What’s the problem?
Thousands of Uber passengers are injured each year in car accidents on roads and highways across the U.S. The good news is that injured parties can sue Uber for damages, regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
Uber and UberX have grown exponentially in the U.S. and overseas in recent years. People in many major cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco are now counting on these services as their primary mode of transportation. Passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers who have been involved in accidents caused by Uber drivers may be entitled to compensation for all injuries and harms suffered.
Who’s at Fault?
In each car accident lawsuit case, the person bringing the claim must be able to prove the following things in order to win the case: liability (who was at fault) and damages (how badly you were injured). The 2 most likely situations in which you were injured in an Uber crash are:
- The Uber driver caused the accident – In this situation, you may bring a lawsuit against the driver. However, it may be impossible to collect damages if the driver only has a personal auto insurance policy. These policies do not apply when a driver is engaged in a commercial operation, which includes carrying passengers for a fee.
- The Uber driver was not at fault for the accident – Here, you may bring a claim against the driver of the other vehicle. All drivers are required to carry insurance, yet many people violate the law and drive without insurance. Plus, auto insurance policies can be as low as $15,000 for causing an injury or death to a person. You may not be able collect damages from the driver at fault.
Accidents Where the Uber Driver is Not at Fault
If the driver was not at fault for the accident, he or she will first have to file a claim against the insurance of the other driver. In many cases, however, the at-fault driver will not have insurance or the insurance coverage limit is not enough to provide for full compensation for the injured victim. In such cases, a passenger will then have an Uninsured Motorist (UM) or an Underinsured Motorist (UIM) claim against the rideshare companies’ insurance.
What is the Compensation for Injured Passengers?
Victims of personal injury have the right to seek financial recovery for all damages suffered. A calculation of recovery is based on the following factors:
- The extent and severity of the injuries suffered.
- Past and anticipated future medical expenses.
- Other economic damages – damage to property, loss of income and future loss of earning.
- Level of non-economic damages, including emotional distress and pain and suffering compensation.
- Whether punitive damages can be assessed.
Uber’s $1 Million Insurance Policy
Since launching ridesharing in 2013, Uber has put insurance policies in place to cover every ride-sharing trip on the Uber platform throughout the U.S. Since then, the company has added more coverage to include the time between trips and to cover comprehensive and collision. Uber shares the $1 million commercial liability policy in full with policymakers and regulators upon request.
What Should You Do if Your Uber is in an Accident?
In most cases, Uber riders who suffered damages in a crash will be covered by the insurance of one or the other driver involved in the accident, or by the additional insurance that Uber provides. However, there’s more to it.
All Uber drivers are required to carry liability insurance through the company in addition to their own personal insurance. This covers the time from when an Uber driver accepts a request from a passenger and when the passenger exits the vehicle at the end of the ride.
Uber’s policy allows for increased coverage in cases where there is injury to a third party and the Uber driver is at fault. It also provides coverage If another driver is at fault, a third party is injured, and the other driver is either uninsured or does not have sufficient coverage.
Uber Accident Kills Pedestrian in San Diego
Dec. 1, 2019 – A pedestrian died Thursday after being struck by an Uber on I-5 in San Diego near Clairemont Avenue in Bay Park, according to the California Highway Patrol. The identity of the victim has not been released, and the investigation is ongoing.
Class Action Lawsuit Accuses Uber of Stealing Millions From Drivers
Nov. 7, 2019 – A class action filed Wednesday by Uber drivers in New York accuses the ride-sharing company of stealing millions of dollars from them over the course of 4 years, according to the Daily Beast. New York Taxi Workers Alliance, Lead Plaintiff in the suit, alleges that Uber deducted sales tax, a workers’ compensation surcharge, and its own service fee from drivers’ pay, which the group alleges undercut wages. Uber acknowledged underpaying drivers in 2017.
3 Injured After Uber Jumps Curb in New York
Nov. 6, 2019 – 3 people were hospitalized after their Uber driver rear-ended a parked car, jumped the curb, and hit an elderly person in Woodside, New York, according to Patch. The victims, who included the 26-year-old driver, a passenger, and an 81-year-old pedestrian, were transported to Elmhurst hospital with non life-threatening injuries, according to police. Uber confirmed that the driver is employed with the company, but said it has no record of him doing any trips.
NTSB Sets Date for Uber Accident Hearing
October 18, 2019 – The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has set a date of November 19 for a hearing intended to determine the cause of a 2018 accident in which an Uber self-driving car killed a pedestrian in Arizona, according to Seeking Alpha. The vehicle had a safety driver behind the wheel and was being used to test Uber’s self-driving technology. However, a preliminary report found that the car’s control mode disabled native driver assistance functions like collision avoidance with automatic braking, and also wasn’t designed to alert the driver to emergency brake.
Uber Driver Killed in Wreck with Lamborghini
Jun 13, 2017 – A 61-year-old health club magnate is facing DUI manslaughter charges over a car wreck that killed an Uber driver in Delray Beach, Florida.
Roger Wittenberns’ blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.15 — about twice the legal limit in Florida — approximately 45 minutes after the fatal Uber crash, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Investigators determined that Wittenberns’ Lambo was doing about 75 mph when it crashed into a Buick Enclave driven by 82-year-old J. Gerald Smith. Wittenberns and his wife had just left City Oyster restaurant, where they had downed the following libations in just under 2 hours:
- 4 Long Island Iced Teas
- 3 Cosmos
- 4 Goose 4oz
- I vodka martini
Witnesses reported seeing Wittenberns and McQuiggin, who was following in a yellow Porsche, driving at high speeds.
Smith was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after the crash. His wife, Eloise, was waiting for him at their Boynton Beach home with dinner on the table when she got the news.
The crash took place at 4:45 p.m., and by 5:15 blood was drawn from Wittenberns, which reported a BAC of 1.5. Hospital staff noticed that Wittenberns had “slurred speech and glassy eyes” and was unable either to focus or to keep his eyes open, according to the affidavit.
Woman Paralyzed in Uber Accident Awarded $38 Million
Feb. 18, 2019 – A Texas jury has awarded more than $37 million to a woman who sued Honda after being paralyzed in a 2015 car crash in which her Uber driver ran a red light and was T-boned by an oncoming pickup truck. Plaintiff Sarah Milburn filed the lawsuit against Honda over the seatbelts in its Odyssey minivan, which she claimed were poorly designed and contributed to her catastrophic injuries.
Uber Passenger Dies After Car Jumps Divider, Strikes CHP Cruiser
October 14, 2019 – A rider in an Uber who caused the vehicle to jump the center divider while fighting with another passenger was killed when the car struck a California Highway Patrol officer that was responding to the fight, according to CBS Los Angeles. The collision occurred at about 3:40 a.m. on the eastbound 101 Freeway, just west of Ventura Boulevard, CHP said. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Family of Woman Killed by Uber Self-Driving Car File Wrongful Death Lawsuit
February 5, 2019 – 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was struck and killed by a Volvo sport utility vehicle (SUV) owned and operated by Uber Technologies on March 18, 2018, while it was in self-driving mode traveling north on Mill Avenue in Tempe, according to BizJournals. Herzberg was not in a crosswalk when the accident occurred.
Herzberg’s husband and daughter jointly filed the suit against Tempe, alleging that a paved section of the median near the accident scene encouraged people to cross at the site. The city has since taken out the pavement and replaced it with landscaping, according to the Arizona Republic.
The accident focused national attention on the self-driving car industry, and Uber specifically, which closed its testing operations facility shortly after Herzberg’s death. Tempe Police released a video of the accident showing the vehicle’s human driver watching something other than the road while the car was in self-driving mode.
Herzberg, who was homeless at the time of her death, is thought to be the first person in the U.S. to be hit and killed by an automated vehicle (AV).
The lawsuit alleges that the City of Tempe is liable for her death, and that it owes $5 million each to her husband and daughter.
Plaintiffs recently settled a similar lawsuit against Uber Technologies, the details of which remain confidential.
Uber Reaches $20 Million Settlement in Class Action Alleging Text Message Spam
October 11, 2017 – Uber Technologies has agreed to pay $20 million to resolve a class action lawsuit alleging that the ridesharing company broke the law by sending out unsolicited text messages.
Lead Plaintiff Maria Vergara initially filed suit in August 2015, alleging that she had received no fewer than 8 unsolicited text messages with different confirmation numbers to register for the rideshare service, even though she had never used Uber and had never tried to download the Uber app.
The lawsuit was filed as a class action, citing allegations that Uber violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by sending automated text messages without consent, causing “aggravation and invasion of privacy.”
The suit further alleges that Uber uses inaccurate phone numbers which cause it to routinely send unsolicited text messages to individuals who never provided consent.
That practice can cost those receiving the texts money, because many phone service providers charge for receiving “wireless spam,” the complaint states.
If you received one or more unsolicited text messages from Uber between Dec. 31, 2010, and Aug. 17, 2017, you may be eligible for compensation per the settlement agreement.
The settlement still requires final approval by an Illinois judge, who is scheduled to hear the case next January. The court also will decide whether to approve the request for attorneys’ fees of nearly $7 million plus costs and expenses, and awards for the 6 plaintiffs of $10,000 each.
Uber Suspends Self-Driving Car Service in Pittsburgh Following Accident
September 19, 2017 – Uber’s self-driving vehicles were temporarily taken off the road in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, following an accident Monday on the Hot Metal Bridge.
The accident occurred yesterday during the morning rush hour commute between the Hot Metal Bridge and Sidney Street on the South Side of Pittsburgh, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times.
A black Nissan Sentra was driving west on Sidney when it crashed into Uber’s Volvo XC90, which was going south on Hot Metal Street. Nobody was hurt and the Uber driver was in control of the car when the accident occurred, said Pittsburgh Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler.
Witnesses said that the self-driving Uber had some damage to the front end. Uber suspended service of its self-driving cars immediately following the crash as a precaution.
“We are looking into this incident and can confirm that only Uber employees were in the vehicle at the time,” an Uber spokesman said on Monday. He later confirmed that the self-driving cars were back on the road by 11 AM.
The vehicles have been operating in Pittsburgh since last September.
Uber Self-Driving Car Involved in Accident in San Francisco
September 5, 2017 – Uber’s self-driving car program had its first reported accident in California, a collision that happened on August 16 in San Francisco’s Richmond District.
The crash involved one of Uber’s autonomous Volvo XC90s, which was rear ended at the intersection of Geary Boulevard and Third Avenue after its human driver disengaged its self-driving technology to allow pedestrians to cross, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
“While the Uber [self-driving vehicle] was stopped, a Toyota Tacoma impacted the rear of the Uber [self-driving vehicle],” a report filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles said.
No injuries were reported at the time of the accident, but the Uber driver later reported wrist discomfort, the report stated. A DMV spokesperson confirmed the accident, with Uber stressing that the crash occurred after the driver had taken manual control of the vehicle.
In addition to Uber, about 20 other companies have applied for and received permits from the DMV to test their own autonomous vehicle technologies. Uber applied for a self-driving test permit in California in March, following a heated standoff with state and local officials.
Uber’s self-driving vehicles have been seen throughout San Francisco, where several have been reported to run red lights and be involved in minor traffic accidents. The New York Times reported in February that Uber’s cars had mapping problems that caused them to run at least 6 red lights in the city.
Amateur Runner Knocked Unconscious, Sustains Career-Ending Knee Injury in Uber Accident
August 29, 2017 – An amateur runner from Illinois is suing Uber, claiming that a negligent driver caused a serious accident which resulted in her sustaining a potentially career-ending knee injury. Plaintiff Katherine Vesce was on her way to the New York City Marathon when the crash happened, but was hurt so badly she’ll likely never be able to compete again, according to the lawsuit.
Uber Accident Lawsuit Filed in New Jersey
August 29, 2019 – An Illinois woman has filed a lawsuit against Uber in New Jersey state court, alleging that a negligent driver caused a significant traffic accident last year.
According to the lawsuit, Plaintiff Katherine Vesce was knocked unconscious in the accident, which caused her to sustain a “serious knee injury.” She was on her way to the New York City Marathon, but was hurt so badly she’ll likely never be able to compete again, the complaint states.
Vesce is suing Uber for negligence, fraud, and other allegations, and hers is the latest in a slew of similar lawsuits to be filed against Uber in recent months.
Many of the complaints make related claims that Uber’s safety and training procedures are inadequate, which can result in accidents caused by unsafe drivers.
Vesce’s lawsuit was filed the day after former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was sued by Benchmark Capital Partners over a dispute concerning the company’s board of directors.
Uber is also facing what could prove to be a very costly lawsuit filed by Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving car subsidiary, alleging theft of trade secrets.
Chicago Uber Driver Charged with Homicide in Deadly Collision
August 8, 2017 – A former Uber driver was charged with reckless homicide in a multi-vehicle crash that killed a man and injured his wife in Chicago, Illinois.
A judge in Cook County, Iowa, on Saturday ordered Richard Massenburg held on $250,000 bail over charges of reckless homicide and multiple traffic violations related to the crash, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Prosecutors said Massenburg had marijuana in his system at the time of the accident, around 9:50 a.m. on June 11, when he sped through a red light at the intersection of Diversey and Cicero avenues, striking the first of several cars.
The initial collision claimed the life of 38-year-old Javier Castrejon, and seriously injured his 42-year-old wife. The crash propelled the victims’ car into the vehicle ahead of them, which was driven by a 28-year-old woman, who was also injured. Massenburg’s car then continued north on Cicero until he struck another vehicle at the red light.
Upon arrival to the Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Castrejon was pronounced dead from massive trauma to the head and torso. He was a father of 2 and worked at a hardware store and as a security guard, according to his obituary. His wife sustained moderate injuries in the crash but is expected to make a full recovery, according to the Tribune.
Massenburg was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. Prosecutors have identified him as a driver for Uber and said the ride sharing app was open at the time of the accident, though he had no passengers.
An Uber spokesman said Massenburg was fired as soon as the company became aware of the crash. Massenburg was arrested Friday when he appeared for his traffic court hearing, and is scheduled to return to court next week.
Texas Country Singer Injured in Uber Accident Files Suit
July 28, 2017 – Rich O’Toole, a Houston, Texas-based country singer, is suing Uber and one of its drivers for $1 million following a crash that allegedly sidelined his career.
According to the lawsuit, O’Toole hired Uber driver Abdallah Ahmed to take him to dinner before a concert in Amarillo, Texas. Ahmed allegedly got lost on his way, stopped his vehicle on the highway to check his app, and was rear-ended at high speed by another vehicle.
The crash fractured O’Toole’s neck and caused other “serious injuries,” the complaint states.
O’Toole was scheduled to perform at the Houston Livestock Show Bar-B-Que Contest, but was forced to cancel that and several other shows following the accident. The incident also delayed video shoots and a promo tour for his new album, “American Kid,” that was released in March.
In response to the increasing number of accidents involving rideshare vehicles, Uber, Uberx and Lyft have announced a new insurance policy program that will provide for up to $50,000 per person and $25,000 for property damage in an accident involving one of its vehicles. This is on top of the $1,000,000 coverage for accidents when a trip is in progress.
Connecticut Man Injured in Crash with Uber Driver
July 17, 2017 – A 48-year-old man was critically injured Sunday in a collision between an Uber and a moped in New Haven, Connecticut.
The accident happened just after noon at the intersection of Willow and Orange streets in New Haven, according to the New Hampshire Register. A spokesman for the police said the driver suffered “traumatic injuries” in the crash.
The woman operating the vehicle, a 44-year-old Uber driver from Hamden, Connecticut, was not injured in the collision. The woman was on duty when the crash occurred and the passenger in her car also was not injured, police said.
The woman said she was driving westbound on Willow when she stopped at a traffic light. When the light turned green, she proceeded into the intersection and collided with the moped, which was traveling northbound on Orange.
Neither of the drivers have been identified and the investigation into the accident is ongoing, according to police.
New York Uber Driver Killed in DWI Crash on Long Island
June 21, 2017 – A man from Queens, NY, has admitted to killing an Uber driver last year while driving drunk on the Long Island Expressway (LIE), in a wreck that threw the victim into traffic before another vehicle dragged him a half-mile to his death. Prosecutors said Bonifacio Enriquez, 36, of College Point, New York, pleaded guilty in Nassau County Court to second-degree manslaughter and driving while intoxicated.
Car Wreck Claims Life of Uber Driver in Florida
June 16, 2017 – A 3-car pile up on Siesta Key, Florida, has claimed the life of an Uber driver. The deceased, 57-year-old Guy Theron, had an Uber sticker on his silver 2008 Dodge minivan, but police said he was not driving for Uber at the time and no passenger was in his vehicle.
Florida Uber Driver Killed in Accident with Lamborghini
June 12, 2017 – A 61-year-old health club magnate is facing DUI manslaughter charges over a car wreck that killed an Uber driver in Delray Beach, Florida. Roger Wittenberns’ blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.15 — about twice the legal limit in Florida — approximately 45 minutes after his Lambo crashed into a Buick Enclave driven by 82-year-old J. Gerald Smith.
Uber Execs Take Leave Amid Management Crisis
June 11, 2017 – Both the Chief Executive Officer and Senior Vice President of Uber Technologies Inc. have departed their positions, in a sign of impending doom for the troubled ride-sharing company.
Uber announced Monday that its board had unanimously approved recommendations stemming from a report prepared by former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder into the ride-sharing giant’s cultures and practices.
One of the first recommendations acted upon was the departure of Emil Michael, vice-president and second-in-command under CEO Travis Kalanick, who left the company Monday. Details of the ousters are still emerging.
Uber’s troubles raise questions as to how a ride-sharing company with a severely flawed corporate culture was able to earn a valuation that exceeds Ford and General Motors. Amid allegations of sexual harassment and high-profile executive departures, Uber is facing a gloomy future and potential collapse.
The hashtag #DeleteUber reflects consumer frustration with the company’s practices, such as reports the company implemented surge pricing following this month’s London terror attacks.
“Uber is an adolescent brand, but they are dealing with very adult brand problems,” said Matt Rizzetta, CEO at North 6th Agency, a New York branding and communications agency. “The first thing they have to do is look at the leadership, and ask if they have adults or adolescents running it.”
Uber is dealing with a host of problems, ranging from sexual harassment allegations, misuse of data claims, and failure to screen out drivers with problematic backgrounds. High-profile cases of drivers assaulting passengers have only added to concerns about the company’s internal controls.
Can I File a Class Action?
Our lawyers have decided against the filing of a class action lawsuit in the Uber accident litigation, and are currently only filing individual complaints on behalf of injured parties. Contact our lawyers now to learn more about your legal rights.
Do I Have an Uber Accident Lawsuit?
The Product Liability Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Uber crash lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Again, if you were injured in an Uber crash, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.