Uber/Lyft Accident: Steps to Take as a Passenger
Uber is a rideshare company that debuted a few years ago, aiming to become a taxi service that was more affordable and convenient than conventional transportation. With Uber, you do not have to travel to a designated area to get on your ride and you do not have to wait long amounts of time for a driver to be available. Uber connects you directly to other drivers in your area who will pick you up and take you to your destination. Of course, the convenience of it is sometimes shadowed by the problems that have come with Uber, such as car accidents, lack of responsibility taken, shady hiring practices, and more.
Fortunately, our team of expert lawyers at the Downtown LA Law Group has handled dozens of Uber accident cases. We are no strangers to such claims and have years of experience satisfying clients by bringing them hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution. Call our qualified attorneys at (888) 649-7166 today to start taking legal action against Uber.
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Uber Insurance Details
Uber is an app that allows you to be paired with nearby drivers so you can be chauffeured to your destination. Drivers can elect to pick up other people along the route if the option is enabled, as well. The company allows normal, everyday citizens to drive and earn money; this practice was initially viewed as worthwhile, as it meant people could set their own hours and drive as often as they’d like. However, as more and more drivers began to sign up, it became apparent that there were liability issues. Because drivers are classified as independent contractors and not employees, Uber claimed that it was not responsible for their actions, and thus, for any damages resulting from accidents.
The status of drivers was changed after an accident occurred involving the death of a young girl; she was hit by an Uber driver and Uber refused to take responsibility. Courts eventually ruled that Uber was liable for the actions of its drivers because of the insurance troubles.
In order to sign up for Uber, drivers must possess valid auto insurance. However, personal auto insurance policies do not cover accidents that occur during commercial driving, or driving that
happens for money. Add to the fact that Uber was washing its hands of accidents, and you get the results of many incidents with no insurance payouts whatsoever.
After the ruling, Uber began providing its drivers with insurance through James River Insurance Company. The insurance policies will change in the amount of coverage depending on the status of the ride. For example, an individual who has the app on but has not accepted any rides is covered for $50,000 in liability (personal injury damage) and $30,000 property damage. Once the driver accepts a customer’s request for a ride and is en route to the customer, the coverage increases to $1,000,000 in liability, uninsured motorist coverage, and underinsured motorist coverage.
This coverage continues when the rider is picked up, and the amount extends to him as well. Once the rider has been dropped off, the insurance policy reverts back to the original $50,000 limit. Upon closing the app and ending a shift, the driver is covered by his own personal auto insurance again.
This information is extremely important. Depending on your status in the accident, there could be varying types of coverage to consider. It is important that you reach out to an experienced Uber accident lawyer in Los Angeles for more help.
What to Do After an Uber Car Accident
Whenever you get into an accident, safety is the biggest concern. If you are uninjured after the accident, here are the steps you need to take after an Uber accident.
1) Ensure Everyone’s Safety
- Ensure Everyone’s Safety
- Call 9-1-1
- Collect Information
- Go to the Doctor’s
- Contact an Uber Attorney
- Contact an Uber Attorney
— If you are uninjured, one of the first things you need to do is make sure that everyone is okay. If there are any injuries, administer first aid when possible and necessary.
2) Call 9-1-1
— If there are any injuries, you have to call 9-1-1 and paramedics so that they are treated as soon as possible. Even if there are no injuries, you still have to call the police so they can create a police report of the Uber accident.
3) Collect Information
— If you are not seriously injured and have the capacity of doing so, collect as much useful information as possible. This includes the Uber driver’s name, driver’s license, and plate numbers, as well as the information from any other cars that were involved in the accident.
4) Go to the Doctor’s
— It is important that you visit a doctor after your accident. Health issues can take hours, days, or even weeks to arise. A doctor can tell you if there’s anything wrong with your body before you cognitively become aware of the injury.
In addition to the health benefits, the sooner you get checked by a medical professional, the better it will work for your case. You can get much higher compensation by simply visiting a doctor.
5) Contact an Uber Attorney
— Uber’s adjusters and insurance agents will attempt to deny liability and deny coverage. When you get into an accident, it is imperative that you contact our expert attorneys. They will deal with their agents so that you do not have to worry, and can focus on your recovery.
We have expert attorneys that have much experience with Uber accidents. We offer free legal consultation and the zero-fee guarantee. Contact our law firm today if you were involved in an Uber or Lyft accident.
Find out more about how we can help you. Call (888) 649-7166 to speak with a representative now.
Why Uber Accidents Happen
Uber drivers are often motivated to fit in as many rides as possible in an hour because they are not paid the highest wages and percentages of the trips. This can lead to excessively dangerous driving and careless mistakes. Some Uber drivers speed from location to location
, ignoring right of way laws and trying to avoid traffic at all costs. Others constantly check the app and fiddle with directions
or messages and notifications; taking their eyes off the road for extended periods of time
is very risky and can lead to crashes. Sometimes, the drivers are busy looking around for customers
, and they can crash into trees, poles, curbs, guardrails, and other cars.
Of course, there is also the chance that you are merely an Uber driver yourself or a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, and another car caused an accident. Many people tailgate, change lanes without signaling, and fail to stop at stop signs or in traffic and cause crashes.
The introduction of Uber cars and the high volume of drivers has made driving even more problematic, and you should be sure to protect yourself at all times. In the event of an incident, reach out to an Uber accident lawyer in Los Angeles for more assistance.
Common Injuries from Uber or Lyft Crashes
It is extremely important that you try to be as safe as possible when in an Uber vehicle or when driving near one. The potential for a car crash is high, especially if the other driver is careless. The injuries that you face could be devastating and could have a permanent impact on your life. Although many car accident feature victims that escape unscathed or with minor injuries, not everyone is so lucky. Some of the injuries you could sustain include:
- Broken bones
- Facial damages
- Lacerations, cuts, bruises, and abrasions
- Nerve damage
- Torn muscles
- Dislocations and separations
- Closed head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Burn injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Severed or amputated limbs and digits
- Paraplegia and Quadriplegia
If you were seriously injured in an Uber crash, you should contact an experienced lawyer who can represent you and file your claim. You should not subject yourself to additional stress if you are trying to heal from such damages. Our lawyers at Downtown LA Law Group are here for you.
Procedure after a Crash
After an accident with an Uber driver, it is important that you follow these steps to ensure that you will receive the fairest compensation for your injuries. You should make sure that you receive some kind of medical assistance, whether at the scene of the accident or at a hospital. The Paramedics can examine you to determine if you need additional help. It is highly recommended that you look to them for assistance anyway instead of letting adrenaline mask your injuries. If you do not seek any medical help, the insurance company can claim that you were not injured in the accident and that you are using it as a way to pay for injuries you sustained elsewhere. Upon getting checked out, you should ask for a copy of the medical notes.
Next, you should take photos of everything you can: your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, the other car, the scene of the accident, anyone involved, and more. This evidence will show that you were not exaggerating your claim. Eyewitnesses can also provide statements and testimonies on video if you have a smart phone.
The personal information and details of the Uber driver should be recorded. If you were a customer in an Uber car, you should screenshot the trip and make a note of the trip details. You can then file a complaint with Uber, who can handle it internally if there were any other issues (for example, the driver may have been negligently hired, which would place all of the responsibility on Uber and make room for additional legal action).
Lastly, you should seek the legal counsel of a qualified Uber accident lawyer in Los Angeles. Our law firm can connect you with an expert attorney to assist you with your case.
In order for you to file a claim, you must be able to prove the four points of negligence that make up personal injury lawsuits. These points are as follows
- You were owed a duty of care
- The duty of care was breached
- The breach led to an accident
- The accident caused physical harm
Essentially, all drivers on the road owe each other and everyone else a duty of care. If you are a passenger in an Uber car, your health would be in the care of the driver
, who has a responsibility to not cause you
any harm. A breach of the duty lies in taking risks and driving recklessly, which can cause an accident of some kind. If you were not hurt in the incident, you cannot file a personal injury claim; you would only be able to collect damages for lost wages and broken property.
As a passenger, you very likely will have no contribution to the liability of an accident
. You are free to take action against Uber. Opposing drivers, however, may have to undergo a lengthy examination process to determine who was at fault. No matter what, you should find a talented attorney to represent you so that you are in the best possible hands and will not be taken advantage of.
A lawyer can also help you abide by the statute of limitations for your case. In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is two years from the date of the injury or discovery of the injury. There are, however, exceptions to this rule, such as if you were underage at the time of the accident (in which case the statute would begin when you turn 18), severely harmed and thus incapable of filing a claim (wherein your time limit would resume once you healed), or if the defendant left the country or the state (the deadline would begin or continue once he returned).
If you wait too long, you won’t be able to collect any compensation. It is important that you act quickly to preserve evidence and eyewitness testimony
. Our lawyers will stay on top of your case and tirelessly negotiate with the insurance agents. You may not have the time, energy, or money to do so yourself, and it is our job to ensure that the insurance agent is giving your case his utmost attention.
Compensation from an Uber Lawsuit
With the help of one of our experienced lawyers, you can receive different types of damages for your injuries. Your medical expenses from the past and future can be covered; your lost wages from the past and future can be reimbursed; your damaged or lost property can be covered; your emotional pain
and suffering, such as PTSD, fear, anxiety, and psychological stress
, can also be taken care of.
If the Uber driver were grossly negligent in his actions
, he could be hit with punitive damages as well, which are additional forms of monetary compensation intended to punish the defendant. However, many juries view these damages as excessive, and they do not hand them out too often. As a result, only the most skilled Uber injury lawyers will be able to win them for your case.
Further, if a family member or loved one passed away as a result of a crash with an Uber car, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit that will enable you to receive coverage for funeral and burial expenses, pre-death medical bills and pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and more.
Downtown LA Law Group: The Firm for You
Here at the Downtown LA Law Group, we pride ourselves and taking care of our clients. We have years of experience with Uber cases and know the best methods and strategies to bring you the compensation you deserve. You should not have to worry about legal details in the wake of a crash; let our lawyers handle the leg work for you, and you will walk away with a sizeable sum. Our aggressive attorneys will relentlessly negotiate with the insurance agent until we receive a satisfactory offer; if we do not, we will take your case to trial.
Call our offices at (888) 649-7166
today to schedule free and confidential legal consultation. You can ask any questions you want and we’ll give you the answers you need. We will also inform you about our zero fee guarantee, which promises that you will never pay any out of pocket fees for our services. We will only get paid if we win, and if we lose, you owe us no money at all.
LYFT UBERX AND SIDECAR ACCIDENTS
With the use of mobile applications and ride sharing programs our office has seen a sharp rise in accidents caused by these drivers. Whether the driver was at fault or not, passengers in such cases are entitled recovery for injuries. However, in many such cases limited insurance coverage can prevent those hurt from recovering. In such cases it is important to pursue alternative or supplemental types of insurance to recover for your injuries.
Ridesharing and Insurance, Can I Sue If I was a Passenger in a Lyft, Sidecar or UberX Accident
In short, yes. You are permitted to sue for your injuries, however the main question becomes whether sufficient insurance coverage exist. Generally a common carrier is required to carry a commercial insurance policy. Commercial policies are usually in excess of $1 million dollars. However, ridesharing programs do not offer commercial policies and many injured parties are left with insufficient coverage.
In California drivers are only required to carry minimum insurance policies. These policies are for $15,000 per injured party, with a maximum of $30,000 total regardless of the number of injured parties. Considering ridesharing programs generally carry multiple parties, recovery is often very limited based on insurance coverage.
If you were involved in a car accident as a passenger in any one of these services makes sure to get a copy of insurance certificates. Obtain a copy of all insurance policies including that of the driver and at fault party. Depending on how the accident took place both parties can be at fault for the accident, therefore allowing you to recover from both parties.
Fore more information regarding passenger right in a car accident see here
When Can Ridesharing Companies be Held Responsible – Are the Companies Liable
A commonly asked question is whether the companies who developed the ride sharing program are liable. Depending on how the entities are formed liability can be reduced or avoided. However, ride sharing companies can be liable if they allow a driver who has negligent driving record to operate on the platform. In such cases the liability can be extended to them vicariously when they allow such parties to carry around passengers.
Showing that companies are liable will require extensive litigation and will be warranted in the event that sufficient policies are not in pace. Companies who advertise a service and collect payment on behalf of the drivers are responsible for injuries. Often times passengers are not aware that these types of issues can occur. In fact they may not have any knowledge that insufficient insurance coverage can exist. In such cases it is important to understand your rights and properly navigate the system to ensure recovery for your injuries.
Driver Liability, Can a Passenger Sue?
Yes, if you are passenger in a car accident regardless of fault, you are permitted to sue for your injuries. If for example you were in a ride sharing vehicle and an accident occurred, you would be permitted to file suit regardless of fault. Passengers are not considered to carry any fault in an accident, absent certain exceptions. Generally if you were involved in an accident as a passenger you are permitted to file suit against both the driver of the vehicle in which you were a passenger and the at fault party. If you were involved in an accident keep the following in mind:
1. Do not make any statements to the insurance company if they contact you;
2. Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries; and
3. Speak with a lawyer about your case. If you were injured you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
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