Does Uber Compensate for Car Accidents?
Rideshare services have made it easier for people all across the country to access taxi services at affordable prices. Unfortunately, these services also make it difficult to get compensation in the event of an accident. Uber and most other rideshare companies treat their workers as independent contractors, which can sometimes allow them to claim they owe injured parties nothing. Even so, with the help of an experienced rideshare accident attorney, you may become one of many people who secure Uber injury settlements.
What Is an Uber Injury Settlement?
Uber does not always hold itself accountable for damages caused by negligent drivers. However, when it does or when courts make it mandatory, Uber may become liable to pay an injury settlement to the injured parties. It is important to note that Uber itself is not usually the entity making the payment. Its insurance company foots the bill.
Uber insures each ride with up to $1 million of liability coverage. Depending on the circumstances, Uber may only chip in to cover the difference if the driver’s liability insurance is not enough to cover your bills. For instance, say the driver’s insurance can cover $50,000 of your total cost, but your damages add up to $60,000. Uber may only pay the remaining $10,000 of your balance.
How much Uber pays and whether it becomes liable may come down to the driver’s interaction with the company’s app at the time of the accident. The driver may have one of three main interactions that insurance companies, Uber and the court may take into consideration:
- The driver was logged out
- Logged in but not yet booked for a paid trip
- Logged in and actively picking up passengers or taking them to their destination
Note that the Uber app does glitch. It is not uncommon for the app to drop rides. However, the driver may choose to bring you to your destination anyway. If an accident occurs at this time, both you and the driver may struggle to hold Uber accountable because it may choose to treat it as a personal trip.
What Are the Types of Damages Uber May Pay For in an Injury Settlement?
Whether you are a cyclist, biker, pedestrian, Uber passenger or another driver, you may be entitled to three different types of compensation. Some of these may have a greater impact on the total value of your accident settlement than others.
1. Economic Damages
Your medical bills, the paychecks you couldn’t earn while in the hospital and the future cost of therapy are just some of the economic damages you can seek. These are the direct financial losses you suffered as a result of the accident. It is generally easy to assign a specific dollar value to these. Your Uber accident attorney may further divide your economic damages into two categories: bodily injury and property damage.
2. Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages are especially difficult to assign a dollar value to, but your attorney can help you arrive at a number. This may be based on the local practices in your area. In most cases, your attorney may multiply your economic damages by a specific number to arrive at the total for non-economic damages. The reason this type of damage is difficult to quantify is that it represents your pain and suffering.
3. Punitive Damages
When pursuing your case, compensation for punitive damages is not generally something you request. Instead, the court may award this at its discretion. You are more likely to get this award if the court determines there is evidence of gross negligence on the part of Uber or the at-fault driver. Courts award punitive damages to punish negligent parties, not to compensate injured individuals. Consequently, this figure is usually quite high.
How Do You Ensure You Get a Settlement for Your Uber Accident Injury?
There is no foolproof method to get an accident settlement from Uber and no guarantee that you will, though hiring an experienced attorney can improve your chances. Note that Uber and its insurance company will be advised by their own attorneys, so retaining your own legal counsel helps level the playing field. That said, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of getting a settlement.
1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
No matter how minor the accident is, you may suffer temporary injuries, such as neck or back pain. A medical practitioner can determine if you have injuries, what is the extent of them and whether they will have a long-term impact on your life. You also need your medical records when pursuing a case.
2. Estimate Other Economic Damages
Did you incur other damages as a result of the accident? For instance, if you had valuables with you in the vehicle, they may have become damaged. You may have also missed a few days of work while you recovered from temporary injuries. You may receive compensation for these and other related expenses.
3. Review the Settlement
You may receive a settlement offer from Uber early in the case for your injury. This is often an indication that your case is worth more, but the insurance company wants to write it off for less. Always ensure an experienced attorney reviews your case before you accept a settlement. Otherwise, you may get less than you deserve.
4. Stay Off Social Media
Your social media posts will rarely help your case, but they can hurt it. Even if you have nothing to hide, you may be surprised by the simple statements insurance companies may take out of context and use against you in court to downplay your injuries. Personal injury attorneys often recommend posting nothing at all during a pending case, even if it is unrelated.
Why Do You Need an Uber Accident Attorney For Your Injury Settlement?
Rideshare accidents are one of the most complex types of motor vehicle accidents. This stems from the fact that few states or municipalities have adequate laws in place to address these types of accidents. When statutes remain silent on some issues, big corporations may use this to their advantage. Hiring an experienced attorney can help you look out for these loopholes, prepare a counterattack and build a strong case.
Work With An Experienced Local Lawyer
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