Rideshare companies like Uber continue to increase in popularity, especially in cities where owning a vehicle is cost-prohibitive. Uber is also a great option if you plan a night out on the town but want to ensure that you get home safely. But what happens when disaster strikes? What if there’s an accident? How do you get reimbursement for your injuries?
Uber Accident: What Happens if My Driver Gets into One?
Depending on the circumstances of your ride-sharing accident, you may be able to pursue a claim through Uber or the at-fault party’s insurance. Like other types of motor vehicle accidents, insurance companies need to investigate who is at fault for the collision to determine who should be paying for your damages.
Pursuing a claim for financial compensation in an Uber accident can be complicated. You should consider retaining an experienced California motor vehicle accident lawyer who can assist you. Failure to have a skilled legal advocate on your side means you could receive less in your settlement. Contact Henderson Law today to learn more about the best course of legal action.
How Does Insurance Cover You in a Ride-Sharing Accident?
Uber drivers are required to carry their own liability insurance. Uber also has a liability policy that may or may not apply in certain situations. If you are a paid passenger in an Uber, the company policy will activate. If there is Uber liability, they are potentially the primary source of recovery in a ride-sharing accident.
Uber has different levels of coverage depending on what the driver was doing at the time of the accident. When an Uber driver doesn’t have their app on, their own policy is primary. When the app is turned on and the driver is waiting for a ride, the Uber policy will apply only if the Uber driver is at-fault for the collision. Once you are a passenger in an Uber vehicle, the company’s coverage—with a higher coverage limit—may apply. Uber will pay someone’s damages if there is Uber liability or the at-fault party has no insurance or is underinsured.
In a case where the at-fault driver doesn’t have adequate insurance, you may be able to tap into Uber’s coverage for uninsured or underinsured (UM/UIM) accidents. However, you cannot stack policies in California. That means if the at-fault party had only $15,000 in bodily injury coverage and there’s an applicable UIM policy of $100,000, you won’t potentially collect $115,000. It means $85,000 is available on a UIM policy that could compensate you for your damages.
Determining Liability for the Driver’s Negligence
Before receiving any compensation for your injuries, the insurance companies need to battle out liability. As a passenger in the rideshare vehicle, you could be an innocent party about to be caught in the middle of a highly contested liability fight.
To determine liability for the driver’s negligence, insurance companies look at a variety of factors. They will speak with their own insured drivers to get a statement, interview witnesses, evaluate the police report findings, and more. In more complicated cases, one or more parties may consider hiring an accident reconstructionist. This person is an expert in motor vehicle collisions and can provide a qualified opinion on how the accident occurred.
Insurance companies will also want to speak with you as an Uber passenger. Remember, none of these insurance companies is looking out for you. They want to do whatever is necessary to reduce their own exposure and potential payout in a claim. That is one reason why you should have legal representation. No one can speak to you without your attorney present. Your attorney will ensure that you don’t say anything that could jeopardize your case. As a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, you likely have no liability. However, there are a few exceptions.
If an Uber driver picks up a drunk driver, there is a chance they could be disruptive. An unruly passenger could cause the Uber driver to crash. Passengers can be rowdy without being intoxicated as well. Some passengers think they are being funny by harassing the driver or messing with things in the vehicle. If the driver is distracted and trying to protect themselves from passengers, they might end up crashing.
What if Multiple People Are At-Fault for the Accident?
It’s not uncommon to have a collision where two parties are at fault. California is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that both parties can share a percentage of liability and still collect a portion of their damages. For example, consider a case where the jury finds the Uber driver 10% at fault and the other driver 90% at fault. The other driver could collect 10% of their damages from Uber or the Uber driver. If the Uber driver sustained injuries, they could collect 90% of their damages from the other driver’s insurance.
Potential Damages You Can Recover in a Ride-Sharing Accident
The compensation you can recover depends on your injuries and damages. Potential compensation in a ride-sharing accident include:
- Medical expenses to date,
- Future expected medical expenses,
- Missed time from work,
- Future loss of earning capacity,
- Pain and suffering.
- Mental anguish, and
- Loss of consortium.
If you attempt to handle your claim independently, you could be missing out on potential compensation. Insurance companies, even Uber’s claims department, are not going to offer you top dollar for your claim automatically. Their goal is to minimize the amount of money paid out on claims, even with clear Uber liability. When you have a skilled California motor vehicle accident lawyer representing you, we will work to maximize your potential compensation.
Contact Our California Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers
When you have been injured in a ride-sharing accident, you might be nervous about pursuing a personal injury claim. At Henderson Law, we understand how stressful the claims experience can be. For over 20 years, we’ve been assisting injured victims just like you. We will help you fight for the compensation you deserve from all responsible parties.
You don’t have to figure out the claims process on your own. Let our skilled legal team help. We’ve recovered tens of millions of dollars to date for satisfied clients. Contact Henderson Law today to schedule an initial consultation to learn more about how we can assist you in a ride-sharing accident.