San Diego is known for many things: great weather, beaches, healthy living; however, San Diego is not known for having a reliable and robust public transit system, which is why Uber is such an appealing option for transportation in and around the city. While Uber uses stringent vetting practices before allowing drivers to operate on their platform, there is no, and there never will be, and guarantee that you will be safe from an accident.

In fact, a Chicago Booth study in 2018 found that Uber and other ride-share services accounted for a 2-3% increase in accidents since 2011. Additionally, Uber’s safety report showed that there were 3,045 sexual assaults and 9 murders in the US last year. While this is not an indication that riding in an Uber is less safe than driving yourself, it is an indication that you are not immune from an accident, and should know your legal options if you are injured while riding an Uber in San Diego.

Hire an Experienced Law Firm After an Accident

The team at Injury Trial Lawyers, APC have extensive experience helping clients get the compensation that they deserve after being injured in all types of accidents, including car accidents and Uber crashes, but our experience goes far beyond vehicle crashes. While you are focusing on recovering from your injuries, you can rely on us to handle the legal processes necessary to get you the money you deserve. Our history of success should be a good indication of the quality of care you will get as one of our valued clients.

Get the Support You Deserve

If you have been injured in any situation that someone else caused because of their negligent or reckless behavior, then you are likely entitled to compensation through a personal injury case. Whether you are working directly with the defendant and their law firm, or if you are filing a claim with an insurance company, you deserve to be represented by an experienced personal injury lawyer who can fight for every cent that you are entitled to. 

Read more below to get a better idea of how important the right personal injury attorney can be to your case. The following information is intended to provide you with a general overview of how a personal injury case may be handled, although the specifics of your case are, of course, unique to your situation. 

Contact us as soon as possible to request a free case evaluation and to schedule an initial consultation where we will be able to speak at length about your injuries and the impacts that your Uber accident in San Diego has already had on your life. The sooner we are able to begin working together on your case, the more time we will have to build a comprehensive body of documentation and evidence that will support an aggressive negotiation phase in an attempt tor each a settlement agreement without a trial.

What To Do After an Uber Accident in San Diego

Uber Accident in San Diego

Immediately after an Uber accident, it is important to prioritize your own health and safety first, meaning that you should assess the situation and determine whether you should attempt to exit the vehicle, remain in place, and try to get an initial sense of your injuries. Do not do anything that you are not comfortable with that your Uber driver may ask you to do, such as to agree to a story to tell the police, or act as if your injuries are not as severe as they may be. 

Call 911

As soon as possible, call 911 or ensure that someone else at the scene does so. As soon as the 911 operator is alerted to the accident, they will be able to dispatch San Diego police, fire, and EMT services to the scene where they will be able to provide emergency care, secure the scene, address any ongoing hazards, and ultimately draft a report of the accident. 

If you call 911 yourself, you will be able to inform the operator about any serious injuries that you, the Uber driver, or the other passengers have suffered, which will be important information to provide the first responders with so that they can have a clearer understanding of what to expect when they arrive. 

Get Medical Attention

Keeping in line with your health as a priority, it is important that you get comprehensive medical attention as soon as possible. If you are treated at the scene of the accident for minor injuries and then leave without taking an ambulance, it is still important that you see your primary care physician as soon as possible, first to ensure that you get the necessary treatment, but secondly to establish a record of your injuries early on. 

If the EMTs suggest that you take an ambulance to an emergency room, it is a good idea that you accept their expert advice. It is understandable that you are likely worried about the cost of an ambulance bill, but you will be able to seek compensation for this medical expense and many more once you are working with a San Diego Uber accident lawyer. 

Gather Eyewitness Statements and Speak With Police

Many Uber drivers use onboard cameras in order to provide clear evidence for accidents, issues, or even altercations while they are on-duty, which will be a significant primary source for your own case. However, whether or not there is a camera in the vehicle, you will benefit greatly from having as many eyewitness accounts as possible to support your case.

At the scene of the accident, if you are able to, speak with the police and tell them about anything that you think is important or contributory to your accident, such as if your driver was using their phone or otherwise distracted, if they were speeding, or if you noticed another driver acting recklessly or negligently that helped cause the accident. This information will be included in the accident report, and the police will be able to interview other eyewitnesses about what they saw, as well.

Hire a Personal Injury Attorney

Uber Accident San Diego

It is possible that a representative from Uber may reach out to you following your accident, and they may provide you with some guidelines about how to initiate a claim. While this is helpful, it can also put you in a position where you are impacting your case by making seemingly-innocuous statements that could come back to haunt you. Additionally, many people think that filing a claim does not require legal support, which is technically true but strongly recommended against.

When you hire an attorney, they will be able to handle every aspect of the claims process, including speaking with police, making statements to the insurance company, strategizing your approach, and more. While your attorney is prioritizing your legal needs and your financial wellbeing, you will be able to focus on recovering from your injuries, getting your life back on track, and making sense of how to get your personal and professional life back in order following this significant disruption. Stress is a significant factor in recovery, so the less stress you take on, the better your recovery may be. 

File an Insurance Claim

Since an Uber driver is a contractor, not an employee of Uber Technology, Inc., there are some different limitations and specifics about who you will need to file your claim through. Uber’s contracts with their drivers stipulate that if they are actively transporting a fare, they have a much higher policy limit than if they were driving to pick up a fare. At the same time, a driver who is using the app but has not accepted a fare and is not transporting a fare is required to have their own personal insurance policy that you will need to file with. 

As you can imagine, there are many different complexities about who to file a claim with, whether or not you were actually involved in an accident with an Uber driver or not, and more. At the same time that you are attempting to unravel these details, you will also be struggling with the pain and suffering of your injuries, which is why it is so helpful to allow an attorney to handle these processes instead.

Calculating Damages After an Uber Accident in San Diego

The key issue that you will be attempting to resolve with the insurance company is the amount of money that you are entitled to after your injuries that the Uber driver is responsible for. However, it is important that you remember where an insurance company’s priorities lie: with protecting their own financial interests over anything else. This means that the insurance adjuster assigned to your case will be investigating your case from the perspective of their employer, and will be trying to find any reason to offer you less money while still settling your claim.

Even if you advocate for yourself once the insurance company makes their initial (and shockingly low) offer, you will be burdened with juggling your injuries and your legal issues at the same time, while fighting against legal representatives from the insurance company whose main goal is to pay you less. Instead, use a lawyer to handle this process. 

Calculating Economic Damages

Economic damages are the backbone of a personal injury case, and they include all of the measurable financial impacts that an accident and resultant injuries will cause. They include (but are not limited to) things like the medical bills that you incur, any impacts to your earning capacity or your ability to perform your job, and even services that you may need to hire that you would have previously been able to do yourself (laundry, shopping, etc).

Essentially, an economic damage is anything that comes with a receipt, invoice, or other financial statements that can measurably support your claims for compensation. 

Calculating Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are just as important as their counterparts, but they are more difficult to calculate, and therefore are typically contested more aggressively by the insurance company. They include things like the pain and suffering of your injuries, the depression and sadness that you will endure after an injury, and impacts on your ability to enjoy your life. Since there is no set dollar value for these types of impacts, the insurance company will focus on these damages as what they do not want to pay.

There are many different accepted ways to calculate non-economic damages, including using a scale to indicate their severity and then using that number as a multiplier. In the multiplier method, the number that you and your attorney determine on the scale will then be multiplied by your economic damages to reach a dollar amount for these intangible non-economic impacts. 

Frequently Asked Questions About San Diego Uber Accidents

Frequently Asked Questions About San Diego Uber Accidents

The following are just a few examples of questions that we frequently receive during initial consultations, as well as some “big picture” questions that we will need to spend a lot of time working on in order to reach a conclusive answer. The best way to get an answer for yourself is to contact us as soon as possible because the following answers are general answers that do not account for any of the specifics of your accident or injuries. 

How much is my case worth?

The final damage awards in a personal injury case account for many specific details in a victim’s life, including their previous income and the impacts to that income after the accident, the extent of their medical bills for the injuries, and more. In addition, your non-economic damages will be extremely specific to your situation and will require in-depth work before we are able to reach a conclusive answer and begin negotiating with the insurance company. 

Will I need to go to trial?

Few personal injury cases ever go to trial, with some estimates as low as 5% of all personal injury cases ever requiring a trial, and 50% of personal injury claims being settled before any official legal action is taken at all. However, these statistics do not guarantee that your situation will be settled, and does not guarantee that you will be able to avoid a trial. As with every other detail pertaining to an Uber accident, these are all answers that are highly specific to your situation.

Should I settle with the insurance company?

As already mentioned, a staggering percentage of personal injury claims are settled without requiring a trial, and may even avoid being filed in the California courts at all. However, this does not mean that insurance companies make an appropriate offer the first time, and there is no negotiation or back and forth required. In fact, you should never accept a settlement offer from an insurance company without consulting with an experienced attorney first.

Why do I need an attorney after a San Diego Uber accident?

As you can see from the complexity of much of the information provided above, hiring an attorney is not only a significant advantage, it is the best way to ensure that you are able to have your voice heard by the insurance company, and have confidence in your chances of a positive outcome while you are able to focus on your own recovery. Avoiding stress should be one of your top priorities during this trying time, which is difficult if you are responsible for handling your own negotiations at the same time. A lawyer is the best way to do both.

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