The transportation industry has changed dramatically in recent years. One of the biggest changes has been the rise of on-demand car services like Uber. Now, many of us have the Uber app on our smartphones. The ride-share service is a convenient and fast way to travel around Boston, Cambridge and other areas. But car accidents can happen in any vehicle. When Uber drivers are negligent and cause accidents resulting in injury, passengers have the right to seek compensation from the company and the driver. Other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists may also seek compensation.
These Transportation Network Companies have created many regulatory problems for cities and states that want to keep their residents safe. But the Massachusetts ride sharing bill, signed into law in August 2016, created the state’s first regulations for Transportation Network Companies, including Uber. Under the law, drivers must now carry liability coverage to protect passengers in case of accidents. There must be at least $1 million in automobile liability insurance for each pre-arranged ride. Drivers and companies have to share this cost.
Since Uber drivers make money based on the number of rides that they provide, many of them are constantly looking at their cell phones and texting while driving. At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our Boston Uber accident lawyers can assist victims with seeking the compensation that they deserve after suffering injuries as a result of a negligent Uber driver.Understanding the Dangers of Using Uber
Uber is a company that allows users to request a ride by using a smartphone app. The app pairs the user with the nearest Uber driver to provide efficient service. The company has expanded rapidly, especially in large cities like Boston where residents, tourists, and business professionals have become frustrated with the inefficiencies of taxi services. Before Massachusetts passed its ride sharing bill – An Act Regulating Transportation Network Companies - one of the biggest issues with Uber was how it contracts with drivers. Uber does not hire drivers as employees. Instead, it engages with them as independent contractors. This had limited its responsibility for any injuries caused by Uber accidents.
Massachusetts took an important step for consumers in passing the ride sharing law. The state has long allowed taxicabs to only carry $20,000 in liability insurance coverage, which is inadequate in covering the medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering in many injury cases. But now, Massachusetts passengers can be assured of much greater insurance coverage from ride-sharing companies.
If you have been injured in an Uber, it is critical to retain an experienced Boston car accident lawyer. Uber is not based in Massachusetts and the only way to report an Uber accident is through the app or through an online form (which we do not recommend). Thus, retaining an Uber accident attorney in Boston can make a big difference to recovering compensation.Assert Your Right to Compensation
If you have been injured in an Uber accident, you can now seek compensation from both Uber the company and the driver. Passengers, other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can all seek compensation for injuries.
Under the Massachusetts ride sharing law, Uber drivers must inform their auto insurer that they intend to use their vehicle for ridesharing purposes. They must carry at least $50,000 of coverage per individual for bodily injury, $100,000 of total coverage for bodily injury, $30,000 of coverage for property damage, uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection. When a transportation network driver is engaged in a pre-arranged ride, they must have at least $1 million in automobile liability insurance. The transportation network company must pay for the gap in insurance.
The first step in asserting your right to compensation is to file a negligence action against the driver who caused your injuries. To recover compensation, you must show that the Uber driver failed to use appropriate care when operating the vehicle.
According to Massachusetts law, drivers must operate their vehicles with the same ordinary care and skill that a reasonable and prudent driver would use. This involves things like following the speed limit and refraining from driving while intoxicated. One of the biggest dangers facing Uber passengers is distracted driving, which includes everything from texting to talking with passengers, adjusting the stereo, consulting a map or navigation device, and eating behind the wheel. If a police report regarding an accident indicates that a traffic violation occurred, this is often helpful evidence in showing that the driver acted negligently.Seek Guidance from an Experienced Boston Uber Accident Attorney
Uber accidents involve complex legal issues and can create serious headaches for a victim. At Breakstone, White & Gluck, we have the experience and expertise to thoroughly investigate complex car accident cases and obtain the best result for our clients. We are not intimidated by large corporations or insurance companies that rarely have an injured individual’s best interests in mind. We serve injured people throughout Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Plymouth, Worcester, Lawrence, and Springfield.
We also offer a free consultation to discuss your situation and to help you learn how we can assist you. Call us now at 1-800-379-1244 or contact us online to set up your appointment with an Uber accident lawyer in the Boston area.