Despite years of marketing efforts and the tightening of DWI laws throughout the country, the sad reality is that drunk drivers are still a major threat on Colorado roadways. This is the case whether you are struck by a drunk driver while operating your own vehicle, or if the accident occurs during an Uber ride.
Collisions with intoxicated drivers are often traumatic. When they result in severe injuries, the cost of recovery could be steep. Everything from your hospital bills to your physical therapy could cause financial strain, particularly if you are too injured to return to work right away.
If you are involved in an alcohol-related crash with an Uber driver, the steps you take after your accident are crucial. Once you have addressed your medical needs, it is vital that you contact accidentdenver.com right away.
Colorado Drunk Driving Statistics
When compared to other states, Colorado is on the higher end for its rate of drunken driving arrests. According to metrics collected by the Centers for Disease Control, the FBI, and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Colorado ranks 13th among the states for DUI-related arrests. In 2018 alone, there were 411 arrests for every 100,000 people in the state. While high, this number is down compared to the previous decade.
The impact of drunken driving accidents is staggering. According to the CDC, there are 130 million incidents of drunken driving across the country each year. This translates to approximately 30 Americans killed every day by drunk drivers.
Not all of these accidents are fatal. In fact, the vast majority of DUI-related accidents with injury have non-fatal consequences. However, these injuries are often severe enough to radically alter the course of your life.
When an Intoxicated Driver Strikes your Uber
One of the ways an intoxicated driver can put your safety at risk is through causing a collision while you are traveling via Uber. You might be the passenger, but you are at risk of injury all the same. Thankfully, you have multiple options for pursuing an injury claim in this case.
The most common option is to pursue an injury claim with the insurance policy provided by Uber. When you are an Uber passenger, you are covered by a series of robust insurance policies paid for by the rideshare company. Each of these policies is capped at $1 million in benefits, which far exceeds the insurance policy limits most people have on their personal vehicles.
You have the right to pursue a claim on Uber's insurance policy regardless of the amount of insurance coverage the intoxicated driver might have had. This is because Uber provides far more than just liability coverage. If the driver that struck you was uninsured, you can pursue up to a $1 million claim on Uber's uninsured motorist policy. Even if the other driver has insurance, you could seek additional coverage from Uber if your damages are extensive.
This is important. While Uber might require you to exhaust your claim against the other driver's policy before seeking benefits from their carrier, Uber's coverage will be there for you. If the intoxicated driver's policy limits were not high enough to cover your full amount of damages, you could seek additional relief from Uber. While unlikely, you also have the ability to pursue legal action against the intoxicated driver directly if your insurance claim does not satisfy your damages. It is important that you have the opportunity to review all of your legal options after an accident, and your Colorado rideshare accident attorney can guide you through that process.
It is also important to ensure the record reflects you were a rideshare passenger. Also mention this fact to the police when they appear at the scene. If the Uber driver fails to mention it to the officer, you could find yourself having a difficult time establishing you were an Uber passenger at the time of the crash. This could have implications on whether your claim is accepted or not.
Injury Accidents involving Intoxicated Uber Drivers
Uber passengers are not the only ones at risk from suffering an injury at the hand of an intoxicated driver. In some unfortunate cases, it is the Uber driver that is operating their vehicle under the influence of alcohol. If an intoxicated Uber driver is responsible for injuring you in a crash, you are entitled to pursue an injury claim. Whether or not Uber's insurance carrier is on the hook for paying your claim will depend on the circumstances of the accident.
There are three tiers of insurance coverage for Uber drivers depending on the circumstances. If an Uber driver is currently transporting a passenger, you could be entitled to a liability claim worth up to $1 million. However, if the Uber driver was en route to pick up a passenger but had not yet initiated the ride, the insurance limits will be much lower. Finally, an Uber driver that was not actively seeking rides through the app at the time of the crash will not enjoy coverage from Uber's insurance policy whatsoever.
In that situation, you may not be out of luck. State law also requires that Uber drivers carry their own insurance policies in addition to any coverage Uber might provide. When the driver fails to carry the required amount of liability insurance, your last option for pursuing a claim could be with your own uninsured motorist policy. These policies are not mandatory in Colorado, and they are only available to you if you opted in when you selected your policy.
Pursue your Alcohol-Related Accident Claim with Seasoned Legal Counsel
The aftermath of a DUI-related Uber crash can be traumatic for anyone involved. If an accident results in your injury, you have the right to seek compensation against the intoxicated driver. This is the case whether you were an Uber passenger or if you were struck by one of their drivers. No matter the circumstances of your crash, you have the right to seek legal counsel in pursuing your claim. Get started on your claim by contacting accidentdenver.com online or calling 303-642-8888 to schedule a consultation.