Getting the Best Uber Accident Settlement Possible for Our Clients
Ridesharing companies like Uber have changed the way Americans get around cities like Orlando. Uber is convenient, which is why millions of people use the app to get to their destination. Thankfully, most Uber riders never experience a problem with the service — except for perhaps a wrong turn or two — but Uber drivers have caused many accidents on the road. And a number of Uber passengers have ended up hurt when their Uber is hit by another car.
Uber is prepared for these accidents, and the company carries huge insurance policies to pay out its accident claims. Passengers, other motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and many others have received Uber accident settlement amounts to pay for their medical care and other short- and long-term damages caused by an accident involving a negligent Uber driver or a negligent driver who hit their Uber. The lawyers at FVF know how to handle Uber accidents to make sure you get the best Uber accident settlement possible.
How Much Is an Average Uber Accident Settlement?
Like any personal injury case, your Uber accident compensation amount will depend on the circumstances of your individual case. The most important factors to consider when trying to determine what settlement to expect include:
- Who is at fault? As a passenger, you are almost certainly not at fault for causing the Uber accident. However, it is still your legal obligation to prove who was at fault in order to hold them legally liable for your injuries. For example, if your Uber driver was careless or negligent, then their insurance company might accept responsibility, which could increase your compensation amount. If another driver was careless and hit the Uber you were riding in, you could end up in a fight with them about whether the Uber was partially to blame. In Florida, if you are driving your own vehicle and get into an accident with an Uber, the no-fault statute will apply, which means you must first contact your own insurance company to make a claim. This does not, however, mean you cannot receive compensation for damages from the other party or parties.
- Are your injuries serious? Securing an outstanding Uber accident settlement hinges on proving the full extent of your injuries. It is not enough to just tell the insurance company about your injuries and expect them to believe you and pay. You have to do your due diligence to get the medical treatment you need and learn whether your injuries will have a long-term impact. Because serious injuries usually cause other losses, such as lost wages, increased medical bills, or even a decreased quality of life, Uber accidents involving serious injuries will generally result in a higher settlement. Sometimes injuries do not seem serious at first but become problematic over time, which is why it is important to get treatment promptly after your Uber accident and wait to see how your recovery goes before settling your case.
- How much money is available? Uber accidents typically trigger a complicated analysis of how much money is available for your settlement. As a passenger in an Uber, your own auto insurance policy might have coverage, such as underinsured motorist coverage, that you could recover from. Florida law also requires that Uber provide you some insurance coverage in the event that your Uber is hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. If your Uber driver caused the crash, there are large insurance policies to cover the damage done, which can increase the amount of your settlement. When multiple people are injured in the collision, there can be a race to be first in line to get the money. If you are last in line, your settlement could be lower than it would otherwise be.
You probably won’t have an idea about how much your accident compensation will be until all these factors have been fully explored and evaluated. This can take considerable time, but failing to be patient and get sound legal advice can result in a settlement that is tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars less than you deserve. The lawyers at FVF only take on cases they are confident are for substantial damages — enough to cover the expenses of fighting the case and your needed recovery.
How Long Do Orlando Uber Accident Settlements Take?
Because each case is unique, it is difficult to give a precise estimate of the timeline, but expect Uber accident cases to take longer to resolve than other car accidents. Because Uber drivers are contractors, part of the work of your case will be discovering who is responsible for your damages: the driver, Uber itself, or both. Additionally, there are a few factors that can impact the length of your case:
- The number of parties involved. Generally, the more parties who are involved in your case, the longer it will take to resolve. Parties who are involved in your case may include not only yourself, your driver, and Uber, but also any other passengers of your Uber and the drivers of any other vehicles. Communicating and negotiating with these parties can add length to your case. If witnesses or accident investigators are involved, they can also complicate and extend the duration of the case.
- The cooperation of various parties. The speed and cooperativeness with which these parties respond to requests for information, meetings, and so forth can vastly impact how long a case lasts. While your case is certainly your own first priority, insurance companies will not necessarily see it that way. Your attorney can fight for your rights to be considered in a timely manner.
- What the driver was doing at the time of your accident. Uber’s liability for your injuries varies depending on what the driver was doing at the time of the accident. For instance, a driver who is between fares is not covered by Uber’s liability insurance, while one who is transporting passengers is. Proving this may require additional records requests, which can add time to your case. In cases of distracted or impaired driving, investigation will be necessary to prove negligence.
- The severity of your injuries. Severe injuries are virtually always more expensive to treat and may even require you to seek a lifetime of future care. Although the extent of your injuries may seem obvious to you, proving specific damages and estimating their value may take some time. It also may take time for the full extent of your injuries to manifest and to prove that you are doing your part in your recovery. Of course, any time there is more payout on the line, the other parties will fight harder to disprove your injuries and their cost.
In Florida, you have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. While FVF will work to ensure that you receive compensation without unnecessary delays, it takes time to investigate and prepare a case. Further, if an agreement cannot be reached, FVF will need time to prepare your case for trial.
Can You Sue When You Are Injured by an Uber Driver?
The simple answer to that question is yes. However, getting compensation in the form of an Uber accident settlement will not be easy, especially if you try to do it on your own. You should consult with a personal injury lawyer in any car accident but especially when dealing with a company the size of Uber.
A large company’s natural inclination is to pay out as little as possible in order to preserve their bottom line. Even though each settlement is paid by their insurance company, the more liability they have, the higher their premiums go, and the greater the impact on their profit margin. Like most large companies, Uber and their insurance carriers will do everything possible to avoid paying whenever possible. The lawyers at FVF know this very well and we are prepared to deal with the insurance companies and Uber so you don’t have to.
One important thing to note here is that Uber drivers are independent contractors; they are not considered employees. This is a distinction Uber tries to use to their advantage. Uber drivers’ liability is also complicated by the fact that drivers also carry their own personal insurance policies, which often exclude accidents that occur on the job.
If the accident happens between fares or while the Uber driver is on their way to pick up the fare, the driver’s personal auto insurance policy may try to deny coverage and say Uber’s policy is responsible. Therefore, it is entirely possible to find yourself in an accident with an Uber driver and having to deal with multiple insurance adjusters, all attempting to deny coverage.
Having skilled attorneys at your side when dealing with an Uber accident is important, and FVF consistently and skillfully resolves these disputes in favor of our client.
How Do I Get Compensation for Being Injured in an Uber Accident?
Holding the right party or parties accountable involves investigation, resources, and energy. There are many twists and turns in the insurance maze presented in Uber accident cases. Here are some basic guidelines:
- If the Uber driver who caused your accident is driving for personal reasons and is not actively seeking to pick up passengers, they will be covered by their personal auto insurance policy, but not the Uber insurance policy.
- If the driver is active on the app but does not have any passengers at the time of your accident, the driver’s personal insurance and the company policy may cover you. If you were in an accident with an Uber driver who was using his or her vehicle for personal use — not on the app and not carrying passengers — most likely only the driver’s personal insurance will cover you.
- Florida is one of a handful of states with a “no-fault” car insurance statute, and it also requires all drivers with a vehicle to carry personal injury and liability insurance. If you are driving your own vehicle and get into an accident with an Uber driver, the no-fault clause means that the first $10,000 in medical bills would be paid by your personal auto insurance. However, there are exceptions if you are a licensed and insured Florida driver injured as an Uber passenger.
- If the Uber driver is carrying a passenger as part of the ride-sharing service or they are en route to pick up a passenger for a prearranged ride, Uber’s $1 million liability insurance policy will cover both the driver and the passenger in the event of a collision.
It’s important to remember that Uber claims their drivers are not employees, and they and their insurance adjusters will use their “independent contractor” status to avoid paying out compensation to victims. Uber has been successful at avoiding responsibility even in cases in which their driver was drunk or distracted at the time of the accident.
Uber also requires all drivers to sign an agreement in which the driver promises to take all responsibility — and even defend Uber — when someone sues them after an accident.
So, What Do You Do When You're in an Accident with an Uber Driver?
When you are in an accident with an Uber driver, be prepared for numerous parties to point fingers at each other and deny responsibility for causing the accident. But that does not mean no one receives an Uber accident settlement. There are specific steps FVF will always take right after an accident to hold the responsible parties accountable and get the compensation the victim deserves under the law.
Here’s what everyone should do after any car accident involving a company like Uber.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Following an Uber accident, see a doctor and undergo a thorough medical evaluation, even if a paramedic at the crash scene already looked you over and treated you. Never make the mistake of assuming your injuries aren’t serious enough to see a doctor. In case you decide to file a claim, you will need an official medical record that describes your injuries in detail. You will also want to follow up with medical care as long as your symptoms continue.
- Never accept an immediate settlement. One common way for insurance adjusters to limit their payouts is by making quick settlement offers almost immediately after the accident. Often, they are trying to hand you a check before you realize how bad your injuries are or the full extent of the damages you experience as a result of being injured. However, when you accept that settlement, it is nearly impossible to recover any additional compensation once you do realize the full impact of the accident on your well-being. If you accept money that doesn’t cover all your expenses and losses, you may be stuck with that decision.
- Stay off social media. If you have been injured in an Uber accident, avoid the temptation to post any information about it or post photos of your injuries or damage to any vehicles. The best practice is to not post anything at all, even if it is unrelated to the accident. Those posts are public, and insurance companies can and will use social media posts against you, even unfairly, when you attempt to secure compensation. Even the simplest of posts can be used by the insurance company to contradict a claim you make about your accident. Social media can’t help your case, but it can hurt it, so stay away.
- Call a lawyer as soon as possible. If you have been injured in an accident involving an Uber driver, get an experienced rideshare accident lawyer immediately. The Uber accident lawyers at FVF are highly skilled and experienced in dealing with Uber, so we are a great choice.
You can always try to fight a claim on your own by going through Uber and the driver’s personal insurance company, but keep in mind they both have billions of dollars at their disposal, as well as plenty of incentive to pay you as little as possible — or nothing at all. Dealing with insurance companies can be brutal and demoralizing. But getting an experienced team, like the personal injury lawyers at FVF, to fight for you means the best recovery possible without adding to the already stressful reality of being involved in an accident in the first place.
You want an Orlando accident attorney who will listen to you, educate you about your rights and options, present a strategy that works best for you and your case, and advocate for you to maximize your recovery. With over 80 years of combined experience, the lawyers at FVF can help you make decisions that are best for you.
If you’ve been injured in an Orlando Uber accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your mounting medical bills and changes in your quality of life. FVF Law can help you understand your rights and receive the fair compensation the law allows. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your accident, develop a settlement plan, and get started on your road to recovery.