When Uber first entered the business world, accidents were not a primary concern. With the company’s popularity and the ease with which riders can access an Uber driver, it was hard to imagine the downfalls of rideshare companies – until ridesharing resulted in increased accident rates.
According to the company’s safety report, 97 fatal Uber accidents resulted in the loss of 107 people in a recent year. With the rise of Uber accidents, passengers are now asking questions regarding liability for their accidents. If you have suffered an injury in an Uber accident, your most pressing issue is who you can file an insurance claim or lawsuit against for your injuries and losses.
The best way to identify how to seek compensation after an Uber accident is to speak with a car accident lawyer who takes on rideshare crash cases.
The rise of Uber drivers on the roads has been a double-edged sword. While drivers can make additional income with the company, the roads have become more congested from the increase of Uber drivers. One study measured the correlation between car accident fatalities and rideshare services. The study revealed that since the introduction of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, there has been a three percent increase in car accident fatalities nationwide.
There are several possible reasons for the increase in Uber accidents. One of the reasons is driver fatigue. Even though driving with Uber is a part-time job for many people, they will often work long hours to earn more wages. This extra work can cause drivers to become drowsy and fall asleep behind the wheel.
Another possible reason for the increase in Uber accidents is navigation issues. Uber drivers may not be familiar with their routes when picking up and dropping off their passengers. Some Uber drivers engage in dangerous behaviors like making sudden movements or sharply turning to avoid missing a direction. These actions can lead to a severe Uber accident.
The liable party you can file a claim against for your accident depends on several factors. If your Uber driver’s actions caused your accident, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries from your driver. If another driver’s negligent actions caused your accident, you can file a claim against the other driver for your injuries.
For example, if another driver rear-ends your Uber driver and causes you and the driver to experience a herniated disc, you can obtain compensation from the other driver. If your Uber driver rear-ends another vehicle, they are likely the one who will face the claim.
Some common damages Uber accident victims endure are pain and suffering, lost income, medical expenses, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Even though Uber oversees your driver, the driver must carry their own auto insurance policy. That is because Uber’s third-party insurance policy does not guarantee to cover all your accident costs in every situation. In some cases, the company’s insurance policy may not provide any coverage for your accident. Therefore, you might need to file a claim against the driver’s insurance company and request compensation.
In some situations, you can seek compensation from Uber’s third-party liability insurance. Due to the rise in Uber accidents and liability complexities, state laws began requiring Uber and other rideshare companies to carry an insurance policy coverage of $1 million for bodily injury and property damage. That means the company has more than enough coverage to provide you with the total compensation you need for your injuries.
This coverage is only available when the Uber driver is active on the app and has accepted a fare or has a passenger. If you are an Uber passenger, you have this coverage. If you suffered injuries in another vehicle due to an Uber driver, your lawyer can examine whether Uber’s corporate policy is available for you.
You always want to know whether the Uber policy applies, as this policy has much higher limits than an individual driver’s will. You also want a skilled attorney handling the claim process, as dealing with corporate insurers can be a challenge.
Unfortunately, just because the insurance company has the means to pay your claim does not mean they will do so. Instead of rewarding you with the compensation you deserve, the insurance company will force you to jump through hoops to prove that your claim is valid. While the insurance company’s actions seem unfair or even unethical, adjusters will use different loopholes to avoid liability at all costs.
One of the tactics insurance companies will use is asking you for additional information regarding your accident. This additional information can include a recorded statement that the company will use against you or unauthorized copies of your complete medical records.
Insurance companies have no right to gain access to your full history of medical records. That is the first sign that you are dealing with an insurance company that will stop at nothing to deny your claim. Always understand that you have the right to say “no” to insurance companies when they request additional information. You should instead refer the insurance adjuster to your car accident attorney.
Another common tactic that insurance companies will use is to refer back to the arbitration clause in the company’s contract. Arbitration is an alternative dispute resolution method that many businesses use to deter customers from filing lawsuits. Many businesses flock to an arbitration method because it can limit how victims can seek compensation in a claim and favor the corporation. For example, you must use arbitration to resolve your claim once you sign a contract with Uber. You no longer have the right to a civil trial or the right to appeal a decision on your claim.
Often, you cannot sue an Uber driver for crashing and causing your injuries. But you certainly can file the appropriate insurance claims and seek compensation in arbitration proceedings. Just because you might not have a traditional lawsuit does not mean you have no legal options.
Another common tactic that insurance companies will use is offering a low settlement offer to you. Insurance companies want to avoid paying your full claim, and to do so, they will quickly offer you an insulting settlement. The amount of money the insurance company offers is purposely lower than you can obtain, and the insurance companies are fully aware of what they are doing.
Never think that getting a check right away is a blessing, as it is often a curse that will leave you without the money you deserve. Never accept a settlement from an insurer without first discussing your situation with an attorney.
Because the arbitration requirement limits the legal avenues you can use, you may assume that you do not need the assistance of a lawyer for your Uber claim. This is not true. A lawyer can still assist you with every step of your insurance claim and try to negotiate a fair settlement. If you cannot reach a settlement, your attorney can ensure that you have the best case possible to present to the arbitrator. The last thing you want to do with an Uber accident claim is to navigate the process by yourself.
When you begin the insurance process after an Uber accident, you want a lawyer to handle the claim. The right attorney will gather as much evidence as possible to support your claims of liability on the part of the Uber driver. They can also determine the driver’s status at the time of the crash to determine the available insurance coverage. The more persuasive your initial claim is, the greater chance you can settle without going to arbitration.
Whether the claim requires arbitration, you still need to prove the Uber driver’s negligence. You must establish the unsafe nature of your driver’s actions to prove who was the at-fault driver in your accident. You can prove fault through the evidence your attorney presents in your claim. Evidence can range from video footage to police reports to witness statements, and more.
One of the many advantages of your lawyer is that they have access to different forms of evidence. For example, they can access copies of police reports and obtain statements from accident reconstruction experts. A lawyer can help gather the best evidence for you to establish the Uber driver’s negligence.
If you feel that the insurance company is downplaying the coverage they can provide, a lawyer can ask to review the driver’s insurance policy. Reviewing the coverage may reveal that the driver does possess the necessary coverage for your injuries. A skilled lawyer can also suggest other types of coverage that can cover the damages from your accident.
In addition to reviewing insurance policies, lawyers can also assess the actual value of your claim. Because this is probably your first time filing a claim for an Uber accident, there may be additional types of damages that you can seek compensation for that you do not recognize. A lawyer can take the time to evaluate every damage in your claim correctly. Even for damages that you thought you accurately estimated, your lawyer can provide a thorough estimate of your damages.
When both parties in a claim must go through arbitration, they must present their cases to a third party. Ultimately an impartial arbitrator will determine the validity of your case. A skilled lawyer can explain what you can expect throughout arbitration, and best prepare you for it. You need to present a strong case at arbitration if your case makes it to this point.
Your Uber accident has the potential to affect every aspect of your life. If you have suffered a severe injury in a crash, you deserve to hold the parties responsible for your injuries, including the Uber driver and Uber corporation. Contact an Uber accident layer to get the legal help you need for your Uber accident claim today.