When You’ve Been Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident with an Uber DriverNew Jersey Legal News
When you think of Uber services, one of the main aspects that might come to mind is the fact that these services are supposed to prevent drunk driving from happening…right? Many people choose Uber and many other ridesharing services as a way to get home after they have had a long night out with friends, which should, in theory, show that Uber has been reducing the number of drunk driving accidents that we see on our roadways. Since Uber came to town in many places, the amount of alcohol-related car crashes has typically decreased by up to 35%. However, this does not take away from the fact that many Uber drivers are caught drunk driving every year. With this disturbing trend becoming more popular, it is imperative to understand that you have rights if you have been injured in one of these accidents.
Drunk Driving Claims Against Uber Drivers
You might be surprised to find that a large number of claims have been made against Uber drivers over the years showing that drunk driving accidents involving Uber drivers can and do occur on levels that might make us uncomfortable. Many people do not take the time to get to understand that their Uber driver might be intoxicated from the moment they get inside the vehicle. Of course, every passenger who notices this should immediately exit the car if they are able to and call the police to prevent being involved in a devastating accident.
Over the years, a variety of complaints have been taken out against Uber drivers. In fact, in 2017 in just California, approximately 154 complaints were filed by passengers alleging that they were picked up by a drunk Uber driver. Legal action was immediately filed against Uber by the California Public Utilities Commission. Uber only took a closer look at 21 of these claims. And, though none of them have led to any drunk driving accidents, there was still a risk that an accident could have occurred in the blink of an eye.
In California, the charges have led to massive amounts of fines against the Uber company. Just to show an example of how dangerous the problem can be, an Uber driver’s blood-alcohol level was tested in 2016 after the driver was driving erratically. It showed that his BAC was four times higher than that in which is allowed for commercial drivers. Luckily, a passenger realized that the driver was intoxicated at the time and called police immediately. It could have led to an accident in the blink of an eye.
With drunk driving taking more lives than ever on our roadways, it is imperative that we work to bring an end to these serious accidents in all drivers. Each day across the U.S., 29 people die in drunk driving crashes, which means one death every 50 minutes. This is a growing problem and one that is becoming prevalent in many aspects of our lives, including Uber rides.
Damages You Can Receive from a Drunk Driving Accident
If you were the passenger in an Uber vehicle and the driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash, you might be eligible for a variety of damages in your case. The damages that you can receive can either be economic or noneconomic in nature. As far as economic damages go, these will include aspects like lost wages from missed work opportunities, medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, rehabilitation, and more. Noneconomic damages are those that are not as easy to determine on a monetary level, such as emotional suffering, loss of consortium, and other related damages. Because of the nature of drunk driving accidents and the fact that they involve outright reckless actions by another party, a plaintiff might also be eligible for what are known as punitive damages in their drunk driving accident claim. Punitive damages are paid by a defendant as punishment for their gross negligence. These penalties are imposed as a way to deter these accidents from happening on our roads and to punish the defendant for their behavior.
However, for a judge to accept and approve these types of damages in your case, the judge will have to take a closer look at your case and determine the harm you received – was it physical or emotional? Did the defendant act with reckless indifference to the safety of others? Was this a repeated action by the defendant? Depending on the circumstances, either a small or large punitive damages award will be given to a plaintiff. These types of damages are most often seen in wrongful death cases.
How Drunk Driving Uber Accidents Can Be Avoided
It is never someone’s fault when they get into the vehicle with a drunk Uber driver unknowingly and are involved in a serious accident. However, if you are able to pick up on the signs, it is important to immediately walk away from the situation. Many people are able to mask the fact that they are intoxicated and you will not know until a collision takes place, which can be a scary reality. Mix this with the fact that many people who use Uber services across New Jersey and beyond will be calling Uber because they are intoxicated themselves, which can make it even more difficult to tell if your driver is intoxicated.
You are in charge of the situation when you suspect that a driver is driving drunk or under the influence of drugs. You can tell the driver to stop immediately, report them to the police if they will not stop, and file a claim with Uber when you are safe. Getting out of harm’s way should always be your top priority because there is nothing more frightening and possibly even deadly than an Uber accident caused by a drunk driver.
After a Drunk Driving Accident Involving an Uber Driver in New Jersey
What happens if it is too late and you were injured in a drunk driving crash caused by an Uber driver? This driver has chosen to engage in one of the most reckless acts on our roadways, which puts your life in danger. Our attorneys at Brady, Brady & Reilly are here after your New Jersey motor vehicle accident involving an Uber driver. We have handled a wide variety of personal injury claims and will stand by your side during one of the most challenging times in your life. Please contact us for more information today at (201) 997-0030.