Distracted Uber Drivers: A Risk to Motorcyclists | 2022 Update

Uber Driver Motorcycle Crash

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

June 5, 2023

Uber Driver Caused My Motorcycle Accident

The great majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by motor car drivers, as is well known. This sentiment is unmistakable when it comes to rideshare drivers, such as those who work for Uber. Uber drivers work long hours and in difficult circumstances, which creates the ideal storm for distractions that might result in a motorcycle accident.

This article will go through the many distractions that Uber drivers encounter, as well as the measures you should take after a motorcycle accident with an Uber driver, Colorado insurance regulations, and particular information regarding bringing a lawsuit against an Uber driver after a motorcycle accident.

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Uber Drivers’ Typical Distractions

Since the introduction of the car, distracted driving has been a problem, but the amount and frequency of distractions have arisen throughout time. Uber drivers have greater distractions than ordinary drivers, putting other motorists, particularly motorcycle riders, in danger.

Driver distractions are classified as visual, manual, or cognitive by the Colorado Department of  Highway Safety and Motor Cars (FLHSMV). An Uber driver may be distracted in several ways; the categories are not mutually exclusive. Distractions that Uber drivers may face in each of the three categories are listed below:

Anything that draws a driver’s attention off the road is considered a visual distraction. Many drivers text and talk on their phones, to the point that texting while driving is now outlawed in Colorado.

Cell phone use, on the other hand, is not prohibited. To pick up passengers and look at a map, Uber drivers must often use the company’s app on a mobile phone; doing so while driving puts motorcyclists and other cars in danger.

Passengers drinking or speaking excessively may provide visual distractions, making it harder for drivers to clear their blind areas while changing lanes. This is particularly hazardous for motorcyclists, who might be hard to spot.

Anything that pulls a driver’s hands away from the steering wheel is considered a manual distraction. Texting and using a mobile phone are both manual distractions, making them particularly dangerous driving habits. Meeting the demands of passengers may cause the driver to take his or her hands off the steering wheel.

The driver may be required to give something to a passenger, reach for something dropped by a passenger, or adjust the radio for a passenger. Eating and drinking in a car are other typical manual distractions. Uber drivers spend a lot of time in their cars, so it’s not uncommon for them to grab a bite to eat on the move.

Anything that takes the driver’s focus off the road is a cognitive distraction. When a motorist is daydreaming, these distractions are usually summed up. Like everyone else, Uber drivers have hectic schedules. A driver may be thinking about family troubles, financial concerns, former passengers, or just wanting to pick up as many people as possible.

When an Uber driver’s focus isn’t on the road, everyone else is at risk. An Uber driver’s ability to focus on the road may be hampered by obnoxious and boisterous passengers.

Colorado Driving While Distracted is Illegal

Uber drivers are subject to the same traffic rules as everyone else on the road. Are merely texting while driving is prohibited in Colorado as of April 2019, although it is only a secondary offense. This implies that if a police officer pulls someone over for anything else, they may be fined for texting while driving.

Distracted driving is a big problem in Colorado since it consistently ranks among the top three states with the highest number of distracted driving accidents. Through repeated introductions of proposals to the Colorado legislature, Colorado politicians continue to campaign for stiffer distracted driving punishments and push to broaden the term.

Suppose Colorado lawmakers succeed in widening the definition of distracted driving. In that case, motorcycle riders may be safer on the roads and have a lower risk of getting struck by a distracted Uber driver. If you were in a motorcycle accident with an Uber driver, you should speak with an attorney to learn more about the new laws that may apply to your case.

The distractions mentioned above and personal grooming, reading, writing, interacting with pets, and applying make-up will be included in Colorado’s enlarged definition of distracted driving.

When an Uber driver causes a motorcycle accident, what should you do?

If you are riding your motorcycle and are involved in an accident with an Uber driver, you may be unsure of what to do immediately after the collision. After are some pointers to increase your chances of recovering damages following an accident:

As soon as possible, get medical help. Because you have less protection as a motorcycle driver than the ordinary motorist, it’s more probable that you’ll be injured if an Uber driver strikes you, particularly if they’re going above 30 mph. Even if you survive the accident, you should seek medical help.

You may feel well or believe you’ve merely suffered a minor concussion, but symptoms may not appear for hours or days. Your medical records serve as evidence that the Uber driver’s negligence caused your injuries.

Report the accident to the authorities. Emergency responders and law enforcement officers frequently arrive at the site of a serious collision. If they don’t, you’ll need to submit a police complaint in Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Tampa, Monument, or wherever the accident happened in Colorado.

The driver’s name, address, and insurance information will be included in the police report, but you should attempt to get this information for your records as well. Obtain the Uber driver’s name, phone number, and email address, as well as the names, phone numbers, and emails of anybody else who was engaged in or observed the accident. Obtain the Uber driver’s insurance details as well as his or her license plate.

Observe the situation and take photographs. Take photographs of the damage to your motorcycle, the Uber driver’s car, any visible injuries, any dangers that may have contributed to the collision, and anything else you believe an insurance company or your lawyer would need to know using the camera on your phone.

Uber should be notified of your collision. Uber drivers are obligated to report accidents to the business, but you should also call them to confirm that they have been notified and that the accident has been recorded in their system. Uber’s website allows you to report a motorcycle accident that  an Uber driver caused.

Submit a claim to your insurer. To preserve your motorcycle insurance coverage, you must make an insurance claim with your motorcycle insurance provider, regardless of who is to blame. It will also take time to battle the other insurance company. Your insurer may pay the claim and then pursue repayment from the Uber driver’s insurer.

Make an appointment with a lawyer. Many insurance companies may be involved in a motorcycle accident that happens in Colorado involving an Uber driver. The complexities of a claim are complicated by Colorado’s no-fault insurance regulations and dealing with a global corporation and a contractor. A reputable lawyer can assist you in navigating these waters and guide you along the road that is best for you.

Motorcyclists and Uber Drivers in Colorado: Auto Insurance Laws

Personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL) coverage are required in Colorado since it is a no-fault state. When registering a car, drivers are required to provide evidence of insurance.

Motorcyclists and Uber drivers are included. However, Uber drivers are subject to extra regulations as a result of a 2018 statute. Whether or not a driver has passengers and whether or not they are using the Uber app on their phone, the rules differ.

If you’re an Uber driver but don’t have any passengers, you’ll need the following coverage:

$50,000 minimum death and bodily injury liability coverage per person

$100,000 minimum death and bodily injury liability coverage per accident

$25,000 minimum property damage liability (PDL) coverage per accident Under Colorado law, all motorists are required to have PIP coverage.

When Uber drivers have passengers, Colorado law requires them to have $1,000,000 in insurance. This might be a commercial policy or Progressive Insurance’s insurance coverage for Uber’s Colorado drivers.

Damages-Seeking When an Uber Driver causes a Motorcycle Accident

You might be entitled to compensation if you were injured as a result of a distracted Uber driver. According to Colorado’s no-fault insurance regulations, you must report the collision to your PIP insurance provider, which covers both motorcyclists and car drivers, as well as pedestrians.

Keep in mind that PIP only pays 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost income in Colorado, with no coverage for non-economic losses. Before claiming under the driver’s or Uber’s insurance policy, you must first reach or exceed the limitations of your PIP coverage.

If your injuries are serious or catastrophic, you may need to launch a personal injury lawsuit against the driver and/or Uber. Motorcycle accident lawsuits involving Uber in Colorado are difficult cases that demand an experienced lawyer because of the various parties and insurance plans involved in a lawsuit. A knowledgeable attorney can help you through the claims procedure and communicate with all parties involved.

After a motorcycle accident in Colorado, you may be able to collect the following damages if you file a personal injury action and the court determines in your favor:

Medical services not covered by PIP, such as ambulance and emergency services, hospital stays, prescription, x-rays, and surgery

Physical therapy and assistive devices such as crutches, wheelchairs, canes, and prosthetic limbs

Lost wages for time away from work not covered by your PIP insurance or another driver’s policy

Future lost wages for a long-term disability that prevents you from returning to work after your accident

Colorado Motorcycle Accidents: Comparative Negligence

If you were hurt while riding your motorcycle and were struck by an Uber driver, Colorado law allows you to sue in civil court for damages after your PIP insurance limitations have been reached or surpassed.

Expect the Uber driver, Uber, and any other defendants to defend themselves. Insurance companies may refuse your claim, minimize your injuries, or claim you had a prior injury. In personal injury lawsuits in Colorado, the courts use a comparative negligence test, which encourages the defense to place responsibility on you.

The concept of comparative negligence involves the court determining how much you contributed to the accident that resulted in your injuries. If you are found to be partly at blame, your compensation will be reduced by the proportion of blame you were allocated. The defense can claim that you were speeding on your motorcycle and that if you weren’t speeding, you would have been able to respond to the Uber driver’s irresponsible driving.

As a result, they determine that you are 25% to blame for the collision. If you claim $100,000 in damages, Colorado law only enables you to recover $750,000, or 75% of the total amount. A knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer who has previously handled Uber accidents is familiar with Colorado no-fault insurance and how comparative negligence works in your case. They will advise and argue on your behalf to get the best possible outcome in your case.

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney with Years of Experience

Suppose you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by an Uber driver. In that case, you’ll need the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer to navigate the convoluted legal procedure that comes with cases involving many defendants.

Warrior Motorcycle Accident Attorneys’ professional legal team, has represented scores of people in motorcycle and Uber accidents, so they know how to assist you after your accident. To book a free consultation, call 719-300-1100  at one of our locations in Colorado Springs, Monument, Pueblo, or Fountain.

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