What To Do If You Were Involved in an Uber Accident in Lugoff
Ridesharing is one of the fastest growing developments in transportation today. Easy access to mobile devices and advancement in technology has really made this form of commute a viable and convenient option.
A major power-player in the ridesharing segment is Uber. Uber has a very easy-to-use platform that allows passengers to simply download the Uber app, enter their intended destination and time for pickup. South Carolina has also seen a significant growth in the number of people using services such as Uber mainly because of the convenience and low-fares offered by these providers.
Difference Between Uber and Regular Taxi Companies
Initially, companies like Uber were believed to offer the same service as taxi companies. However, with time, this perception has changed, and now ridesharing companies are specifically classified as Transportation Network Companies (TNCs). The logic behind this classification is based on Uber’s claim that it is not a taxi service; it is a software provider that allows potential drivers to license that software and use it to offer ridesharing services to their clients.
Uber is becoming increasingly popular in South Carolina. Services are offered in most major cities of the state, and Uber drivers are available 24/7. Ride-sharing is being preferred over taxis mainly because South Carolinians feel Uber is much cheaper. Also, it is more difficult to get taxis during peak times and during holidays and taxis also charge much higher rates during such times. Uber on the other still has reasonable rates during important events, holidays and peak hours.
Uber-Related Accidents and Risks in Lugoff, SC
As the number of riders for Uber increase so is the number of drivers using their personal vehicles to offer Uber’s ride-sharing services. As the number of drivers on the road increase, the risk of accidents, especially Uber-related accidents, also increases.
As it is, traffic congestion is a major problem on the roads of South Carolina. Uber drivers, in particular, are showing growth and this is proven by Uber’s constant claims that thousands of people sign up each month to become Uber drivers. While all this is great news for passengers, there are several risks and issues associated with this changing landscape of taxi service.
First is the fact that Uber has a very basic screening process for its drivers. Anyone can become an Uber driver as long as they have a driver’s license and a registered vehicle. There is no criminal check or fingerprint check, and there is thus no guarantee that the driver, operating a ridesharing service for Uber, has a clean background.
Second, Uber does not consider any of its drivers’ employees of the company. They are all “freelancers” according to Uber, and while Uber holds an insurance policy in case of an accident, there are many loopholes attached to that policy and a major chunk of the liability often ends up falling on the Uber driver. Riders who get into Uber-related accidents thus can face a significant challenge when seeking compensation for any damages they may have incurred mainly because the company has a tendency to take a backseat and it is the driver’s insurance company that is held responsible. This situation can become more complex if the Uber driver in question does not have insurance or is underinsured.
Third, most personal auto insurance policies in South Carolina do not take into consideration ridesharing services. That is because any vehicle used for business activity becomes a commercial vehicle. Personal auto insurance policies do not cover incidents that may occur as a result of a business activity. Only if the driver has a comprehensive policy or a policy that specifically covers their ride-sharing operation can the insurance company be held liable to pay damages. Otherwise, the injured passenger is the one who is left in the lurch while Uber and the driver figure out who is liable.
Fourth, Uber’s ridesharing policy includes coverage for bodily injury or property. The policy comes into effect when an Uber-related accident occurs but only if the accident takes place while the driver is in the process of picking up the passenger and dropping them off to their intended destination. But Uber will put the liability on the driver if the driver is waiting for a request. In such a scenario, if the Uber driver gets into an accident with a third party driver or hits a pedestrian or damages property, it is the driver’s insurance company that will be held liable. Again, the question about the driver’s insurance policy (or lack of) comes into play in such a scenario.
Finally, distracted driving is already a major issue on our roads today. A large majority of accidents are a result of drivers who were distracted while using mobile devices. A major issue with the Uber mode of operation is that drivers are always on the lookout for passengers. They get notification of a request through their software, of which they always have to be vigilant. This can often be distracting for the drivers and is a factor that could increase the risk of a collision. Also, Uber drivers are generally in a rush to get to their passenger and also to get their next ride. Thus, speeding can also be an issue with these drivers. All these factors multiply the risk of accidents.
If you or anyone you know has been in an Uber accident in Lugoff, SC and is unsure of what compensation they might be entitled to, the best strategy would be to consult an experienced lawyer who has the know-how and the skills to determine the best possible option for you. Since ridesharing laws are still in an infancy stage, there are still several areas that are unclear. An experienced legal team may be in a better position to deal with Uber if required and/or the driver’s insurance company if necessary. They can also tell you how and in what circumstances you can file a personal injury claim in case the insurance company makes it difficult for you to get compensation. Ridesharing related accidents can be complex, and a lawyer may be the best person to consult in such a case.
If you were involved in an Uber accident in Lugoff, SC, contact one of the experienced accident attorneys at Connell Law Firm at (803) 310-5700. An attorney will assist with the case to help make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.