DC Uber Accident Attorney
In December 2011, Uber, a San Francisco-based company, launched its popular ride-sharing app in Washington, DC.
Uber has become notably popular in cities like DC, where purchasing and maintaining a vehicle is both expensive and inconvenient. A large part of Uber’s popularity is the innovative ride-sharing concept that the app is based around. It is a simple concept that relies on smartphone technology for its success.
However, as with all new technologies, serious questions have arisen in a number of legal areas regarding Uber. If you have been involved in an Uber-related incident, make sure to contact an experienced DC car accident attorney to ensure that you have strong legal representation.
How It Works
After downloading the app to your smartphone, if you need a ride, you open the app and your GPS will notify a driver of your location and your intended destination. With a click of a button you can summon a driver. It is a convenient option that has all but replaced traditional taxi services.
What is innovative about Uber is that all of its drivers are considered independent contractors. In DC, Uber drivers simply need to have a clean driver’s license, maintain the mandatory insurance policies, and undergo a background check. While Uber’s success has turned them into a multi-billion company, the success has not come without a substantial share of legal issues.
One of the many legal issues impacting the company is when a driver is involved in a collision of some sort, with a paying passenger in their car, en route to pick up a passenger, or simply operating their vehicle with the Uber app open. Most Uber drivers use their own vehicles to drive passengers around the city, although Uber does offer a leasing service in some areas, where they lease a vehicle and smartphone to drivers. As such, drivers may be liable for damages that may have been incurred while they were operating their vehicle.
Uber has maintained the stance that it is not a ride-sharing service; it is simply the developer of the app which allows people to connect to ride share. This stance has come under fire when someone is involved in a vehicle accident with an Uber driver.
Although all Uber drivers are required to maintain valid auto insurance, some states require Uber drivers, or “drivers for hire”, to maintain additional coverage. After getting hit with a number of lawsuits, Uber now maintains insurance coverage for its drivers, but only while the driver is utilizing the app to provide services.
Steps to Take When Involved in an Accident
If you are involved in a vehicle accident with an Uber driver, the complex insurance issues are compounded by DC’s stance on the ride-sharing service. Each state is in the process of passing, or already has passed, laws regarding the legality of Uber’s services.
It is imperative to contact an attorney who has experience in dealing with the complex issues that arise when involved in a vehicle accident with an Uber driver, such as the multitude of insurance companies involved and the commercial/citizen classification of the Uber driver.
How an Attorney Can Help
If you have been in an Uber accident in DC, you need an experienced attorney who has knowledge of cases involving Uber vehicle accidents to help you understand your rights, to navigate the complicated legal process, and to help you realize the best possible outcome. They can be there to guide you through the claims process every step of the way.