Getting into an Uber at the end of the night is supposed to make your trip home safer, not more dangerous. But for some Boston residents, the decision to get into an Uber leads to disaster.
If your Uber driver has endangered your safety by engaging in aggressive or reckless driving behaviors or ignoring Massachusetts’ Hands Free Law, or has otherwise caused you harm, you may be able to recover substantial compensation by filing a Boston Uber accident lawsuit.
One of the skilled rideshare accident attorneys in our extensive network can advise you on what kinds of damages may be available to you in a civil claim that a standard insurance payout may not cover. They can also help ensure that you are not taken advantage of by an insurance adjustor or by Uber’s corporate policy. If you need help connecting with an expert Boston Uber accident lawyer, contact CarAccident.Law today.
Boston Uber Accident Statistics
Ubers account for a sizable amount of Boston ‘s traffic, both from picking up passengers as well as deliveries. Boston Uber rides are by far the most significant proportion of the company’s business in the state, as 46 percent of Uber rides in Massachusetts started in the City of Boston in 2021.
According to data produced by the Transportation Network Company Division of the Department of Public Utilities, there were 1,098 reported rideshare crashes in Boston during the year 2021, which included Uber accidents.
Uber Drivers and an Increased Risk of Accidents
The data shows that taking an Uber in Boston is much more dangerous than riding in one anywhere else in the state. Uber accidents account for just two percent of total motor vehicle collisions across the State of Massachusetts. However, in the City of Boston, Uber and Lyft drivers were involved in one out of every four recorded crashes in 2021.
Common Causes of Uber Accidents in Boston
In your own vehicle, certain factors like the weather, road conditions, and other drivers are outside of your control. In an Uber, the driver may make decisions that you yourself would not. Uber drivers have been reported engaging in the following behaviors before causing a car accident:
Massachusetts has passed a Hands Free Law effective February 2020. Fines of up to $500 are in place for anyone using a handheld device, such as a smartphone, without putting it in hands free mode. The law was enacted after the number of distracted driving crashes rose 170 percent from 2014-2016 in Massachusetts.
Using a cellphone while driving in Boston can cause serious injury and damage. And yet, many Uber drivers use their phones to find customers, schedule pickups in the queue, play music, and for necessary directions in new neighborhoods. Taking their eyes off the road for even a few seconds can have devastating consequences for an Uber driver’s vehicle occupants and others on the road around them.
Speeding is estimated to be the reason behind approximately 25 percent of all fatal crashes in Boston, according to the Boston Herald. Speeding motorists killed more drivers, passengers, and motorcyclists in 2020 than any other time in the last four years, the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition reports.
Uber and other rideshare drivers make more money the more customers that they take on. Uber drivers face a dangerous incentive to speed in order to get through one ride and onto the next as quickly as possible, so they can fit more rides per day. Your Uber driver’s speeding may put you at risk of a severe or even fatal car accident. If you or your loved one was harmed due to an Uber driver’s speeding, the accident attorneys in CarAccident.Law’s network can advise you about what kinds of damages may be available in a civil claim.
Uber drivers in Boston, MA are currently considered to be independent contractors, not employees of Uber. This status has been and continues to be the subject of contentious debate statewide. As freelancers, Uber drivers’ histories and abilities behind the wheel are not subject to a stringent internal vetting process. When an Uber driver has a record of aggressive driving, such as sudden lane changes, tailgating, rear end collisions, side-swipes, or more, they should not be considered as a safe option by the platform. If your Uber driver has a history of unsafe or aggressive driving and you are involved in an accident due to their poor decisions, an experienced lawyer can help hold Uber responsible for your injuries and costs.
Because of the independent contractor status for Uber drivers, you may find yourself being picked up by a car in need of repairs. Uber drivers and their vehicles are not held to tested, company-wide standards. Instead, Uber’s minimum requirements include that vehicles are 16 years old or newer, have four doors, and are in “good condition with no cosmetic damage [or] commercial branding.”
If the state of your Uber driver’s vehicle caused the crash or worsened your injuries, speak to an Uber accident lawyer in Boston.
What Happens if My Uber is in an Accident in Boston?
- Call 911: If you or anyone else has been injured, your first priority should be seeking medical care. Call 911 immediately if someone else hasn’t already. It is generally advisable to let paramedics take you to the hospital to be examined by a doctor, even if you believe you are not injured. It is important to rule out invisible injuries which you may not immediately feel the effects of, such as concussion, whiplash, internal bleeding, and more.
- Stay on the scene and collect information: If you feel safe to do so, stay near the car for long enough to collect the driver’s information, take photographs or videos, and write down the names, emails, and phone numbers of any witnesses or other parties involved in your Uber accident.
- Report the accident: Many Uber passengers may see the crash as a delay in their day and want to keep moving. However, your Uber driver is required under state law to report any accident that involves over $1,000 in property damage, an injury, or death. If your Uber driver does not report the accident, you may do so yourself and share your side of the story.
- Notify Uber: Notify Uber of the accident online through their website or in the Help section of the Uber app on your phone. As part of the reporting process, you may be asked to share details about what occurred, such as where you were located, a description of the car or cars involved, and any injuries you may have suffered. It is important to have consulted with a doctor before you estimate any of your injuries through an Uber accident report.
- Speak to a Boston Uber accident attorney: Uber may deny your insurance claim if the driver was not logged into the app during the crash. Before you accept a settlement offer, speak to a local Uber accident lawyer to ensure that you are not leaving money on the table.
What Should I Do if a Boston Uber Driver Crashes into My Vehicle?
Uber insurance covers passengers during a ride, but if you have been hit by an Uber driver while behind the wheel of your own car, or as a pedestrian, you may also be able to file a claim against the company’s insurance policy. If you have been hit by a Boston Uber driver, follow the same steps outlined above. Make sure to file a police report and to write down any and all contact information that may be necessary later on. If you aren’t sure what to collect at the scene of the accident, call CarAccident.Law.
After an Uber accident in Boston, a lawyer in our network can assist with any of the following insurance claims:
- Your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy (also known as no-fault insurance coverage)
- Uber’s corporate insurance policy
- The Uber driver’s personal liability insurance policy, if they were not logged into the app during the accident
Because of the complexity of filing an insurance claim against an Uber driver who was totally or partially at fault for an accident, it is advisable to consult with a Boston Uber accident attorney to ensure that you avoid low settlement offers and receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.
What Happens if I’m Injured in a Boston Accident while Driving for Uber?
Uber offers different levels of coverage depending on whether you were waiting for a ride request, en route to pick up a rider, or completing a trip. If you are offline or if your app was off, your own personal insurance applies, according to Uber’s corporate policy. Additionally, delivery drivers may have different levels of coverage than rideshare drivers.
If you were injured while driving for Uber, and if Uber refuses to cover the extent of your injuries, speak to an Uber accident attorney serving the Boston area. The experts at CarAccident.Law can help build the strongest case possible and ensure that you are not left on the hook for expenses that should be covered.
Does Uber Cover Crashes?
Uber maintains commercial auto insurance for its drivers. Uber carries up to $1 million in civil liability coverage. However, there is a tiered system for when and how Uber’s auto insurance will apply to an accident.
For example, if an Uber driver causes an accident during a break or while their app was offline, the injured person and the Uber driver would have to rely on their own personal insurance coverage. Uber’s corporate insurance policy would not pay for anyone’s medical bills in this scenario.
In the event that an Uber driver is involved in an accident while available for passengers, but before having picked someone up, the situation becomes more complicated. Uber drivers must rely first on their own personal auto insurance during a situation, but there is some third-party liability coverage available. Uber’s policy limits for drivers waiting for passengers in Boston are:
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
Finally, if an Uber passenger is harmed in an accident, or if there is a crash while the Uber driver is actively completing a ride, Uber maintains the following auto insurance in case of a covered accident:
- $1,000,000 third-party liability
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury and/or first-party injury insurance
- Contingent comprehensive and collision, after a $2,500 deductible
How Do I File a Claim on Uber’s Insurance?
To file a claim on Uber’s insurance, you will need to report the incident under the “Trip Issues” section of the app. You can also call Uber directly and speak with an agent who can help.
Before you handle the situation on your own, though, remember that Uber’s insurance may try to deny certain claims in order to protect their own bottom line. While Uber’s $1 million policy offers much more generous compensation than the standard Massachusetts mandatory minimum collision coverage, the tech giant also has a history of failing to take responsibility for its drivers’ actions. If you need help with your claim, a Boston Uber accident attorney can help ensure that you are not taken advantage of by accepting a lower settlement amount than you deserve.
How is Liability Determined in Boston Uber Accident Lawsuits?
Determining which party was at fault, and to what degree, is a complicated and extremely important step in the car accident settlement process. Which driver(s) is considered to be at fault helps determine who can recover compensation, how much, and from whose insurance.
While Boston adheres to Massachusetts’s no-fault auto insurance laws, this does not mean that fault is not a factor in Uber accidents. In addition to individual driver liability, Uber may also be held liable for their drivers’ actions if an accident occurred while they were completing a ride or waiting for a passenger.
In Boston, more than one driver can be considered at fault for an accident. Even if your Uber driver was not 100 percent at fault for the crash, they may be partially to blame for your injuries. In this case, you may be able to recover additional compensation from Uber’s corporate auto insurance policy, and not just the second driver’s.
Recovering Compensation after a Boston Uber Accident
No-fault auto insurance policies, like Uber’s insurance, have their limitations when it comes to recovering damages. Massachusetts requires drivers to carry Bodily Injury coverage of at least $20,000 per person, or $40,000 per accident, in addition to Personal Injury Protection of at least $8,000 per person, per accident. However, your expenses after a car crash in Boston can quickly spiral past minimum coverage limits.
Uber’s insurance coverage is much higher, but filing an insurance claim against the company also has its limitations. An insurance claim only covers medical costs and missed wages. From a civil lawsuit, you may be able to recover additional damages like pain and suffering, emotional trauma, estimated future damages, and other losses which are generally not covered by insurance.
What Evidence Do You Need in a Boston Uber Collision Lawsuit?
After being involved in an Uber accident, Boston residents need to provide a certain level of proof in order to bring a civil lawsuit. For this reason, filing a police report at the scene of the accident is often crucial to filing a successful Boston Uber collision lawsuit. The police may make certain at-fault determinations in their paperwork. Additionally, your own testimony and the testimony of witnesses and medical and vocational experts can help build your case.
Boston Uber Accident Lawsuit Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations to file a lawsuit after you have been injured in an Uber accident in Boston is three years from the day of the collision. However, there are certain factors that can extend or shorten the Massachusetts statute of limitations, such as discovering the identity of a hit and run driver or injuries caused by the crash that do not emerge immediately. For this reason, it is crucial to connect with an accident attorney as soon as possible after a collision with an Uber driver.
Is it Worth it to Hire a Lawyer for a Boston Uber Accident Lawsuit?
Car accidents are messy, sometimes traumatic situations that take a physical, emotional, and financial toll on affected parties. When you file an insurance claim, you are working to recover money from profit-driven insurance companies. What’s more, you are doing so while dealing with an injury. Hiring an accident lawyer to help protect your interests after a Boston Uber collision may be one of the most important investments you can make in your wellbeing during this time.
The other side has dozens of insurance experts, corporate attorneys, and more, all paid around the clock to protect the company’s bottom line. You can have a professional on your side as well to level the playing field. A Boston lawyer can help build up your Uber accident case, file all necessary state and local paperwork, communicate with witnesses, negotiate a fair settlement, and represent you in court if necessary.
What Are Uber’s Biggest Lawsuits?
Uber has successfully avoided liability many times for its drivers’ actions, but in several of the following cases, plaintiffs stand to recover large payouts from the company:
- $63 million claim: William Good, a 31 year old chef from Boston, is currently seeking $63 million in damages against the company after a car crash that left him irreversibly quadriplegic. In addition to his extensive medical damages, the case involves the possibility of punitive damages against Uber, as the driver – who swerved into a parked car and moved his paralyzed passenger after the crash – should never have been hired to drive professionally after a lengthy record of poor driving.
- $674,000 settlement: In a 2021 Colorado verdict, Uber was ordered to pay $674,000, including $91,000 in medical expenses after a driver started to leave the curb before his passenger had fully entered the backseat. The plaintiff suffered a dislocation of his patella from the accident after his right leg was caught under the rear tire.
- $575,644 settlement: In 2021, a passenger in Iowa successfully sued Uber after an uninsured minor crossed into the center lane and hit the car he was riding in. The injured passenger’s medical expenses far exceeded the at-fault minor driver’s capacity to pay, and additional damages were brought under Uber’s UIM coverage.
- $100,000 settlement: In 2022, a nine year old pedestrian was struck by an Uber driver on their way to pick up a driver in New York. This settlement was an especially meaningful victory, given the context of a 2014 lawsuit in San Francisco against Uber where an Uber driver struck and killed six year old Sofia Liu on New Year’s Eve on the way to pick up a passenger. That case helped establish Uber’s insurance coverage extension to drivers who are on their way to pick up passengers, as opposed to only when they are in the process of completing rides.
Boston Uber Accident Lawyer: FAQs
The attorneys in our network are frequently asked the following questions about Uber accidents.
Has anyone sued Uber and won?
Suing Uber and winning is possible, but made more difficult by the company’s efforts to shirk responsibility for its drivers actions. When building your case, you can benefit from the professional help and guidance that an Uber accident attorney in Boston can provide.
How do I get money from my Uber settlement?
After a successful settlement, you will receive a check from Uber in the mail. You can deduct attorneys’ fees and consider the matter closed after that time.
How long does it take to settle with Uber?
It can take several weeks to months to settle with Uber. One benefit of settling, instead of going to trial is that you may receive your payment sooner. However, in case you are offered too low a settlement amount, a Boston Uber accident attorney can argue for your rights in civil court.
How many accidents happen in Ubers?
One out of every four Boston accidents involves an Uber driver. In 2019 and 2020, there were 101 traffic deaths reported across Uber’s platform, including drivers, riders, and passing motorcyclists, bicyclists, scooter riders, and pedestrians.
How do I contact Uber support?
To contact Uber support, go to the Help section of the app and select “I was in an accident,” or call support directly through the app.
Connect with a Boston Uber Accident Attorney Today
If you have been involved in an Uber accident in Boston, you are not alone. Uber traffic incidents and injuries have been on the rise, and civil settlements that account for your injuries, losses, and suffering are possible. For help, contact CarAccident.Law to get in touch with the right Boston Uber accident lawyer for your case.