Uber Accident Lawyers | Ellis Injury Law
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Los Angeles Uber Accident Lawyers

Finding yourself seriously injured in a Los Angeles Uber accident can be scary. A number of questions arise in the aftermath of an accident: Who is liable – the driver or the company? Is there enough insurance money to cover your expenses?

Los Angeles Uber accident lawyers at Ellis Law Corporation have the answers to all your questions, the resources to fully investigate your accident, and the legal acumen to recover compensation on your behalf. If you or a loved one have been involved in a rideshare car accident resulting in serious injury, contact us today to explore your full set of legal options during a free consultation with an Uber accident lawyer.

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Negligence factors in Uber Accidents

A number of unique factors may contribute to Uber accidents. Common causes include:

  • Speeding and failure to stop – The average Uber driver earns just $364/month, so they often experience pressure to get to the next fare as quickly as possible to maximize compensation.
  • Fatigue – Uber drivers are incentivized to take on more work hours and increase their number of fares. When the demand is there, particularly on the weekends, it can be difficult for drivers to take a break.
  • Distraction, inattention, and unfamiliarity – Uber drivers rely heavily on apps to locate fares, check in, navigate traffic snarls, and map their routes. Considerable time can be spent with eyes glued to a screen.
  • Poor vehicle maintenance – Drivers can be cited for excessively worn tires, missing mirrors, nonfunctioning lights or indicators, faulty windshield wipers, and worn-out brakes. 
  • Driving under the influence – Despite having a zero-tolerance policy on driving while intoxicated, the California Public Utility Commission found Uber deactivated 574 California drivers after receiving more than 2,000 complaints of drunk driving. However, investigators also found that Uber failed to act promptly in 133 of 154 cases, allowing previously intoxicated drivers to continue servicing passengers. This resulted in a $750,000 fine.

Regardless of the cause, you have the right to sue for damages when you are hurt through no fault of your own.

Uber Accident Liability – Who’s Responsible?

When two passenger vehicles collide in California, tort law mandates the “at-fault” driver’s insurance to cover the cost of all injuries and property damage. When a passenger vehicle collides with a commercial driver who is at fault, however, the commercial driver’s company insurance policy covers the accident – often to a much higher amount.

Who is liable in the “gig economy,” where drivers are acting in a commercial capacity, but paid like independent contractors? California Assembly Bill 5, which went into effect in January 2020, now requires companies like Uber, Lyft, and Instacart to pay (and insure) drivers like regular employees. 

Uber Accident Insurance

Our state defines three distinct periods during an Uber driver’s day that dictate the amount of insurance coverage available:

  • Period 1 – When the driver is active, has the app open, and is actively waiting for a ride match, Uber must provide primary coverage of $50,000 per person for personal injury and death, $100,000 per accident, and $30,000 for property damage. Uber must provide a minimum coverage of $200,000 in liability insurance for the driver.
  • Period 2 – When the driver has accepted a passenger match and is en route but has not yet picked the passenger up, Uber must provide primary commercial insurance coverage of $1 million.
  • Period 3 – When a passenger is riding in the vehicle, Uber must provide uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage of $1 million.

This might seem like sufficient coverage, but insurers may deny payment based on a number of technicalities, leaving you holding the bill. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you retain the counsel of an Uber accident attorney from Ellis Law Corporation before coverage becomes a problem.

Uber Passenger Rights

What if your Uber driver wasn’t to blame? Regardless of whether you were traveling in a passenger vehicle, taxi, or Uber, you receive the same legal right to seek compensation from the at-fault driver. California mandates that drivers carry at least $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident, and $5,000 for property damage. This is a relatively low amount of liability coverage, especially considering states like New York require $50,000 per person in coverage.

As an Uber passenger, you may receive additional compensation from Uber’s $1 million underinsured/uninsured motorist policy.

Uber Pedestrian Accidents

Some Uber vehicles drive themselves, which can pose a threat to pedestrians sharing the road with these robots. The company can be held strictly liable for design defects – like the one that killed a 49-year-old pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, in 2018. The woman had been walking her bicycle across the street at night outside of a crosswalk. The National Transportation Safety Board found that the Uber self-driving vehicle was not programmed to consider jaywalking pedestrians. The radar sensors first detected the victim 5.6 seconds prior to the crash as a vehicle. It changed her classification several times and failed to predict the impact. Changes have since been made to the software, but not before the woman’s family suffered a devastating loss.  

Uber Sexual Assaults

Uber has fallen under criticism for failing to adequately vet their drivers or investigate complaints involving sexual assault. In recent years, Uber has added panic buttons to their apps and distributed lighted dashboard markers to some drivers, but critics say they haven’t done enough.

One study by CNN found that approximately 100 Uber drivers have been accused of sexual assault ranging from verbal harassment and inappropriate touching to physical violence and rape. In many cases, Uber drivers had previous convictions for felony crimes on their records. In these cases, you may simultaneously pursue civil lawsuits for compensation from Uber, as well as pursuing criminal charges against the driver.

Do You Need an Attorney?

Uber accident victims may find the standard insurance claims process works to cover minor injuries. However, if your injuries have been severe or you are grieving the wrongful death of a loved one, it is highly recommended you retain the expertise of an Uber accident lawyer. It is standard procedure for insurers to offer quick, lowball settlements to settle the matter with little fuss. When faced with ongoing hospital bills, lost wages, and prolonged disabilities that affect your future earning capacity, the initial amount offered may not be enough.

An Uber accident attorney at our firm will consult with forensic economists and medical professionals to determine fair compensation for your past, present, and future losses. In addition, we’ll take care of the minute details such as gathering evidence, completing paperwork, and communicating with insurance adjusters and bill collectors. We have the skill, confidence, and track record of multi-million-dollar results to successfully pursue your claim.

The Cost of an Uber Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles

How much does it cost to retain the best Uber accident attorney Los Angeles has to offer? Unlike corporate or divorce lawyers, personal injury attorneys at Ellis Injury Law do not require a retainer or upfront payment. You only pay us if we recover compensation on your behalf. Our legal fee comes directly out of the secured compensation. Even after accounting for legal fees, our clients walk away with more money in their pockets than they would’ve received going it alone.

If your settlement is approved or your case results in a successful trial verdict, you can receive money for:

  • Past, present, and future medical expenses, including counseling for PTSD.
  • Past and present lost wages and diminished future earning capacity.
  • Mileage costs for obtaining adequate medical treatment.
  • Mental trauma and an estimated amount of emotional pain and suffering.
  • An estimated amount for permanent disability, scarring or disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment in life.
  • Survivor benefits, funeral expenses, and burial costs for grieving family members, if necessary.

Your Uber Accident Lawsuit Matters

Nobody loves the idea of having to file an Uber accident lawsuit, but it is more important now than ever. Compensation aside, it is public opinion and legal exposure that prompts large companies like Uber to implement real changes. Uber has argued against paying their drivers fair wages, against stricter driver requirements, and against higher insurance amounts.

Uber is exploring the use of autonomous vehicles, but are they taking every precaution to protect pedestrians? As lawmakers continue to draft rideshare legislation to protect citizens, YOUR case can play an important role in shaping public policy that protects others. Contact Ellis Law Corporation in Los Angeles to connect with compassionate attorneys who will advocate for your rights and help you pursue justice.

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