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The Long-Term Consequences of Temecula Ridesharing Accident Injuries
Ridesharing vehicles may have to meet certain minimum safety standards, but that does not necessarily mean that they will perfectly protect the passengers of those vehicles. All too often, ridesharing accidents cause severe injuries, which may cause immense expense for the victim. Worse, ridesharing accident injuries can cause long-term limitations that affect every area of a victim’s life.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Car accidents, especially car accidents at high rates of speed, can cause victims to strike their heads against the dashboard, the seat, or another object in the vehicle. When that trauma delivers bruising force to the inside of the skull, it may result in a traumatic brain injury.
Some victims lose consciousness, either briefly or long-term, at the scene of the accident. Others may not notice a loss of consciousness, but may later realize the full extent of their injuries as they start to show serious symptoms, including confusion and disorientation.
Not only can traumatic brain injury cause immense problems with memory, including both short-term and long-term memory, but it can also leave victims struggling with focus or concentration, fighting to attend to the task at hand. Many patients with traumatic brain injury also notice immense emotional disturbance related to their injuries. While some have inappropriate emotional reactions based on the stimuli presented, others may have extreme reactions or unpredictable mood swings.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Victims with complete spinal cord injuries, in which the spinal cord injury severs completely because of the accident, may lose all mobility and sensation below the site of the injury. Often, victims also lose some organ function below the site of the injury, which can cause increased struggles. Victims with spinal cord injuries may need to use a wheelchair to get around. Some victims lose function in the hands and arms as well as the legs, which can further complicate personal care tasks or make it difficult to fully participate in work requirements. Often, victims with spinal cord injuries have to look for new professions and new hobbies because of their injuries.
Due to the volatility of a punctured gas tank and the damage caused to many ridesharing vehicles in severe accidents, some vehicles can burst into flames. Passengers trapped in the vehicle or too close to the vehicle when the fire begins may find themselves suffering from severe burns. Burn victims must often spend a long stay in an isolated burn unit, where the facility can take special steps to reduce the risk of complication and protect the victim as much as possible. Unfortunately, many burn victims still suffer extreme complications, including infection, because burns strip away the protective layer of skin that helps keep bacteria out of the body.
Severe road rash, experienced when an accident victim gets thrown out of the car and the victim’s flesh drags across pavement or another rough surface, can also mimic the symptoms of a severe burn. Victims with road rash may have a greater risk of infection due to foreign matter in the wound.
Amputation can permanently change the course of a victim’s life. Many victims of amputations must spend extensive time in occupational therapy, relearning how to perform simple, daily tasks. A prosthesis can replicate the appearance and some function of a missing limb, but it cannot entirely replace the function of a normal limb.
Some amputees cannot use prosthetics, or must use them only on a limited basis, due to discomfort in the stump. Using a prosthesis may also bring with it a considerable price tag, since most prosthetics require replacement within three to five years.
The Basics of a Claim Following a Temecula Ridesharing Accident
After your Temecula ridesharing accident, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you fully understand your right to compensation and help you effectively navigate your claim to increase your odds of maximizing the compensation that you ultimately receive for your injuries.
Expected Compensation After a Temecula Ridesharing Accident
Compensation matters following a severe accident caused by someone else’s negligence. You have medical bills to pay. Your other expenses may quickly grow overwhelming, especially if you must miss a substantial amount of work following your accident. A Temecula ridesharing accident claim can help provide the compensation you need to pay those bills.
Just how much compensation should you expect? Luckily, major ridesharing companies offer substantial insurance coverage to their drivers. When their drivers cause accidents, passengers receive a high level of financial protection. Having an attorney on your side, however, can help you fully evaluate how much compensation you should pursue following a ridesharing accident. Contact an attorney as soon after your accident as possible to allow the attorney to begin investigating your claim. An attorney can also advise you about your legal rights and help you put together a comprehensive plan of action as you prepare to file your claim.
How much did your medical bills cost? The injuries you suffered in your Temecula ridesharing accident can have an immense impact on the compensation you ultimately receive. You deserve compensation for your medical bills: the first, most obvious financial loss that you will face due to many ridesharing accident injuries.
An attorney can help you evaluate the full value of those medical expenses, including:
- Ambulance fees
- Emergency room treatment
- Surgeries and procedures
- Follow-up appointments
- Durable medical equipment
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- In-home care
- Long-term care in a facility
- Short-term hospitalization
In some cases, you may also have the right to claim the modifications you had to make to your home due to your injuries as part of the medical expenses related to your accident. For example, if you have to use a wheelchair following an amputation or spinal cord injuries, you may need to install a wheelchair ramp, widen your doorways, and change the design of your bathroom to accommodate the wheelchair. Often, these changes can lead to an expensive bill. Fortunately, you can often include part of that cost in your Temecula ridesharing accident claim.
How much work did your injuries cause you to miss? During the recovery from a severe ridesharing accident that resulted in substantial injuries, many people simply cannot take up their normal work responsibilities. Sometimes, your injuries may directly prevent you from taking on your usual work tasks: for example, with a traumatic brain injury, you may have a hard time interacting with customers or engaging in creative tasks. If you had a limb amputated from the accident, it can prove incredibly difficult to take care of responsibilities in a warehouse. Pain from your injuries may also interfere with your focus.
In some cases, your employer may prefer that you recover most of your usual capability before coming back to work. Your employer may have liability concerns, especially if your injuries cause severe physical limitations that prevent you from engaging in normal work tasks or your employer might acknowledge that you simply cannot complete those tasks while recovering.
Other times, your employer may work with you, trying to get you back to work as soon as possible. That may mean modifying your schedule or allowing you to work from home part-time while recovering from your injuries. While that can limit the amount of time at work you miss immediately after your accident, it may not eliminate it, especially if you need to deal with appointments, therapy, or ongoing limitations during your recovery. An attorney can help you assess how to calculate those losses and include them as part of your Temecula ridesharing accident claim.
What limitations and losses did your injuries cause? In addition to sections for tangible financial losses related to your accident, your Temecula ridesharing accident claim will include a segment dedicated to the pain and suffering that you’ve faced due to your injuries. Often, this includes the losses that your injuries may have caused that did not have a direct financial impact—the loss of your ability to enjoy activities that have been part of your life for a long time, for example, or the loss of your independence. Your attorney can advise you about how to handle this segment of your Temecula ridesharing accident claim.
Determining Liability in a Temecula Ridesharing Accident
As the passenger in a ridesharing vehicle, it’s extremely unlikely that you will end up liable for your ridesharing accident. To claim compensation for your injuries, however, your attorney will need to identify the party that caused your accident. If the rideshare driver caused your accident, you can pursue compensation through the driver’s insurance company.
On the other hand, if another party caused your accident, you may need to identify that party and pursue compensation from:
- The other driver. Sometimes, you may note that the other driver caused your ridesharing accident. That driver may have chosen to drive while distracted, to ignore the rules of the road, or to attempt to merge into traffic with inadequate room. If the other driver caused the accident, you may need to pursue compensation for your injuries through that driver’s insurance company.
- The other driver’s employer. Did an on-the-clock employee hit your ridesharing vehicle due to an act of negligence? Often, the liable party’s employer will share liability for any injuries caused by that driver. You may turn to the employer for compensation if that employer failed to properly maintain company vehicles, forced the driver to get behind the wheel in unsafe conditions, or knowingly employed a driver with a long accident history or a record of dangerous behavior on the road.
- The manufacturer of one of the vehicles. When mechanical failure causes an accident, your attorney may carefully evaluate what led to that failure. Often, the failure resides with the vehicle manufacturer, especially if the manufacturer put a product on the market that posed a known danger to consumers. Other times, the manufacturer of a specific component may bear liability for any injuries that occurred due to that component failing.
- A mechanic who recently worked on a vehicle. In addition to the manufacturer of a vehicle, mechanics may share liability for mechanical failure that leads to an accident. A mechanic bears a strong duty of care to his customers. He must ensure that he finds the problem the customer has with the vehicle, repairs it to the best of his ability, and checks for any further problems that could make the vehicle unsafe on the road. Unfortunately, some mechanics may cut corners: installing sub-standard parts, for example, or even damaging vehicle components while conducting other repairs. If a mechanic causes damage to a vehicle or fails to repair a known problem, but certifies the vehicle as road-worthy, that mechanic could share liability if the part fails and causes an accident.
Temecula Ridesharing Accident FAQs
Ridesharing accidents can leave you with questions about your legal rights, including your right to compensation. Did you suffer serious injuries in a ridesharing accident? Contact an attorney to learn more about any specific issues you may have regarding your claim or to schedule a free consultation that will help you evaluate your rights and your eligibility to file a claim.
1. I suffered injuries as a passenger in a Temecula ridesharing vehicle, but the rideshare driver did not cause the accident. Can I still file a claim?
Both Uber and Lyft, the major ridesharing companies in the Temecula area, offer high-value insurance policies that offer substantial compensation to victims of accidents caused by their drivers. Those policies can help maximize the compensation you ultimately receive for injuries suffered in a car accident.
In some cases, you may file for compensation through that insurance policy even if the rideshare driver did not cause your injuries. Get in touch with an experienced Temecula ridesharing accident attorney to learn more about how to maximize your compensation following a ridesharing accident.
2. Who pays my medical bills after a Temecula ridesharing accident?
An accident that results in substantial injuries also brings with it severe medical bills. Many accident victims find themselves struggling to pay those bills, especially if they do not have adequate health insurance or their health insurance does not cover the specific services that they need.
As the injured party, however, you will need to make arrangements to take care of your medical bills. Your health insurance can provide a valuable buffer that helps pay for many of your medical expenses, including ongoing expenses for injuries like spinal cord injuries or amputations.
You can also use the funds from a Temecula ridesharing accident claim to help pay your medical bills after a ridesharing accident. Contact an experienced Temecula ridesharing accident attorney to learn more about how much compensation you can expect following your accident.
3. Does it matter if a Temecula ridesharing driver had a passenger at the time of the accident?
The coverage offered by the insurance policies that cover ridesharing drivers may depend on whether the driver had a passenger at the time of the accident. Those insurance policies have tiers of coverage based on the driver’s status at the time of an accident.
If a driver holds inactive status at the time of the accident—the driver neither has a current passenger nor has headed to pick a passenger up, and has the app turned off—you may need to file for compensation through the driver’s personal insurance policy.
On the other hand, if the driver sits active, waiting to pick up a passenger, but has not yet accepted a passenger, you can file for compensation through the rideshare insurance. However, the driver may have less coverage than when actively performing tasks for the company at the time of the accident.
Finally, if the driver actively has a passenger or has headed out on the way to pick up a passenger at the time of the accident, your accident may qualify to receive full coverage through the rideshare policy.
4. What steps should I take to protect myself after a Temecula rideshare accident?
After a rideshare accident, you will not have to worry about personal liability for the accident itself. The steps you take, however, can help protect you and your finances after the accident.
Step One: Report the accident, and wait for the police. You may have hired a rideshare vehicle because you needed to get to a destination quickly. You may have an appointment that you want to make. Leaving the scene of the accident, however, can cause more problems down the road, including the fact that you may not have your name and potential injuries on the accident report.
Stay at the scene of the accident, and report it to the police. Let the police know anything you saw that may have contributed to the accident, including the rideshare driver texting and driving, driving erratically, or checking a GPS device in the moments before the crash. Do not, however, make up evidence about the accident.
Step Two: Have your injuries evaluated by a medical professional. Sometimes, you may feel fine at the scene of the accident, only to later uncover very serious injuries. You may, for example, find out in the days and weeks following the accident that you suffered severe back and neck injuries, or that you suffered a traumatic brain injury at the time of the accident. You may also discover broken bones well after the initial accident.
If you do not seek medical treatment immediately after the accident, you may not receive the right treatment for your injuries, which can cause you to inadvertently make them worse. You may also make it much more difficult to prove exactly when your injuries took place, which can make it more difficult for you to seek compensation through a Temecula ridesharing accident claim.
Step Three: Contact an attorney. Before you talk to the rideshare driver’s insurance company, or any other insurance company covering the accident, you need to get in touch with our experienced attorneys. We can help you understand how much compensation to seek for injuries sustained in your accident and allow you to pursue that claim more effectively.
5. What should I do if I get a quick settlement offer from the Temecula rideshare driver’s insurance company?
Rideshare insurance providers deal with car accident claims regularly and they know how to manipulate accident victims. In some cases, that may mean trying to convince you to take a low settlement offer, which will alleviate the insurance company’s financial burden. Unfortunately, at the same time, it adds to your burden and makes it more difficult for you to pay your bills.
That initial settlement offer will often contain just enough money to look tempting. After all, you may have medical bills piling up and other serious concerns to deal with. You need money to take care of those expenses and decrease your stress while you deal with the physical elements of your recovery.
The insurance adjuster that contacts you may also pressure you to accept a settlement offer quickly. The adjuster does not want you to take the time to consult with an attorney nor to have time to realize the full extent of your injuries and what they will cost. If you accept a fast settlement offer, it will likely prevent you from pursuing future compensation, even if your injuries turn out much more complicated than initially assumed.
Instead, talk to an experienced Temecula ridesharing accident attorney. That attorney will look over your claim and give you a better idea of how much compensation you should really expect following your accident. You may find that an attorney can give you a better idea of when you should accept a settlement offer and when you deserve considerably more compensation than the liable party or insurance company initially presents.
6. Does a Temecula rideshare accident involve more complexity than a normal passenger vehicle accident?
Sometimes, a rideshare accident, or, more notably, a rideshare accident claim, can turn out more complicated than a standard passenger vehicle accident and claim. Your accident claim may involve multiple insurance companies: the rideshare driver’s personal insurance company, the rideshare insurance company, and the insurance company used by the other driver or anyone else involved in the accident. Each company will need to conduct its own investigation, which can complicate the process and make it more difficult for you to file a claim.
To make it easier to file your claim, consider the benefits of working with an experienced rideshare accident attorney. That attorney can help you navigate your claim and increase the odds that you will receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
7. How do I determine who caused my Temecula rideshare accident?
Often, the police report will indicate which driver caused an accident.
Sometimes, however, the rideshare driver or that driver’s insurance company may dispute the police report. You may need to make a statement about any events you saw leading up to the rideshare accident, including any actions the rideshare driver committed that may have increased the risk of an accident. You may also need to wait for the insurance companies to resolve liability in the accident before you can fully pursue compensation for the injuries you suffered in the accident.
8. How long does it take to settle a Temecula rideshare accident claim?
You need money from your accident, and you need it as soon as possible, especially if you have medical bills adding up. Unfortunately, you may have to wait before you have a settlement check in hand, and in the meantime, you may need to make other arrangements to take care of your bills.
We can contact your medical providers to prevent them from sending your bills to a collection agency or hassling you for payments until your case concludes.
After a rideshare accident, contact an attorney as soon as possible. That does not necessarily mean, however, that your claim will proceed quickly. First, your attorney will need to investigate the accident and any factors that may have contributed to it. If your attorney uncovers additional information about the claim, including another entity that may have contributed to your accident, it can increase your compensation, but it may also take longer to manage your claim.
Your attorney may also advise waiting until you progress several months through your recovery before filing a Temecula ridesharing accident claim. Often, following severe injuries, doctors cannot always predict the patient’s recovery immediately. You may need to move through your recovery, see how much mobility you regain, or determine how much scarring you may have.
During those initial months after your recovery, you may also have a higher rate of potential complications, which can increase your medical expenses and make it harder for you to make a full recovery. Since all of those factors can contribute to the amount you can claim as part of your Temecula ridesharing accident claim, your attorney may advise waiting until you have had time to heal before officially filing your claim.
Next, you will need to negotiate. Your attorney will put together a demand package that indicates the full extent of your injuries and what compensation you expect for them, including all financial losses related to the accident and any compensation for pain and suffering. The insurance company will have the chance to respond to that demand package: either accepting it or, more commonly, coming back with a lower offer. You may go through several rounds of negotiation with the insurance company, especially in the case of severe injuries with a high price tag.
Finally, if you cannot reach an agreement through negotiation, you may need to take your claim further. Sometimes, you will go to a mediator—an individual, often a judge or retired judge, who will take a look at your claim, assess it, and provide you with a better idea of what the claim will look like if you take it to court. Often, if you can’t reach an agreement on your own, you may reach an agreement in mediation.
If you cannot reach an agreement through mediation, your claim will need to go to court. In court, both sides will have an opportunity to present information about the claim. The jury will make a final determination as to how much compensation you are entitled to for your injuries. Usually, this court appearance will end your Temecula ridesharing accident claim, though you can, in some cases, appeal the decision.
Did You Suffer Serious Injuries in a Temecula Ridesharing Accident?
If you suffered severe injuries in a Temecula ridesharing accident, a personal injury attorney can help you determine the full costs of your injuries and support you throughout your accident claim. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today at 833-GET GOMEZ (833-438-4663) for your free consultation.
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