Providing Legal Counsel to Orange County Uber Accident Victims
Over the past several years, ridesharing services like Uber have become a leading alternative to traditional public transportation and taxi services. Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies offer app users an easy way to secure transportation from virtually anywhere at almost any time. These companies also hire drivers and offer everyday people the chance to earn additional income with a relatively easy, low-demand job. Every day, thousands of people in Orange County and throughout California use Uber for short-range transportation. Unfortunately, the explosive popularity of rideshare services has also led to complex legal questions.
Since Uber and other rideshare have gained tremendous popularity, this trend has led to questions concerning liability for accidents involving rideshare drivers. In recent years, extensive litigation has unfolded across the US, ultimately leading to these companies being compelled to provide insurance coverage. If you or a loved one is involved in an Uber accident, it is vital to understand how the rideshare company’s insurance coverage applies to your situation and what you can do to ensure full compensation for your losses.
Chris and Frank provide comprehensive legal counsel to our clients in the Orange County, CA, area. For example, if you experienced an Uber accident in Anaheim, Irvine, or anywhere else in Orange County, our team could help you with your insurance claim process and assist you in exploring further legal recourse if necessary for your recovery.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer for an Uber Accident?
After experiencing any motor vehicle accident, it’s natural for the victim to wonder whether they need legal representation to secure compensation for their losses. While it’s true that some motor vehicle accidents can be solved privately between the parties involved, it’s vital to understand both California state law and your options for legal action after an accident before you agree to any type of settlement.
While it may be acceptable to settle an accident issue privately after a minor fender-bender or a parking lot accident at low speed that does not cause any significant property damage or injuries, California state law requires drivers to report all car accidents that cause significant property damage, injuries, or death. Therefore, if there is any room to wonder whether you need to report an accident, it is always best to report it. This ensures a police report for the accident, which you may need to refer to later if you need to file an insurance claim or take civil action against the driver who caused the accident.
When it comes to Uber accidents, insurance is typically the first step toward the victim’s recovery. However, Uber provides a very complex insurance policy that applies differently depending on how and when the accident occurred. Hiring an experienced Orange County Uber accident lawyer is the best way to ensure that you can maximize your recovery. Your legal team will help you assess your legal options for recovery and guide you through the complex legal proceedings ahead of you. Suppose you were to attempt to handle your recovery on your own without legal counsel. In that case, you risk jeopardizing your recovery on a technicality or settling for less than you could secure with the help of an attorney.
What Can an Orange County Uber Accident Lawyer Provide in My Case?
Most Uber accidents lead to complex insurance claims. Your situation may require you to submit a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy, the Uber insurance policy, or a combination of different insurance policies. It’s typically difficult to determine liability for a rideshare accident and navigate the complex requirements for an insurance claim. Your Orange County Uber accident lawyer will help you determine the best approach to recovery. If you must file a claim against Uber’s insurance policy, your attorney can handle correspondence with Uber insurance representatives on your behalf and ensure you receive as much compensation as the policy allows.
Another vital function that your Orange County Uber accident attorney can provide is accurately calculating your damages. Many accident victims can easily estimate the cost of their initial damages, such as medical expenses and lost income, but they may overlook other channels of compensation when they do not have legal counsel advising them.
Determining Liability for Your Uber Accident
Suppose you are riding in an Uber as a passenger and experience an accident. In that case, you will follow the same process of determining liability as you would for any other car accident. However, your path to recovery will differ significantly based on who caused the accident. For example, if another driver caused the accident and your Uber driver did nothing wrong, that at-fault driver would bear liability for the resulting damages. However, if your Uber driver caused the accident, Uber’s own insurance policy would come into play.
Uber’s insurance works based on the timing of an accident:
- Whenever an Uber driver is offline, or their app is closed, and an accident occurs, the driver’s personal auto insurance policy would apply for the accident.
- When an Uber driver is logged into their Uber Driver app and available or waiting for a ride request from a customer, Uber’s insurance provides limited coverage. This includes third-party liability coverage when the driver’s insurance would not apply, providing up to $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person and $100,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident. In addition, this tier of coverage also provides up to $25,000 in property damage liability coverage.
- When an Uber driver is driving to pick up a passenger or transporting a passenger to their destination, the greater tier of insurance coverage applies. This coverage provides up to $1,000,000 in third-party liability coverage, contingent comprehensive and collision coverage for the Uber driver’s vehicle damage with a $2,500 deductible, and underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage.
This coverage means that if you are injured in an accident while riding as an Uber passenger, Uber’s insurance could provide up to $1,000,000 in compensation for your losses. However, it’s important to note that Uber’s insurance representatives will want to ensure their coverage applies to your claim. It is common for insurance claim adjusters to look for all justifications they can find to reduce or deny a claim. Therefore, having an experienced Orange County Uber accident lawyer handle your recovery is one of the best ways to ensure the fullest recovery possible after an Uber accident.
Economic Damages From an Uber Accident
Suppose you suffer injuries in an Uber accident. This can easily lead to substantial economic losses that will negatively impact you and your family for many years if you do not take swift legal action against the driver responsible. Whether you plan to file an insurance claim against Uber’s policy or another driver’s policy, or if you intend to file a personal injury claim to recover your losses when insurance is insufficient for the full scope of your damages, it’s crucial to prove who was at fault for causing the accident.
Once you and your Orange County Uber accident attorney have successfully established liability for the incident, the next step toward your recovery is calculating your damages. You must provide documentation to prove all damages you include in your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. The economic damages that may result from an Uber accident can include:
- Medical expenses. California law allows a personal injury plaintiff to recover compensation for all medical expenses resulting from an accident, immediately following the accident as well as anticipated future medical expenses for treatment of their injuries.
- Lost income. If your injuries prevent you from working, you can include your lost income in your claim. In addition, if an injury causes a permanent disability that will prevent you from working in the future, your attorney can help you calculate the lost future income you could have reasonably expected to earn and include this amount in your claim.
- Property damage. If any of your personal property was damaged or destroyed in your Uber accident, you could add repair or replacement costs to your claim as well.
Your economic losses from an Uber accident may be substantial, but California state law also allows you to claim non-economic damages for your pain and suffering as well. Your attorney will help you determine an appropriate amount to include with your lawsuit based on the severity of your injuries and the likelihood that you will experience long-term medical complications. For example, it’s possible to secure “per diem” pain and suffering compensation that awards a specified amount for each day the plaintiff spends in recovery until they reach maximum medical improvement, or the plaintiff may seek a more significant lump sum.
Your Right to Sue After an Uber Accident
Hiring an experienced Orange County Uber accident attorney is a crucial step toward recovery. You could face very difficult questions of liability, and you may not be able to directly sue Uber after an accident one of their drivers caused. As Uber and other rideshare services grew more popular, public pressure spurred lawmakers across the country to institute insurance requirements for these organizations to ensure they would absorb liability where appropriate. Uber now offers insurance protection to riders, but only under particular conditions.
Your Orange County Uber accident lawyer will assist you in the preliminary stages of your claim, namely determining liability and reviewing available insurance coverage to determine the most suitable method of filing a claim for your damages. If the available insurance does not provide enough to fully compensate all your losses resulting from an Uber accident, you would then move to file a personal injury claim against the party responsible for causing the accident.
Crucial First Steps After an Uber Car Accident
If you are riding in an Uber and experience an accident, the first steps immediately following the accident are crucial to ensuring your recovery. First, report the accident to 911 if no one else has already done so and you feel able to do so safely. This will mean emergency response and a police report of the incident that you can collect later. Next, check yourself for injuries and wait for paramedics if you are seriously hurt. If you can do so safely and without aggravating any injuries, try to take photos of the accident scene. Take pictures of your injuries, the vehicles involved in the accident, and the immediate area. These photos could be crucial to a later insurance claim or personal injury claim.
When the police arrive, answer their questions honestly, and try to obtain the contact information of the other parties involved in the accident. You may require emergency medical care after a serious accident, and if so, the police will likely come to visit you in the hospital once you stabilize to take a statement. It is also possible for insurance representatives to contact you after the accident. Do not accept any settlement offers until you consult an Orange County Uber accident lawyer. Politely inform any insurance representatives who call you that you will get back to them after you speak with your lawyer.
Talk With Our Law Firm About Your Uber Accident as Soon as Possible
It’s natural to feel uncertain and distressed after any vehicle accident, especially one you did not cause. When you have been injured in an Uber accident, you may feel like the situation is out of your control, but an experienced Orange County Uber accident lawyer can provide the guidance you need to understand your options for legal recourse as clearly as possible. Chris and Frank are accomplished Orange County personal injury attorneys who have extensive experience handling difficult motor vehicle accident claims on behalf of clients throughout Orange County, CA. We know how devastating an Uber accident can be and how difficult it is to navigate the complex insurance details following such accidents.
If you or a loved one sustained injuries in an Uber accident, Chris and Frank can help you identify the party or parties responsible for your damages, assess your eligibility for insurance coverage under Uber’s insurance policy and other available policies, and guide you through the personal injury claim process if you need to take further legal action to ensure a complete recovery. If you are ready to discuss your legal options with an experienced team of Orange County Uber accident lawyers, contact Chris and Frank today to schedule a consultation.
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