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Uber has changed how people get around Chicago, and many people who would previously avoid cabs now opt to get into the back seat of a stranger’s personal vehicle for a ride. Uber or Lyft, along with other rideshare apps, have brought increased transparency and accountability to ride services, as well as convenience and reliability that the taxi industry did not deliver on in the years leading up to this enormous market shift.

After an accident involving an Uber driver or Lyft driver, whether you are a passenger or in another vehicle, there can be some confusion about how best to move forward with the case. For starters, depending on several circumstances that are discussed below, you may need to file a claim with the driver’s personal insurance policy or may be able to file a claim directly with Uber’s insurance policy. Both Uber and Lyft drivers have insurance coverage for traffic accidents that either go solely to their policy, the rideshare platform’s insurance, or a composite of both.

Contact Agruss Law Firm To Request a Free Consultation After a Car Accident With an Uber Driver

Uber drivers must go through an extensive background check before being allowed to work in the Uber app, including arrest records and history of car accidents, and an inspection of their personal car that they plan to use as an Uber vehicle. Over the years, there have been several Uber accidents, most of which could not be avoided based on the driver’s background check.

As an Uber accident victim, especially if you are trying to deal with serious injuries from your car accident, it can be difficult to make sense of even these first steps, let alone the entire process of getting the money you truly deserve from your personal injury claim. It is so important to connect with an experienced Uber accident attorney who can guide you through this process. 

The Agruss Law Firm offers a free legal consultation for Uber accident victims and their loved ones to discuss the situation in detail and provide specific legal advice with no obligation or costs.

What To Do If You Are In An Accident With An Uber Driver

If you are involved in an accident with an Uber driver, it is important to take steps to protect yourself and your case. First, make sure that everyone is okay and call for help if necessary. Next, get the driver’s information, including their name, contact information, and license plate number. If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information. Finally, take pictures of the accident scene and damage to both cars. This evidence will be important in your case.

Source: https://www.uber-assets.com/image/upload/v1575580686/Documents/Safety/UberUSSafetyReport_201718_FullReport.pdf?uclick_id=28760149-ae52-433b-9a9e-4adc99edd93b

With 2.3 billion trips completed between 2017-2018, amounting to a total of 18.8 billion miles, it is no surprise that some Uber drivers are involved in accidents. If you are involved in one, don’t be another statistic — contact Agruss Law Firm right away to get the support you deserve.

The step-by-step guide below is meant to give you a general reference of handling the aftermath of car accidents, whether or not they involve Uber drivers. Remember that no two motor vehicle accidents are alike, and you will need to use your discretion to prioritize your safety.

Take a Breath and Assess the Situation

In the moments after the accident occurred, you may be flooded with adrenaline, panic, and pain. This combination of feelings and emotions can lead people to make irrational decisions like ignoring an injury, having a confrontation with another driver, or unwittingly placing themselves in the way of additional harm. If you are in the back of an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you will still want to make sure that you assess any injuries to you or the other Uber and Lyft passengers and determine whether or not to exit the Uber vehicle.

The initial instinct after an unexpected event like a Chicago Uber accident is to jump into action, but you will best serve those around you by taking a moment to collect yourself, check for injuries, determine whether or not you are in immediate danger of additional injury, and then you can start thinking about your next steps.

Decide Whether to Move to Safety or Remain In the Vehicle

If you have determined that it is safe to exit your vehicle after your car accident, move to an area of safety. This may be on the side of the road, in a nearby parking lot, or on the sidewalk. If it is unsafe to exit the vehicle, remain in your car with your seat belt fastened until help arrives.

Don’t move your vehicle because there may be additional damage that you haven’t noticed yet, or you may cause more damage while moving. The insurance company will likely try to use this as a reason to decrease the amount that they pay for your property damage by suggesting that you made the damage worse after the accident occurred.

Call 911

Calling 911 before you approach the other driver can help avoid an uncomfortable situation if they try to convince you to deal with it directly without alerting the authorities. Inform the dispatcher of your location, that you were involved in a car accident, and inform them of any injuries that any accident victims in your vehicle have suffered from. 

In times of high stress, when someone needs to call 911, they often rush through the call, thinking that the dispatcher needs to place a new call to send the authorities, but this is not true. The dispatcher sends out the alert as soon as you request emergency services. Any additional information you can provide them with will help make sure that the emergency response is appropriate to the situation.

Take Photos and Record Videos of the Accident Scene

If it is safe to do so, take photos and videos of the accident scene. This will help document the events leading up to the accident as well as the aftermath. If you cannot take pictures or videos at the scene, ask someone present to do so for you. Photos and videos tend to be much more reliable than memory, so no matter how vivid the details of your Uber accident may seem in the moment, the details will fade much faster than you may expect. 

Your car accident attorney will thank you for having as much evidence as possible to build your case.

Gather Contact Information from Witnesses

Witnesses can be incredibly valuable in an accident case, so if there were any witnesses at the scene, get their contact information. They may be able to provide key details about what happened leading up to the accident or the aftermath that you may have missed. Having this information will help your attorney reach out to them for statements if necessary.

It is especially important to get this information if the witnesses cannot stay at the accident scene until the police arrive. If they can stay and make a statement, they will provide their own experience to the attending officer. However, if they leave before, your attorney will still be able to follow up with them to gather important details about your car accident case.

Exchange Necessary Information With the Other Driver

If the other driver is cooperative and has no injuries, exchange information with them. This includes your name, address, phone number, insurance company, and policy number. 

If the other driver does not have insurance or refuses to cooperate, the police officer will gather this information for you while they compile their ridesharing accident report. Make sure that you do not react intensely or become argumentative if the other driver refuses to identify themselves or provide you with this information. 

Work With EMTs

If you or anyone in your vehicle has suffered any injuries, work with the EMTs when they arrive at the scene. They will provide you with the necessary care and collect information for their report. This information can be valuable to your attorney as they build your case.

Keep in mind that you may not even realize that you are injured because the adrenaline rush of an accident can mask pain and other symptoms. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a car accident, even if you don’t feel like you are injured.

Get Follow-up Medical Care

If you have been injured in an Uber accident, follow up with your doctor and get the medical care you need. This is important for your physical health and the progress of your potential Uber accident lawsuit. Your attorney will need documentation of your injuries to include in your case.

Each visit you have with your doctor will lead to additional medical documentation that helps your attorney prove your condition and avoid any claims by the insurer that you did not take adequate steps to address your injuries (a common justification for reducing settlement amounts).

Contact a Lawyer

After a Chicago Uber accident, someone with serious injuries is likely to file an insurance claim as soon as possible. It can be terrifying to see medical expenses start to mount as lost wages continue and the future begins to look overwhelming as the injured party wonders how they will handle the impacts of their Uber crash. Insurance companies know this anxiety well and will work to settle Uber accident cases as quickly and inexpensively as possible by making a one-time settlement offer early into the claims process.

Insurers will work as hard as possible to settle your auto accident case without entertaining additional damages. They will attempt to use any missteps that an inexperienced claimant may make during their claim to intimidate or coerce the Uber passenger into closing their case, but Uber and Lyft accident lawyers go into this process with their sights set on a fair settlement. 

File a Claim Against the At-Fault Driver’s Liability Coverage

Once you are partnered with an attorney experienced with Chicago Uber accidents, they will be able to file a claim against the negligent Uber driver’s liability insurance while you remain focused on getting the care you need to recover from your bodily injury and emotional suffering. 

When an attorney initiates a claim on behalf of their client after a ridesharing accident, the insurers know they mean business. They will take aggressive steps to recover compensation for damages including, but not limited to, bodily injury, medical expenses, pain and suffering, impacts on the victim’s quality of life, and much more. Working with a Chicago Uber accident lawyer is one of the best ways to navigate this type of personal injury case. Our team will be happy to discuss the support we can provide you with during a free consultation.

Uber’s Insurance Coverage

The following section is taken directly from Uber Technology’s website. It explains in specific detail when rideshare drivers are covered by Uber’s insurance, supplemented with an additional policy, or their personal policy is the only coverage that applies.

Offline or the Driver app is off.

  • Your chosen personal insurance company and coverages apply

Available or waiting for a ride request

Uber maintains the following auto insurance on your behalf in case of a covered accident:

Third-party liability if your personal auto insurance doesn’t apply¹

  • $50,000 in bodily injury per person
  • $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident

En route to pick up riders and during trips

Uber maintains the following auto insurance on your behalf in case of a covered accident:

  • $1,000,000 third-party liability
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury or first-party injury insurance²
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision³
    • Up to actual cash value of car with a $2,500 deductible 

Understanding Damages in a Personal Injury Case

When you are injured in an accident, there are several different types of damages that you may be able to recover. These damages can be separated into two categories: economic and non-economic. 

To recover damages, you will need to prove that the other driver (or your Uber driver) was at fault for the accident. This is done by showing that they were negligent in their actions. Proving negligence can be tricky, but your Uber accident lawyer will have the experience necessary to do so. Once the other driver is found to be at fault, your attorney will begin negotiations with their insurance company for a settlement. 

The two categories of damages are explained in greater detail below:

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the basis of personal injury claims and seek compensation for the impacts of a car crash that are financially quantifiable. Economic damages are those that can be easily quantified and include things like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage — essentially, anything with a dollar value, even the cost of services that a victim must hire for tasks they were able to perform before the crash, are all included in this section. 

These damages are simply added together without any multiplier, so you will be seeking 1:1 compensation for this category. It is important to work with a detail-oriented Chicago Uber accident lawyer who accounts for all of these damages. They may ultimately be applied against a multiplier as they calculate the non-economic damages for your rideshare accident.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify and include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. Your Uber accident lawyer, Chicago, will use your medical records, personal notes, and various other information sources that will help them make sense of the extent of these damages. Uber accidents often result in these types of “intangible” injuries that can follow a victim around for years after the fact, so working with an attorney who will fight to get you the money you deserve is important to be certain that you are getting fair compensation.

Non-economic damages are calculated by several methods, and one of the most popular methods is known as the “multiplier” method. Using this method, an attorney will state the severity of your non-economic damages using a scale, typically from 0.5-5. Once they select a number that accurately reflects the impacts you have suffered, they will multiply that against the total economic damages you have calculated (which is why it is so important to include every dollar that you identify as damage from your accident).

The amount of the settlement will be based on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, the amount of medical bills that you have incurred, and how much you have missed in terms of wages. Your Chicago Uber accident lawyer will work hard to get you the maximum possible settlement.

Frequently Asked Questions About Rideshare Car Accidents

The following are several questions commonly asked during a free consultation with a Chicago Uber accident lawyer. Remember that no two Uber car accidents are alike, and the answers below will not provide specific legal advice for your situation. Questions like the total amount you are owed depend on things like the Chicago Uber Driver and their liability coverage, the extent of your lost wages and medical bills, and much more that can not be factored into the answers below. 

Contact us as soon as possible for a free consultation about your accident involving rideshare drivers and get specific advice on moving forward with your Uber claims process.

The insurance adjuster offered me a settlement; should I accept it?

Many personal injury cases are ultimately settled out of court, and many are never even filed as an official lawsuit because both personal injury lawyers and insurers often prefer that they do not disclose sensitive information or the final amount that they payout. However, this does not mean that they are fairly settled without ongoing negotiations, which is what your lawyer will focus on primarily. If it comes to the point that they either realize the insurance company is not going to come to a reasonable compromise or if they are running out of time with Illinois’ statute of limitations, they may then decide to file a lawsuit and prepare for the Illinois courts.

Insurance companies prey on victims by exacerbating their difficult situation and sometimes resort to tactics that many will agree is bullying. Your attorney is familiar with these tactics, and more importantly, they are not trying to deal with significant injuries. On the other hand, you will need to learn all about Illinois personal injury law while handling your claim, focusing on your recovery, and trying to navigate your new employment reality if your injuries have impacted your earnings. The stress alone can seriously impact your recovery, and the truth is that inexperienced claimants often don’t have the experience or understanding of these complex tort laws to fight for a fair settlement. 

When Do I File Against an Uber Driver’s Personal Insurance Policy?

If you have been involved with someone who works as an Uber driver but is not currently active in the Uber app (meaning they are neither waiting for a ride request nor in the process of handling one), then the driver has no association with Uber whatsoever at this time due to how independent contractors are handled. This would be similar to getting into an accident with a taxi driver while driving their vehicle — you will file against their personal insurance policy because they were not working at the time of the crash. 

When Chicago Uber drivers are active in the app and awaiting a ride request, Uber Technologies, Inc. provides supplementary insurance if the injured victims are owed more compensation than the driver’s personal policy’s limits.

How much am I owed as a person injured in an Uber crash?

You and your Chicago Uber accident lawyer will need to take a close look at your situation before reaching an estimate of the amount you are owed, but keep in mind that these figures will continue to evolve as your attorney works through the claims process or builds a case for you. 

To start calculating, your attorney will account for your medical bills and lost wages, as well as the cost to repair and replace your damaged property, expenses you have taken on because of your accident, and anything else with a measurable dollar value. These are called “economic damages,” and make up the basis of your case. 

They will use one of several methods to calculate and quantify the extent of your “non-economic damages,” the impacts of your accident that do not have a dollar value. These include things like your pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and more. Once these two categories of damages are totaled, your attorney will have the full amount they will seek from the insurer.

What happens after an Uber accident? 

After being in an accident with an Uber driver, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention if you need it. After that, you may want to speak to an Uber accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. Agruss Law Firm offers a free consultation to discuss how we can help victims with a personal injury lawsuit or claim after an Uber accident.

What are my legal options after being in an accident with an Uber driver? 

There are a few things you can do after being in an accident with an Uber driver. You may be able to file an injury claim against the driver or Uber itself. You can also file a claim with your insurance company in certain instances, but you must discuss your situation with experienced Chicago Uber accident lawyers to ensure that you are working towards getting the compensation you are entitled to.

What will an Uber accident lawyer do for me? 

An Uber accident lawyer will help you file a personal injury claim and represent you in court if necessary. They will also help you negotiate with the insurance company, which is often how victims get fair compensation after a car accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver. Insurance companies (as well as many attorneys) prefer to reach out-of-court settlement agreements for full and fair compensation to save time, money, and sensitive details from emerging during the trial.

How much does an Uber accident lawyer cost? 

Most Uber accident lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means they will only charge you if they win your case. This typically ranges from 25% to 40% of the total settlement. In establishing your attorney-client relationship with our Chicago Uber accident lawyers, you will reach a clear and firm agreement on your fee before moving forward with your work together.

Do I need to hire an Uber accident lawyer? 

You may not need to hire an Uber accident lawyer if the accident was not very serious and you are only seeking compensation for your property damage expenses. However, if you were injured in the accident or the driver was at fault, it is advisable to speak with an attorney. After a car accident, insurance companies will work aggressively to settle claims against their clients as quickly and affordably as possible. If a Chicago Uber accident attorney does not represent you, they will likely take aggressive measures to convince you to settle for less than what you rightfully deserve.

While your attorney is handling the insurance company, you can stay focused on recovering from the injuries you suffered in your motor vehicle accident with an Uber or Lyft driver.

Can an Uber driver sue me?

This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on the specific facts of the situation. Generally, an Uber driver would not be able to sue you because they are considered independent contractors and not employees. However, there may be some exceptions depending on the state in which you reside. For example, if you were to get into a car accident with an Uber driver, they may be able to sue you for damages. It is always best to speak with an attorney to get a more specific answer to this question.

How many accidents are caused by Uber drivers?

This is a difficult question to answer definitively, as there is no central repository of data that would indicate how many accidents are caused specifically by Uber drivers. However, according to a study conducted by the University of Chicago in 2016, Uber and Lyft drivers were involved in approximately 3 percent of all traffic accidents in the city of Chicago.

Are Uber drivers employed by Uber Technologies, Inc.?

No,  Uber drivers are not employed by Uber Technologies, Inc. They are independent contractors who drive for the company. This means that Uber is not liable for their actions while driving, although Uber does provide either supplementary or complete insurance coverage in certain instances.

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