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Like most American cities, San Diego is spread out and has limited public transportation options. However, ridesharing services, like Uber and Lyft, make it easier to get around the city. Whether you do not have a vehicle of your own or need to use an alternative vehicle for some other reason, including the need to have a designated driver due to inebriation, you may find yourself using ridesharing platforms regularly.
Unfortunately, those drivers face the same risk of being involved in an accident as any other driver. In some cases, Uber and Lyft drivers, due to the long hours that they may choose to spend on the road each day while they accept rides and transport passengers, may even have a higher likelihood of causing accidents than other drivers. If you sustain injuries in a ridesharing vehicle, you may qualify to seek compensation for your injuries and your other financial losses.
Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys at 833-GET GOMEZ (833-438-4663) to learn more about your eligibility to pursue compensation after a serious ridesharing accident.
Following a ridesharing accident, many victims sustain the same types of serious injuries that are common in other types of automobile accidents, including:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have a heavy impact on every area of a victim’s life. Many victims with traumatic brain injury find that, in addition to the long-term memory loss often described on television or in books, they also struggle to focus or concentrate on certain tasks. Victims may have trouble with short-term as well as long-term memory—difficulty remembering why they walked into a room, where they’ve already searched for a lost item, or what someone said to them only moments before.
Traumatic brain injury may also cause complications with emotional control, causing distinct emotional regulation challenges that can leave the victim struggling to respond appropriately to emotional stimuli that cause mood swings and overreactions. Traumatic brain injury can make it very difficult for a victim to complete tasks at work and may necessitate a long recovery time. Unfortunately, a traumatic brain injury may not heal quickly. Many victims with even mild traumatic brain injury report symptoms more than a year after the initial accident.
In many car accidents, including ridesharing accidents, the victim’s back and neck endure a great deal of force. The head snaps forward abruptly, often striking the front seat or the dashboard, depending on the setup of the vehicle. The victim may suffer from a herniated disc in the spine or even severe spinal cord injury, which may result in paralysis.
Back and neck injuries can cause immense pain and severe limitations. Many victims with back and neck injuries cannot manage standing or sitting for long periods. Often, these injuries interfere with work responsibilities and can lead to considerable lost time at work, which may mean lost income as a result of the ridesharing accident.
In some severe car accidents, victims may suffer limb amputation. The force of the accident may cut off blood flow to the limb or cause such severe damage that doctors feel the victim will have better odds of recovery without the limb. Amputees often struggle with performing common tasks, including both self-care tasks and work tasks, following their injuries.
Amputees may require long-term occupational therapy to learn how to cope with those limitations as well as physical therapy intended to help strengthen the affected limb or the rest of the body, especially after a long-term convalescence. Amputees may experience lifelong complications and difficulties as a result of their injuries. Not only that, but also prosthetic devices, which can aid in some independence and mobility following amputation, often prove an expensive, ongoing cost in the life of an amputee.
In a severe auto accident, including ridesharing accidents, victims may suffer severe burns if the car bursts into flames. In many cases, those burns may require a prolonged stay in a special burn unit, where doctors work to help decrease the risk of infection. During this hospitalization, victims may not have the ability to complete usual job responsibilities or to manage the other tasks that they need to take care of.
Many burn victims have substantial scarring, which may extend over visible areas of the body, depending on where burns occurred. Burn victims may struggle with their changed appearance or have a hard time dealing with limited mobility. While plastic surgery can help restore some normal appearance, plastic surgeons cannot always take victims back to their former appearances. Other burn victims may choose to avoid plastic surgery, leaving the scarring intact to avoid further medical procedures and a longer recovery time.
Both Uber and Lyft offer substantial insurance policies that kick in under certain circumstances when their drivers cause accidents. If a ridesharing driver has an accident while not running the app or carrying a passenger, the driver’s personal auto insurance will need to pay for the accident. On the other hand, if the driver has an accident while running the app and waiting for a passenger, the ridesharing company’s insurance may provide a reasonable level of coverage. If the driver has an accident while driving to pick up a passenger or with a passenger in the vehicle, the ridesharing company’s insurance will kick in to cover the damage.
However, the damage you actually receive may depend on several factors, including:
An attorney will sit down with you and discuss the extent of the injuries you suffered in your ridesharing accident. Your attorney will go over the medical bills that resulted from those injuries and what future medical expenses to anticipate. You should track all medical bills related to your accident so that you can more easily determine the total value of your case.
Make sure to include all of your medical bills that relate to injuries sustained in the ridesharing accident, including everything from emergency medical treatment to long-term hospitalization. You should also track the cost of follow-up appointments with your doctor and physical or occupational therapy, which may last long after your initial injury.
In addition, consider the other financial losses that you’ve suffered as a result of the injuries you sustained in your accident. For example, if you suffered an amputation or a spinal cord injury, you may need to make substantial modifications to your home before you can return to it after your accident—installing a wheelchair ramp so you can get in, widening doorways, or modifying your bathroom and kitchen to make them more accessible, for example. Talk to an attorney about how to include those changes in your San Diego ridesharing accident claim.
Talk to your attorney about how much your injuries have prevented you from working and how your work performance may have suffered as a result of your injuries. Most notably, you have the right to include any wages lost due to your injuries as part of your San Diego ridesharing accident claim. Some ridesharing accident victims can go back to work soon after the accident, even with serious injuries. They may work in a job where their injuries do not substantially impact their usual duties or may have an employer that wants to work with them to get them back into the office as soon as possible.
Others may have more trouble returning to work.
Victims with traumatic brain injuries, for example, may have a hard time sitting down behind a desk and taking care of their normal job tasks, especially if they find focus and concentration difficult after the accident. A victim with a newly amputated leg may not have the ability to collect orders in a warehouse or to work on his or her feet all day, even after receiving a prosthesis.
In addition to including lost wages when you cannot return to work immediately after your accident, you can also include lost wages that result from other time you’ve had to miss from work because of your accident. Did you have to miss work to attend follow-up appointments? Did you go back to work for a little while, but have to miss more time at work due to a follow-up surgery or procedure? You can claim the wages lost from those times as well as wages lost immediately after your accident.
Talk to your attorney about other ways in which your injuries have affected you at work. For example, you may choose to use vacation or sick time to cover the time you lost at work, especially right after your accident. You may have the right to claim compensation for those hours, which you can no longer use for your preferred purposes, in addition to hours for which you weren’t paid.
Not only can you have to miss work because of your ridesharing accident injuries, but you may also permanently lose your ability to complete your job duties. Some victims with severe traumatic brain injury, for example, may permanently lose some of their creative thinking skills or even lose their ability to work with the public due to challenges with emotional regulation. Talk to your attorney about how to claim compensation for lost earning potential. That compensation can provide you with the ability to go back to school or to obtain further certifications that will help you earn income differently.
Your San Diego ridesharing accident claim will include a section for pain and suffering, which is intended to provide compensation for non-financial losses related to your accident. You may suffer significant pain during your ridesharing accident recovery.
In addition, many victims suffer impacts in other areas of their lives. Some may face social isolation as friends fall away during a long recovery process. Others may struggle with decreased enjoyment of life, especially if they have to give up hobbies and activities that they love as a result of their injuries. Talk to your attorney to learn more about how to include the suffering you face as part of your San Diego ridesharing accident claim.
As in any type of car accident, the liable party in a ridesharing accident may vary. In some ridesharing accidents, the driver may clearly bear liability for the accident. He or she may have chosen to drive while intoxicated or distracted, may have sped, or may have ignored the rules of the road. In other cases, you may find that the other driver involved in the crash caused the accident. He or she may have committed some of the same transgressions: driving under the influence, driving while drowsy, or driving aggressively, for example.
By working with an attorney, you may also identify other individuals who share liability for the accident. For example, in the case of a mechanical failure that causes a serious accident, you may want to pursue compensation from a mechanic who recently worked on the vehicle or from the manufacturer who installed a faulty part. The company that employs a driver who caused an accident while on the clock may also bear liability for the driver’s actions if the driver caused the accident.
California also acknowledges Uber and Lyft drivers as employees of the company, not contractors, which means that in some cases, the ridesharing company may bear direct liability for an accident. Contact an attorney to learn more.
Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft provide convenient and, in many cases, safer transportation options throughout San Diego. Not only can you use ridesharing services to provide an easy option when you do not want to drive, they can also offer safe transportation after a night out on the town. Unfortunately, the convenience of those options does not mean that they can’t end in an accident.
Did you suffer serious injuries in a ridesharing accident? If so, you may have many questions related to your claim, including how to go about seeking compensation for your injuries. Contact an experienced San Diego car accident attorney to ask any specific questions you may have about your claim and your right to compensation.
Uber and Lyft drivers carry insurance policies provided by the ridesharing company that offers a high degree of compensation for anyone injured in an accident with that driver. Both Uber and Lyft can offer up to $1 million in insurance, depending on the driver’s status at the time of the accident.
In some cases, you may have grounds to file a claim using that insurance policy even if that driver did not cause the accident, especially if the other driver did not carry insurance or carried inadequate insurance to cover the damages you suffered in the accident. Contact an experienced San Diego ridesharing accident attorney to learn more about your right to compensation after a ridesharing accident.
A ridesharing driver not using the app at the time of the accident does not count as an Uber or Lyft driver when it comes to an insurance claim. Once the driver turns the app off, you should plan to file for compensation through the driver’s usual insurance company.
On the other hand, if the driver has the app on and running, the driver’s status can determine the extent of the insurance coverage the company offers.
Talk to an attorney to learn more about how a driver’s status can impact the coverage you receive following a serious ridesharing accident in San Diego.
The insurance provided by a ridesharing company generally offers more than adequate protection and compensation for most injuries. Call our attorneys for help in filing these claims. We can also investigate to see whether the rideshare company itself bears any liability.
Both Uber and Lyft mandate that their drivers have safe vehicles in working condition to transport passengers for the company. A mechanical failure, including tire blowouts or brake failures, can cause severe injuries in an accident.
If you believe that a mechanical failure contributed to your accident, liability may rest with:
Locating all parties who share liability for an accident can increase the compensation you receive. Talk to your attorney if you believe other factors may have contributed to your accident, including mechanical failure.
After a San Diego ridesharing accident, you may notice your bills increasing fast. Medical bills, in particular, can add up quickly. How much compensation can you expect for those bills?
Consult an attorney to learn more about the specifics of your claim and how much compensation you should expect. Often, compensation varies. However, most people include common elements in their ridesharing accident claims.
Medical expenses. Your medical expenses will typically form the foundation of any San Diego ridesharing accident claim. Medical expenses can add up immensely after a serious accident.
You may have bills from:
Keep track of all medical bills related to your ridesharing accident, since you will need to establish proof of the bills you faced as a result of your injuries.
Lost income. In addition to your medical expenses, your San Diego ridesharing accident claim will usually include lost wages: the income you lost as a result of your inability to work following your accident. Many people find themselves unable to work for months following serious injuries. Sometimes, your employer will work with you to get you back in the office as soon as possible. Other times, you may need to wait until you have progressed further in your recovery, either because your injuries prevent you from working altogether or because your company will not accept liability for allowing you to work as you recover.
Include immediate lost wages due to shortened time at work as well as longer-term losses as you attend appointments or have to miss work due to procedures or therapies.
Pain and suffering. In addition to the damages you can calculate based on your actual financial losses, you can include compensation for pain and suffering from your injuries. Not only does the pain and suffering category of your San Diego ridesharing accident claim include the physical pain associated with your injuries, it may include emotional distress and losses related to your injuries. Talk to your attorney to learn more about how to incorporate these elements as part of your claim.
Some injuries can cause you to permanently lose the ability to work in your industry. For example, if you suffer a severe traumatic brain injury, it could permanently prevent you from working in a highly technical industry or a creative profession. Likewise, if you suffer spinal cord damage, it could prevent you from completing construction work or working in a factory. Losing the ability to work in your industry can cause emotional distress as well as significant financial challenges.
Talk to an attorney about how to address lost earning potential as part of your ridesharing accident claim. An attorney can help you include compensation that will help you pay your bills while you pursue another kind of employment. Compensation for lost earning potential can also help you go back to school or obtain a new certification that will allow you to work in a different industry.
Talk to a San Diego rideshare attorney before accepting any settlement offer made by an insurance company. Keep in mind that ridesharing services deal with accidents regularly. They know how to make a settlement offer that sounds appealing on the surface, but that will not provide you with the full compensation you deserve for your injuries. The insurance agent may pressure you to accept an offer quickly, even making you feel that the offer will go away if you do not accept fast.
An attorney, on the other hand, will give you a better picture of how much compensation you really deserve and how to go about getting it. A rideshare attorney will also let you know whether you should accept an offer given to you by the insurance company or continue to negotiate for the compensation you really deserve for your injuries.
Some people want to avoid hiring an attorney after a ridesharing accident because they fear that the cost of the attorney will outweigh the good, especially if they already have substantial bills to deal with. Many attorneys, however, will start by offering a free consultation to review your claim and get a better idea of how to handle it.
After that, an attorney that decides to accept your case may accept it on a contingent fee basis: that is, the attorney may allow you to pay for that legal assistance based only on a percentage of any settlement or award, rather than having to pay a fee up front. For many victims, this offers an effective way to receive legal assistance for your injury claim without worrying about up-front attorney costs.
Ridesharing drivers do not need to undergo any additional training to drive for these big companies. For the most part, they have only the same basic skills you would expect of any other driver. They also do not bear any additional responsibilities on the road: that is, they must follow the same rules of the road expected of any other driver. Ridesharing drivers also get held to the same standards as other drivers, which means that when they cause accidents, they must accept liability and manage the penalties associated with those accidents.
Since 2005, Gomez Trial Attorneys has served accident victims in the San Diego area. Led by John Gomez, a Yale alumnus who was rated the number one attorney in San Diego in polling conducted by Super Lawyers for two consecutive years, we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. Now we want to help you—no matter how complicated your case is. We’re not afraid to take cases to trial if that’s what it takes to get our clients the money they need to pay their bills and recover from their injuries.
Regardless of who caused your injuries, you should determine your eligibility to seek compensation for the injuries that you’ve sustained as well as your financial losses resulting from a San Diego ridesharing accident. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today at 833 GET GOMEZ (833-438-4663) for a free consultation.
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