What happens if you suffer injuries caused by Uber accidents? You certainly reserve the right to be compensated. However, you must be able to substantiate your Uber passenger accident claim. Before we dig into further details of how the claims process works, let’s first take a look at some Uber passenger accident settlement amounts in the recent past.
- In 2021, an accident caused by an Uber driver in New Jersey led to a $25,000 settlement for the passenger.
- In 2021, an accident in Iowa fetched a $575,664 verdict for the injured who was an Uber passenger. Although the Uber driver wasn’t at fault for the accident, the passenger was able to file an underinsured motorist claim with the company since the at-fault party’s insurance wasn’t enough to cover the losses incurred.
- In 2019, in New Jersey again, Uber was ordered to pay $25,000 to a passenger who was involved in an accident at an intersection. The lawsuit claimed that the driver was unqualified, placing liability squarely on Uber.
How Liability for Uber Accidents Works
To prove the liability of Uber drivers in such claims, you need to establish the following factors:
- That the Uber driver was negligent;
- Their negligence caused the accident;
- You were injured in that accident;
- You suffered damages as a result of the injuries sustained.
Uber drivers owe their passengers a duty of care. This duty of care primarily involves driving passengers safely to their destination. If they act recklessly or negligently while you’re on a trip, leading to accidents, injuries, and consequently, damages, this could count as a breach of the duty of care they owe you.
It is from the breach that you initiate a claim for a settlement.
Uber requires that drivers have an active insurance cover policy for their vehicles. Moreover, according to the rideshare company, a passenger is entitled to a third-party insurance policy of up to $1 million. In the event that a negligent driver is unable to fully cover your losses, Uber’s insurance policy should be able to step in.
Before filing a lawsuit, your attorney will first negotiate a settlement with Uber. In some situations, Uber will deny responsibility for the driver’s negligence. When that happens, going to court might be the next step.
Read on to discover more about Uber passenger accident settlement.
Average Uber Settlement for a Passenger Explained
The amount goes up when the injuries are severe or major. For instance, if you suffered catastrophic injuries, you may be entitled to a higher compensation than someone who suffered mild injuries.
Your Uber passenger accident settlement can be worth from $50,000 to $1 million or even more, depending on the unique circumstances of your case.
The settlement size is calculated on a case-to-case basis, and varies depending on the severity of your injuries, the extent of your pain and suffering, whether or not you were partly at fault, and the unique circumstances of your case.
Moreover, there are a few unique elements specific to Uber passenger accident claims. These are:
Whether the Uber Driver Was Online or Offline
Uber has no responsibility if the driver’s app is not on. Therefore, you may not be able to sue the company under such circumstances.
Uber Driver’s Status
The first instance in this category is where you sustained injuries while the driver was not en route or was not on an Uber trip. Uber issues coverage of up to $50,000 per person, up to $1,000,000 for liability resulting in bodily injury, and $ 25,000 if any property is damaged.
The second instance is when you were a passenger or when the Uber driver was en route or on a trip to pick up a passenger. When an accident is caused by the driver in this scenario, Uber maintains a third-party liability cover of up to $1,000,000.
Ultimately, the Uber passenger accident settlement covers up to the above limits. And it is activated only if you can show that the Uber driver was at fault for the accident.
Factors That Could Influence the Uber Passenger Accident Settlement
The value of your passenger accident claim depends on different circumstances. Each one of them is unique as they differ from case to case.
Nature or Magnitude of Your Injuries
The nature of injuries you sustained in an Uber passenger accident plays a pivotal role. Moreover, the magnitude or severity of the injuries directly dictates the amount to receive as compensation
Liability is the legal responsibility the Uber drivers have towards you. As we discussed earlier, you need to show that the driver was at fault. In other words, whether their negligent or reckless actions or omissions lead to an accident.
Establishing the driver’s fault is critical as a claim lies on the basis of fault and subsequently on negotiation settlements.
The Extent to Which the Insurance Policy Covers
Insurance coverage depends on different variables, as seen earlier. That is the circumstances leading to the accident and the policy limit applicable in these circumstances. For instance, you are entitled to up to $1,000,000 if you were a passenger at the time of the accident.
Medical Expenses You Incurred During Treatment
Medical costs in relation to Uber passenger accident claims are twofold: The treatment costs you have already incurred and the future costs you are likely to incur. The latter may occur where you sustained catastrophic injuries, and you may require further treatment.
Loss of Earnings
If you lose your job due to the accident, or if you are a business person, and your business suffers due to your absence, you can seek compensation for these losses. That is, you can make a claim for compensation for income you could have earned if it were not for the accident.
Pain and Suffering
This relates to mental as well as physical pain and suffering. The discomfort the injuries caused you, to be precise.
How to Maximize an Uber Passenger Accident Settlement
What do you do if your Uber driver causes an accident that leaves you injured? You can either settle your claim or file a lawsuit.
Uber does provide insurance coverage for passengers, drivers, and other road users. However, insurance companies don’t like settling such claims without a fight, so you should expect a tough legal battle ahead.
In such circumstances, you need to file a negligence claim against the liable party. It could be the Uber driver or Uber itself. For best results, you should consider hiring a personal injury attorney to help you seek compensation for your injuries and losses.
In addition, to maximize the chances of succeeding in an Uber passenger accident claim, you need to:
Understand the Legal Process
When you’re involved in an Uber passenger accident, understanding the process of seeking compensation is essential. You need to obtain a police report on the accident first.
Next, gather any other evidence that could help substantiate your claim. For instance, you may need a medical report, discharge summary, treatment notes, and treatment payment receipts, among others.
Your lawyer will then review your case, establish liability, and determine how best to proceed. This could include filing a claim with Uber or pursuing a lawsuit if the other party refuses to cooperate with your legal team.
What To Avoid When Handling an Uber Accident Claim
Some common mistakes can jeopardize your Uber passenger accident claim. The following are common mistakes to avoid:
Not Prioritizing Your Health
Seeking medical attention not only aids in recovery but also helps you document the injuries. The at-fault party won’t believe your claim if you did not seek medical attention in the first place. In fact, they could argue that your injuries were not that serious in the first place.
Don’t Give a Recorded Statement
At all times, avoid issuing recorded statements. The insurance company can use your words against you. Instead, you should consult your attorney before communicating with the insurance company.
Don’t Rely on the Uber Driver Policy Only
If the Uber passenger accident settlement can’t fully cover your damages, you may have other avenues to recover additional compensation. A skilled Uber accident attorney should be able to help you maximize your claim.
Don’t Be Too Quick to Settle
Practically, any insurance company will opt for quick settlements to close the case and avoid further liability. In doing so, they may lure you into accepting lower settlement.
Do not be too quick to accept a lowball offer. Instead, talk to your attorney to devise a legal strategy for pursuing the compensation you need and deserve.
How Liability Plays Out In an Uber Accident
Liability for an Uber accident claim is also known as legal responsibility. The process of establishing liability is complicated. The responsibility may fall upon the Uber driver, Uber itself, or other road users. To determine who is liable, elements such as negligence, insurance cover policy, and employment/agency relationship come into play.
To prove negligence, you will have to show that the Uber driver owed you a duty of care but breached it. In addition, because of the breach, you sustained foreseeable bodily harm or economic loss. Let’s break it down a little bit further.
The Uber Driver
Where the Uber driver was reckless or negligent while en route on an Uber trip, you can hold him personally liable; this is especially true where they work as independent contractors.
Uber itself (The Company)
Uber may be held liable, as the principal, for the actions of the driver. However, this depends on the unique circumstances of your case, including the cause of the accident as well as the Uber driver’s status when the accident occurred.
If another driver other than Uber is liable for the accident, you may file a claim with claim their respective insurance provider. However, Uber offers a type of insurance cover called contingent liability cover. It can be applied where the other driver’s cover is insufficient.
Can You Sue if Your Uber Crashes?
Uber may be responsible for the negligent actions of its drivers, but not in all circumstances. If you were a passenger and got injured in an accident involving Uber, you may sue the company itself, the Uber driver, or even both.
Also, if you were hit by an Uber driver while in another car, you can sue Uber for damages. However, the facts of the case determine who exactly to file a claim or lawsuit with.
How Long Does an Uber Settlement Take?
It takes months and sometimes years, depending on the particularities of your case, before you can get an Uber passenger accident settlement. After an accident involving an Uber driver at fault, an investigation is usually done to establish the cause and severity of your injuries. And if liability is disputed or there are other issues with the claim, the insurance company won’t settle until these issues are addressed. The bottom line is that the unique circumstances of your case will determine how longit will take to settle.
How Do I File a Claim With Uber?
If a negligent or reckless Uber driver injured you, then you may have a valid claim. While you may be able to file such a claim directly, hiring an experienced an attorney specializing in Uber accidents is usually the best thing to do under such circumstances.
Keep in mind that it’s not just about filing a claim. You should ensure that you have legal grounds to do so and that the compensation you’re claiming truly reflects the injuries and losses you or a loved one sustained.
That’s one of the things an experienced attorney can help you navigate.
Final Thoughts on Uber Passenger Accident Settlement Amounts
Compensation for Uber passenger accidents, as discussed above, is exercised through two avenues. Either file a claim with the insurance company or go to court and obtain an award through a judge or jury.
The threshold for liability applies universally. You have to show that the Uber driver was reckless or negligent. As a result, an accident occurred, upon which you sustained injuries and losses. However, for a claim to Uber, you need to prove that the Uber driver was online and their status at the time of the accident makes them liable.
If you loved reading this article, here’s another on how to know if someone got a settlement.