Planning a journey is a great deal easier than it once was. If circumstances require you to hire a car for your trip, you have many more options than before. Uber is one of the most popular options. Millions of people across the country have downloaded the Uber app and maintain an account with the company. The latter allows you to arrange pick-up, drop off, and payment without having to speak on the phone or use cash.
The convenience of the ridesharing system is what draws so many people to it. What most people don’t know is just how little time and effort Uber puts into screening and training its drivers. Anyone can become an Uber driver; all they need is their own vehicle and driver’s license. The next time you get into an Uber car you may be putting your life in the hands of a person who is not fit to be in such a job.
Indeed, if you were recently injured in a crash while a passenger in an Uber vehicle, you may be the victim of the company’s lacklustre driver policies. You need not resign yourself to the disruption and ruin that can follow such an accident. You can get fair compensation for the harm done to you by the negligence and recklessness of an Uber driver. Hiring an Uber accident lawyer will help you attain this end.
The state of California has recently passed a law that gives many who work in the so-called gig economy the rights and benefits of full-time workers. Ridesharing drivers are beneficiaries of this legislation. The law makes moot one of the central arguments advanced by Uber over the last few years: that its drivers are contractors, not employees. With the passage of AB 5, Uber drivers are now considered employees of the company. This makes Uber liable for their errors, oversights, and accidents.
Possible Outcomes of an Uber Driver Accident
However, if you have been in an Uber accident, you should not count on being paid by the company straightaway. There is a process, and your Uber accident lawyer will help see you through it.
Here are some of the possible outcomes of such an accident:
1. The driver’s insurance compensates you
One of the main issues with Uber drivers is that they do not all have the same insurance. Some drivers have high-quality policies that include liability provisions. Others have inadequate insurance that is limited to covering damages to the car and injury to the driver. If you were driven by a driver with extensive coverage, it may be possible to get the money you need by making a claim with the driver’s insurance company. In fact, Uber will insist that you do.
However, you should only make such a claim in consultation with your ridesharing accident lawyer. If your injuries were light and superficial, the amount offered to you may be enough to help you pay the medical bills and compensate you for the emotional shock and trauma of the crash.
2. Uber offers a settlement
If the driver’s insurance company does not offer enough money to help you offset expenses, then Uber will offer you money. The company is willing to offer up to a million dollars in compensation. However, they will at the outset offer you a lower figure, in the hope that you will take it and forgo any further claim. Your lawyer will reject such an offer. If you have been badly injured, then you are entitled to the full million dollars, or more if your injuries warrant it.
3. You negotiate with Uber for a higher settlement
Uber’s 1 million standard offer is not the limit of what you can get out of the company. An especially bad car accident can lead to injuries serious enough to put you in the hospital for quite a long time. By the time you have fully recovered, you may have accumulated medical costs that stretch into the millions. The injuries you sustained may make it impossible for you to return to work. And if you are permanently disabled, then you may need full-time in-home care.
In such cases, your ridesharing accident lawyer will press Uber for more money; they will insist on a figure that reflects the medical expenses you have incurred, the pain and suffering you have endured, and the cost of remaking your life to account for your disability.
4. You file a lawsuit against the company
If Uber refuses to offer a fair settlement or prolongs the negotiations past a certain point, your attorney may advise you to file suit against the company.
What to Expect During a Lawsuit Against Uber
The ideal outcome in a personal injury case is to get the money you deserve without filing a lawsuit or going to trial. Most such cases are settled in this way. Uber prefers not to take such cases to trial. Nor do they liked to be sued. Both legal actions bring negative publicity to the company and threaten to damage their brand. If the company has risked a lawsuit, it means they are prepared to hold the line on the amount of money they are willing to give. You must prepare for a tough fight.
Fortunately, West Coast Trial Lawyers knows how to manage the situation so that it does not overwhelm or unduly burden their clients. If you are compelled to file a lawsuit, your attorney will do their part. They will go beyond the official report. They will launch an independent investigation that aims to gather more evidence proving the recklessness of the driver. To this end, they will make inquiries into the driving record and background of the driver. They will also re-interview key witnesses to the accident.
West Coast Trial Lawyers will also gather statements and sworn testimony from medical experts. These will be used to show how the injuries sustained in the accident have affected your health.
As your attorney does their part, you must also do yours.
Lawyers representing big companies like Uber are not above ploys and dirty tricks that are meant to undermine your credibility and your case. Here are a few tips on getting through such a lawsuit without accidentally sabotaging your own case:
1. Minimize posts on social media
Assume that your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and other social media accounts are being monitored. You should not post images or content that contradicts your stated physical condition. Even the most benign posts can give the opposition ammunition against you.
2. Do not tell strangers about your case
While you may be a naturally sociable and friendly person, you should not speak of your condition or lawsuit to anyone you don’t know. Indeed, you should restrict such conversations to a few intimates. Companies have been known to pump the friends and relatives of claimants for information. This is not an exaggeration; it is reality.
3. Never communicate directly with Uber
Once you have retained a lawyer, Uber should direct all communication toward them. However, if they do attempt to reach out to you directly, you should refer them to your attorney. Do not answer any questions or make any statements to Uber. Leave all this to your ridesharing accident lawyer.