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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Sumter Uber Accident Lawyer

Sumter Uber Accident Lawyer

The number of distracted driving-related wrecks has increased significantly since 2010, which is about the same time Uber and other ride sharing services started gaining popularity. That’s probably not a coincidence. As outlined below, South Carolina law holds ridesharing operators and other commercial drivers to a higher standard. Therefore, the Sumter Uber accident lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can usually obtain substantial compensation in these matters.

Some commercial defendants usually settle car crash cases as quickly and as quietly as possible. Uber is not one of these companies. Like all companies, it’s very protective of its own profits and does not want to share them with accident victims. Furthermore, Uber has a brand to protect. The company markets itself as a safe alternative to driving. Negligent drivers mar the façade Uber has worked so hard to create.

Sumter Uber Accident Lawyers and Vehicle Collisions

Driver error causes about 98 percent of the vehicle collisions in South Carolina. Uber’s business model encourages driver error, at least indirectly.

  • Operational Error: Most Uber drivers get paid by the trip, not by the hour. So, the more trips they complete, the more money they make. Speeding increases the risk of a collision and the force in a wreck. Speeding drivers cannot react quickly enough to stopped-short cars and other everyday hazards. Furthermore, speed multiplies the force in a collision, according to Newton’s Second Law.
  • Driver Impairment: Many Uber drivers have full-time commitments elsewhere. So, when they get behind the wheel and drive for the company, they’re dangerously fatigued. Scientifically, driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .05 BAC level, which is above the legal limit for commercial operators in South Carolina.

Distracted driving, which was mentioned above and combines elements of operational error and driver impairment, is probably the most serious hazard. Many Uber drivers over-rely on GPS navigation devices. No one can safely operate a vehicle with one eye on a screen and one eye on the road.

Hands-free devices don’t improve the situation and may, in fact, make it worse. According to researchers, driving while using a hands-free device is as bad as driving drunk.

The duty of care, which applies to all Uber drivers, is not limited to vehicle operation. This duty begins at passenger pickup and ends at passenger drop-off. Drivers have a duty to pick up and drop off passengers at safe locations, not convenient locations. Dark alleys and wet sidewalks aren’t safe locations.

Third Party Liability

Vicarious liability is very important in Uber accident claims. Usually, personal auto insurance policies don’t cover commercial claims. So, most Uber drivers are basically uninsured.

Lawmakers in many states continually debate whether Uber drivers are “employees” for financial purposes. But for negligence purposes, the matter is settled. These drivers are employees, because the company has some control over their behavior.

As a result, the respondeat superior rule typically applies in these cases. Employers are liable for damages if their employees are negligent within the course and scope of their employment.

Usually, if Uber drivers are behind the wheel, they are acting within the course and scope of employment, even if they don’t have passengers. Deadheading drivers waiting for fares benefit the company because they increase the number of available drivers and they have signs in their windows that designate them as Uber vehicles (free advertising).

Rely on a Dedicated Sumter County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Sumter Uber accident lawyer, contact the Stanley Law Group. We routinely handle matters throughout the Palmetto State.

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