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California Uber Accident Attorneys

California Uber Accident Attorneys

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California Uber Accident Attorneys

Many people use Uber not only for its convenience, but for safety reasons; especially after a night out drinking. However, what may seem like the responsible thing to do can still lead to a horrific accident with potentially debilitating injuries. One accident could change your life forever.

What makes this situation even worse is that an Uber accident is not your average car crash claim. Uber accidents are often quite complicated and tedious. However, you do not have to go through this process alone. With the assistance of a California Uber accident lawyer, you could pursue the compensation you deserve.

Gomez Trial Attorneys have represented Uber accident victims. As a result, we not only know the hardships you are going through, but we also know that you need someone you can trust during this challenging time. Someone that can provide you with the legal answers and information you need. Someone ready to fight for you. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we can do all that plus so much more. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights moving forward.

Gomez Trial Attorneys—Your California Injury Lawyers

Even though we consider ourselves a boutique law firm, we make sure to zealously fight for our clients and have won awards and settlements like a high-powered corporate firm. Since our founding in 2005, Gomez Trial Attorneys has handled many prominent cases, collecting over $750 million in settlements and verdicts, and winning more than 135 awards of more than $1 million for our clients. With our drive and resources, we can obtain the compensation our clients need. But more importantly, we can also provide our clients with a personalized approach, giving them the attention and respect they want. In the last few years, our firm has received national recognition from major media outlets, including CNN, NBC, BBC, and The New York Times. We have taken on high-profile cases, including the American Beauty murder case, which resulted in a $106 million jury verdict. We fight against large corporations such as Lexus, Johnson and Johnson, and Starbucks regularly. While there can be no guarantees, we fight to get the best results possible for our clients. No matter how large or small your case may be, at Gomez Trial Attorneys, we are here to stand beside you and fight for the justice you deserve.

The Differences Between an Uber and a Taxi in California

In today’s culture, ridesharing has become a significant part of our transportation network. But, what exactly is ridesharing? Ridesharing is a service where a passenger pays money to travel in another individual’s personal vehicle for a one-time ride to get to their destination. One of the most widely-known rideshare companies is Uber. Yet, even though these ridesharing services resemble classic services such as a taxi, there are quite a few differences between the two:
  • A taxi is typically owned, maintained, and inspected by the taxi company and leased to the driver.
  • There are usually strict regulations on taxis and taxi drivers.
  • A taxi driver is required to have a specific type of driver’s license before they can drive the taxi.
  • Rideshare companies generally perform background checks. However, the driver is not required to have a special type of license.
  • Rideshare companies use an app, so payment is usually exchanged through the app rather than through money in the car.
  • Rideshare drivers are not required to take any additional safety training programs related to operating a commercial vehicle or transporting passengers.
Riding in an Uber carries the same risks as driving in any other vehicle. This means that, even if you have the most cautious Uber driver, you can still get into an accident.

Types of Uber Accidents in California

There are many different ways an Uber accident can occur. However, more frequent accidents include:
  • A passenger was harmed in an Uber during a ride.
  • The Uber driver was hurt while driving, picking up, or dropping off a passenger.
  • Other motorists were injured in a collision when an Uber was on its way to pick up a customer.
  • Pedestrians, bicyclists, and passengers in a separate vehicle were injured in a crash with an Uber on its way to pick up a customer.

Accident Responsibility—Negligence Remains a Vital Factor in California

If there is a motor vehicle accident in California, responsibility for this crash is often due to negligence. This means that if a driver’s actions were negligent and resulted in an accident, the negligent driver could be liable for the damages. This theory of liability also applies to Uber drivers. Consequently, if you were injured in a vehicle accident involving an Uber, you would need to prove these elements of negligence to collect damages:
  • The defendant owed the victim a duty of care;
  • The defendant breached this duty of care through their negligent acts; and
  • Defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the victim harm.
This duty of care means that motorists need to use reasonable care when driving their vehicles. Reasonable care includes watching out for obstacles, pedestrians, and other vehicles. It also means taking specific safety measures such as not speeding, swerving, or participating in other aggressive behavior. Failure to use reasonable care when driving can result in a driver’s negligence.

Uber Insurance Requirements in California

Uber has an obligation in California to ensure that all of their rides are covered by insurance. This insurance is either carried by the Uber driver or the company itself. However, this insurance comes with many coverage gaps and depends on the Uber driver’s activity at a particular point in time. This activity is classified into the following periods.

Period 0—Uber Driver is Offline

When the Uber driver is offline and gets into an accident, the driver’s personal automobile insurance applies.

Period 1—Uber Driver is Available or Waiting for a Ride Request

In this situation, the Uber driver’s own insurance will kick in if an accident occurs. However, during this period, Uber will cover some claims if the Uber driver’s personal insurance does not fully cover the amount. This can include accidents where the Uber driver damages another individual’s vehicle or hurts someone else in a car accident. In these situations, Uber provides the following coverage:
  • $50,000 in bodily injury per individual.
  • $100,000 in bodily injury per accident.
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident.
  • This period does not provide comprehensive and collision coverage.

Period 2—The Uber Driver is Logged into the Uber App and has Accepted a Ride Request

During Period 2, there is a $1 million insurance policy that Uber carries to cover both the passenger and the driver.

Period 3—The Uber Driver has Accepted a Ride and is Transporting the Passenger to the Destination

This period begins when the customer enters the Uber vehicle and ends when the customer leaves the vehicle. The minimum insurance requirements for this period include:
  • $1 million in commercial coverage.
  • $1 million in uninsured motorist coverage.
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage.

Common Injuries Resulting From a California Uber Accident

Unfortunately, those that use Uber for transportation are not immune to accidents. Passengers and drivers who are in an Uber accident can suffer devastating injuries. Some of the more common types of injuries include:
  • Head injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Severe concussions
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Burns
  • Deep lacerations
  • Joint damage

Steps to Take Following a California Uber Accident

After a motor vehicle collision, the scene is chaotic, and you may have no idea what you need to do. However, the actions you take following an Uber accident are significant. These steps will not only protect your safety and health but your legal rights as well. These steps include the following:
  • Call the police: After an Uber accident, you need to call 911 immediately. The police officers can investigate the accident while making sure that emergency medical services come to provide any immediate medical help that is needed at the scene. The officers will document their findings in their police report, which can provide you with valuable information if you decide to pursue a legal claim.
  • Gather evidence: If it is safe to do so, try to take as many pictures of the accident scene as you can. Include photos of your injuries, the motor vehicles involved in the crash, any skid marks on the road, traffic signs near the accident scene, the weather conditions, and any other valuable details about the accident scene.
  • Driver details: Make sure to get information from everyone involved in the crash, including the Uber driver. Get their names, contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance information.
  • Witness contact information: If any witnesses were present at the accident scene, get their names and contact information. Their statements can provide you with valuable evidence, especially when trying to prove liability.
  • Get medical help: Get checked out by a medical professional, even if you do not think you suffered any serious injuries. A physician could help verify that you do not have any hidden injuries, while also documenting all of your injuries in their medical report. This report can provide you with crucial evidence regarding the harm you endured and the damages you suffered.
  • Contact a California Uber accident attorney: Following an Uber accident, it can be imperative to contact our California Uber accident attorneys. We can get to work right away, investigate the accident scene, and gather relevant evidence to establish fault.

Statute of Limitations for Filing an Uber Accident Claim in California

In California, you have two years from the date of the Uber accident to file a claim. If you do not file within this period of time, you can be barred from recovering compensation for your losses. Additionally, this statute of limitations may be shortened or extended, depending on the case’s specific facts. That is why it can be critical to discuss your case with a California Uber accident attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers can help verify whether you have a viable claim and determine exactly how much time you have to file your case. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys for more information today.

Types of Compensation You Can Seek After a California Uber Accident

If you are harmed in an Uber accident, you could recover certain types of damages for your injuries. Common damages that victims pursue include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic damages: The actual monetary losses that resulted from the accident, including:
  • Current and future medical costs and expenses (emergency care, surgery, ongoing treatments, and prescription medications).
  • Current and future lost wages for the time lost from work because of injuries resulting from the accident.
  • Personal property damages.
  • Rehabilitative services, including physical therapy.
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses.
Non-economic damages: These difficult to quantify losses can include:
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Mental Anguish
  • Emotional Trauma
  • Disfigurement
  • Scarring
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of reputation
Punitive damages: These specific damages are awarded only when the court finds the defendant’s actions so egregious that they want to punish and prevent them from committing the same act again in the future.

Watch out for the Insurance Company—Your California Uber Accident Claim Threatens Its Profits

Following an accident, many victims make the mistake of thinking that the insurance company will want to help them, especially when the accident was not their fault. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily how the insurance company will operate. When dealing with Uber’s insurance company, the Uber driver’s insurance, or even a third party’s insurance, you should be prepared for a fight. These insurance companies, like other businesses, want to make money. As a result, they may try to either deny your claim or pay you less than you deserve. That is why it is vital to watch what you say to an insurance adjuster. In most cases, it is best to provide them with only the basic details of the accident and leave the rest of the communications to your attorney. Your lawyer can handle all of these talks without diminishing your compensation.

California Uber Accident Lawyer FAQs

After any motor vehicle accident, it is normal to feel scared or overwhelmed. However, following an Uber accident, victims often have no idea what they need to do next or what steps they need to take following this type of collision. As a result, these victims have to deal with many unknowns and may have no idea to whom to turn. However, the below frequently asked questions can provide you with some of the answers you need regarding Uber accident issues to help you decide what your next legal course of action needs to be. Speak with the attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys for questions regarding your specific circumstances.

1. If I file a claim with Uber, will I lose my Uber access?

No. You should not lose access to your Uber account if you pursue a valid injury claim against their insurance policy. In fact, Uber even indicates in its Terms of Use that all claims need to be brought through arbitration against the company. Yet, in some cases, when a victim files a claim with the insurance company, Uber may put their account in limbo. This could be a huge detriment, especially for those who rely on Uber for their transportation needs. That is why, if you feel that Uber has unfairly blocked you for filing a claim, you should speak to a California Uber accident attorney as soon as possible. They could look into your case and figure out precisely what is going on.

2. Should I work directly with Uber to handle my claim following an accident in California?

Even though Uber has a hotline where you can report your accident details, it is not advised to speak with their insurance company on your own. Their insurance is a large business. Businesses generally want to make money. However, some companies may have the perspective that the only way to accomplish this goal is by denying your claim, or by paying you out less money. As a result, they will try to do anything to minimize your claim and use tactics to get you to admit fault or to state something that will limit your ability to make a claim. If you are involved in an Uber accident speak with a California Uber accident attorney before you speak with the insurance company. These lawyers could handle all of your communications with the insurance company, which can help ensure that your case is treated with the fairness and respect it deserves.

3. Does Uber require any training for its California drivers?

No, Uber does not require training for its Uber drivers. However, they require that their drivers are at least 21 years old and have one year of experience as licensed drivers in the United States. If the driver is under 23 years old, they need to have three years of experience. Additionally, Uber requires the drivers to have a valid United States license and drive an eligible four-door vehicle.

4. What common contributors lead to Uber accidents in California?

Unfortunately, there is no one specific reason why Uber accidents occur. However, typical contributors to Uber accidents include:
  • Not obeying traffic signs: Uber drivers are not immune to reckless driving, such as not stopping at red lights or stop signs. Often they will avoid obeying these necessary traffic laws to decrease travel time, which can significantly increase the risk of deadly accidents.
  • Speeding: Uber drivers want to move as quickly as possible. Why? Because the more passengers they can get to, the more money they make. Consequently, their high speeds are often a common contributor to numerous Uber accidents.
  • Unfamiliar areas: Uber drivers are not all-knowing. They do not know every street or every area in California. Add the fact that these drivers are trying to get to their destination as fast as possible, and you could easily end up in a vehicle with careless driving in unfamiliar territory.
  • Tired driving: To stay safe, a driver needs to remain awake and alert. As a result, if an Uber driver is overworked and exhausted, it can significantly hinder their driving ability.
  • Driving distracted: Looking down at the Uber app, checking texts, having discussions with the passengers; these are all quite common activities that many Uber drivers take part in. However, these simple glances away from the road can lead to horrific injuries and catastrophic accidents, even if the Uber driver looks away for a few seconds.

5. Following a California Uber accident, how can I recover compensation?

Bibianne Fell is the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Member.Individuals hurt in an Uber accident are often dealing with a lot—significant injuries, ongoing medical expenses, and numerous uncertainties about their future. These victims want to get the compensation they deserve for the harm they endured, and one of the fastest ways to receive this compensation is by filing an insurance claim. However, before filing a claim, you need to figure out which individuals you can pursue a claim against:
  • At-fault Uber driver: In California, Uber drivers need car insurance. As a result, if you are injured by a negligent Uber driver who is not engaged in a commercial purpose, you could recover compensation from their personal insurance policy. However, if the Uber driver was engaged in a commercial activity, the insurance company may deny your claim. Many personal policies exclude certain types of coverage, including driving a motor vehicle for hire. If this is the case, you would need to consider filing a claim with Uber’s insurance instead.
  • Uber company: Uber is required to make sure that their rides are covered by insurance. Consequently, if a negligent Uber driver hits you or if you are a passenger in an Uber at the time of the accident, you may file a claim to recover benefits from Uber’s insurance policy.
  • At-fault third-party: In some accidents, there may be a third-party liable for the crash. If a bicyclist, pedestrian, or another motor vehicle driver caused your accident, you would have a right to file a claim with that third party’s insurance company.
  • Uninsured Uber driver or third-party: If you have a car insurance policy that contains uninsured motorist coverage, it can help you in situations where Uber refuses to pay, or in situations where the driver is not covered.
Following an accident, you should speak with a California Uber accident attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers can go over your accident, figure out whether you have a viable claim, and come up with a plan to collect maximum compensation.

6. Can I file a lawsuit against Uber if I am in an accident?

If you try negotiating with the insurance company, but they do not want to extend a fair offer to you, you could file an Uber accident suit in California. Depending on your Uber accident, numerous individuals may owe you compensation, including:
  • The at-fault Uber driver: If your accident resulted from an Uber driver’s negligence, you could file a lawsuit against that driver. However, keep in mind, when you file a lawsuit against an individual, the Uber driver may not have the resources to pay (even if you win your case).
  • The Uber company: Right now, in California, there are a lot of unknowns when it comes to an Uber driver’s classification. In the last several years, ridesharing laws in California have changed rapidly, making it difficult for residents to keep up-to-date. Because of these ever-changing laws and the complexities surrounding Uber accidents, it is best to speak with a knowledgeable California Uber accident attorney as quickly as possible to help you figure out the best course of action. Your time is better spent focused on your recovery, not on the changing California rideshare laws. That’s where our law firm can help. We understand all the ridesharing laws in California, and how to maximize our client’s claims so they receive the compensation they deserve – regardless of how the laws may change.
  • Defective product manufacturers: Sometimes, it may not be the Uber driver’s fault that there was an accident. Many times defective car parts or defective vehicles contribute to serious motor vehicle accidents. In these situations, the company that manufactured, designed, or even sold the product can be held liable for the injuries.
  • Other third parties: Uber shares the road with many different types of vehicles. You could file a lawsuit against any individual responsible for your injuries if an accident injured you. This can include third parties such as other motorists, bicyclists, motorcyclists, or even pedestrians.

7. If my California Uber accident injuries are not significant, do I still need to see a doctor?

You should get examined by a medical professional, even if you do not think your injuries are significant following an Uber accident. A doctor could check you over and help verify that you do not have any hidden or undisclosed injuries, such as a brain or head injury. These injuries do not always develop right away and can lead to significant problems and health issues later on. Additionally, a doctor will document all your injuries in their medical reports. This medical report can play a vital role in your claim, primarily if the other side or the insurance company argues that your injuries resulted from a separate or subsequent event. As a result, seeing a medical professional following the accident can help back up your claim for damages. See one of the following medical professionals:
  • An emergency room physician
  • An urgent care physician
  • A medical specialist such as a neurologist or orthopedic surgeon
  • A primary care physician

8. What happens if my family member was killed in a California Uber collision?

If your loved one was in a fatal Uber accident in California, the surviving family members may be able to recover damages. Under the wrongful death laws in California, specific family members could file claims to retrieve the following damages:
  • Burial expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Compensation for loss of support
  • Compensation for loss of companionship
  • Compensation the deceased would have earned as income
Additionally, a wrongful death suit is usually brought together with a survival cause of action. These survival causes of actions are brought on behalf of the victim’s estate to compensate for damages suffered by the deceased victim before their death.

Call Gomez Trial Attorneys to Fight for You After a California Uber Accident?

Uber’s accident lawsuits can be complicated, confusing, and stressful. Following an Uber accident, you are already dealing with enough. You do not need to worry about the complex legal proceedings involved with these types of accidents.
John Gomez

Uber Accident Attorney, John Gomez

That is why Gomez Trial Attorneys is here for you. Our attorneys understand that Uber’s insurance company may try to take over the situation and offer you as little compensation as they can. We also know that it can be hard to decipher what legal actions you can pursue against Uber. This especially true after California’s new laws. But you do not have to worry, because we are ready to fight on your behalf.
  • Our lawyers can investigate the accident scene, figure out who was at-fault for the accident and gather all the relevant evidence needed to prove liability.
  • Our lawyers can file all the critical motions and paperwork, ensuring that everything is filed correctly and within the allotted timelines.
  • Our lawyers can handle the negotiation process, ensuring that the insurance companies do not try to take advantage of you as we go after a fair settlement.
  • Our lawyers can take your case to trial if the insurance companies do not want to negotiate. We can help ensure you are prepared every step of the way, while we go after maximum compensation.
If you or a family member has been harmed in an Uber accident. You need a legal team that can fight for your rights. Do not wait any longer. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today at 833-GET GOMEZ (833-438-4663).

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