If you’re injured by a negligent driver in southern California because that driver was distracted, intoxicated, careless, or negligent, it’s important to seek advice and legal representation at once from an Orange County personal injury attorney.
A personal injury lawyer will assist you with filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. In many cases, that company will compensate you quickly for your hospital and doctor bills and for any wages you’ve lost because you were injured.
Most personal injury claims arising from California traffic accidents are quickly and straightforwardly settled, and usually, you won’t even have to show up in court. Your injury attorney will negotiate an out-of-court settlement that satisfies everyone who is involved.
But continue reading, because many other injury claims are not that easily resolved.
What if an Accident Involves an Uber Vehicle?
If you are injured and the other driver in the accident is working for Uber, or if you’re injured in a collision while you’re a passenger with Uber, the case can quickly get complicated.
In either of these circumstances, you must put your case immediately in the hands of a southern California personal injury attorney. You will need to have a good attorney working on your behalf.
Uber was founded in 2009, and it launched the worldwide rideshare industry. In 2019, Uber claimed gross revenues of more than $18 billion. As of 2020, Uber has approximately 75 million riders and three million drivers around the world.
How Are Uber Passengers Protected?
Thousands of California consumers use Uber – many now ride with Uber exclusively – and these consumers should understand what Uber does to protect passengers and anyone who is injured in a collision with an Uber vehicle. When such an accident occurs, these questions will arise:
1. When the collision occurred, how was the Uber vehicle covered by insurance?
2. When the collision occurred, was the driver on duty and working for Uber?
What Does Uber’s Insurance Cover?
Coverage for Uber vehicles will depend on the vehicle’s status when the accident occurred:
1. When an Uber driver is transporting a passenger or on the way to pick up a passenger, the vehicle has $1 million of liability coverage and $1 million of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
2. If a driver is “on-call” but has no passenger and is not en route to pick up a passenger, the vehicle has $50,000 of bodily injury coverage, $100,000 of coverage for injuries to more than one person in a single accident, and $30,000 of property damage coverage.
3. If a driver isn’t working when a collision happens, the driver’s own auto insurance offers the only insurance coverage.
When Should You Speak to a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Like any company, Uber is in business to make a profit, so a personal injury claim against Uber or one of its drivers may be challenged. If Uber disputes your claim, acquiring compensation can be difficult and complicated.
You will need to have an Orange County personal injury lawyer advise and represent you from the beginning. Obtain a medical examination, get the treatment you need, and then speak to a personal injury attorney immediately.
Even if you are ostensibly “covered” by Uber’s insurance, the company providing the coverage may make an initial settlement offer that isn’t even close to the real value of your claim. “Low-ball” offers need to be rejected.
If you take the initial settlement offer, you’ll waive the right to pursue legal action later or receive any further compensation.
How Will an Accident Attorney Work on Your Behalf?
In an Uber accident, if you are injured – either in the Uber vehicle, in the other vehicle, or even as a pedestrian – you must retain legal counsel promptly so that your lawyer may represent you in negotiations with the auto insurance company.
If that company tries to contact you, refer the person you speak with to your lawyer. Don’t make any formal statement or sign any insurance document. Anything you say to the insurance company could be used against you. Let your attorney do the talking and negotiating.
Personal injury attorneys are trained, experienced negotiators who routinely handle these cases for clients who have been injured by negligence. Your attorney will know what’s needed to obtain the compensation – and the justice – that you are entitled to by California law.
Injury claims are usually resolved privately when attorneys for the two sides negotiate out-of-court. It’s rare for an injury claim based on a vehicle accident to go to trial. However, trials are more likely if commercial vehicles – and companies that care about profits – are involved.
What Steps Should You Take?
If you are injured in a vehicle accident that involves Uber – or any traffic collision – summon medical help and the police. Get personal contact and insurance company details from the other drivers (or from both drivers if you are a passenger in either vehicle or a pedestrian).
Take pictures of the vehicle damages, your own visible injuries, and the general accident scene. If there were eyewitnesses, try to obtain their contact information as well. Photographs and eyewitness statements can be powerful evidence in support of a personal injury claim.
If you were injured, you’ll need to start the legal process promptly. The statute of limitations in California for personal injury cases based on vehicle collisions is two years from the date you were injured, but you can’t procrastinate for two years and try to file a claim at the last minute.
Evidence in these cases can deteriorate or disappear, and the recollections of eyewitnesses can fade rapidly. This cannot be stressed strongly enough; you’ll need an attorney’s help as quickly as possible after you’ve been injured.
What Will It Cost You to Seek Compensation?
If any driver injures you in southern California traffic, you can schedule your first meeting with an Orange County personal injury attorney without cost or obligation. You’ll learn how California law applies in your case, and you’ll get the sound, personalized advice you need.
If you proceed with a legal action, you pay no lawyer’s fee unless – and until – your injury attorney obtains a settlement or a jury verdict on your behalf.
Don’t let Uber’s size or fame intimidate you. If you’re injured in a collision with a negligent Uber driver, the law in California will be on your side, and you’ll have the right to a good personal injury attorney’s help.