Uber has made it easier to get around Orange County, but trips in rideshare vehicles aren’t always the safer option. If you’ve been injured because of a negligent Uber driver in an Orange County crash, it’s important to understand your legal rights and options. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, disability, and suffering, and the experienced Orange County Uber accident lawyers at Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian can help you fight to maximize your recovery.
Since 1990, our law firm has been a leader in personal injury litigation in Orange County and throughout the state of California. Our award-winning trial attorneys have led crash victims to over $1 billion in life-altering financial awards.
Don’t let the insurance companies dictate what your Uber accident case is worth. Put yourself in the position to get the money you deserve by putting our top-rated litigators in your corner. We offer a free consultation, so contact our Orange County law office in Newport Beach today.
How Do I Recover Compensation After an Uber Accident in Orange County, CA?
Uber drivers are among the most distracted drivers on the road. The more rides they complete, the more money they can make – so there’s an incentive to speed and drive recklessly. Many Uber drivers work a full day before getting behind the wheel, which can make them extremely fatigued while they’re transporting passengers.
Needless to say, Uber driver negligence is a leading cause of rideshare accidents in Orange County.
When an Uber driver is negligent, passengers and other victims can recover compensation for their injuries and related damages. How that compensation is paid – and by whom – depends on what the Uber driver was doing at the time of the accident.
- If the Uber driver was off duty, they’ll be personally liable for resulting damages. You can file a claim against their personal insurance policy and/or sue the driver personally.
- If the Uber driver was waiting for a ride request, Uber has a limited insurance policy that will cover up to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident in bodily injury damages.
- If the Uber driver had accepted a ride request, Uber has a million-dollar policy that can cover crash-related damages.
Our Orange County car accident attorneys will carefully evaluate the circumstances of your crash and work to exhaust all options for financial recovery.
What to Do After an Uber Accident in Orange County
Accidents are terrifying and traumatic, but what you do in the moments after an accident is important for your physical and financial health going forward. If you’re seriously injured, you may be able to do little other than wait in place for help to arrive, but if you can use your cell phone—or hand it to an uninjured person to use for you—it becomes an important tool to gather evidence through the following steps:
- First, call 911 to report the accident and request emergency services
- Use the emergency features on the Uber App to report the accident to Uber
- Take photos of the damaged vehicle or vehicles
- Take photos of the entire accident scene, including relevant details like an intersection, traffic signal, skid marks, and road signs
- Take photos of any visible injuries
- Record a brief statement about what you remember about the accident since trauma can fade memories in the hours after an accident
- Add the contact information of any involved drivers and eyewitnesses to the accident
Once at the hospital, be sure to ask the providers for a complete evaluation and tell them about every symptom, even if it seems minor. Ask for a detailed report of your injuries, the doctor’s recommended course of treatment, and your prognosis. Then, save all medical bills and proof of related expenses. Obtain a copy of the police report and call an Orange County Uber accident attorney before you speak to an insurance representative.
Common Insurance Company Tactics in Orange County Uber Accident Cases
The Uber company distances itself from direct liability in accidents by maintaining its status as a company that only supplies app access to connect passengers with drivers who are not employees but independent contractors. Instead, they require drivers to carry specialized rideshare insurance. However, insurance companies are profit-motivated and use predictable methods to deny claims or seriously undervalue them to protect their bottom lines. Some common tactics insurance companies use in Uber accident claims include the following:
- Calling very soon after an accident with a low settlement offer in exchange for the signing away of your rights to file a lawsuit—often before you could possibly know the true extent of your damages
- Calling on a recorded line and then using your words out of context against you
- If you were in another vehicle involved in an accident with an Uber, their insurance company may assign you a greater percentage of fault than you’re due so they can lower the amount of your payout by your percentage of fault according to California’s comparative negligence laws
- Asking for access to your medical history to examine your injuries and then searching through your older records to find a pre-existing condition or previous injury to claim as the true cause of your symptoms
- Claiming that your doctor-recommended treatment isn’t necessary for your injury
- Claiming that their insurance policy was not the one in effect at the time of the Uber accident
Navigating insurance claims is especially complex in Uber and other rideshare accidents due to the tiered structure of their specialized coverage. Often insurance companies take unfair advantage of this to argue that their coverage wasn’t in place when the accident occurred. It takes an experienced Uber accident attorney to identify both the liable party and which policy was in place during the accident.
What’s My Orange County Uber Accident Case Worth?
Through an Uber insurance claim or car accident lawsuit, you can potentially recover compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
The amount of compensation that can be awarded will depend on the seriousness of your injuries, your age, your earning capacity, and the overall impact of the Uber accident on your life.
Our Orange County Uber accident attorneys won’t let the insurance company call the shots. We’ll work closely with experts and carefully analyze the details of your case to ensure that you’re awarded a fair settlement.
Common Causes of Uber Accidents in Orange County
While Americans love the convenience of a private vehicle at the simple swipe of an app, and the majority of Uber rides take place without incident, when Uber accidents occur, the results can be serious or even catastrophic. Common causes of Uber accidents in Orange County include the following:
- Distracted driving: Rideshare drivers use their apps to await customers, to find pickup and drop-off locations, and to monitor the cost of the ride. App use while driving causes distracted driving accidents like rear-ending other vehicles, hitting pedestrians, and driving through stop lights.
- Navigating unfamiliar routes: Uber drivers use GPS to navigate each rideshare trip, but driving unfamiliar roads increases the chances of making abrupt stops and last-moment turns, missing road signs, and making U-turns. Navigating unfamiliar road terrain sometimes results in an accident.
- Driver inexperience: Uber and other rideshare jobs are convenient for college students who need to set their own hours around a class schedule. Inexperienced drivers are more likely to make mistakes and cause accidents.
- Speeding: Exceeding the speed limit may occur more often during rideshare journeys since Uber drivers are incentivized to complete as many transactions as possible per shift.
- Poor vehicle maintenance: Uber has only minimal requirements for beginning drivers but does not monitor continued vehicle maintenance. Uber vehicles may be in poor repair or have aging or defective parts that result in an accident.
- Unsafe pickup/drop-off locations: Rather than searching for parking, Uber drivers seek the most time-efficient pickup and drop-off locations, sometimes double-parking, blocking intersections, or distracting other drivers.
Proving Liability in Uber Accidents
Uber drivers themselves are often liable for Uber accidents, due to their distracting apps and fatigue, but in some cases, other parties may be liable in Uber accidents, including a third-party driver, a lax road maintenance agency, or the manufacturer of a defective auto part. Proving liability requires a skilled investigator to examine the police report, photographs, and videos, speak to eyewitnesses, and consult with accident reconstruction specialists. Once they’ve identified the party at fault in the accident, they’ll document the evidence to prove the legal points of liability below:
- The at-fault party had a duty of care to take reasonable measures to prevent accidents, such as a driver’s duty to avoid distraction or city road crew’s duty to clean up road debris
- The at-fault party breached this duty through an act of negligence
- The negligent breach directly caused injury
- The injury victim suffered significant damages due to the injury
Once your Orange County Uber accident attorney proves liability they have a strong case to begin negotiating for the maximum settlement amount.
You’ll Have a Limited Time to File an Uber Accident Lawsuit in California
It’s essential to call our experienced Orange County Uber accident lawyers for help as soon as you can after you get hurt. Under California law, you’ll have just two years to pursue compensation. The sooner Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian can get started on your case, the better the chances of a meaningful and life-changing financial recovery.
Our law office provides a free case assessment, so connect with a member of our legal team in Orange County, California at (949) 831-6611 to get started now.