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Ridesharing platforms, like Uber and Lyft, have exploded in popularity all over the country in recent years. These ridesharing industry leaders, also referred to as transportation network companies, have taken our nation’s traditional public transportation model and completely transformed how we view our commute and travel options.
Our new transportation reality brings with it a new way to get around, but it also brings up a lot of important questions and concerns, particularly for those who have been involved in a ridesharing motor vehicle accident. Many individuals who are in these accidents wonder what insurance company they should file a claim, and whether it will be a more complicated process because someone else was driving.
If you were in an Uber accident, do not let the situation get you down. Instead, let the El Centro personal injury attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys help you figure out precisely what you need to do and assist you through the whole legal process from start to finish.
At Gomez Trial Attorneys, our legal team knows how difficult it can be to recover from a car accident, whether you were driving your own vehicle or were a ridesharing passenger. We understand that, often, car accident-related injuries will require years, if not a lifetime, of care and can result in skyrocketing medical expenses that many cannot handle on their own.
For these reasons, our award-winning personal injury attorney John Gomez and his team of attorneys and professionals have made it a point to focus on the following areas of law to bring clients the results they want and the dedication their case deserves:
Ridesharing companies are services that match the driver of a private motor vehicle to individuals looking for taxi-like transportation. These services are widespread throughout California. Even though they share the goal of delivering people to their destination with other limo or taxi services, their general makeup differs substantially from standard public transportation models.
Some of these differences include:
These companies must cover their drivers with a $1 million commercial policy. That way, if damages exceed the driver’s personal insurance coverage, a rideshare company’s commercial policy will cover the difference. However, it is crucial to understand that if the rideshare driver is not logged in to the system, only their individual car insurance policy will apply if they are involved in an accident. With this in mind, ridesharing accidents can be extremely complicated. That complexity is why it is so important to talk to an Uber accident attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you determine who exactly was at fault and whether you can go after the rideshare company’s insurance for your damages.
Ridesharing is often believed to improve road safety by removing potential drunk drivers from the road. However, as more and more studies emerge, research shows that ridesharing actually increases accident rates, resulting in about $10 billion in economic losses from deaths that occur in rideshare accidents each year. According to research done by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the arrival of ridesharing services on the market has increased the number of motor vehicle fatalities and accidents by approximately 3 percent. And El Centro is no exception to these statistics.
Ridesharing accidents are continuously on the rise and result in numerous types of accidents, including:
One of the most common questions our El Centro clients ask is: What do I do if I am injured in an Uber accident? There are three important actions you should take right away:
By calling 911, you ensure that you get the medical attention that you need while also getting checked for any hidden injuries that have not manifested yet, such as internal bleeding or a brain injury. In addition, getting your injuries on record as soon as possible is vital for your claim.
If you do not need immediate medical help, and it is safe to do so, try to collect as much evidence from the accident scene as possible. This evidence should include pictures of the scene, visible injuries, vehicle placement on the road, visible traffic signs, and any hazards or debris on the road. Take pictures and save them for your records.
Finally, contact an Uber accident lawyer as soon as you can. The sooner we start investigating the accident, the better your chances of receiving the compensation that you deserve.
Whether you were driving your own car or using the services of a ridesharing platform, determining fault after a motor vehicle accident is a tedious process that involves a lot of work. However, sorting out liability is crucial in holding the at-fault party liable for the injuries you received.
Negligence, also known as reckless or careless behavior, is a leading cause of Uber accidents, and can result from many things, including the following actions:
Every driver has a duty of care while behind the wheel of their car, and Uber drivers are no exception. They are legally responsible for acting with reasonable care while operating their vehicle. They have to pay attention to other drivers, road conditions, and pedestrians, while also making sure to keep up with regular maintenance of their vehicle.
In California, if an accident results because the Uber driver was negligent in maintaining this duty of care, the victim must prove the following elements to show fault:
Uber drivers may face different levels of liability
To determine the specific level, your attorney will have to examine the following:
What do the answers to these questions actually mean for victims of Uber accidents? Well, Uber divides their insurance coverage into four separate periods of time for their drivers.
Understanding what was happening at the time of the accident can help you determine what insurance coverage may be applicable.
Like most car accidents, injuries that result from an Uber accident can range in severity and scope. Some injuries can have devastating effects and require life-long treatments, while others may heal relatively quickly.
Some of the more common types of injuries that result from Uber accidents include:
After an Uber accident, the damages available to you are usually the same as in a standard motor vehicle accident.
In California, these damages can include economic and non-economic losses, as well as punitive damages.
Economic damages are damages suffered by the injured party that result in a direct financial loss. They usually include costs such as medical bills, surgery expenses, emergency treatments, and property damage to your personal belongings as well as your vehicle. In addition, these damages can include loss of income during medical treatment and recovery, as well as during any long-term care such as rehab services or counseling.
These damages are monetary losses that are not directly quantifiable. They can include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of quality of life, and the loss of physical senses such as hearing or sight. These damages are also compensable and are an important part of your deserved recovery.
These damages are awarded in rare cases, usually when the accident was the result of recklessness or deliberate harm and the court wants to punish the defendant for these actions while also deterring them and others from acting the same way in the future.
Tackling insurance claims after any motor vehicle accident is quite complicated, and Uber accidents are no exception. Even though ridesharing services provide $1 million in liability insurance coverage, the company’s policy is not very clear concerning who is liable after a crash. The specific language in their policy terms provides contradicting information stating that the company is not responsible for the safety of its services and its drivers and has led to many lawsuits against the company for failing to pay damages.
If you were in a car accident involving an Uber, you may find that the company will deny liability for the accident, leaving you to file a claim with your own insurance or the driver’s personal insurance. If Uber denies your claim or offers you an amount that does not cover all of your damages, hire an Uber accident attorney who has experience fighting against ridesharing services and who can go after the damages you deserve.
Ridesharing accident lawsuits are usually complicated and confusing. These types of cases not only require a thorough investigation and extensive evidence to show fault, but they also require a skilled negotiator to deal with the ridesharing service and their insurance company. If you or a loved one has been injured in a rideshare accident, do not wait any longer. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today at (619) 237-3490 to speak with one of our experienced lawyers about your case.
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Gomez Trial Attorneys
2299 West Adams Avenue, Suite 102
El Centro, CA 92243
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