If you have been injured in an auto accident in Los Angeles, California that involves other drivers, the at-fault driver's insurance would typically pay a monetary settlement to the victim. However, when it comes to rideshare vehicles such as Uber, there are a host of issues and questions about who could be held liable for the injuries and damages caused.
If you are involved in a car accident involving an Uber vehicle or if you are a passenger in an Uber, generally speaking, Uber and their insurance policy should cover victims for their injuries and damages. However, the value of the settlement or the compensation victims receive could depend on a number of factors including the nature and extent of their injuries, who was at fault, the types of losses incurred and the rideshare company's insurance policy limits.
If you have been injured in an Uber accident, it is important to contact an experienced lawyer to find out what your California Uber accident settlement would be worth.
Factors to Consider When Determining a Settlement
Each and every case has a unique set of facts and circumstances. Here are some of the key factors that could determine the value or worth of your Uber accident settlement:
How Badly You Were Injured
The nature and extent of your injuries could play an important role in how much compensation you receive after an Uber accident. Seeking prompt medical attention is one of the most crucial steps you can take after an accident. Make sure you keep track of your medical records pertaining to the accident.
Document how your injuries have affected your everyday life, which can help show the impact of your injury. The more severe your injuries, the higher your settlement amount is likely to be. For example, if you suffered a catastrophic injury or lifelong disability such as paralysis or a type of brain injury, you may be eligible to receive much more compensation than if you suffered a moderate injury such as broken bones.
The damages you suffer in an Uber accident will also determine the value of your settlement. Often, these damages include the following:
Medical expenses: These could include cost of emergency treatment, doctor office visits, surgery, hospitalization, medications, medical equipment, etc.
Lost income: If you lost income because you could not work as the result of your injuries, you can seek compensation for lost income. If your injuries are so severe that you cannot return to the job you had prior to the accident, you can also seek compensation for loss of earning capacity or reduced earning capacity.
Physical pain and suffering: This refers to the physical pain victims endure after a traumatic car accident and how that impacts and impairs their day-to-day lives and activities
Mental anguish or emotional distress: A car accident is a truly traumatic event, which also results in significant emotional distress and may lead to conditions such as depression, anxiety and even post-traumatic stress.
Loss of consortium: This is compensation for loss of intimacy or companionship suffered by the victim's spouse or partner.
Permanent injuries and disabilities: Accident victims also suffer permanent injuries that could lead to lifelong disabilities such as loss of limbs. Some may also suffer from scarring and disfigurement.
Proving the extent of the damages you have suffered after an Uber accident could be challenging. Uber's insurance company, for example, could deny or minimize your claim. This is why you need an experienced rideshare attorney on your side who can help fight for your rights and help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Uber Insurance Coverage
You may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit even if the statute of limitations has passed, but you may not necessarily succeed with your claim. This is because defendants in your case will typically use the argument that the statute of limitations has expired to get your car accident case dismissed.
The statute of limitations also applies to injury settlements. California law prohibits individuals from seeking damages after the two-year deadline has passed. You also lose your leverage if you let the statute of limitations expire because the defendant won't feel any type of pressure to settle with you.
Who Was At Fault
Fault can also be an important factor when it comes to compensation in an Uber accident. California is a pure comparative fault state, which means that if you are found partially at fault for causing an accident, your settlement will be based on your percentage of fault. So, if you receive a $300,000 settlement based on your damages, but you were found to be 50% at fault, you will recover only half or $150,000 of the settlement amount. This fault rule only applies when you are not a passenger in an Uber.
Rideshare Laws in California
There are a number of laws in California that protect rideshare passengers. Here are some of the laws and regulations set forth by the California Public Utilities Commission:
- Uber decals must be clearly displayed on the front and back windshields of the vehicles when they are using the app.
- All rideshare drivers must pass an annual background check.
- Drivers must undergo a vehicle inspection check every 12 months or 50,000 miles
Even though rideshare drivers are not employees, Uber can still be held liable if someone gets injured in an accident involving one of their drivers. California law requires Uber to maintain a $1 million insurance policy that covers personal injury, property damage and death and also provide $1 million in uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
Average Settlement for Injured Uber Accident Passengers
There is no set amount of settlement in Uber accident cases. Accident claims typically depend on the circumstances of the accident and the severity of the injuries. If you suffered a relatively minor injury, your claim may be worth a few thousands dollars. However, if you suffer severe injuries, the value of your Uber accident claim might be much higher. In the case of a catastrophic injury such as a brain injury or spinal cord trauma, victims may reach awards up to the policy limit, which in most cases, is $1 million.
In some cases, settlements may exceed that amount depending on the severity of the injuries and degree of negligence. In such cases, there are always a number of variables involved. The best way to determine the value of your settlement would be to seek the counsel of an experienced Uber accident lawyer who can provide you with a free case evaluation.
Different Damage Types Available
Some of the common types of damages in Uber accident settlements include the following:
Property damage: This could cover the cost of any personal property of yours that may have been damaged at the time of the crash.
Medical bills: If you have been injured in an Uber accident, the cost of medical bills could add up very quickly. To maximize your settlement amount, you will need to provide your lawyer with copies of your medical bills and other paperwork that document your injuries and treatment received.
Loss of income: This refers to income you lost because you had to take time off work to recover from your injuries. Evidence of wages may include pay stubs or correspondence with your employer.
Pain and suffering: These are non-economic damages that are typically awarded based on the level of physical pain and mental suffering endured by victims.
Wrongful death: If you have lost a loved one in an Uber accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, lost future income and loss of care and companionship.
An experienced Uber accident lawyer will be able to help you navigate what can be a complex process and help determine which of these damages are likely to be included in your final settlement.
Pain and Suffering Damage Calculations
There are a number of different ways in which pain and suffering damages can be calculated:
The Per Diem Method: “Per diem” in Latin means “per day.” This method involves putting in an amount for each day of your recovery process. Daily income provides the basis for this calculation. This amount might work better for those who have not suffered serious injuries or long-term disabilities and whose recovery period is shorter.
The Multiplier Method: This method, like the Per Diem method involves putting economic figures to your injuries and expenses stemming from those injuries such as medical bills, lost income and property damage. This figure is then multiplied by a number between one and five, which most accurately represents the level of pain and suffering you have suffered. In some cases the multiplier may be higher than five, especially if the damage is serious or catastrophic.
How Long Do Uber Accident Settlements Usually Take to Resolve?
Uber may drag out the settlement process for way too long. Insurance companies may try to shortchange victims or deny claims. This is why it is important to have a car accident lawyer on your side who has successfully dealt with Uber and rideshare companies. At the Vaziri Law Group Personal Injury Attorneys, we are very familiar with the strategies employed by these corporations. We will fight hard not only to make sure that you receive fair compensation, but also to ensure that you receive the compensation you need in a timely manner.
Does Uber Give You Money When You Are in an Accident?
Whether or not you receive compensation from Uber could depend on a number of factors such as whether you are a passenger in the Uber, an Uber driver, or driver of another vehicle involved in a collision with an Uber vehicle. If you are the driver of the Uber, the insurance company used by Uber will only cover damage to the vehicle. Uber will cover their driver's personal injury claim if the other car was at fault for the crash and that driver was uninsured or underinsured. If you are a passenger, you will be eligible to receive compensation for your losses from Uber depending on the facts of the case. If you are the driver of another vehicle struck by an Uber vehicle, you may be able to seek compensation as well.
Getting Help For Your Accident
Traffic accidents including rideshare accidents could result in devastating or catastrophic injuries. If you have been injured in an Uber accident, you may be intimidated by the idea of taking on not just a major corporation, but also their insurance company. At the Vaziri Law Group Personal Injury Attorneys, we have significant experience going up against large corporations on behalf of our injured clients and their families.
We are passionate about pursuing justice and compensation on your behalf. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not charge any fees unless we secure compensation for you. Contact our Los Angeles rideshare attorneys today at 310-777-7540 to find out how we can help you after an Uber accident.