Dealing with a car accident is difficult on its own. But the problems can be compounded when one driver involved was working for a rideshare company. Whose insurance pays for the accident? Is it the driver’s, the transportation network company’s (TNC), or yours?
Because drivers for rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are independent contractors, there could be several parties liable for your injuries. Our Petersburg Uber accident lawyers help victims in Virginia determine liability and understand who they should contact.
Uber Car Accident Settlement Amounts in Virginia
Auto accidents are frightening incidents that have the power to permanently change our lives. While each state varies regarding the legal deadline to file a personal injury claim, there is no minimum settlement amount for an Uber car accident in Virginia. However, there is a standard.
If you have a bodily injury, there’s a possibility that you’ll require surgery or physical therapy to fully recover. Our attorneys ask for the highest sum to pay for:
- Medical costs
- Missed or garnished earnings
- Pain and suffering from injuries
- Emotional distress as a result of your injuries
- Changes in life quality, such as no longer being able to exercise, travel, etc.
Keep track of any additional losses, if there are any. After thoroughly evaluating your case, your lawyer can talk about the projected amounts of compensation for your Uber car accident settlement package.
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WHY YOU NEED A PETERSBURG UBER AND RIDESHARE ACCIDENT LAWYER
Rideshare accident victims rarely know what steps they must take to get compensated for their losses. Insurance companies, especially those providing coverage to large companies such as Uber and Lyft, will often attempt a low-ball settlement offer, avoid payment on a claim, or deny a claim altogether.
Insurance companies will also run their own investigation of the accident. One of the many factors that could affect your injury claim is the common insurance company tactic to insist your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim they are.
If an insurer refuses a fair agreement, you will need a professional to advocate for you in court. Often, a Petersburg Uber and rideshare accident attorney will work for you on a contingency fee basis, which means they will not require any legal fees up front, but will only be paid once you win.
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The Dangers of Ridesharing
Why are rideshares dangerous? Making up about 10% of traffic on the roads, rideshare companies like Uber, Lyft and Alto all require for their drivers to access their apps and rely on their GPS while driving. This increase of distracted drivers causes an uptick in accidents.
Additionally, because a rideshare driver’s employment is highly dependent on the outcomes of their rides, speeding is implicitly encouraged. According to studies based on information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, ridesharing contributed to an increase of two to three percent in auto deaths.
Road safety is not always practiced in other forms such as irregular parking, which is common amongst rideshare drivers. Like speeding, this can put other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians at risk. Even when drivers are reported for being negligent, it may take a while for their ratings to be low enough to have them deactivated.
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LIABILITY IN A RIDESHARE ACCIDENT
Determining liability in a taxi accident is easy. Taxi drivers are employees of the cab company. If you were hurt by one, then you would reach out to the insurer of the employer. But for rideshare companies like Uber, it’s not so easy.
This is because of the independent contractor status of rideshare drivers. This status gives them a lot of flexibility on the job, but it could also make them personally liable for your accident instead of the rideshare company.
This is a fairly new area of law, but enough cases have happened that there are some general guidelines for deciding which insurance company to contact. That said, it’s still good to talk with an Uber accident lawyer in Petersburg for advice.
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UNDERSTANDING RIDESHARE INSURANCE POLICIES
Drivers working for rideshare companies in Petersburg are required to carry their own personal car insurance, in addition to the liability coverage rideshare companies provide. This is because the company’s liability coverage will only apply in certain scenarios.
For example, Uber’s insurance policy comprises the following:
- In the event of an accident when the driver’s Uber app is off, the driver is considered to not be on the job. Therefore, their personal auto insurance will be used.
- When a driver is available for rides and has the Uber app on, their personal insurance and Uber’s contingent liability coverage can be used when an accident takes place. Uber’s coverage provides between $50,000 and $100,000 for injuries and $25,000 for property damage.
- When an Uber driver is carrying a passenger on an Uber trip, the company’s commercial insurance covers the driver and passengers. This coverage includes up to $1 million in third party liability and $1 million in uninsured/under-insured coverage.
Lyft and other rideshare companies have similar insurance policies covering their drivers. Because of the various factors that play into the different types of coverage, recovering damages can be complex.
Defending Yourself Against Uber After an Accident
You can represent yourself against Uber if your driver has a car accident or if an Uber driver hit you with their car. If you have no prior personal injury litigation experience, it is recommended that you consult with an Uber and rideshare accident lawyer in Petersburg before filing a claim.
If you represent yourself against a large rideshare company like Uber following a car accident, you may experience:
1. Choosing the Wrong Insurer
If you try to file a claim on your own and choose the wrong insurer, it will take much longer to get compensation. Time is of the essence when pursuing an insurance claim, and you don’t want to jeopardize your potential payout.
2. Missing the Statute of Limitations Deadline
The time limit for submitting a personal injury claim in Virginia is two years.
According to Code of Virginia 8.01-243, victims must file a claim within this time period to be eligible for compensation.
There are no exceptions to this rule, therefore if you file after that window, you voluntarily give up your opportunity to receive compensation for your losses in a settlement.
3. Getting a Lower Settlement Offer
The sole function of an insurance adjuster is to reduce costs for their company. Even if Uber is at fault, they will never act in your best interests. They frequently attempt to diminish the genuine worth of your claim by downplaying your injuries or challenging your statements.
By hiring legal counsel, we can handle the messy details of finding the right insurance company to contact while you focus on recovery. Should your case need to go to trial, we can also negotiate for a much larger settlement amount.
WHY CHOOSE PENDLETON LAW TO REPRESENT YOU?
By hiring an attorney at our firm who knows the process for successfully getting compensation after a rideshare accident, your rights will be protected. Our lawyers are skilled negotiators who will not settle for less than a fair amount on your claim.
- We have a thorough understanding of rideshare laws and insurance policies, empowering us to reclaim your losses.
- Our Petersburg personal injury attorneys employ a highly efficient approach to every case with the use of the latest technological advances.
- We’ll help you create a unique legal strategy that meets your needs.
CONTACT OUR UBER AND RIDESHARE ACCIDENT LAWYERS IN PETERSBURG TODAY
Our firm knows how to successfully handle a rideshare accident case. At Pendleton Law Firm, our Uber accident lawyers work tirelessly to protect the rights of our Petersburg clients. We will help navigate the complex insurance claims process and ensure you get the full compensation you deserve. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.
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