How Do I File an Uber Accident Claim in California?
Discover the steps to take when filing an Uber accident claim in California, and how an Uber accident attorney in Los Angeles may be able to help.
Ridesharing may sound like a trendy buzzword to some. However, it’s quickly becoming a significant part of the national mainstream transport network. Rideshare refers to when passengers travel in a driver’s personal car for a one-time ride purchased through an application.
California was the first American state to pass legislation that legalized transportation network companies. One of the most widely used rideshare transportation companies in California is Uber. Ranging from car accidents to labor claims, there are various lawsuits you may file against this rideshare company.
Read on to learn the most common Uber lawsuits, plus explore valuable tips for filing an Uber accident claim in California.
Most Common Uber Lawsuits in California
The most common cases that Uber faces in California include:
- Personal injury lawsuits by motor vehicle accident victims.
- Personal injury lawsuits by sexually assaulted passengers.
- Labor claims by drivers owed back wages.
Below is an overview of the cases listed above.
Car Accident Liability
A vehicle accident is usually the last thing on your mind, especially if you aren’t even the one driving. If you’ve hired an Uber for a ride, you probably don’t anticipate getting into a car accident. However, Uber accidents can occur, and passengers may sustain injuries.
If you’re driving your car, biking, or walking, you’re also at risk of being hit by an inattentive Uber driver. When involved in an Uber accident in California, it’s crucial to know how to file a claim for damages. Consult an experienced Uber accident attorney in Los Angeles for legal advice on how to seek compensation for damages.
Plaintiffs in an Uber accident claim can demand compensation for legal damages like:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of wages and earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Loss of consortium
As a victim, you will probably seek to recover fair compensation from the at-fault Uber driver, their insurance company, and Uber’s insurer.
Before 2020, Uber often argued that its drivers were independent contractors rather than employees, evading accountability for personal injury accidents. On January 1, 2020, California Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) directed Uber to categorize its drivers as workers.
This law made Uber vicariously responsible for any harm caused by their driver’s carelessness. Uber’s collision coverage may, therefore, provide compensation to those who have been injured in a covered accident.
There have also been additional revisions to California’s gig worker regulations since the enactment of Assembly Bill 5. Under Proposition 22, Uber may classify workers as independent contractors. Depending on when the person was injured, the legislation may be different. An Uber accident attorney in Los Angeles can help demystify these laws.
Claims For Sexual Abuse by Uber Drivers
Victims of sexual assault by Uber drivers can hold the company responsible for negligently hiring the rogue driver. Local and state laws protect passengers from misconduct such as sexual battery, rape, assault, and attempted kidnapping.
California’s law states that Uber must only hire drivers who meet the following requirements:
- Have a driver’s license for more than a year
- Have car insurance
- Drive a registered vehicle with at least four doors
- Pass a criminal background check
- Pass vehicle inspection annually or after every 50,000 miles
Background checks conducted by Uber are often less reliable than those conducted by the FBI using fingerprints and Live Scan systems. Third-party background checks are speedier and less expensive than Uber’s in-house checks, which take longer. As a result, Uber can save money while increasing the number of drivers on the road.
Uber passengers are at risk because of Uber’s inadequate screening procedure. An Uber accident attorney in Los Angeles can help prove that Uber’s inadequate hiring standards may have exposed you to harm.
Uber’s marketing might predispose customers to risks, particularly women. For years, Uber has promoted itself as a sobering alternative to drunk driving. As a result, those who are too drunk to drive are more likely to employ Uber’s services. Aside from the fact that they can’t defend themselves, intoxicated passengers are more susceptible to sexual attacks by their drivers.
An experienced Uber accident attorney in Los Angeles may seek compensatory and punitive damages against Uber for its wrongful acts and the horrendous consequences it produced.
Labor Claims by Individual Drivers
Uber drivers have the right to sue the rideshare company through individual worker misclassification claims. Wage and hour lawsuits claim back wages and other additional benefits that employers failed to provide because of misclassification.
The difference between employee and contractor worker classifications is of great significance. Labor laws handle employees and independent contractors differently. Independent contractors lack the right to federal benefits like unemployment benefits, paid sick and vacation time, federal minimum wage, and overtime pay.
Additionally, independent contractors are subject to a higher level of taxation, like social security and Medicare taxes, than employees. Uber drivers who were wrongly classed as independent contractors up to and including the time when the legislation changed may be entitled to back pay.
How to File an Uber Accident Claim
If you were injured because of an Uber driver who was negligent or reckless, you may be able to recover damages. You must first notify Uber about your injury by filing a claim with the company’s Claims Department. Negotiations will begin with your initial claim, but it is only the beginning of the process of receiving compensation for your injuries.
Luckily, Uber has enough insurance to cover most accidents. Victims of an Uber driver’s negligence may obtain liability insurance for physical harm up to $1 million. Follow the steps below and contact a skilled Uber accident attorney in Los Angeles to make an effective claim.
Get Insurance Information
Ensure to get the insurance information of all vehicles involved, including the Uber driver’s personal coverage, following an accident. This information will help you to know who to contact to file an Uber accident claim.
Record any other relevant details, such as:
- Names of all drivers involved.
- License plate numbers and detailed descriptions of all automobiles involved.
- Phone numbers and email addresses of the drivers.
This information will strengthen your claim.
Obtain Uber Trip Verification
The amount of insurance available is contingent on two factors: whether the driver was using the Uber app and whether they had accepted a trip at the time of the accident. If the driver hadn’t accepted the trip, there would be a significant reduction in the amount of available insurance.
Drivers who do not log onto the app are not technically Uber drivers, so you must claim with the driver’s personal insurance company. Whether a driver logged into the driver app or accepted the ride makes a significant difference.
Contact Uber’s Insurer and the Claims Department
The James River Insurance Company covers Uber in California. Once you submit your trip verification details, they may reach out to you. You’ll probably have to fill out a few forms. Keep a copy of all correspondences for your future reference. If the claims department fails to contact you, you can fax, email, or mail the insurance company.
Reporting Accidents as an Uber Driver
Were you driving an Uber vehicle when you got into a crash? If yes, follow the steps above and file an Uber incident report. To file the report, use the app and share all information, including the identities of any passengers. A member of the Uber team will reach out to ensure all involved parties are okay.
Consult an Uber Accident Attorney in Los Angeles when Filing Uber Claims
A quick online search on Uber injury claims reveals many horror stories of injured victims fighting for fair compensation for damages after an Uber accident.
Some of the bottlenecks that plaintiffs face from the rideshare company are:
- Claiming victims were at fault for the crash.
- Claims that injuries existed before the accident.
- Failure to respond to calls and communication.
- Low-ball settlement offers.
Since dealing with an insurance company may be challenging, you’ll want a lawyer on your side who is familiar with the legal aspects of automobile accident settlements. Having an attorney on your side can help you build a case that the Uber driver was at fault for the collision and demonstrate the extent of your injuries.
If you don’t have legal counsel, you may feel like you’re swimming against a current. If you were driving when the collision happened, your insurance company might try to persuade Uber’s insurer to cover your damages on your behalf.
Schedule a free case review with an Uber accident attorney in Los Angeles today to know what your Uber accident claim is worth.