More than 12,000 drivers offer Uber rides in more than 600 cities around the world. This peer-to-peer transportation company has exploded from a $19 million company in 2007 to having more than $5 billion in revenue in 2017 and offers more than one million rides each day. Clearly, the public has embraced this unique form of getting from one place to another.
What is Uber?
Uber matches freelance drivers with those needing a ride via a mobile app. Uber sets the price, based on the number of riders, the vehicle and the distance and the driver and the rider(s) agree to this before the ride. The driver uses his or her own vehicle. Unlike taxis and limousines that have to be inspected for safety periodically, there are no such requirements for Uber vehicles. In addition, drivers are not required to have more than a standard driver’s license. There’s also the fact that Uber drivers use an app to keep in touch with their dispatcher and their customers, so they are potentially distracted while driving.
What to do if you are hurt in an Uber accident
While Uber claims to vet its drivers, the potential exists for sub-standard vehicles and drivers to enter this huge pool of drivers. If you find yourself in an accident while riding in an Uber car, you should handle the situation similarly to how you would if you were in a private vehicle.
1. Assess the situation and call 911 if necessary.
- The first thing you should do in any accident is to seek medical attention for anyone who has been injured, including yourself. Being involved in a car accident is a horrifying experience, but it is important that you stay calm. Wait for the police and ask someone to call an ambulance. Even if you have not suffered any major injuries in the accident, it is important that you visit an emergency room to rule out any internal or delayed-onset injuries. You should consider seeking legal compensation for the injuries you have suffered, so it is important that you ask your healthcare provider to provide you complete medical documentation of your injuries.
2. Call the police.
- You or your driver should also call the police to report the accident and have the roadway cleared, if necessary. Make sure to only give facts and not opinions when speaking with the police and/or the other people involved in the accident.
3. Document the accident.
- Collecting evidence is essential to seeking compensation for the injuries and emotional stress you have suffered as a result of the accident. Therefore, if possible, capture photos and videos of the crash scene. In addition, you may also consider talking to the driver and bystanders who witnesses the accident and get their contact information.
Contact a Los Angeles Uber Accident Attorney
Finding someone willing to pay for injuries resulting from an Uber accident can be tricky. While Uber carries liability insurance, it is considered secondary insurance. That means, the Uber insurance company wants the driver’s insurance to pay first before they pay anything. However, most personal auto insurance companies won’t pay claims for commercial activities. That’s where it gets a little confusing.
Proving that someone acted negligently is critical to a successful lawsuit. Even if the Uber driver was to blame for the accident, if they only have a personal car insurance policy, it may be difficult to recover compensation because personal insurance does not come into play if the driver is taking part in commercial activities such as ferrying passengers with Uber.
Uber has a $1 million insurance policy for its drivers, passengers, and third-parties that may get injured in an accident involving an Uber vehicle thanks to the California Vehicle Code Section 5430. However, it is not uncommon for Uber to deny insurance claims. Therefore, to bring a lawsuit against Uber and receive compensation for your pain and suffering, it is important that you work with an experienced car accident lawyer in Los Angeles who can guide you through the entire process and help you get the compensation you deserve.
In the event that the Uber driver carelessly caused an accident while they were between transporting passengers but were available to do so, Uber is not required to offer as much money and will likely try to downplay the accident. The driver may follow suit since their own personal insurance will be involved.
The two situations faced by passengers who were involved in an Uber accident and suffered injuries include:
- The Uber Driver Caused the Accident – According to the law, ride-sharing companies like Uber must carry $1 million in insurance for personal injury and property damage caused by their drivers. Therefore, if you have suffered injuries due to the negligence of an Uber driver, you can bring a lawsuit against the company. But it’s important to understand that the insurance applies from the moment an Uber driver accepts your request to book a ride until the ride is marked completed by the driver.
- The Uber Driver Was Not At Fault – In such a situation, you can bring a claim against the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident. You will be able to get compensation only if the driver who was at fault has an auto insurance policy.
What can I recover in a car accident suit?
- Damages for which you can be compensated include the following:
- Past and future pain and suffering, including any physical impairment
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income
After your accident, don’t be surprised if an insurance agent working on behalf of Uber reaches out to you for a statement or to work towards a settlement. You should refrain from saying anything to them other than you will wait until you speak with an attorney. You are not obligated to say anything to them. Working with the insurance agent to reach a settlement typically results in recovering much less than you would by having a skilled Los Angeles car accident attorney with you. These agents work to reduce the amount of money the insurance company pays out, which means you need an attorney who will push back to ensure you are fully compensated for your injuries.
Uber also explains how their liability works in depth here.
If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of an Uber accident in Southern California, you need a skilled rideshare accident attorney in Los Angeles who is familiar with the laws that relate to peer-to-peer ridesharing services to represent your interests and get you the money you need to help pay your living expenses and medical bills. To learn more about what our Los Angeles Injury lawyers can offer you, call us today at (888) 952-2952 for a free consultation.