Uber has changed how people get around Los Angeles. Rather than fighting traffic yourself, you can relax in the back seat and be driven to your destination. However, taking an Uber doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get to that destination safely. Uber drivers aren’t professionals and their vehicles are still driven on LA’s incredibly busy roads. Accidents in Los Angeles happen every day, and many of them involve Ubers.
If you’ve been injured in a Los Angeles Uber accident it’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. Uber accidents aren’t treated like other car accidents. As a result, the process of recovering the money you need after your accident can be complicated and difficult. At Citywide Law Group, our attorneys are prepared to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Call today to schedule a free consultation.
Why You Should Hire a Los Angeles Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been involved in an Uber accident you have the right to recover compensation for your injuries. However, getting the money you deserve after your accident can be difficult. Insurance companies won’t want to pay and will do anything they can to minimize your payout.
The last thing you need to do is navigate a complex legal claim on your own while you’re trying to get back on your feet. Hiring an attorney who understands how these types of cases need to be handled is the best thing you can do.
At Citywide Law Group, our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers will handle all aspects of your case while you focus on getting better. Here’s what you can expect when you hire our personal injury attorneys.
Protect You From Manipulative Insurance Companies
Insurance companies aren’t on your side. Just because Uber is required to provide coverage in the event of an accident doesn’t mean that the company will be willing to pay. Some insurers may refuse to approve your claim without so much as an investigation. Others will approach you shortly after your accident and scare you into accepting a low offer.
At Citywide Law Group, our attorneys know the tricks and tactics insurers will use to limit payouts. We’ll protect you and demand that these companies extend a fair and reasonable settlement offer.
Determine Cause and Liability
It may seem like common sense, but it’s incredibly important to determine the cause(s) of your Uber accident. Our attorneys will carefully investigate your accident and determine why it happened.
This will not only allow us to gather evidence for your case, but also identify every potential at-fault party. Remember, anyone who contributes to an accident can be liable for damages. We’ll demand compensation from anyone who caused you harm.
Properly Value Your Case
The only way to recover the compensation you deserve is by making sure that your case is valued properly. This begins will a thorough investigation of your accident and injuries.
Our attorneys will consider the extent of your injuries and determine which damages you have suffered. We work closely with experts in many fields who help us determine the proper value of each specific injury.
Once we’ve determined your damages we’ll approach insurance companies (and/or defendants) to negotiate a settlement. We’ll demand compensation for any damages you’ve suffered, which can include compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Property damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
If we’re not satisfied with the offers you receive we will not hesitate to take your case to court. We will fight to make sure that your case is valued properly and that you get the money you deserve.
Recovering Compensation After Your Los Angeles Uber Accident
There are two primary ways of recovering compensation after an Uber accident in Los Angeles. The first involves filing a personal injury claim with an insurance company. The second involves filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Filing an Insurance Claim After Your Uber Accident
Insurance is often the primary source of compensation after an Uber accident.
Uber Driver’s Policy: All drivers with a registered vehicle in California are required to carry minimally-acceptable amounts of car insurance. If you are injured in an Uber accident, you can file a claim to recover compensation from the Uber driver’s own personal policy. However, it’s important to note that the driver’s insurer may deny your claim if the driver was engaged in commercial activity at the time of the accident.
You may be able to recover compensation from the Uber driver’s personal policy if:
- You were not a passenger in the Uber at the time of the accident
- The accident occurred while the driver was not logged into the Uber app
- The accident occurred while the driver was waiting for a ride request, or
- The Uber driver has personal insurance coverage that extends to commercial activity.
The amount of money you can recover will also be limited to the driver’s policy maximums. Most drivers in California opt to purchase minimum coverage, which may not be enough to cover the full extent of your injuries.
Third Party Policy: Uber drivers aren’t always to blame for Uber accidents. If a negligent third party is responsible for causing an accident, you can file a claim with that driver’s personal insurance company.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Do you have uninsured motorist coverage? If so, you can recover benefits from your own insurance policy if you are injured by an underinsured or uninsured motorist in an Uber accident.
Uber Insurance Policy: If an Uber driver has accepted a ride request or is actively transporting a passenger, Uber’s $1 Million insurance policy kicks in. If you’re injured in an Uber accident, you can file a claim to recover compensation from Uber’s policy. This is true whether your Uber driver or another third party is to blame. However, Uber may try to deny responsibility for any accidents that were caused by an Uber driver’s negligence.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit After Your Uber Accident
In California, accident victims also have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation after an accident. A lawsuit may be your best bet if insurance companies refuse to approve your claim, fail to extend a fair settlement offer, or if your injuries are particularly severe.
Uber Drivers: You can file a personal injury lawsuit against your negligent Uber driver. If you decide to take this path, you’ll have to prove that your driver had and breached an obligation to keep you safe. The amount of money you can recover from your Uber driver will really be limited by what they can pay. If your driver doesn’t have to a lot to his or her name, you may win your case but struggle to recover the money you’re awarded. It can make sense to pursue liable parties with deeper pockets.
Third Parties: Accidents aren’t always caused by an Uber driver. Other drivers on the road, pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and even companies responsible for defective products can also cause an accident. In California, you can actually recover compensation from anyone who contributed to your injury. So, you could potentially name both your Uber driver and another negligent third party as defendants in a personal injury lawsuit for damages.
Uber: Recovering compensation from Uber through a personal injury lawsuit may prove to be difficult. Why? Uber has fought long and hard to make sure that its drivers are classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. Employers can be held responsible for the negligent actions of its employees.
If Uber drivers aren’t employees, it can be more difficult to hold Uber personally responsible for its drivers’ negligence. However, Uber drivers are also fighting back and lobbying to be recognized as employees in the state. This issue is still largely unsettled. Your ability to file a successful lawsuit against Uber itself will largely depend on how this debate is resolved.
Uber and Transportation Network Companies
Uber and other rideshare companies are categorized as Transportation Network Companies, or TNCs, in California. TNCs are companies that use technology to pair passengers with drivers. Under the law, they’re seen as unique and distinct from other types of transportation services. As a result, they’re subject to different rules and regulations.
In California, Transportation Network Companies:
- Must apply for and regularly renew a permit to operate within the state
- Must provide transportation services that are prearranged using a technology platform
- May not own vehicles used to transport passengers
- May not permit drivers to install taxi meters or top lights on vehicles used for Uber services, and
- Must comply with mandatory insurance requirements as set by state law.
Accidents involving Ubers can be complicated because of this classification as a Transportation Network Company. The company’s own personal liability in the event of an accident is still being tested.
Uber Insurance Requirements in Los Angeles
As a TNC, Uber has to provide some level of protection for anyone who may be injured in an accident involving one of its drivers. This protection is offered through a hefty insurance policy. In California, Uber must ensure that its drivers are covered by insurance. The specific amount of insurance coverage that must exist at a given time depends on what the Uber driver is doing. Uber driver activity is split into three distinct periods.
A driver using a private vehicle is logged into the Uber app and is waiting for a passenger to request a ride. Here, the Uber driver is actively searching for a passenger but not driving for a commercial purpose. The driver’s own personal insurance may cover accidents that occur during this period.
Minimum primary insurance coverage requirements:
- $50,000 for death and personal injury, per person
- $100,000 for death and personal injury, per incident
- $30,000 for property damage, and
- $200,000 in liability insurance for the Uber driver.
A driver using a private vehicle has accepted a ride request in the Uber app and is in en route to pick up the passenger. The driver is now engaged in commercial behavior. As a result, his or her private insurance policy may not cover accidents that happen during this period. Uber is required to step in and make sure that parties are insured.
Minimum primary insurance coverage requirements:
- Commercial insurance coverage of $1 Million.
The Uber driver is actively transporting a passenger to their intended destination. The passenger must have prearranged the ride using the Uber app. Period 3 begins the moment the passenger enters the vehicle and ends the moment they exit the vehicle.
Again, the Uber driver is now engaged in commercial behavior. Most car insurance companies and policies will not cover accidents that occur while a driver is engaged in commercial activity. Uber has the responsibility of making sure that an insurance policy is in place to cover damage int he event of an accident.
Minimum primary insurance coverage requirements:
- Commercial insurance coverage of $1 Million, and
- Uninsured motorist coverage of $1 Million.
These insurance requirements can be satisfied by insurance policies held by the driver, the Uber company, or a combination of both.
Speak To A Los Angeles Uber Accident Attorney
Have you been injured in a Los Angeles Uber accident? Contact Citywide Law Group for immediate assistance with your personal injury case.
Our attorneys understand that an accident can have immediate and long-lasting consequences throughout your life. We also know that getting the money you need after an Uber accident can be difficult. We’re prepared to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Call our personal injury team today to schedule a free consultation and learn more.