Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft continue to gain popularity in Southern California and around the country. Uber drivers transport passengers, packages, food, and more. More people signing on to be drivers means more cars on Los Angeles and Orange County roads. Additional cars on the road mean a greater chance of an accident. Pursuing a personal injury claim involving an Uber driver can be complicated. Understandably, injured victims want to know California’s average Uber accident settlement amounts.
Unfortunately, every case is different, which means Uber car accident settlements will vary greatly depending on the circumstances. Your potential case value depends on individual factors. Uber is not always responsible for paying your damages either, which could also impact your compensation. If you suffered injuries in an accident with an Uber driver, contact the California rideshare lawyers at the Beliz Law Firm today.
To help you better understand how much your potential settlement could be, here’s everything you need to know about pursuing an Uber accident claim in California.
Uber Insurance Policies
Rideshare companies understand that accidents happen, so they have large insurance policies to cover potential Uber accident settlement amounts. Uber has paid damages to injured rideshare passengers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, other motorists, and bicyclists. However, Uber policies don’t necessarily cover every accident involving an Uber driver. That is why we recommend hiring an attorney to assist you. Uber insurance policies only become primary in certain instances based on what the Uber driver was doing when the accident occurred.
Uber liability coverage for an accident depends on the driver’s status. The breakdown is as follows.
The Uber App Is Turned Off, or the Driver Is Offline
If the Uber driver does not have their app turned on or they are offline, then the Uber driver’s personal auto insurance policy would be primary for the accident.
The Uber Driver Has the App Turned On or Is Waiting for a Ride Request
The Uber policy will provide coverage when the driver has the app turned on or is waiting for a ride. Usually, during this phase, the Uber driver’s personal auto liability policy denies coverage. However, the Uber policy coverage is lower in this type of accident. Applicable coverage is $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury for all parties in one accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident.
Uber Driver Was on a Trip or Traveling to Pick Up a Ride
In accidents involving a driver with a passenger in the vehicle or en route to pick up the passenger, the Uber policy would apply with higher limits of up to $1,000,000.
Factors that Impact a Potential Uber Settlement in California
Various factors will impact your potential Uber accident settlement payout. It’s crucial to take the appropriate steps to build the best case possible. The more substantial evidence you have, the more money you may receive from a settlement or trial award.
Type and Severity of Injuries
One essential factor in your claim involves your injuries. If someone has soft tissue injuries that heal within three months, their case will be worth significantly less than a case where the victim has a spinal cord injury with permanent paralysis. Following a car accident, timely medical treatment is a necessity. Even though serious injuries may not be apparent immediately after a collision, pains and injuries may increase over the days and weeks following. Insurance companies will argue that you must not be that hurt because you waited weeks to see a doctor. Or they might allege something else happened in the meantime that caused your injuries, not the accident.
Liability is another factor that can impact your potential Uber settlement in California. California is a pure comparative negligence state. That means you can still collect a portion of your damages, even if you are partially at fault. However, your Uber accident settlement would be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if a jury determines you are 20% at fault, you will receive 80% of your damages. If the jury decides you are 70% at fault, you will only receive 30%.
Determining liability for an Uber-related accident can be challenging. Complicated factors, such as what the Uber driver was doing when the collision occurred, and your role, can significantly impact your potential Uber accident settlement. If you were a passenger in an Uber vehicle and another vehicle was at fault for the accident, you would need to pursue a claim against the negligent motorist. If applicable then you may be able to bring an underinsured motorist claim against Uber to be fully compensated for your injuries.
To maximize an Uber accident settlement payout, you need to build the strongest liability case possible. It doesn’t matter whether your claim is against Uber’s insurance company or the insurance company of another driver; the claims adjuster will do whatever possible to pin most of the liability away from them.
Total Amount of Damages
The total amount of damages also impact Uber accident settlement amounts. The more damages you have, the higher your case could be worth. Damages can be divided into two main categories—economic and non-economic damages. Your economic damages include tangible financial losses such as medical expenses both past and future, property damage, and time off work. Non-economic damages are harder to calculate because they are more subjective. They are pain and suffering, loss of consortium, emotional distress, and more. When you have the Beliz Law Firm representing you, we will work tirelessly to provide evidence of your damages.
Liability Plus Insurance Policy Limits Plus Damages Equals Settlement Amount The Amount of Liability Coverage
The amount of settlement will depend on the combination of liability, the policy limits, and the damages. The higher percentage of liability on the Uber driver with higher insurance limits plus serious injuries may lead to a greater settlement value. However, the opposite is true. The lower percentage of negligence on the Uber driver with the lowest limits of insurance and soft tissue injuries that go away quickly may equal a low value. There are a variety of combinations in between.
Looking at how the four factors of injury severity, damages, liability, and coverage impact your claim, it becomes easier to understand why Uber accident claims settle for wildly different amounts. You could have two injury claims with similar injuries and damages that resolve for completely different amounts. Why? Because liability or insurance coverage varied significantly between the two claims.
What to Do Following an Accident with an Uber
After an accident, it’s crucial to remain calm. You need to stay alert and remember these helpful steps. What you do immediately following the accident can impact Uber accident settlement amounts. When someone is complaining about injuries at the scene, you need to contact the police and report that someone is injured.
Take Scene Photos
If you can do so safely and your injuries are not too severe, taking photos of the scene is helpful. You want to get pictures of the damage to the involved vehicles and the surrounding location. Include photos of any skid marks and debris on the ground. What is the weather like at the time? If it’s raining or there is heavy fog at the time, photos and videos will capture the moments you cannot recreate as well from testimony.
Seek Timely Medical Treatment
You will be transported from the accident scene to the hospital in accidents with severe injuries. If your injuries are not severe enough to require emergency transport, schedule a doctor appointment as soon as possible. You could have internal injuries that are not necessarily visible.
Be cautious about what you say at the scene. You don’t want to say something that can jeopardize your case; otherwise, the defendant’s insurance company will try to use that against you in any way possible. The claims adjuster will also attempt to make you agree to a recorded statement. You should not consent to a statement without legal representation.
Speak with an Attorney
Speak with an attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you retain a California rideshare lawyer at the Beliz Law Firm, the sooner we can start protecting your rights. You don’t have an unlimited amount of time to bring a claim for damages. Should you miss the legal deadline to file a lawsuit, known as the statute of limitations, the court could dismiss your case. That means you would be ineligible to collect any compensation, and you won’t receive any Uber accident settlement payout.
Stay Off Social Media
It’s tempting to go online and share details of your accident, but you really need to resist the temptation to do so. Insurance companies scour online profiles looking for any posts, photos, status updates, etc., they can use against you. Even if you don’t say anything you think is inappropriate, the insurance adjuster will try to turn your posts around and use anything you say against you. It’s best to stay off your social media accounts if you’re presenting any personal injury claim, or you could jeopardize your Uber settlement in California.
Contact Beliz Law Firm Today
If you have questions about Uber accident settlement amounts in California, the Beliz Law Firm can help. We have years of experience assisting injured victims like you. We understand the complex nature of these types of personal injury claims. We will protect your rights and work tirelessly to build the strongest case possible. Our goal is to help you pursue the maximum compensation you’re entitled to receive. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation. Let us review your case and explain what your potential Uber accident settlement might be.