Have you or someone you love been injured in a San Diego Uber accident? At Injury Trial Lawyers, APC, our attorneys understand that an Uber accident can be overwhelming. As a passenger, you have no control and are at risk of suffering serious injuries. You may in significant physical pain and struggling to with the financial costs of the crash. If someone else is to blame, you have the right to demand compensation.
Our San Diego Uber accident lawyers are here to make sure that you get the money you deserve. We’ll pursue monetary damages from Uber, your Uber driver, or anyone else who may have caused you harm.
Uber in San Diego
Uber is a ridesharing service that helps to connect passengers and drivers. The concept is similar to a taxi cab service. However, Uber doesn’t actually own any of the vehicles used to transport its customers. The company relies entirely on its drivers to supply vehicles and get the job done. Since Uber and other ridesharing services are unique in this way, they’re classified as Transportation Network Companies (“TNC”) in California.
As a TNC, Uber must apply for a special permit to operate as a Charter-Party Carrier of Passengers. This subjects the company to strict insurance, licensing, and inspection requirements. Uber is also strictly prohibited from owning any of the vehicles in its fleet. Instead, all vehicles used for Ubering purposes must be privately owned (and insured) by the driver.
Is Uber a Common Carrier?
Common carriers are defined as companies that transport passengers from one place to another in exchange for a fee. Examples of common carriers in San Diego include buses, trains, planes, and even amusement parks. Uber – a company that gets people from one place to another in exchange for money – seems to fit into this definition. However, Uber’s status – whether or not they are a common carrier – is still up in the air.
Uber has made concerted efforts to distance itself from the common carrier label. Why? Common carriers “must do all that human care, vigilance, and foresight reasonably can do under the circumstances to avoid harm to passengers.” This is a much higher duty of care than is imposed on other drivers on the road. Uber doesn’t want to be held to a higher standard.
If Uber is eventually classified as a common carrier it will be easier for accident victims to prove negligence and recover compensation. Common carrier status may also impact how Uber can legally classify its drivers. This also has an impact on your ability to recover compensation.
Uber Drivers: Employees or Contractors?
In California, employers can be held personally responsible for harm caused because of an employee’s negligence. So, whether or not an Uber driver is classified as an employee or independent contractor is incredibly important. If drivers are classified as employees, Uber can be held responsible for accidents caused by one of its drivers. If drivers are classified as independent contractors, however, Uber isn’t liable for the driver’s actions. Uber has been fighting tooth and nail to formally have its drivers designated as independent contractors.
Why is this important if you’ve been injured in an Uber accident? If the Uber driver is at fault and they’re classified as an employee, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against Uber. If the driver is classified as an independent contractor, you will have a much more difficult time holding Uber personally responsible for your injuries.
However, you always have the option of filing a personal injury claim to recover insurance proceeds from the driver and/or Uber.
Uber Insurance Requirements in San Diego
California law requires that all Uber rides are covered by insurance. This insurance requirement can be satisfied by an Uber driver’s personal policy, Uber’s corporate policy, or a combination of both. The minimum amount of coverage that must exist really depends on what the Uber driver is doing at a specific point in time. Uber services in California are divided into three separate periods.
Period 1: Period 1 begins when an Uber driver logs into his or her Uber app. The driver must be actively searching for, but have not accepted, a ride request.
Insurance requirements during Period 1 include:
- $200,000 in liability insurance for the Uber driver
- $50,000 for death and personal injury, per person
- $100,000 for death and personal injury, per incident; and
- $30,000 for property damage.
Period 2: Period 2 begins when a driver is logged into the Uber app and accepts a ride request. Once an Uber driver has accepted a request in the app, the ride must be insured by commercial coverage of at least $1 Million.
Period 3: Period 3 begins the moment a passenger enters the Uber vehicle and ends the moment the passenger exits the vehicle. The passenger must have requested the ride through the Uber app. During an active Uber trip, the ride must be insured by $1 Million in commercial coverage and $1 Million in uninsured motorist coverage.
What happens if you’re involved in an accident with an Uber driver who is not logged into the Uber app? Uber’s commercial policy won’t apply. You’ll have to pursue compensation through the driver’s personal insurance or by filing a civil lawsuit for damages.
Getting the Money You Need After Your San Diego Uber Crash
If you’ve been injured in a San Diego Uber accident you may be entitled to compensation. How you get that money will typically depend on (a) who is at fault and (b) which strategy you decide to use. In California, more than one person can be held financially responsible for an accident and injury. As a victim, you can file a personal injury claim with an insurance company, file a civil lawsuit for damages, or do both.
Getting Insurance Money After Your Uber Accident
Your Uber ride is covered by insurance. This coverage may exist through the driver’s policy, Uber’s policy, or a combination of both. You may also be able to recover compensation from a negligent third party’s insurer.
Uber Driver: Your Uber driver is required to purchase and maintain car insurance coverage. At the very least, your driver must have bodily injury coverage ($15,000 per person, $30,000 per incident) and property damage coverage ($5,000 per incident). If your Uber driver is at fault, you can file a claim with their insurer to recover compensation from their policy.
However, there are a couple of things to consider. First, the driver’s insurance company may deny your claim if the driver was engaged in livery – or driving for a commercial purpose – at the time of the accident. Second, your recovery will be limited by insurance coverage maximums.
Uber: Uber has to make sure that your Uber ride is covered by insurance. The company can do this by checking a driver’s coverage and purchasing commercial coverage. If you’re injured in an Uber accident you can file a claim to recover insurance benefits from Uber’s commercial policy. However, the insurer may try to refuse responsibility if the Uber driver was negligent.
Third Party Insurance: Uber accidents aren’t always caused by the Uber driver. If someone else is to blame, you can file a claim with that person’s insurance company.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Are you an insured driver? Did you purchase uninsured motorist coverage? If so, you may be able to file a claim to recover benefits from your own policy.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit After Your Uber Accident
You don’t have to rely on insurance to get the money you need after an accident. You also have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against anyone who is responsible for causing your injury. However, it’s important to note that your right to file a lawsuit can be waived if you accept an insurance settlement.
Uber Driver: Was your Uber driver negligent? Were they distracted or driving unsafely? If so, you can demand compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Others on the Road: Uber drivers aren’t the only ones to cause accidents in San Diego. It’s possible that your Uber could be involved in an accident caused by a third party. You have the right to file a lawsuit against anyone whose negligence contributed to your injury. This can include bicyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and other drivers.
Companies Responsible for Defective Products: Did a defective product cause or contribute to your Uber accident? Maybe the brakes failed and prevented your driver from stopping properly. Perhaps the airbags exploded unexpectedly, shocked your driver, and created a hazardous condition. If a defective product is to blame for your Uber accident the company that put it on the market be held strictly liable for your injuries.
San Diego: The government may be liable if your Uber accident happened because of dangerous or hazardous road conditions. This is particularly true if the government agency in charge of road maintenance knew, or should have known, about a hazard and failed to do anything about it.
Uber: Whether or not Uber can be held personally responsible for an accident involving one of its drivers remains to be seen. This question will largely be answered when the employee vs. independent contractor debate is settled. For now, you can file a personal injury lawsuit and attempt to hold Uber responsible. The company has deeper pockets than its drivers, which can increase your chances of recovering the money you deserve.
Damages Available to San Diego Uber Accident Victims
The costs of an Uber accident should not be underestimated. Victims often experience a wide range of physical, emotional, and financial injuries. In San Diego, victims have the right to demand compensation for those injuries if someone else is to blame.
At Injury Trial Lawyers, APC, our attorneys will aggressively pursue monetary damages on your behalf. We’ll fight recover compensation on your behalf for:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Nursing care
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
Call our San Diego personal injury lawyers to schedule a free consultation. We’ll review your case and help you understand your legal rights and options.
How Our San Diego Uber Accident Lawyers Can Help
When you’re seriously injured in a car accident, the last thing you need to do is navigate a complex legal claim on your own. This is particularly true if you’ve been injured in an Uber accident. Personal injury cases involving Uber tend to be difficult and complicated. Hiring an attorney to handle your case while you focus on your recovery is the best thing you can do. At Injury Trial Lawyers, APC, our attorneys understand the changing legal landscape involving Uber accidents. We are prepared to help you get the money you deserve.
Here’s how our San Diego personal injury lawyers will help you maximize your financial recovery:
- Protect you from insurance companies eager to take advantage of your pain and minimize your payout.
- Thoroughly investigate your case to determine cause and liability.
- Analyze all evidence to build a strong and persuasive case on your behalf.
- Work closely with experts to determine the true value of your case.
- Approach negotiations with a strong argument and evidence in hand.
- Prepare your case for litigation if you don’t receive a fair settlement offer.
It’s our goal to help you recover the compensation you deserve after an accident. We’ll work hard to make sure that the person (or people) who caused your injury are held accountable.
Call San Diego Uber Accident Attorney Richard Morse III Today
If you have been involved in an Uber accident in San Diego you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. At Injury trial Lawyers, APC, our attorneys have been dedicated to helping injured clients like you for more than 22 years. During this time, we’ve handled thousands of complex cases and recovered millions on behalf of our clients. Contact us to find out how our skilled attorneys can help you maximize your financial award. We offer a free consultation, so do not hesitate to call for help today.