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What Happens After an Uber Accident in Fresno?

Many people use rideshare services like Uber or Lyft to get around in Fresno. It’s a convenient way to get to your destination, and requesting a ride can be done through the app. But what happens if you were hurt in an accident with an Uber driver, either as a passenger or as the driver of another car? Many people aren’t sure what to do next.

If a negligent Lyft or Uber driver caused your accident, you deserve financial compensation for the damages you suffered. But the claims process can be complex. Drivers may deny doing anything wrong, and the rideshare company and its insurance carrier may dispute your claim. It’s important to know where you stand.

What should I do if I’ve been in an Uber accident?

There are some steps you can take soon after the crash to protect your health and your right to seek financial compensation:

  • Call the police. Officers from the Fresno Police Department or the California Highway Patrol will respond to the scene. After getting help for the injured, they will conduct an initial investigation of the crash and complete an accident report. This report will contain important information about the accident that can be useful when seeking financial compensation.
  • Get medical attention. A doctor can diagnose your injuries and begin treatment. You should see a medical professional even if you seem to feel OK. Some injuries have delayed symptoms. Your injuries will also be documented with medical records.
  • Gather information. This includes the Uber driver’s name, contact information, and insurance carrier. Give your information, also. Gather contact information for any witnesses as well.
  • Keep your comments to a minimum. Avoid discussing the accident or who was at fault. Stick to the facts of what happened.
  • Take photos. If you are able to do so, take photos of the accident scene from different angles and distances. Include vehicle damage, debris in the road, nearby traffic signals, and any visible injuries you have.
  • Notify your insurance company. Tell them you were involved in an accident with an Uber driver. But keep your comments brief and stick to the facts.
  • Get legal advice. An experienced Fresno car accident lawyer can explain your rights and help you file a claim for financial compensation.

Who pays for damages after an Uber or Lyft accident in Fresno?

Rideshare drivers in California are covered by a combination of insurance policies, depending on their status.

When the app is off: Drivers are covered by their personal auto insurance policy. This policy must meet California's minimum auto insurance requirements, which include:

  • $15,000 of bodily injury coverage per person injured in an accident.
  • $30,000 of bodily injury coverage total per accident.
  • $5,000 of property damage coverage per accident.

When the app is on but the driver has not yet accepted a ride:

The rideshare company’s commercial insurance policy is in effect, which includes:

  • $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per person injured in an accident.
  • $100,000 of bodily injury coverage total per accident.
  • $30,000 of property damage coverage per accident.

When the app is on and the driver has a passenger or is going to pick one up:

The rideshare company’s primary liability insurance policy is in effect, which includes:

  • $1 million of third-party liability coverage.
  • $1 million of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

If you were injured in an Uber or Lyft accident as a passenger, then you clearly know the driver’s status at the time of the accident. But if you were a pedestrian or an occupant of another vehicle hit by a rideshare driver, it may not be clear. That’s why it’s important to contact an attorney who

Can I sue Uber if I was hurt in an accident?

In general, rideshare drivers are considered independent contractors, not employees. As such, after a car accident, you typically sue the driver rather than suing Uber or Lyft directly. If a driver’s negligence caused the accident, then the driver could be held liable for damages – and as described above, their liability may be covered by the rideshare company’s insurance).

But Uber also has a responsibility for ensuring the safety of passengers and could be held liable for damages in certain situations – for example, if the company failed to do a background check on the driver. Your lawyer can go over your options with you.

How much can I recover after an Uber accident?

The amount of money you can recover in compensation depends on many different factors. These include the specific details of the accident, the extent of your injuries, the impact of the accident on your life and finances, the status of the driver at the time of the crash, and the limits on the insurance policy that was in effect.

In general, you can seek compensation for:

  • Medical expenses: This includes current and future medical expenses related to your injuries, such as hospital bills, surgery, medication, rehabilitation, and ongoing treatment.
  • Lost wages: If your injuries result in missed work or reduced earning capacity, you may seek compensation for lost wages and potential future earnings.
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation may be awarded for the physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish resulting from the accident and your injuries.
  • Property damage: If your personal property, such as your vehicle, was damaged in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for repair or replacement costs.

Do I need a lawyer after an Uber accident?

There is no requirement to have a lawyer when filing a claim for compensation. But it is in your best interests to have legal representation. Uber, Lyft, and their insurance companies handle accident claims every day and have the advantage. They will try to find ways to pay you as little as possible.

That’s why you need a car accident lawyer who is familiar with the laws that apply to Uber crashes and has experience handling ridesharing claims. An attorney can:

  • Investigate your accident: This may involve obtaining accident reports, gathering witness statements, reviewing medical records, collecting photographs or videos of the accident scene, and identifying any other evidence that strengthens your case. Your lawyer can also determine the status of the Uber or Lyft driver at the time of the crash.
  • Handle all communications with the insurance company: Dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating. A lawyer can deal directly with them so you can focus on getting better.
  • Negotiate a settlement: A lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to reach a fair settlement that covers the damages you suffered.
  • Pursue a lawsuit: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, a lawyer will prepare your case for trial and represent you in court.
  • Guide you through the claims process: Throughout the process, a lawyer will protect your rights and interests. Your attorney will handle all legal aspects of your case, ensure compliance with deadlines and legal requirements, and prevent you from being taken advantage of by insurance companies or other parties involved.

Most car accident attorneys offer a free consultation. A lawyer can review the details of your Uber accident, go over your legal options for recovering financial compensation, and answer any questions you have. There is no cost and no obligation – and you will have the information you need to decide what to do next. Talk to an experienced Uber and Lyft accident attorney today.

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