Although Uber burst onto the scene as a transportation option in major U.S. cities in 2009, it did not begin offering ridesharing services in Kentucky until spring 2014. The popular rideshare service began serving Louisville, Lexington, and Bowling Green, and later expanded throughout the state in 2018.
Uber riders love the flexibility and convenience the service offers. Residents and visitors alike use the service to get them around town and help them get an affordable ride to their destination of choice. Yet, negligent Uber drivers put riders, other motorists, and pedestrians at risk for injury when they make poor choices behind the wheel.
If you suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident involving an Uber driver, Kentucky law permits you to seek compensation for losses related to your injuries. Suffering a severe injury can burden your life with layer-upon-layer of physical, emotional, and financial pain. The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart understands these challenges and has the experience and resources to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us at (888) 782-9090 for a free consultation to discuss the events leading up to your Uber accident, your injuries, and the best path forward for your situation.
The skilled personal injury lawyers at The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart has more than 40 years of experience representing accident victims, negotiating with insurance companies, settling injury claims, and going to trial when necessary.
The firm’s commitment to professional excellence, passion for justice, and dedication to client advocacy have led to the recovery of millions of dollars in damages from settlements and court-awarded damages.
Recent cases include a $1.7 million settlement for a family injured in a truck accident, a $1.05 million settlement for a client whose vehicle was rear-ended by a semi-truck, and $1.45 million for a family after a driver hit their child on the side of the road. These examples do not guarantee a specific outcome for your Uber accident claim, but the team at Flora Templeton Stuart has the resources and experience to go up against large companies like Uber and their insurance carriers, giving you a chance to get the compensation you deserve for losses related to your Uber accident injuries.
Accidents involving Uber take place more than you might think. While marketed as more convenient than taxis and safer than driving while intoxicated, Uber’s drivers nevertheless have contributed to or found themselves in thousands of accidents, 97 of which killed 107 persons during a recent two-year period. Ridesharaing has in general caused a 2 to 3 percent bump in U.S. traffic fatalities. More than 3,000 sexual assaults took place in Uber vehicles. Uber has not released non-fatal accident statistics.
As accidents proliferated, states and cities across the country began to pass laws and enact regulations to curb the problems that came along with ridesharing. Kentucky is no different. Cars must date from 2004 or newer. Cars must undergo annual inspections. Drivers must pass a defensive driving class and must take eight hour breaks after 12 straight hours in driver mode, and must take 10-hour breaks after 16 hours in driver mode during any given 24-hour period.
If Uber fails to enforce these mandates or the driver skirts them, victims of any resulting accidents may have a good case for negligence.
Many different situations can lead to a traffic collision, but some occur more frequently when rideshare companies like Uber play a role. Each crash has its own characteristics, but many Uber accidents result from the negligent driving behaviors of an Uber driver.
Some examples of scenarios that can lead to a dangerous, possibly deadly, Uber accident include:
All drivers deal with distractions when they are behind the wheel, but Uber drivers often deal with more distractions than most. Kentucky law forbids all motorists to text and drive, but some Uber drivers still use the Uber app on their cell phones while driving. Uber drivers also have to deal with chatty, unruly, and sometimes inebriated riders, especially when they take fares at night.
Other driver distractions that can lead to an Uber accident include eating and drinking, reaching for something, adjusting vehicle features, watching an event outside of the vehicle, personal grooming, and daydreaming. Not all distractions are illegal, but anything that takes a driver’s attention away from their job can lead to a serious accident.
Uber drivers who use illegal drugs or consume alcohol before driving put riders and other motorists at risk for accident and injury. Prescription medications, when not taken in accordance with a doctor’s orders, can also impair drivers and lead to a potentially deadly crash. Uber drivers may earn a living behind the wheel, but Kentucky does not hold them to the same standards as truck drivers and other professional drivers.
For instance, Uber drivers do not need a commercial driver’s license. They also do not have to comply with the strict 0.04 blood alcohol limit that defines illegal intoxication for commercial drivers. Like any other motorist, an Uber driver who gets behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol experienced impaired driving ability and puts the public in danger.
Uber knows some of their drivers give rides without getting adequate sleep, so they have implemented a 12-hour time limit for drivers to be signed into the app. Unfortunately, this only partially addresses the problem, and still leaves many Uber drivers operating without proper rest. The limit does not include breaks when drivers are signed out of the Uber app. Some Uber drivers also drive for other rideshare companies, so they sign out of Uber and into another app.
This means some Uber drivers drive for far more than 12 hours per day. In other cases, driving for Uber represents a part-time income for motorists who have other ‘day jobs’ or stay home with small children during the day. Regardless of the exact situation, it’s not uncommon for an Uber driver to put in a long day and not get the sleep they need before transporting riders.
Driver fatigue represents an extreme danger to the public. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that 18 hours without sleep impairs a driver’s abilities as much as a 0.08 breath alcohol level, the legal limit for motorists without commercial licenses. Uber drivers who keep demanding schedules on a long-term basis suffer from fatigue that can result in a dangerous accident if they fall asleep at the wheel or nod off while driving.
Uber riders want to get to their destinations as quickly as possible, and Uber drivers have an incentive to hurry because they get paid a fixed amount for each ride they provide. This means the more passengers they give rides to on a shift, the more money they can make. Speeding can mean a driver is going over the posted speed limit or a driver is going too fast for traffic, road, or weather conditions.
In either case, drivers who speed have more difficulty controlling their vehicles and sometimes don’t have adequate time to react to other vehicles or road hazards. Speeding also causes more severe accidents because it increases the force upon the impact of a crash, which results in more severe injuries that are more likely to be deadly.
Kentucky law requires Uber drivers to get annual vehicle inspections, but that doesn’t eliminate problems that might occur with a driver’s vehicle between inspections. Drivers need to perform regular preventative maintenance such as having their oil changed, checking fluids, and rotating or changing tires. Uber drivers who don’t perform regular maintenance or fix known issues with their vehicles put riders and other motorists at risk for accident and injury. Things like tire blowouts, brake failure, and stalled vehicles create conditions ripe for severe and fatal accidents if they occur at inopportune times during a ride.
If you get involved in an Uber accident in Kentucky as a rider, a pedestrian, or the driver or passenger of another motor vehicle, take the following actions to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome in your insurance claim and/or lawsuit.
If you suffer injuries in an Uber accident, Kentucky law permits you to seek compensation for your losses from the at-fault party. Depending on the situation, the Uber driver, and even Uber itself, might have liability for your injuries. Uber provides insurance for its drivers to cover liability to other parties, but the scope of that insurance may vary depending on the Uber driver’s activities at the time of the accident. Your attorney can help sort out exactly who should be partially or fully liable for damages related to the accident.
Damages you may have the right to recover can include:
If a loved one has lost their life as a result of an Uber accident, you might also have the right to seek compensation for some of the above losses. Kentucky law permits eligible surviving family members to bring a wrongful death claim against at-fault parties for damages. Costs for a visitation, funeral, memorial service, cremation, and burial can also be included in a wrongful death claim. Your lawyer will answer specific questions about your eligibility for compensation and advise you on the best path for you and your family.
Severe injuries sustained in an Uber accident can inflict harm on a victim and victim’s family. You should not have to cope with the financial burden of an Uber accident on your own. Let the skilled legal team of The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart guide you through the claims and lawsuit process, while you focus on recovery and rehabilitation.
We serve clients in Bowling Green, Greenville, Glasgow, and throughout Kentucky. Contact us online or at (888) 782-9090 for a free case evaluation to discuss your Uber accident, your injuries, and how we can assist you in moving forward.