In some cases, liability in a car accident is easy to assign, like when one driver causes an accident by breaking the rules of the road. In other cases, like those involving multiple cars and drivers, assigning liability can be more difficult.
When it comes to cases involving a ridesharing service like Uber, the situation can become even more complex. If an Uber driver is involved in an accident, insurance providers may try to assign liability to the Uber driver, the company, the passenger, or other drivers involved. This can get messy without the assistance of an experienced attorney who knows the laws in California.
What can you do if you’re in an accident while riding in an Uber? How can you protect yourself against liability and what can you do to ensure fair compensation for your injuries? Here’s what you need to know.
The Case for Assigning Liability
When you visit Los Angeles, it’s natural to hire a driver to navigate the maze of freeways and neighborhoods in the urban sprawl. Uber makes it easy with a user-friendly app that lets you track your driver, rate your ride, and pay by phone.
While most Uber rides are scheduled and completed without incident, allowing you to get to your destination on time and intact, busy freeways are hotspots for auto accidents.
When an accident occurs, there could be any number of people at fault, including one or more drivers or passengers. Why is this important? Assigning liability determines who will pay for injuries and damages resulting from the accident. As a passenger in the Uber, it’s unlikely, but not impossible, that you could be at fault for an accident. If, for example, you open a car door into traffic or drunkenly assault your driver, causing an accident, you could be held liable.
In most cases, one or more drivers will be at fault. It’s important to determine liability to ensure that any injuries you suffer will be covered by insurance. Further complicating the matter, however, is that Uber’s insurance covers employees while they’re driving for the company (as opposed to the driver’s personal auto insurance policy), so you may have to deal with Uber in the course of seeking compensation.
Common Causes of Accidents
Proving that one driver or another is at fault for an accident isn’t always easy. As a passenger, you may be called upon to recount details that prove that your driver was at fault. You may be asked if your Uber driver was violating traffic laws, leading to the accident, or if he or she was driving impaired, fatigued, or distracted. While some of these observations could be subjective, they may help to assign liability.
Alternately, you might have to recount details of an accident that prove that another driver was at fault. More than one driver may have been to blame. After an accident, it’s important to either write down what you remember or speak with authorities at the scene before you forget important details that could help to assign liability.
Understanding Fault-Based Liability
Why is it so important to determine who is at fault in an Uber accident? California is a fault-based state, which means that the person or persons deemed to be at fault for an auto accident will be assigned liability and required to pay for damages and medical costs that result.
According to the pure comparative negligence standard, fault can be shared, in which case each liable party will be assigned a percentage of costs. Additionally, California law states that anyone found to be breaking the law when an accident occurred is presumptively at fault.
Who Determines Liability?
In California, liability for auto accidents is typically determined by the insurance companies. To do this, they will use accident reports and witness statements. If there are conflicting statements, assigning liability can become a complex and lengthy task, which could impact your ability to receive coverage for medical costs or a settlement in a timely manner.
Fighting for Compensation
Because there are many insurance providers involved when settling an accidents that included Uber drivers, your best bet to receive fair compensation in a timely manner is to hire a qualified and experienced Los Angeles lawyer. This professional can deal with insurance companies on your behalf, and an expert law firm will not be bullied into accepting a nominal settlement.
The Lalezary Law Firm has the experience needed to help determine liability following injury in an Uber accident. We ensure that you receive the compensation that you’re due. Our friendly team and no-fee policy (if you don’t get compensation, neither do we) will put you at ease, and our proven track record of results paves the way for positive outcomes.
When you’re looking for a Los Angeles law firm that you can trust to handle your Uber accident, contact the experts at Lalezary Law Firm at 888-778-8888 or online to request a free consultation. We Fight. You Win. They Pay.