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Posted in: Safety

Is Ridesharing Impacting the Number of Auto Accidents in San Jose and other California Metropolitan Cities?

Feb 14, 2019

Our San Jose Car Accident Lawyers Have Answers for What You Need to Know

Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), like Uber and Lyft, have claimed their services will help reduce the problem of traffic. Despite their rise as a popular means of transportation in California cities, opinions vary regarding their impact on traffic and automobile accidents.

A 2017 online article by Lyft’s co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green titled the “End of Traffic,” argues that traffic can be improved by carpooling. “When people are encouraged to drive together, there are fewer cars on the road, and traffic goes down significantly,” the article contends.

While this may seem like a reasonable conclusion, do Uber, Lyft, and other TNCs actually reduce traffic?

A study conducted in 2018 by Bruce Schaller, Principal at Schaller Consulting and an expert on issues surrounding the rise of new mobility services in major U.S. cities, says no.

His study assessed the impact ridesharing services, such as Uber, have on large American cities, such as San Francisco and San Jose, citing at least a 160 percent increase of cars driving on urban streets. The popularity of these services in metropolitan cities essentially puts more cars on the roads, which can contribute to heavier traffic.

Ridesharing has made automobile transportation easier than before. However, since these apps are likely putting more cars on the road, they’re probably also implicated in the number of deaths by cars, City Lab reports. Additionally, rideshare drivers, such as those contracted by Uber, may not operate their vehicles safely, which can also lead to accidents.

Why Are TNCs so Popular in Cities like San Francisco and San Jose?

Uber and other TNCs are classified separately from taxi cabs because they conduct business by pre-arranging rides as opposed to allowing passengers to hail rides from the street.

The service has become increasingly popular for its convenience and price, especially in major metropolitan areas. In fact, 70% of Uber and Lyft trips occurred in just nine metropolitan areas, including San Francisco.

Uber and other TNCs are in California to stay. However, it’s important to understand their impact on the roads and what to do if you’re injured in an accident while using Uber. Dunnion Law and its team of San Jose car accident lawyers are here to assist you and explain your legal options after an accident. 

Can You Sue After Being Injured by an Uber Driver?

While your ability to file a lawsuit will depend upon the circumstances of your particular case, the answer is yes.

If you were injured in an accident while using Uber in the state of California, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. However, there are many factors, such as whether or not it was the Uber driver’s fault and if you were a passenger or bystander, that can affect your ability to sue.

For this reason, it’s in your best interest to consult one of our San Jose car accident lawyers at Dunnion Law if you’ve been injured. We’re experienced in handling these types of auto accident cases and can review every detail of your situation to determine whether or not you have the grounds to sue and receive compensation for your injuries.

Uber vs. the Driver: Who is Legally Responsible?

Young Woman Talking On Smart Phone While Driving Stock Photo

Though the circumstances are different for every case, it is generally a challenge to file a lawsuit against Uber directly if one of their drivers is responsible for causing the accident that led to your injuries.

If you are injured while using Uber and your driver is found at fault, you will likely need to sue the driver (not Uber directly). However, Uber offers their drivers a $1,000,000 liability insurance policy that may cover your medical bills and other costs in the event of an accident.

Uber drivers are also provided underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage up to $1,000,000 in the event that the other driver involved is found at fault but does not have enough insurance to cover the injuries or related damage.

Whoever you believe is responsible, it is vitally important to have a knowledgeable auto accident attorney review your case and assist you with notifying the insurance company, and filing the proper paperwork. This will ensure you have the best chance of receiving the compensation you need to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and more.

What If You Are a Pedestrian Injured by an Uber Driver? 

Woman Pushing Baby In Stroller Stock Photo

Seeking compensation for the actions of an Uber driver can be challenging if you aren’t a passenger or if the driver is off-duty. If the driver wasn’t on duty at the time of your accident, you may not be able to file a claim under Uber’s $1,000,000 policy. Instead, you would need to file with the driver’s personal insurance company, which may not fully cover your injuries. 

Each state has a different law regarding liability and insurance coverage for Uber drivers. In California, Uber’s insurance policy applies any time the driver is logged onto the Uber app. In other words, if you’re a pedestrian and are injured by an Uber driver, you will likely be covered under the company’s insurance policy if the driver was on duty.

Hiring an experienced California attorney who is familiar with the laws surrounding automobile accidents involving Uber can make the process of filing a lawsuit less stressful, and ensure that your rights are protected.

Why Dunnion Law?

Since our founding over 40 years ago, Dunnion Law has fought passionately to protect the rights of injured Californians. We are a personal injury law firm that exclusively represents individuals who have been injured due to the negligent or reckless actions of another individual.

As the use of Uber and other TNCs continues to increase in San Jose, San Francisco, and across California, the likelihood of automobile accidents is expected to increase as well. We understand the legal system and have the experience and resources to handle your case if you are injured while using Uber or another ridesharing service.

Contact our San Jose car accident lawyers at (831) 373-8035 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation today. We’re ready to help you with your Uber, or other, car accident case.

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