Uber, it’s a convenient service that many of us throughout California and beyond use on a regular basis. As a passenger of Uber, what happens if the driver is in an accident and you need medical treatment? Who is responsible for that medical treatment? When it comes to Uber, the lines of responsibility become blurred, but what you should if in an accident are not blurred. Here’s what you should know.
What are likely causes of Uber accidents in California?
Like any motorist on the road, Uber drivers must obey by the laws. But Uber drivers are in unique situations. They likely are using an app while driving. They must find locations they may never have been to. They will pull over wherever the GPS advises rather than a designated area. They may speed or drive aggressively to get from one fare to another fare. They must answer or respond to jobs on their phones. Passengers in their vehicles may try to argue a better way to go to someplace or may argue about something different altogether — or may not even argue but simply be distracting in one way or another. Uber drivers, as you can see, have a lot happening. All the while, they are supposed to be paying attention to the road and watching what they are doing. After all, they have a duty of care for all other motorists, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists on or near the road.
It does not come as a surprise, then, that common causes of Uber accidents include:
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Driving while on an electronic device
- Tired, exhaustion, lack of sleep.
Uber drivers are not always the cause of the accident, making it more difficult for an Uber passenger to know what to do or who to file a claim against in case of an accident. But that will be determined at a later time. For now, directly after the accident, you should seek medical treatment. In fact, if you need medical treatment, you will be taken immediately to the hospital by first responders.
What happens when Uber passengers need medical treatment after an accident?
Regardless of fault, the first thing anyone should do in an auto accident, whether you are a passenger in an Uber or not, is to seek medical treatment. This is true even in cases where you do not feel as though you need medical attention. Maybe your head struck the window but you feel fine; you experienced no temporary blackout or disorientation. Brain injuries, mild ones particularly, may have no immediate symptoms but will materialize a few days later. It is best to get medical assistance directly after the accident so that a paper trail connects the accident to the injury.
If you have health insurance, your insurance will cover the costs of seeking medical treatment and may place a lien on any compensation you receive — a lien reimburses the health insurance company of the funds it expends for your injuries. If you do not have health insurance, you should still seek medical attention, but inform the medical facility (e.g., hospital or urgent care) you were in an accident. The medical facility may then suspend billing and also place a lien on any compensation you receive.
The important thing after an Uber accident is getting a paper trail linking the accident to your injury, and here’s why: determining liability may be a fight and if you file a lawsuit against both the Uber driver and Uber, their attorneys are going to fight it. And that matters in California, a comparative negligence state, because their attorneys will try to prove that you were in part at fault, too. If the jury believes it, your compensation for medical expenses could be reduced.
To recap, if you are a passenger in Uber and you need medical treatment, here’s what happens:
- You should get the medical treatment you need and do so immediately after the accident. In fact, if you have obvious injuries, first responders may take you to the hospital anyway, but if those injuries are not as obvious, then you can go to the hospital or urgent care yourself for treatment.
- Your health insurance will cover your medical treatment or else the medical facility will bill you.
- You should inform your health insurance or the medical facility that you were in an Uber accident and a claim or lawsuit may transpire.
- Seek legal help after all your medical needs are taken care of or you are in a position to talk with a personal injury attorney.
Uber accidents are a real concern for passengers. The service itself is convenient, but accidents can happen, and when they do, you can be injured. It is important to always get medical care when you need it, even if you don’t think you do. Keep all your records and then seek legal counsel to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. For more information about Uber accidents, contact the Ledger Law Firm for a free case evaluation. We know you may be confused (Uber accidents can be complex). We also know you may have suffered injuries (Uber accidents can result in serious injuries). So, we are here to help you sort through your options. We want you to make an informed decision about your future.