Walnut Creek Uber Accident Attorney

More than ever before, the process of getting a ride somewhere is simple and straightforward. Just download an app from a company like Uber or Lyft, input your information, and a driver will show up and take you to your location. With everything handled through the app, the process is easy for most users.

But ease of use is not synonymous with safety. While Uber is incredibly popular, averaging 14 million trips per day, that doesn’t mean that taking an Uber is without risk. After all, Uber drivers don’t have special training or even drive vehicles that are part of a company fleet.

Instead, Uber drivers only need a driver’s license that they have had for at least one year, meet the age requirement to drive in a particular location, and drive an eligible four door vehicle. 

If you have been injured in an accident involving an Uber, whether you were a passenger, pedestrian, or in another vehicle, you may be able to file a claim against Uber for your losses. A seasoned Walnut Creek car accident lawyer can advocate for your right to full compensation.

Understanding Uber Accident Claims: Who Is at Fault?

California personal injury lawsuits are based on a theory of negligence, which is the failure to use the care that a reasonable person would in a similar situation.  Anyone who drives in California has a duty to use reasonable care when they are operating a motor vehicle.

To recover compensation for losses suffered in any type of motor vehicle accident, the victim (plaintiff) must prove that the other driver (defendant) acted with negligence. There are four elements of negligence:

  1. Duty: the driver had a duty of care to use reasonable care when operating their vehicle.
  2. Breach: the driver breached (violated) that duty.
  3. Causation: the driver’s violation caused injuries to someone else (the plaintiff). This may also be referred to as “but for” or proximate causation (i.e., but for the driver’s breach, the accident would not have happened and the plaintiff would not have been injured).
  4. Damages: the victim suffered losses.

All four elements must be demonstrated in order to be successful in a personal injury claim.

In an Uber accident, the plaintiff must show these elements, just as they would if the driver was not working for a rideshare company. For example, if the Uber driver was driving under the influence and slammed into another vehicle at an intersection, they will be held financially responsible for any injuries that occurred in the crash because the driver was acting negligently. They had a duty to use reasonable care while driving, breached that duty by driving under the influence, and then caused an accident, which injured others.

The distinction between Uber collisions and other types of motor vehicle accident cases is who may be held financially responsible for any losses suffered by the victim(s). In a typical case, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be on the hook for any damages. However, in a personal injury case involving an Uber, there may be some question as to which insurance policy applies: the driver’s personal policy or Uber’s commercial policy.

Who Is Responsible for Damages in an Uber Accident Case?

In accidents where an Uber driver was found to be at fault, there are usually two possible sources of recovery: the driver’s personal car insurance policy and/or Uber’s commercial liability insurance policy. Coverage under Uber’s policy is based on what the driver was doing at the time of the accident.

If a driver is not working or the app is off, then their own insurance policy will cover damages from a crash. This may make it difficult to fully recover, as the driver may have purchased an insurance policy with relatively low limits. In California, drivers are only required to carry $15,000 in coverage for liability per person, $30,000 for liability per accident, and $5,000 in property damage per accident. 

If the driver has the app on and is waiting for a passenger when an accident occurs, then Uber’s insurance policy can be accessed. In this situation, the policy limits are relatively low: up to $50,000 in bodily injury per person, up to $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and up to $25,000 in proper damage per accident. 

However, if the driver is on their way to pick up passengers or currently has a passenger in their vehicle when the accident occurs, then Uber’s full $1,000,000 commercial policy is available. Anyone injured in the accident may be able to recover through this policy, including passengers in the Uber, pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers and passengers of other vehicles. 

Hurt in an Uber Accident? Reach Out Today.

The aftermath of a car crash can be overwhelming, as you face pain, ongoing medical treatment, lost wages, and mounting medical bills. When the accident involved an Uber, you may be even more stressed at the thought of figuring out how to proceed against a massive corporation. A personal injury attorney can work with you to help you get the compensation that you are entitled to under the law.

At Appel Law Firm LLP, we represent clients throughout Contra Costa and Alameda counties who have been injured in all types of accidents. We have a track record of success, and the experience necessary to negotiate a favorable settlement — or take your case to trial and win.  To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us at (925) 938-2000 or email us at any time.