As the use of rideshare services continues to become more popular, the risk of accidents increases. There are more drivers on the road with Uber, Lyft, and other app-based services. Many of these drivers are unfamiliar with their operating areas, resulting in an increased reliance on GPS for directions.
That means more drivers are paying less attention to the road. If you were involved in an accident while in a rideshare vehicle, you may wonder how the claims process works and the average Uber accident settlement.
What Is the Average Uber Accident Settlement?
Understandably, you want to know how much you can potentially get in a rideshare settlement with Uber. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as average Uber accident settlement amounts. Each claim is different and evaluated on its own merits.
Numerous factors can impact your claim value, which is why it’s impossible to determine an average settlement value for an Uber accident. Two accidents with similar injuries could resolve for vastly different amounts.
What Factors Affect the Settlement?
When you understand how claims are evaluated, it becomes more apparent why there is no average settlement amount. Some of the most important factors include your injury type, the severity of injuries, liability, your overall damages, and the amount of available coverage.
Injury Type and Extent of Injuries
The first factor that affects your settlement is your injury type and the extent of your injuries. For example, a case involving only soft tissue injuries that resolves with minimal treatment wouldn’t have the same settlement value as a claim involving a traumatic brain injury.
Insurance companies and juries look at what your injuries are and how severe they are. That means two claims with similar injuries could resolve for different amounts if the severity differs. Consider two cases involving a fractured arm. One injured victim’s arm healed within three months with no residual complaints, while the other victim has permanent damage and residual pain. The person suffering more long-term effects would likely receive a larger settlement.
Amount of Damages
Another factor that impacts your settlement value is the amount of your damages. Damages are your medical expenses, future expected treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more. Using the broken arm example, imagine the second victim with permanent damage had to undergo multiple surgeries and will need another one. Their overall damages will be significantly higher than the first victim who only had a cast and healed with minimal other treatment.
Liability also influences your claim in some cases. If you are a passenger in an Uber, liability may not be as significant of an issue—one or more of the drivers involved will likely be responsible for your damages. However, if you are driving a vehicle and get into a collision with an Uber driver, liability arguments will play an important role in determining your claim value.
California is a pure comparative negligence state. That means if you share liability for the accident, you can still collect a portion of your damages. For example, if a jury finds you 20% at fault, you could receive 80% of your damages. If you are 80% at fault, you could receive 20% of your damages.
Amount of Available Coverage
The amount of available insurance coverage for your accident can impact your settlement as well. Uber and other rideshare services carry liability insurance on behalf of drivers. But the amount of coverage will vary depending on the rideshare driver’s standing at the time—i.e., whether the driver is waiting for an assignment, has a passenger, or is en route to pick up a passenger.
How Does the Settlement Process Work?
The claims process typically starts with filing a report with Uber. You can file a claim independently or through a San Francisco Uber accident lawyer. If you have an attorney from Wakeford Law Firm representing you, we will open an independent investigation and send a demand to the at-fault parties once we know the total value of your claim.
Uber will open its own investigation and evaluate your claim. The main question they are looking to answer is who is at fault for the collision. If there is clear evidence that the Uber driver is at fault, Uber may accept liability and extend a settlement offer. If they raise liability arguments, Uber may refuse to settle. You would then need to file a lawsuit against the driver and Uber.
Be advised that any initial settlement offer you receive from the insurance company will be lower than your claim is worth. Insurance companies are for-profit companies, which means they are looking for any way possible to reduce their exposure and payout. The negotiations process typically includes a lot of back and forth before reaching an agreement on value. If you cannot reach an agreement, then the next step is to file an Uber accident lawsuit.
What to Know About Their Insurance Policy
Uber’s coverage is dependent on what the driver was doing at the time of the accident. If the Uber driver’s app is turned off, then you will likely pursue a claim through the driver’s own insurance policy.
If the driver has the app on but is not carrying a passenger, then it would be a $250,000 limit. If the driver has connected with a passenger and is on their way, then the $1,000,000 policy will apply. The $1,000,000 limit also applies if the passenger was in the Uber vehicle at the time. Although these coverage amounts are in place through Uber, it doesn’t mean they will always confirm coverage. There may be situations where coverage should apply but Uber argues that it doesn’t. Those situations may require us to file an Uber crash lawsuit.
How Wakeford Law Firm Can Help
When you hire Wakeford Law Firm to represent you, we will help protect your rights and fight for the maximum compensation Uber owes you. We will handle all communication and negotiations with Uber’s insurance, so you don’t have to.
You should be concentrating on your recovery, not the added stress of arguing with an insurance company. Rideshare apps are extremely popular in San Francisco, and we have years of experience dealing with Uber and other rideshare apps’ insurance companies.
Contact our office to schedule a free no-obligation consultation to learn more about how Wakeford Law Firm can help you successfully recover compensation in an Uber accident.