception. The at-fault driver is liable – the car insurance company is responsible for paying out for damages, up to their policy limits.
Blaszkow Legal always investigates all of the parties and entities that may be liable for our clients’ injuries. Many people think that Uber is responsible, because the at-fault driver is an Uber driver. There again, this is not the case. As with taxis, Uber drivers are classified as independent contractors under the law. Even though they are driving around with an Uber sign or sticker on their car, they are not employees of Uber. This prevents the doctrine of “respondeat superior” from applying, which holds an employer responsible for the actions of its employees. Uber has fought this ardently in every court, and for the most part, has been successful in keeping their drivers at “arms length.”
Our investigation includes scene reviews, tracking witnesses and taking statements, and searching for elusive but vital camera footage that can make – or break – a case.
What Insurance Coverage Does Uber Have?
in Virginia, Uber drivers who are at-fault for accidents carry a mandatory $1,000,000 of coverage. These are the policy limits set out in Virginia law.
However, things can get a little complicated with respect to this coverage. Just because a car is driving around with an Uber sticker or light, does not mean that this vehicle is covered. The Uber driver has to be:
en-route to pick up a passenger;
transporting a passenger;
dropping off the passenger; and/or
the app has to be active
If none of these situations apply, then the driver is not acting as an "Uber driver," and whatever that driver's personal car insurance limits are would apply.
Evaluating Your Claim – What Are My Damages?
Uber drivers have a responsibility to drive carefully, and obey the rules of the road. If a driver has violated those rules, caused a car crash, and caused injury to you and/or to others, then you are entitled to compensation for those injuries. A sum total of what a person may claim is referred to as their “damages.” Damages include everything from medical expenses, inconvenience, permanent injuries, broken bones, property damage, lost wages, and of course, the expansive term “pain and suffering.”
There is no law book that determines what pain and suffering is worth in Virginia – it is what a Judge or jury says it is. An experienced, aggressive car accident attorney who knows how the Virginia Courts work is vital to proving your case, and fully proving your damages.
What are the Time Limits for Filing Uber Claims?
Claims against Uber are governed by the same laws that apply to all car accidents in Virginia. The time for filing is called a statute of limitations – in VA, this is 2 years from the date of the accident.
This deadline applies to when the lawsuit arising out of the claim must be filed by that time. The claim itself, with respect to insurance companies, should be made as soon as possible. But – NEVER speak to an insurance company without being represented by an Uber accident attorney.
Speak to a Virginia Uber Car Accident Lawyer Today
Rideshare vehicles such as Uber and Lyft are on the road, 24/7, normally driven by competent, dedicated motorists trying to earn money for themselves and their families. But every now and again, one violates the rules of the road, and causes an accident that injures an innocent person. If this negligence has injured you in a car accident that is not your fault, email us, or call Blaszkow Legal today – 703-879-5910
Our office is located in Virginia, but we represent car crash victims throughout Northern Virginia, as well as DC and Maryland.