How an Uber Accident Lawyer Can Help After an Accident
Filing a claim and dealing with insurance adjusters after a car accident is not only an inconvenience, but it is also an exhausting process. After victims undergo a traumatic event, like a car accident, their focus should be solely on recovery–both physically and mentally–not burdened with proving why they deserve to be compensated for their injuries.
This is where the services of an experienced Los Angeles Uber accident attorney will prove to be most valuable. When contemplating whether or not legal representation is necessary after an Uber and Lyft accident, consider the following benefits an attorney provides.
Who Can Be Compensated for Uber Accidents?
Those injured or affected by an Uber accident can be compensated for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. These types of crashes often involve more than one victim. So, in a rideshare accident, it can be difficult to determine who qualifies for compensation.
However, an Uber accident lawyer helps clients understand their legal options, allowing them the right to full and fair compensation. An Uber accident victim can be any of the following.
The Uber Driver
If someone else caused the crash, injuring the Uber driver, then he or she can be compensated for the injuries. The other driver’s insurance company will typically be responsible for paying these damages. Sometimes, the rideshare company will cover some damages.
The Passenger of the Rideshare Accident
Passengers can be compensated for their injuries and any other damages they have incurred as a result of the Uber or Lyft accident. A claim will have to be filed with the rideshare company and/or the Uber driver’s insurance company.
Injured pedestrians may also be able to file a claim with the Uber driver’s insurance company or with Uber itself. Depending on fault, either party or both could be found liable for damages.
Similar to a pedestrian accident, an injured bicyclist can file a claim with the Uber driver’s insurance company or the ridesharing company.
A Passenger in Another Vehicle
A passenger in another vehicle who is injured in a rideshare accident can be compensated for damages. In this scenario, the liable party can either be the person who was driving the car the passenger was in, the Uber/Lyft driver, or the ridesharing company.
Who Can Be at Fault in Uber Accidents?
Similar to regular car crashes in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California, especially on busy freeways like the 405 Freeway, 101 Freeway, and the 5 Freeway, multiple vehicles can be involved; therefore, multiple drivers can be at fault. However, in many rideshare cases, more than one party, not just the driver, can be found liable. This is why identifying the at-fault parties is so crucial.
Uber accident lawyers have experience in determining liability and building cases around why those parties are liable. The following can either partially or fully cause Uber and Lyft accidents.
The Uber driver is typically the first party that is considered to be liable for a ridesharing accident, often because the driver is the one operating the vehicle. Therefore, he or she is responsible for driving safely. Negligent Lyft and Uber drivers who were speeding, drinking and driving, or using their phones while driving can be held liable for damages.
The Ridesharing Company
In some cases, Uber or Lyft may also be held liable for a car accident. This is because the company has a responsibility to ensure that their Lyft/Uber drivers are properly trained and screened. If the company fails to do this and an accident occurs, they could be accountable for the damages caused.
If another driver’s negligence caused the Uber accident, then that other party would be liable for damages. That means he or she would be responsible for the losses incurred to the Uber driver, the Uber passenger, and any other parties who were affected by the crash.
Another Third Party
Other Uber accident scenarios can involve a third party whose negligence led to the crash. This could include a vehicle manufacturer of a defective product, a government entity that fails to properly maintain safe roads, or a pedestrian or bicyclist not adhering to traffic laws. Ultimately, any party whose negligence led to the crash would be liable.
How Is Compensation Determined?
Compensation in a personal injury case is determined based on the total losses, or damages, suffered. This is categorized as economic damages and non-economic damages. The same standards apply in an Uber accident case.
Economic damages are losses that can be quantified through medical bills, pay stubs that indicate lost wages, and receipts of property damage replacement/repair. In other words, they have a monetary value.
Non-economic damages are losses that are more difficult to quantify but certainly qualify for compensation. Examples include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
The compensation a victim can receive depends on the severity of injuries and accumulated damages. In general, the more severe the accident and the more medical treatment needed, then the more compensation the victim may be able to recover. Various factors that will affect the amount in an Uber accident claim are:
- Current medical bills
- Expected future medical treatment, like surgeries and physical therapy
- Amount of time missed from work
- Permanent disability, preventing returning to work
- Physical pain and suffering
- Psychological pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Any form of property damage, like a cell phone, laptop, or other personal property
It is crucial for victims injured in an Uber accident to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. A lawyer helps clients understand their legal rights and will accurately evaluate how much losses are owed from the at-fault party.
How to Obtain Maximum Recovery
Before compensation is awarded, it must be proven that losses were actually suffered. In order to prove this, evidence must be preserved. Therefore, after an Uber accident, be sure to proceed with the following steps.
- Take photos and videos of the Uber accident scene, including the damaged vehicle(s), visible injuries, road conditions, and other relevant details.
- Call 911 to report the accident. Then obtain a copy of the police report, which will summarize what happened and potentially who caused the Uber accident.
- Seek medical attention and retain all medical records, as they prove the extent of injuries and how much it costs to treat them.
- Keep a log of all the work that was missed while recovering from injury and the income that could not be earned during that time.
- Always report Lyft and Uber accidents to the ridesharing company. Also, keep a written record of all correspondence from the company.
Uber drivers are hired as independent contractors, which complicates the claims process, as the terms to qualify for the ridesharing company’s benefits are based on when the Uber accident occurred and who was involved.
This is why accident victims are strongly encouraged to work with an attorney for Uber accident cases. An accident lawyer will fight to preserve clients’ rights and ensure all liable parties are held accountable.
Uber’s $1 Million Dollar Policy
Uber is required to carry a rideshare insurance policy that can cover up to $1 million in coverage. The coverage is meant to protect Uber passengers in the event of an accident. However, there are stipulations to the policy, and under certain circumstances, not all accident victims may qualify.
If the rideshare driver is not logged into the app at the time of the accident, Uber will not be responsible for damages suffered to the passenger or the driver. Coverage will also vary depending on the “period” in which the accident occurred. Here is how their insurance works:
- Period 1: The driver is logged on, but has not accepted a ride request
- Period 2: The driver is logged on, accepted a ride request, and is on the way to pick up the rider
- Period 3: The driver is logged on, accepted a ride request, and is in the process of dropping the rider off at the destination
The amount that can be awarded will depend on the circumstances. Although Uber’s policy covers up to $1 million in damages, that does not necessarily mean someone will receive that much in compensation. An experienced Uber accident lawyer can confirm these details and fight to recover the maximum compensation.
Insurance Coverage Breakdown for Uber and Lyft
There are different types of insurance coverage based on the driver’s activity during the crash. Here are the different scenarios.
- If the driver is not logged on to the Uber app., then the company will not be liable, and only the driver’s personal auto insurance can be applied.
- When logged on to the Uber app., the company may provide contingent liability coverage of:
- $50,000 per injured party
- up to $100,000 per accident
- up to $25,000 in property damage
- Uber provides primary liability coverage of $1 million, so the company’s insurance will pay for damages to the victim, up to $1 million, first.
Additional Coverage Terms
If there are remaining costs, the driver’s personal auto insurance coverage may apply for damages exceeding $1 million.
Uber also provides contingent comprehensive and collision coverage up to the actual cash value of the car with a $2,500 deductible if their drivers have comprehensive and collision coverage on their own personal insurance.
Additionally, Uber provides uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury and/or first-party injury insurance. This may cover injuries to the driver and the riders if another driver is at fault and does not have sufficient insurance to cover all of the losses.
How an Experienced Uber Accident Lawyer Can Help
The legal system regarding car accidents is complex. When involving insurance companies and big corporations like Uber and Lyft, seeking justice becomes even more complicated. Working with personal injury attorneys simplifies this process and yields a success rate than those who try to settle these types of cases independently.
Additionally, most civil cases settle before going to trial when working with an attorney, resulting in a less lengthy claims process. Here are some of the other ways Uber accident attorneys can help victims of personal injury cases:
Investigate the Accident
Experienced Uber accident attorneys will investigate the accident to determine who was at fault and gather evidence that supports the claim. This may involve interviewing witnesses, reviewing police reports, and obtaining expert testimonies from accident reconstructionists and medical professionals.
Manage the Case and Monitor Deadlines
Just like car accidents, Uber accident cases follow strict deadlines. In California, accident victims only have two years from the date the accident occurred to file a personal injury claim. However, there are some exceptions where the timeframe is extended and times where it is reduced. Regardless of the reason, victims lose their right to file if the date is missed. An Uber and Lyft accident lawyer will manage the case so that important deadlines are not overlooked.
Negotiate with the Insurance Company
An Uber accident lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies to get the maximum compensation possible. Insurance companies are often reluctant to pay out large sums of money, but an experienced lawyer can use their knowledge and experience to get the best possible settlement.
Uber Accident Attorney Will File a Lawsuit
If a settlement with the insurance company is not reached, an Uber accident attorney can file a personal injury lawsuit on a client’s behalf. This can be a complex and time-consuming process, but an experienced lawyer can help navigate the legal system and get clients the maximum compensation they deserve.
Contact the Top Los Angeles Uber Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a crash, contact Angeleno Accident Lawyers. We have a 99% success rate and have assisted countless clients in obtaining the full and fair compensation they deserve. To learn about our Los Angeles law firm or to inquire about your Uber accident case, schedule a free consultation here.
We are also available to assist 24/7, by calling (213) 510-9246