Are You Entitled to Compensation if You Were a Passenger in an Uber Accident in Texas?
Victims of car accident injuries could have expensive medical bills and other damages they need to be compensated. If the accident happened in an Uber, it can feel more difficult to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit since you weren’t driving when the accident happened.
In Texas, victims of car accidents can seek compensation for their injuries, including passengers injured in Uber accidents. The fact that you were not driving usually means that you could not be at fault. That means that someone else – whether that be the Uber driver or another driver who hit you – can usually be held liable.
For help after an Uber accident, call The Queenan Law Firm. Our experienced Arlington Uber accident lawyers help victims collect compensation and get their medical bills paid after an accident. For your free case consultation, call (817) 476-1797.
How Uber Passengers Can Get Compensated for Crashes in Texas
When a car crash happens, there are usually insurance claims or lawsuits to determine who was at fault. Usually, this means holding one or both drivers responsible. Passengers are usually blameless, and they can also claim compensation from the at-fault driver(s). This is no different in Uber accidents.
If you were injured in an Uber accident, you can usually get compensation from whichever driver caused the crash. This means that if your Uber driver was responsible for the accident, they can be ordered to pay you damages. If another driver in another car caused the crash, they could be ordered to pay you (and the Uber driver) damages for the injuries sustained in the crash.
The damages can be paid through either an insurance claim or a lawsuit, and each path has advantages and disadvantages. Insurance claims might cover damages faster and without the hassle of going to court, but many insurance policies do not cover all of the damages you need and do not pay large sums without a fight. Lawsuits might take longer, but they might cover more areas of damages. Talk to a Midland personal injury lawyer about which route is best in your case and how much your claim should be worth.
In Texas, Do You Sue Uber or the Uber Driver for an Accident as a Passenger?
Typically, drivers are individually responsible for the crashes they cause and all damages that result from the crash. All drivers in Texas are required to carry car insurance because the average person does not have enough cash on hand to pay for damages they cause by accident, so an insurance policy can pay instead. However, when a driver works as a driver for a company, the company can usually be held responsible in place of the individual. Unfortunately, this rule does not usually extend to Uber drivers, so you have to sue the driver themself – but their insurance will still cover the crash in most cases.
A commercial driver’s employer can usually be held responsible for their driver’s mistakes under a principle called respondeat superior. This allows injured victims to sue a company with more cash on hand to pay for damages instead of relying on the individual driver’s ability to pay. Unfortunately, this only applies when the driver and company have an employer-employee relationship. Uber drivers work on an independent contract basis; riders are direct clients of the driver and Uber merely sets up the drivers with rides and manages payment. Since drivers are not employees, Uber can’t be sued for crashes.
Even though you can’t sue Uber, you can still file a claim against their insurance. Individual Uber drivers have to have insurance to cover a crash under Texas’ mandatory minimum rules. They also have to carry commercial or rideshare insurance to cover riders in the event of a crash. On top of this, Uber provides additional insurance coverage, usually covering up to $1 million in a crash that involves one of their drivers.
While you ultimately file a lawsuit against the driver who injured you – whether that be the Uber driver or another driver – Uber’s insurance should cover your accident regardless of who was at fault.
Can Uber Passengers Sue if They Weren’t Wearing a Seat Belt in Texas?
Every adult passenger is required to wear a seatbelt while riding in a car in Texas. Many passengers treat riding in Ubers or taxis differently than riding in a private car, and they leave their seat belts unbuckled while riding. Drivers should remind passengers to buckle up, but that does not always happen. In any case, the individual responsibility of wearing a seat belt is placed on each rider, not the driver, and failing to wear a seat belt could hurt your case.
Texas Transportation Code § 545.413 requires every occupant 15 or older to wear a seat belt while riding in a car. Failing to do so is an offense even if you aren’t the driver. That means that failing to wear a seat belt could cut against you in the event you are injured in a crash.
Failing to wear a seat belt isn’t going to cause a crash, but it could make your injuries worse in the event of a crash. Especially if you were thrown from the vehicle during the crash, the court could consider the fact that you didn’t have a seat belt on when determining who is at fault for your injuries.
This could result in the court assigning a percentage of the blame to you, reducing your damages by that percentage. For instance, if you would have won $100,000 in your claim, but the court found your lack of seatbelt was 10% responsible for your injuries, you only win $90,000 instead. Obviously, medical exemptions and other exceptions could apply, so talk to a lawyer for help.
Call Our Texas Uber Accident Attorneys for a Free Case Consultation
If you were hurt as a passenger in an Uber accident in Texas, call The Queenan Law Firm at (817) 476-1797. Our Dallas Uber accident attorneys offer free case consultations.