Every day, Alexandria’s residents, tourists, and professionals use a variety of methods to commute in and out of the city. One of the main methods is by using the ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. The pressure to maintain high customer ratings may lead to unsafe driving behaviors like speeding. Every time an Alexandria resident gets into an Uber, there is a chance of being involved in an accident.
If you or your loved one were involved in an Uber accident in Alexandria, VA, you have the right to pursue compensation.
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At Regan Zambri Long, our Alexandria car accident lawyers will guide you through the claims process and fight to protect your rights.
We offer a free consultation for all our clients. You will speak with a compassionate attorney who will give you a reasonable assessment of your case. Call today to get the process started.
You need to realize that ridesharing accidents and regular car accidents are wildly different for one main reason: more parties can be held accountable in an Uber accident than in a typical car accident. Therefore, your personal injury case will be significantly more complex when you are involved in a rideshare crash.
It is important to keep in mind that Virginia is an at-fault state, which means the driver who caused the car accident will be held liable for all damages. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a typical car accident first. Usually, those crashes involve two drivers. Since Virginia is an at-fault state, the negligent driver’s insurance company will foot the bill for the cost of the accident.
In an Uber accident, determining liability (and ultimately who should cover the cost of the damages) is more complicated. The different parties that may be held accountable in a rideshare accident are:
In addition to the multiple parties involved, the time of the accident can also influence who is held liable. If the ridesharing driver was logged into the app and in the process of picking up or dropping off a passenger, the ridesharing company’s insurance typically comes into play. However, if the driver was not on duty and just using their vehicle for personal use, then their personal insurance coverage would likely be the primary coverage. If the Uber driver was logged into the app but didn’t have a passenger in the car and was not on the way to pick up one, both insurance companies might share liability.
Some insurance companies have exclusions in their policies for commercial use and may not cover accidents while working as a rideshare service. All these complexities make it essential to have an experienced car accident lawyer by your side. The personal injury attorneys at Regan Zambri Long will expertly navigate your case against large and well-represented rideshare corporations.
In Virginia, Uber and Lyft are regulated under the Transportation Network Company laws. These laws provide requirements for both the companies and drivers. Transportation network companies, like Uber and Lyft, must do the following in order to operate in Alexandria, Virginia:
Uber drivers must also meet specific requirements under the law. They must:
All accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, including human error, road conditions, weather, and mechanical failure. Rideshare accidents are no exception. At Regan Zambri Long, we look for one common denominator in a car accident: negligence. If your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, our car accident lawyers will work tirelessly to recover compensation.
The most common causes of car accidents during an Uber ride are:
One of the primary causes of all car accidents, but especially an Uber accident, is distracted driving. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), distracted driving was a contributing factor in 8% of all crash fatalities in 2021.
With their eyes frequently switching between the road and the GPS-enabled app, a ridesharing driver can easily be distracted, leading to accidents. They often also feel pressure to accept rides quickly, which can cause them to divert their attention from the road.
Other factors, like being unfamiliar with the city layout or traffic patterns can cause distraction. Speaking to different passengers can cause cognitive distraction, which can lead to a devastating accident.
Driver fatigue, or drowsy driving, is the loss of driver attention from feeling sleepy or tired. Many Uber drivers work long hours, often juggling this job with another to make ends meet. With long hours on the road comes the increased likelihood of drowsy driving, which impairs reaction times and can lead to serious accidents.
Reckless driving and speeding are other prevalent causes of serious crashes. Under pressure to complete as many rides as possible to increase earnings, some drivers may disregard speed limits and traffic rules, increasing the risk of a car accident. An Uber driver can spend a lot of time in heavily populated areas with a high volume of traffic, pedestrians, and cyclists, which can increase the risk of collisions.
If an Uber driver neglects to regularly service their vehicle or ignores warning signals, mechanical failures can occur, leading to accidents. Uber does not require vehicle inspections on cars that are less than five years old. All vehicle maintenance is done by the driver. However, cars older than five years must have an annual service check.
Engine lights, faulty tires, and other warning signs can occur at any time. If Uber only makes its drivers get their vehicles checked once per year, that leaves plenty of time for poor maintenance to contribute to a car accident.
We have all learned since grade school that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is deadly. Unfortunately, it is all too common to hear of terrible crashes that are caused by drunk driving. Impaired driving causes slower reaction times, poor judgment, decreases cognitive function, and can cause the driver to fall asleep at the wheel.
Uber has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to its drivers operating vehicles under the influence. If a customer suspects their driver is drunk, they are to end the ride immediately, exit the car, and call 911.
We know that the weather and the road conditions cannot be controlled. However, how we react to our driving is fully up to us. A Uber driver has the responsibility to drive exceptionally safely in snow, rain, fog, or other poor weather conditions. They must also use extra caution if they are driving on dangerous roads.
If your driver did not exercise caution, follow traffic laws, and do everything in their ability to make sure your trip was as safe as possible during bad weather, that is negligence.
Understanding the causes behind a car accident is extremely important for car accident victims. Not only will it help with your car accident claim, but it will help prevent future crashes. If your car accident was caused by one of the factors listed above, call the Regan Zambri Long law firm for a free case evaluation. If you suspect something else caused your car accident, reach out to one of our personal injury attorneys. We will help determine the cause and hold the negligent parties accountable.
A car accident, no matter if it’s a minor fender bender or a major head-on collision, can result in extremely serious injuries. The severity of the injuries depends on several key factors, including the speed of the vehicles when they collided, the type of crash that occurred, and whether the occupants in the car were wearing seatbelts.
Some of the most common injuries sustained in a ridesharing car accident are:
Whiplash: This is a neck injury that often occurs during rear-end collisions when the sudden force causes the neck to whip back and forth rapidly.
Scrapes, cuts, and lacerations: Loose items inside the car can become projectiles during a crash, causing scrapes, cuts, or even puncture wounds.
Head Injuries: These can range from concussions to more serious traumatic brain injuries. They often occur if the person’s head hits the steering wheel, windows, or other parts of the car.
Broken Ribs: Ribs are delicate and can easily break with the impact of a car crash.
Internal Injuries: The impact of a collision can cause internal injuries including damage to the kidneys, liver, spleen, lungs, heart, or other major organs. Internal bleeding does not always present itself right away, which is why it is essential for car accident victims to seek medical attention immediately following the crash.
Broken Bones and Fractures: Arms, legs, hips, and wrists often get broken in car accidents. Severe breaks can cause infection and may even require surgery to fully repair.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Not all injuries are physical. Many car accident victims experience emotional and mental distress, including symptoms of PTSD. Symptoms include nightmares, agitation, flashbacks, and insomnia.
These injuries can be physically, mentally, and financially debilitating. No one plans on getting into a catastrophic accident. A car accident lawyer will help you recover fair compensation for the personal damage and property damage from your accident.
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Damages is a sum of money a person is entitled to after another party causes harm through a breach of duty or a violation of a right. Every driver on the road has a duty to their fellow travelers: keep their eyes and mind focused on the road. Anything less than driving with extreme care and caution is a breach of that duty. If your injuries were sustained from an accident caused by a negligent driver, you have the right to compensation.
There are two main forms of damages that your car accident lawyer will work to secure: economic and non-economic damages:
Economic damages are damages with a direct monetary value. These include current and future medical expenses. If your injuries have resulted in you being unable to work, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. If your injuries are so severe that they affect your ability to earn an income in the future, you may also claim for loss of earning capacity. Additionally, if your personal property was damaged in the accident, like a cellphone or laptop, the cost of replacing or repairing these items can also be included in economic damages.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, don’t have a direct monetary value, but rather compensate for intangible losses. This can include pain and suffering, which covers not only physical pain but also emotional distress caused by the accident. If the injuries have resulted in permanent disability or disfigurement, or have considerably impacted your quality of life, you may be entitled to compensation for these losses.
In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. These are not meant to compensate the victim but rather to punish the at-fault driver. Punitive damages are intended to deter the other driver from behaving in a reckless manner in the future. Although these are not commonly awarded in rideshare accident cases, you may speak with your car accident lawyer if you feel punitive damages should be applied.
Being involved in a ridesharing accident with Uber can be a confusing and stressful experience. However, knowing the appropriate steps to take can help ensure your safety and protect your rights.
First and foremost, ensure the safety of everyone involved. Check yourself and others for injuries. Even minor symptoms can indicate serious injuries, so don’t dismiss anything – seek medical care. Call 911 immediately. If the Uber driver or other driver tries to stop you from calling, do not listen. A police report is crucial when filing an insurance claim.
Once your immediate medical needs are taken care of, start to document the accident scene. Take pictures of the vehicles involved, any visible injuries, the road conditions, and any other relevant aspects of the scene. If there are any witnesses, get their contact information. Also, note the time, location, and any relevant details about the incident that you might forget later.
Next, exchange information with the other drivers involved. This should include their name, contact information, driver’s license number, license plate number, and the other driver’s insurance company details. If you’re a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, obtain your driver’s details as well.
The next step is to notify the ridesharing company. Uber has in-app features to report a car accident. Following the accident, you should receive a message from a representative of the company to gather information about the incident.
Finally, in the days following the accident, reach out to an Alexandria Uber accident lawyer at Regan Zambri Long. Our law firm will handle all correspondence with the insurance company, the rideshare services, and other parties involved in the accident. A car accident lawyer at Regan Zambri Long will help you pursue damages and secure financial compensation for your medical bills and property damage. Remember, each step you take following a ridesharing accident is crucial for your safety and for building a potential legal case, if necessary.
Personal injury law is complicated, time-consuming, and overwhelming. It’s true, there isn’t a law stating you need to have a car accident lawyer in order to pursue a claim. However, working with a local accident lawyer in Alexandria is your best chance at winning the highest settlement possible.
The Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyers have been serving the residents of Alexandria for over two decades. We are locals ourselves and we are committed to fighting for our neighbors’ rights. We deeply understand the chaos, shock, trauma, and grief that come along in the aftermath of a car accident. We know we cannot change what happened to you or your loved one, but we can certainly fight for justice in your circumstances.
At Regan Zambri Long, your attorney works on a contingency basis. That means all legal fees are only collected if we secure a settlement or verdict in your favor. Until then, we will do all the heavy lifting – conduct a thorough investigation, gather evidence, speak to eyewitnesses, make sure the paperwork is filed within Virginia’s car accident claim time limit, collect insurance information, and prepare for trial if necessary – on our time. Your only job during the claims process is to take care of your well-being and focus on your recovery. Call today for your free consultation.