Been in an Uber Accident? Here’s what you need to know

Whether we know it or not, whether we like it or not, the collaborative consumption that makes up the sharing economy is here to stay. Now you can rent a spare room in your house to weary travelers, rent one of several shared bikes at terminals throughout large cities, or make a little extra cash driving people to and from their destinations. However, this new economic sector raises a whole new set of legal questions about responsibility and liability. That’s why it shouldn’t come as a surprise you can’t seem to turn the corner without seeing an ad for an “Uber Accident Attorney” So, what do you do as a passenger when your rideshare driver finds themselves in a crash?

1. Call 911.

Since rideshare companies treat their drivers as independent contractors, each driver is responsible for maintaining their own automobile insurance in compliance with the company’s rules and regulations. Many of these drivers are reluctant to contact the authorities in the event of a crash since it will affect their insurance premiums, driver’s status and licensure. However, receiving care for injuries after an automobile accident is nearly impossible if the accident was never reported to the authorities. In spite of what your driver says, in spite of if you feel pretty okay, insist on calling the police in the event of an accident.

2. Report the accident in the app.

In the wake of difficult accident reporting procedures, both Uber and Lyft now have in-app accident reporting processes that begin with the push of a button. Customer service in both cases will walk you through what happens next, assist you in contacting authorities if you haven’t already, and take statements about what happened. Again, your driver may be reluctant to have you report the accident, but doing so can only help you in the long run.

3. Take pictures if you can.

While you have your phone out, and if you are not seriously injured, begin to take pictures of the accident scene. Be sure to take pictures of your driver, any other drivers or pedestrians involved, the license plates of both vehicles, the location where the accident happened, your injuries (if any) and any damage that may have occurred. In the event your accident goes to court, these pictures will serve as invaluable evidence in determining fault and financial outcomes.

4. Be sure to get a copy of the accident report.

Any police officer who arrives on scene will supply a copy of the accident report to both drivers. If they cannot supply a third copy to you, be sure to snap a picture of the report as well as the officer’s name and badge number. Such simple information makes it much easier to track down a copy of the accident report in the future.

5. Your injuries are covered, but you will need an attorney’s help to be compensated.

Some auto accident cases can be resolved without the help of an attorney. An accident involving an Uber driver almost always requires an attorney’s help to sort through liability and compensation. While your injuries are covered under the driver’s insurance, Uber also carries an insurance policy for its passengers. However, Uber’s coverage only extends to certain times you are engaged with the app and its drivers.

When a driver has accepted a ride but does not have the passenger with him, there is limited liability coverage for the driver if he is in an accident. If the driver has an Uber passenger in his car, Uber’s insurance policy will cover the passenger or any third party (like a bike messenger or pedestrian) if an accident occurs. However, this insurance only kicks in after the driver’s insurance has paid out. That is where having the help of a qualified Uber accident attorney comes in. They can help you navigate liability, medical expenses and payouts between both the driver’s insurance company and Uber’s.

If you have been in an Uber accident, contact an attorney you can trust to help you navigate the murky legal waters of liability.

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Top Driving Under Suspension Penalties in Ohio

Many drivers in Central Ohio are allowed to drive their own vehicles even though their license is under suspension. Judges are allowed to reinstate limited personal driving privileges so people can legally transport themselves to and from work, school, health care appointments, and court appearances. No limited driving privileges are granted for commercial vehicles, however.

Violating the terms of when and where driving one’s own car or motorcycle with a suspended license usually results in automatic penalties that can include jail time and vehicle impoundment. Working with an Ohio driving under suspension attorney to reduce or dismiss charges that could result in losing some or all driving privileges in the first place can remove the risk of further penalties. INFOGRAPHICS: PROBATION SENTENCES YOU CAN EXPECT FOR A DUI CONVICTION

Ohio includes license suspension as a penalty for more than two dozen administrative violations, traffic violations, and crimes. The types of suspensions could be from racking up 12 points on your driving record within 24 months through violations such as reckless driving, driving under the influence, and failing to keep commercial vehicle inspections up to date. Generally, a sentence that includes a license suspension will impose the suspension on the offender’s personal driver’s license and commercial driver’s license.

Should you end up having your license restricted or completely revoked, here is what you can expect if you get caught driving under suspension:

  • Getting charged with a first-degree misdemeanor,
  • Paying a fine of up to $1,000,
  • Having your license suspended for an additional term of up to 12 months, and
  • Spending as much as 180 days in jail, on house arrest, or on probation.

Depending on what other charges you have on your record from the past three years, you may also be required to surrender your license plates and vehicle. For instance, a conviction for failing to pay child support, which can itself result in a license suspension, can cause the penalties for driving under suspension to include 30 days of vehicle immobilization and license plate impoundment.

As noted, a lot of these penalties get assessed automatically, but a dedicated driving under suspension attorney in Columbus, Ohio can fight to have his or her client retain driving privileges.

Defenses against suspended driving charges include the following:

  • Showing that the driver was complying with the restriction imposed but the police officer refused to accept evidence of this at the time of arrest.
  • Showing that the period of complete suspension had expired and that the driver had taken the steps necessary to reinstate his or her license.
  • Showing that an emergency that could not be addressed in any other way compelled the driver to get behind the wheel.

Judges will not be inclined to accept the emergency driving defense, but solid evidence for it being true can benefit a driver in terms of minimizing penalties.

A Columbus driving under suspension attorney with The Maher Law Firm understands that spending time without having full driving privileges can make it difficult to hold a job and take care of your family. If you need representation in a case that could cost you your driver’s license, call us at (614) 205-2208 contact us online through this contact firm.

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