Do I Need an Uber Accident Attorney in Illinois?

If you find yourself involved in an Uber accident in Illinois, you may be wondering about the next steps and whether you need a specialized attorney. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the complexities of rideshare accidents and explore the reasons why having an Uber accident attorney in Illinois is crucial.

Table of Contents

1. Understanding Rideshare Insurance Policies

Understanding the coverage provided by these platforms is crucial for anyone involved in an accident, whether you’re a passenger, driver, or a third party affected by the incident.

  • a. Layers of Rideshare Insurance Coverage

    Uber’s insurance policy provides different levels of coverage based on the driver’s status at the time of the accident:

    • Offline or the App is Off: If the Uber driver is not logged into the app, their personal auto insurance is the primary coverage. This is the same as any private car accident scenario.
    • App is On and Waiting for a Ride Request: When the driver is logged into the app and waiting for a ride request, Uber provides limited liability coverage. This typically includes:
      • Bodily injury: $50,000 per person
      • Bodily injury: $100,000 per accident
      • Property damage: $25,000 per accident
    • En Route to Pick Up Passengers or During Trips: The most comprehensive coverage applies when the driver has accepted a ride request and during trips with passengers. This includes:
      • $1,000,000 third-party liability
      • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury
      • Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage
  • b. Understanding the Fine Print

    The coverage may seem ample, but there are nuances to consider. For instance, the contingent comprehensive and collision coverage requires the driver to have personal comprehensive and collision policies in place. Furthermore, it’s subject to a deductible that the driver must pay out-of-pocket.

  • c. Challenges with Rideshare Insurance Claims

    Despite these policies, filing a claim is not always straightforward. Challenges may arise, such as:

    • Disputes over the driver’s status: Insurance companies may investigate whether the driver was waiting for a ride request, en route to a passenger, or between trips, as this affects the applicable coverage.
    • Dealing with multiple insurance carriers: You may find yourself navigating between the driver’s personal insurance and Uber’s insurance, leading to potential disputes and delays.
    • Complexity of determining fault: In multi-vehicle accidents, determining who is at fault can be complicated, and each involved insurance company will aim to minimize their liability.

2. Assessing Liability in an Uber Accident

Assessing liability in an Uber accident, as in any vehicular accident, is a critical step in determining who is responsible for damages and injuries. In a rideshare context, this process can become complicated due to the involvement of multiple parties and the various levels of insurance coverage.

  • a. Understanding the Concept of Liability

    Liability refers to the legal responsibility one party has in the event of an accident. It’s about determining who was at fault or negligent and to what degree. Illinois operates under a modified comparative negligence system, which means that a party can recover damages only if they are less than 50% at fault for the accident. However, their recovery will be reduced by their percentage of fault.

  • b. Parties Involved in an Uber Accident

    When an Uber accident occurs, several parties could potentially be liable:

    • The Uber Driver: If the Uber driver’s negligence, such as speeding, distracted driving, or violating traffic laws, caused the accident, they could be held liable.
    • The Other Driver(s): If another driver involved in the accident was at fault, they would be liable. This could be due to similar reasons as above, like reckless or impaired driving.
    • Uber as a Company: While Uber drivers are classified as independent contractors, there are certain situations where Uber might be held indirectly liable, such as failing to properly vet drivers.
    • Third Parties: Sometimes, other factors contribute to an accident, such as poor road conditions or a vehicle malfunction, which could place partial liability on governmental entities or car manufacturers.
  • c. Investigating the Accident

    To assess liability, an investigation is necessary. This typically involves:

    • Reviewing police reports and any citations issued
    • Examining photos or video footage of the accident scene
    • Analyzing witness statements
    • Consulting with accident reconstruction experts
  • d. The Role of Insurance Companies

    Insurance companies will conduct their own investigations to determine liability to protect their financial interests. They may try to shift blame to avoid paying out claims. This is where things can get contentious, and why having legal representation is beneficial.

3. The Benefits of an Uber Accident Attorney

Securing the services of an attorney after an Uber accident can offer a multitude of benefits that may not be immediately apparent to those unfamiliar with the intricacies of personal injury law and the specific complexities of rideshare cases. Here’s how an Uber accident attorney can be instrumental in navigating the aftermath of a rideshare collision.

  • a. Expertise in Rideshare Law

    Uber accident attorneys are knowledgeable about the specific legal issues that apply to rideshare accidents. They understand how these cases differ from regular auto accidents due to the involvement of the rideshare company’s policies and the unique legal status of Uber drivers as independent contractors.

  • b. Navigating Insurance Complexities

    As discussed in previous sections, rideshare companies like Uber have complex insurance structures that can be difficult for laypeople to navigate. An Uber accident attorney has experience dealing with these multi-layered policies and can ensure that all potential sources of insurance coverage are properly accessed.

  • c. Maximizing Your Compensation

    An attorney can assess the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any long-term care needs. They can then build a strong case to pursue the maximum compensation available to you, often far more than what an insurance company might initially offer.

  • d. Investigative Resources

    Lawyers have access to resources for conducting thorough investigations, including the ability to subpoena records, consult with experts in accident reconstruction, and gather evidence that can strengthen your case.

  • e. Negotiation Skills

    Attorneys are skilled negotiators who can deal with insurance adjusters and legal representatives from the rideshare company. They’re able to cut through tactics often used by these entities to minimize payouts and can negotiate effectively for a fair settlement.

  • f. Representation in Court

    If a fair settlement cannot be reached, an Uber accident attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court. They will manage all aspects of litigation, from filing the necessary documents to arguing your case before a judge or jury.

  • g. Legal Strategy

    An attorney can advise on the best legal strategy for your particular situation. This might include when to settle or when to take a case to trial, depending on the circumstances and evidence at hand.

  • h. Mitigating Your Stress

    Dealing with the aftermath of an accident is stressful. By hiring an attorney, you can focus on your recovery while your legal representative handles the complexities of your case.

  • i. Contingency Fees

    Many Uber accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you receive a settlement or win a court award. This arrangement allows you to pursue your claim without upfront legal fees, reducing your financial risk.

4. Common Injuries in Rideshare Accidents

Rideshare accidents, similar to other vehicular accidents, can result in a wide spectrum of injuries to passengers, drivers, and bystanders. These injuries range from minor to severe and can have lasting impacts on an individual’s health and well-being. Understanding the common injuries associated with rideshare accidents is important for recognizing the potential seriousness of these incidents and the long-term care they may necessitate.

  • a. Minor Injuries
    • Whiplash: A common injury resulting from the rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, often occurring in rear-end collisions.
    • Lacerations and Cuts: Shattered glass or sharp metal can cause cuts, which may require stitches and can lead to scarring.
    • Bruises and Contusions: Passengers might suffer bruises from the force of the impact or from hitting parts of the car’s interior.
  • b. Moderate to Severe Injuries
    • Broken Bones: The impact of a crash can break or fracture bones, sometimes requiring surgery and long-term physical therapy.
    • Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): Head injuries can range from mild concussions to severe TBIs, which may have lasting cognitive and physical effects.
    • Spinal Cord Injuries: These can lead to varying degrees of paralysis and long-term disability.
    • Internal Injuries: Damage to internal organs and internal bleeding can be life-threatening and may not be immediately apparent after an accident.
  • c. Psychological Injuries
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): After a traumatic event like a car accident, individuals may suffer from PTSD, experiencing ongoing fear, anxiety, and distress.
    • Emotional Distress: Anxiety, depression, and emotional turmoil can be a direct result of the accident and its aftermath.
  • d. Long-Term Effects

    The long-term effects of these injuries can be significant, potentially including:

    • Chronic pain and discomfort
    • Reduced mobility or permanent disability
    • Need for ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation
    • Psychological counseling and therapy
    • Financial strain from medical bills and lost wages
    • Decreased quality of life

5. Steps to Take Immediately After an Uber Accident

If you’re involved in an Uber accident, the steps you take immediately afterward are crucial for ensuring your safety, protecting your rights, and preserving the evidence needed for any potential legal claims. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to do right after the accident

  • a. Check for Injuries and Seek Medical Attention
    • Safety First: Ensure you and anyone else involved in the accident are safe. Move to a secure location if necessary.
    • Call for Help: Dial 911 if there are any injuries, even minor ones. It’s essential to get a medical assessment, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
  • b. Contact the Authorities
    • Police Report: It’s important to have a police report filed, which serves as an official record of the accident. The police can also help manage the scene and gather initial statements.
  • c. Collect Information
    • Exchange Information: Get the names, contact information, insurance details, and driver’s license numbers from all parties involved, including witnesses.
    • Document the Scene: Take photos or videos of the accident site, including vehicle positions, damages, road conditions, street signs, and any injuries.
    • Rideshare Details: Note the make, model, and license plate of the Uber vehicle, and save the trip details from the Uber app.
  • d. Notify Rideshare Company
    • Report the Accident: Use the Uber app to report the accident. This ensures that the company is aware of the incident and can activate their insurance process.
  • e. Seek Legal Advice
    • Contact an Attorney: Before making any statements to insurance companies, consider consulting with an Uber accident attorney. They can guide you on what to say and what not to disclose to protect your claim.
  • f. Avoid Discussing Fault
    • Be Cautious: Do not admit fault or make speculative statements at the scene or to insurance representatives. These comments could be used against you later.
  • g. Follow Up on Medical Care
    • Medical Records: Keep a record of all medical treatments, diagnoses, and expenses. Follow through with prescribed treatments and attend all follow-up appointments.
  • h. Keep a Record of the Aftermath
    • Document Everything: Keep a detailed account of any pain, discomfort, inconvenience, or lost wages due to the accident.
  • i. Notify Your Insurance Company
    • Inform Your Insurer: If you’re the Uber driver or a third party involved in the accident, inform your own insurance company about the incident.
  • j. Preserve Evidence
    • Personal Belongings: Keep any damaged property, such as cellphones or personal belongings, as they might serve as evidence.

The legal process for pursuing a rideshare accident claim in Illinois involves several steps, from the initial filing of the claim to potential litigation. It’s a process that can be complex and time-consuming, but understanding each stage can provide clarity and help set realistic expectations. Below is an overview of the stages typically involved in a rideshare accident claim.

  • a. Consultation with an Attorney

    After seeking medical attention, the first step should be consulting with an Uber accident attorney who can evaluate your case, advise on the best course of action, and begin the process of filing a claim if warranted.

  • b. Investigation and Evidence Gathering

    Your attorney will start by thoroughly investigating the accident. This includes collecting police reports, witness statements, medical records, and any available footage of the incident. They’ll also assess the damages and injuries to understand the full impact on your life.

  • c. Filing an Insurance Claim

    Once your attorney has all the necessary information, they will file a claim with the appropriate insurance company—whether that’s the rideshare company’s insurer, the driver’s personal insurer, or another involved party’s insurer.

  • d. Negotiation with Insurance Companies

    Your attorney will handle all communication with the insurance companies, including the submission of evidence and negotiation for a fair settlement. Insurance companies often offer a low initial settlement, so negotiation is a key step.

  • e. Filing a Lawsuit

    If a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit. This initiates the litigation process and moves the case into the court system.

  • f. Discovery Phase

    During the discovery phase, both sides exchange information and evidence related to the case. This may include depositions, requests for documents, and interrogatories.

  • g. Mediation and Negotiation

    Even after a lawsuit is filed, settlements can still be reached. Courts often encourage mediation, a process where a neutral third party helps both sides reach an agreement.

  • h. Trial

    If mediation is unsuccessful, the case will proceed to trial. During the trial, both sides present evidence and arguments, and a judge or jury will determine the outcome, including any compensation to be awarded.

  • i. Appeal

    After a trial, either side can appeal the decision if they believe there has been a legal error. Appeals can prolong the process significantly.

  • j. Settlement or Judgement Collection

    If a settlement is reached or a judgment is awarded by a court, the final step is the collection of the agreed-upon compensation. Your attorney will facilitate this process to ensure that payments are made in a timely manner.

7. Finding the Right Attorney for Your Case

Choosing the right attorney for your Uber accident case is an integral step in ensuring that you receive competent legal representation and the best possible outcome for your claim. Here are some key points to consider when selecting an attorney to handle your rideshare accident case.

  • a. Specialization and Experience

    Look for an attorney who specializes in rideshare or personal injury law. Experience with Uber accident cases is particularly valuable, as these attorneys will have a deeper understanding of the specific legal issues and insurance complexities involved.

  • b. Track Record and Success Rate

    Investigate the attorney’s track record. How many cases similar to yours have they handled? What is their success rate in terms of settlements and verdicts? A strong track record can be a good indicator of the attorney’s capability and experience.

  • c. Client Reviews and Testimonials

    Read reviews and testimonials from previous clients to gauge their satisfaction with the attorney’s representation. Look for comments on the attorney’s communication, professionalism, and overall effectiveness.

  • d. Communication Skills

    Your attorney should be someone with whom you feel comfortable communicating. They should be accessible, willing to answer your questions, and provide updates on your case regularly.

  • e. Resources and Accessibility

    Ensure that the attorney or law firm has the necessary resources to handle your case effectively. This includes access to investigators, medical experts, and other professionals who can support your claim.

  • f. Strategy and Approach

    Discuss the attorney’s approach to your case. How do they plan to investigate, negotiate, and, if necessary, litigate? Understanding their strategy can help you gauge how they will handle your case and if it aligns with your expectations.

  • g. Fees and Costs

    Understand the attorney’s fee structure. Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. Make sure you are clear on any upfront costs or additional expenses that may be incurred during the process.

  • h. Initial Consultation

    Schedule an initial consultation, which is usually free, to meet with the attorney and discuss your case. This meeting can provide a sense of whether the attorney is a good fit for you.

  • i. Comfort Level

    Finally, trust your instincts. It’s important that you feel confident in your attorney’s abilities and comfortable with their guidance. You’ll be working closely with them, so a good rapport is essential.


If you’ve been involved in an Uber accident in Illinois, the decision to hire an attorney is an important one. With the right legal representation, you can navigate the intricate insurance policies, establish liability, and secure the compensation you deserve. Remember, when it comes to protecting your rights and your future, having an expert by your side can make all the difference.