When you are riding in an Uber vehicle, you expect to get to your destination with few, if any at all, problems. However, just as accidents happen with regular vehicles, Uber vehicles are not immune to mishaps. When these accidents do take place, passengers can be seriously injured due to broken bones, lacerations, whiplash, and other injuries.
Along with the stress of being injured in these accidents, many victims have little idea how to proceed when seeking compensation for their injuries and other damages, which usually include lost wages from being off from work, pain and suffering associated with their injuries, and property damage. If you have been involved in an Uber accident with another vehicle, here is what should be done next.
Call Police to the Accident Scene
Since California law classifies Uber drivers as common carriers, which puts them on par with taxi drivers and train engineers, they are held to a much higher standard than ordinary drivers. According to state law, they owe their passengers a far higher duty of care when on the road. Because of this, it is vital that police be called to an Uber accident scene as quickly as possible to assess the situation. Since they will be required to investigate and file an accident report detailing what happened and which driver they believe was at fault, this can provide crucial evidence for your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Once this accident report is filed, obtain a copy and then consult with your Los Angeles Uber accident lawyer at once.
Speak to Witnesses
When any type of auto accident happens, there are almost always witnesses who saw most of if not all of what happened. Therefore, always make sure you can speak to witnesses to get their version of what happened. For example, if your Uber driver was speeding, ran a stop sign, or was reckless while on the road, these details can prove to be critical when filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. But remember that when speaking with witnesses, always write down or use your smartphone to record the conversation. If you don’t and the witness later changes their story, it will simply be your word against theirs. Upon obtaining details from witnesses, consult with a ridesharing accident lawyer to learn which options will work best for your situation.
Get Your Injuries Documented
When these accidents occur, insurance companies will not be eager to offer compensation for your injuries. Therefore, always get your injuries treated and documented as soon as possible after the crash. If you fail to do so, Uber’s insurance company may be able to claim you were not injured in the accident, or were not hurt as seriously as you have claimed. Since Uber will have a $1 million insurance policy in place to provide compensation for victims, having immediate documentation of your injuries will make it hard for the company to deny your claim. If you are having difficulties with the insurance company, never try to handle it on your own. Instead, turn to West Coast Trial Lawyers and let them negotiate on your behalf.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists
In many auto accidents, motorists are often uninsured or underinsured at the time of the accident. If this is the case with your Uber accident, your approach to gaining maximum compensation will need to change a bit. When the Uber driver is not at fault, California law requires passengers to file their initial claims against the insurance company of the other driver who was at fault. However, if that driver has no insurance or limited coverage that will not provide sufficient compensation, you will need to turn your attention to filing a claim against Uber’s insurance company. Since victims in these situations may need maximum compensation, chances are the insurance company for the at-fault driver or ridesharing company will place obstacles in your way. Therefore, rely on the experience and knowledge of your Los Angeles Uber accident lawyer to guide you through the complex process.
Suing Uber as a Driver
While passengers can certainly sue Uber or the other at-fault driver when an accident occurs, Uber drivers themselves can also sue for damages when they are involved in an accident. However, this process will be extremely complex depending upon your individual situation. For example, if an Uber driver was not logged in to their app at the time of the accident, they are not covered by Uber’s liability policy. In addition, the driver’s own insurance policy may or may not provide coverage either, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. Also, if a driver already has passengers or was in route to pick up passengers, a claim will need to be filed against the other driver’s insurance policy first. Once that policy’s coverage limits are exhausted, Uber’s insurance policy would kick in and provide additional compensation. To make sure you understand this process and do not make mistakes along the way, work closely with a ridesharing accident lawyer who handles these cases on a regular basis and has a track record of success with clients.
While you may believe you will have few if any problems gaining compensation if it is determined your Uber driver was at fault, think again. In fact, it can sometimes actually make the process of gaining compensation much more difficult. For example, should police determine your Uber driver engaged in such misconduct as distracted driving or impaired driving, Uber may attempt to claim their insurance policy is not obligated to provide you with compensation. In these situations, Uber will claim they are not responsible for driver misconduct, and that those claims should instead be filed directly against the driver’s own insurance company. Since there will be many complexities involved in cases such as these, do not assume you have few if any good options to gain the compensation you need and deserve. Instead, turn to a Los Angeles Uber accident lawyer
who is not afraid to be aggressive in these situations and hold the company accountable for the actions of its driver.
What Causes Uber Accidents?
Since it is so important to know what led up to the Uber accident, always make sure you get a police report and have your attorney investigate exactly what happened. In some accidents that are more complex, your attorneys from West Coast Trial Lawyers may decide to use accident reconstruction experts to show what transpired. When this happens, these individuals are often called upon to testify in court and to provide documentation to insurance companies. Based on numerous research studies of Uber accidents, the leading causes include fatigued drivers, reckless driving such as speeding, failure to obey traffic rules and thus running stop signs and traffic lights, and failure to properly maintain their vehicles in a safe manner. According to the California Vehicle Code, all drivers of motor vehicles are required to obtain periodic inspections of their vehicles, and are thus liable to victims should it be found their vehicles were unsafe while on the road. If you were involved in an accident involving an Uber vehicle and another vehicle where one or both vehicles were deemed to be unsafe, do not hesitate to contact a ridesharing accident lawyer who will do everything possible to get you substantial compensation for your injuries.
Compensation for Various Damages
When you are involved in any type of auto accident serious injuries will result, and those involving Uber vehicles are no exception. Thus, always work with a lawyer who understands this and will use all available resources to help you obtain as much compensation as possible. For example, if you suffer serious physical injuries in your accident, always seek compensation for not only your immediate medical treatment, but also any you may need in the future. Depending upon your injuries, you may suffer temporary or permanent disabilities of varying degrees, many of which may be life-changing. Therefore, work with attorneys who understand this and include this in their request for compensation. If you fail to do so, you may obtain a settlement that is far short of what you need to cover your expenses into the future.
Don’t Fall for Quick Settlements
When insurance companies believe they may be forced to pay out large settlements in an Uber accident case, they will often try to convince victims to accept a quick settlement. While this may sound good, the reality is these settlements never begin to cover the expenses victims of these accidents incur over time. Also, once a quick settlement is accepted, victims lose out on their chances to seek additional compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Rather than believe an insurance company is trying to help you through a tough situation, do not agree to any deals until you have first spoken with an experienced attorney.