Whiplash After a St. Louis Uber Car Accident

Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that is quite common in car accidents. It occurs especially in rear-end collisions where the head is jolted with force forward and backward in a whip-like movement.

If you’ve suffered this injury in a St. Louis Uber car accident, it is important to note that these cases tend to get a bit more complicated than other accidents.

Here’s what you need to know.

soft tissue injury

Steps to Take for a Successful Claim

Here are the steps you should take if you’ve been the victim of an Uber car accident:

  • If your injuries allow it, write down the names and contact details of the Uber driver, the other driver, and any eyewitnesses.
  • Get insurance information from all the drivers involved in the collision. Uber drivers often carry insurance and you will file your claim through their insurance company (if they were at fault,) and not through Uber. The ride-sharing company becomes liable only if the at-fault driver’s insurance company denies your claim or if the driver is uninsured. Uber has insurance for these cases. So, don’t assume that you will sue Uber and cash in a big check as this is rarely the case.
  • Take photos of the Uber car, the other vehicle, your injuries, and your Uber receipt.
  • Contact the police. You can use their report as hard evidence when filing your claim.

Seek Medical Care As Soon as Possible

It doesn’t matter if you were an Uber passenger or driving your own car. You should always seek medical attention right away even if you don’t notice anything wrong. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that doesn’t always show symptoms immediately after the crash. It may take days until you notice the first signs.

A doctor will run tests to rule out any soft tissue injuries and provide you with the medical care you need. Their examination will help greatly in your compensation case as the attorney of the at-fault party will try to argue that something else caused the whiplash. And, they will be successful if you don’t have any evidence to back up your claim.

Make sure to follow their recommendations closely. The insurance company will use every opportunity they get to minimize your claim. Don’t give them any reasons to argue for a smaller settlement than what you deserve.

Here’s What You Should Know About Uber’s $1 Million Insurance Policy 

If you were injured in an Uber car accident, you likely think that if you file a car accident claim, you may take advantage of that large, $1 million insurance policy the company has.

However, don’t assume you are entitled to a $1 million payout. Car accident claims are much more complex, and the policy can apply differently for Uber drivers and passengers.

Understanding the Policy

If you are a passenger taking an official Uber ride, meaning the driver accepted your request and the ride details appear in the app, then you are generally protected by the $1 million insurance policy, as are any other third party victims like pedestrians affected.

This doesn’t mean you get $1 million in damages, however. It simply means that you are covered for all the injuries or pain and suffering the car accident creates. For example, the minimum coverage in Missouri for bodily injury in auto insurance is only $50,000, which means an Uber car accident claim has a lot more protection.

It Doesn’t Mean Uber Will Automatically Pay

There is an issue here that is related to the Uber driver, specifically that they are not employed by the company. Uber drivers operate as independent contractors, which means Uber may not be always liable for an accident.

Employers are almost always liable if an employee makes a mistake. The only exception would be if the employee did something illegal. However, because Uber drivers are independent contractors, the company may deny liability for an accident, in which case that $1 million insurance policy goes away. 

All Uber drivers are required to carry personal auto insurance, which does kick in whenever the Uber policy doesn’t. However, it’s probably safe to say that there aren’t many Uber drivers that have a policy anywhere close to $1 million.

How Would They Deny a Claim?

Uber, or their insurance company, likely has no intention of giving you money, even if morally they should. Because all their drivers are independent contractors, they can easily protect themselves from liability.

For example, if the accident took place because the driver was distracted, Uber can claim that’s not their fault. The driver should have been more careful, and pay attention to the road, and it’s not the company’s legal responsibility. 

An Uber insurance claim can be very difficult, and you may end up having to take the company to court and get a judge to rule on whether or not Uber should have pay for your injuries or not. This does not mean that you should settle for less than you are entitled to. An experienced car accident attorney will understand what your claim is worth and can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

Speak With a St. Louis Uber Accident Lawyer

Uber accidents are not as straightforward as regular collisions and victims often get confused about who is liable, against who they should file a claim, and so on. An Uber auto accident lawyer can help you through the legal chaos and ensure that your claim will be successful.

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Updated: April 28, 2020