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El Centro Uber Accident Attorney

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.

Gomez Trial Attorneys

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:

  • Personal Injury Accidents.
  • Ridesharing Accidents.
  • Car Accidents.
  • Brain Injury Accidents.
  • Wrongful Death Accidents.
  • Truck Accidents.

What Exactly Are Ridesharing Services?

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:

  • Rideshare companies are not obligated to accept a specific rider.
  • Rideshare drivers generally do not have visible signage or visual displays.
  • Rideshare drivers do not have a set schedule; instead, the driver decides when and how long to drive.
  • Rideshare companies have drivers use their own personal cars.
  • Rideshare companies are governed by the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Public Utilities Code.
  • Rideshare companies have a commercial insurance policy that only goes into effect if the driver is logged in to their app and actively looking for passengers or if there are passengers in the vehicle. This model differs from a taxi service, which has a commercial insurance policy that is in effect all the time.

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.

El Centro Ridesharing Accidents Are More Common Now Than Ever

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:

  • Other motor vehicles struck by ridesharing vehicles.
  • Injuries to passengers in ridesharing vehicles.
  • Pedestrians or bicyclists injured after being struck by a ridesharing vehicle.

Take Action in an Uber Accident

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:

Call 911 and Seek Medical Help

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.

Collect Evidence

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.

Contact an Attorney

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.

El Centro pedestrian accident lawyers

Determining Fault in an Uber Accident

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:

  • Distracted driving, including texting while driving.
  • Excessive speeding.
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Not obeying traffic laws or traffic signage.

Negligence

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:

  • The Uber driver owed the victim a duty of care.
  • The Uber driver breached this duty through their own negligence.
  • This breach resulted in the victim’s injury.

Uber Liability Defined

Uber drivers may face different levels of liability

To determine the specific level, your attorney will have to examine the following:

  • Was the Uber driver logged into their app and waiting for a passenger?
  • Did the Uber driver have a passenger in their vehicle, or were they picking someone up?
  • Was the Uber driver just driving on their own time and not logged into the app?

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.

  • No period: When the driver is not logged in to the app, the Uber driver is considered off the job, which means that if the driver is in an accident, any claims from this accident are covered by the driver’s personal insurance coverage.
  • Period 1: When the driver is online and waiting for a fare and they are involved in an accident, Uber provides 50/100/25 liability coverage. This coverage means that the liability limits are $50,000 per person, $100,000 for accidents involving bodily injury, and $25,000 for property damage. In addition, this insurance coverage does not apply to the driver or the driver’s vehicle during this “in-between” period.
  • Period 2: When the driver has accepted a fare and is on their way to pick up the customer, Uber provides $1 million in liability, underinsured driver, and uninsured driver coverage. Regarding collision coverage, limits depend on whether the driver has their own collision coverage.
  • Period 3: When the driver is on their way to the specific destination with the customer, Uber offers $1 million in liability, underinsured driver, and uninsured driver coverage. However, once again, collision coverage depends on whether the driver has their own collision coverage.

Common Uber Accident Injuries

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:

  • Head and neck injuries;
  • Brain injuries;
  • Back injuries;
  • Spinal cord injuries;
  • Torn ligaments and muscles;
  • Broken bones;
  • Severe lacerations;
  • Internal bleeding; and
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder.

Pursuing Damages After an Uber Accident

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

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.

Non-Economic Damages

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.

Punitive Damages

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.

The Issue With Uber’s Insurance Covering Your Damages

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.

Contact Our Legal Team Today

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.

Review: 5/5
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“I know firsthand that Gomez Trial Attorneys is a professional and compassionate law firm. The entire office is a family and they treat their clients like family as well – these people truly care. Not only that, but they strive to make a positive difference in the community through their outreach efforts. Highly recommend.


 
Gomez Trial Attorneys
2299 West Adams Avenue, Suite 102
El Centro, CA 92243
(760)-259-2166

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