Uber Crash in El Paso Challenges the Limits of Commercial Insurance
When you use a rideshare service, you hope that your driver’s 5-star rating means you’re in for a smooth, uneventful ride. Unfortunately, however, some rideshare trips end in tragedy and leave passengers with serious injuries. That’s exactly what happened in an El Paso crash, which impacted both the rideshare passenger and another driver.
Inattentive Driver Leaves Passenger Injured
In the wake of a 2017 Uber accident, rideshare passenger Jimena Martinez is suing Uber, the driver of the car, and Uber subsidiaries. The accident occurred when the Uber driver approached a red light while distracted by his phone. He ran the red light and a Jeep Wrangler, which had the right of way, T-boned the rideshare vehicle.
Martinez suffered extensive injuries as a result of the crash, including a scalp contusion, closed head trauma, cuts, bruises, and joint separation of the right shoulder. The shoulder injury significantly impacted Martinez’s quality of life, leaving her unable to write and requiring her to undergo surgery. As a result, Martinez had to drop out of college and quit her retail job.
The lawsuit points the finger at both Uber and Melendez, the rideshare driver. It alleges that Melendez’s inattention was the sole contributing factor to the accident, noting that he ignored a traffic signal, did not maintain proper attention, and drove carelessly.
When it comes to Uber, the lawsuit alleges that Uber sets drivers up for distracted driving. It points to the fact that Uber drivers must have their phones on their dashboard for directions, new rides, and notifications. When a new trip comes in, Uber drivers only have 15 seconds to claim the ride. The lawsuit contends that this requires drivers to split their attention between their phones and the road.
The lawsuit seeks damages for physical pain, physical impairment, mental anguish, lost wages, and medical expenses. In total, Martinez is seeking at least $1 million in damages.
Ridesharing Insurance Requirements in Texas
Insurance has always been a gray area in ridesharing, but many states have tried to clarify exactly what is expected of drivers and companies. Texas requires rideshare drivers to have higher insurance limits than personal drivers. This 50/100/25 coverage requirement means that commercial drivers must be covered for $50,000 per person injured in a crash up to a total of $100,000 per accident, as well as $25,000 in property damage for each accident. These requirements are only in place when drivers are connected to the ridesharing service but haven’t yet picked up a passenger. Once they pick up a passenger, they must have $1 million in coverage.
When damages exceed $1 million, injured parties must try to recoup their damages from the driver responsible for the accident. A personal injury lawyer can help determine total damages.
Get What You Deserve After a Ridesharing Accident
When a ridesharing accident leaves you injured and facing a mounting pile of medical bills, you have to act quickly to protect yourself, as well as figure out who’s responsible. Contact the Elissa I. Henry Law Firm today at (512) 766-4529 for a free consultation and review of your accident claim.
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