The handheld technology of today makes our lives easier from buying groceries, scheduling appointments to hailing a ride. However, the ease of technology brings another layer into play when something goes wrong. As an example, let’s consider an accident involving an Uber driver.
Although Uber drivers are considered independent contractors in California, this does not necessarily mean that, should an accident occur, Uber bears no responsibility. The driver may not be completely liable under specific circumstances.
If you should become involved in an accident involving an Uber driver, then it is in your best interests to retain an attorney in Los Angeles with expertise in the laws of personal injury and the applicable laws affecting rideshare companies.
The Insurance Policies
Even though Uber drivers are independent contractors for purposes of income tax status and labor laws, Uber does carry a commercial liability policy to cover its drivers. The coverages under this policy will come into effect depending upon the driver’s status and actions when the accident occurs.
The paragraphs below describe the driver’s status at various times during a typical rideshare arrangement.
When a driver is offline, then the driver’s personal insurance policy applies.
When a driver is online but waiting for a rider, then the policies covering the driver and Uber will bear the costsfor compensation. When this happens, then subrogation comes into effect. Subrogation is the actions taken between insurance companies to establish responsibility for the cost of the damages suffered by all parties involved in the accident. Uber, the driver and the victim are not involved in the subrogation process between the insurance companies, but each policyholder will feel the effects of higher premiums when the policies renew.
When a driver is enroute and in response to a ride request or when the passenger is in the vehicle, then Uber’s insurance policy applies up to the coverage limits.
The insurance requirements in California for individuals are low. This means that a victim of an accident involving an Uber driver may not be fully compensated if Uber bears no responsibility.
Although an accident claim can be handled by the policyholder, it is strongly advised to retain a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles knowledgeable in the specific laws pertaining to rideshare companies. Once a claim is filed and demand letters are sent, the next step is to determine negligence.
If it is clear that the driver was the cause of the accident while online, then Uber can accept full responsibility for the claim. The gray area comes into play when the cause and the responsibilities are not clear or when the parties deny responsibility. In this instance, witnesses, adjusters and attorneys become part of the process.
It is imperative to retain an attorney with expertise in both personal injury and the responsibilities of the rideshare companies. Without proper representation of your best interests prior to the claim being made, there is a very good chance that your rights to full compensation become limited from what may be said or signed. You need representation by an experienced personal injury attorney to defend your position from the onset of the accident.
The amount of settlement is not fixed or predictable. Each settlement and the responsibilities are on a case-by-case basis as all circumstances will be different and of varying degrees.
Another important factor involving settlement is the number of victims in the accident. The number of claims made in an accident case will affect the settlement amount with the increased chance of policy limits being exhausted sooner.
This is why it is strongly advised to retain an attorney with the proper expertise and experience to represent your interests. Your attorney will work hard to identify all responsible parties. It is the position of the insurance companies representing Uber and the driver to prevent you from receiving the compensation you deserve.
Ready to Take Action? Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer to Schedule a No-Cost Case Review Today
Have you been a victim of an accident involving an Uber driver? At Los Angeles City Law, we are committed to skillfully employing our wealth of experience in pursuit of your claim’s optimal outcome. Our experienced car accident lawyers are solution-focused professionals who understand the hardships a car accident can cause, and we are here to help. For further information or to schedule a free consultation, please contact LA City Law at 866-522-4895, or visit www.LACityLaw.com to learn more. There is no financial risk to you.