Category: Car Accidents

Whom Can I Sue if an Uber Driver Hits Me

Whom Can I Sue if an Uber Driver Hits Me?

Getting into an accident with an Uber driver is rarely an easy experience. You could end up with significant medical bills, lost wages, and other types of financial losses on top of your pain and suffering. And with this type of accident, you might not be sure what your options are for compensation.

The good news is that you’ll generally have a party to file a lawsuit (or insurance claim) against after a collision with an Uber vehicle in California and Nevada. Whom exactly you will sue will come down to the facts and circumstances of the situation. The sections below will fill you in on the details.

Considerations Under California and Nevada Law

It’s helpful to note at the onset that California and Nevada are both considered “at fault” states when it comes to car insurance. Some states follow “no-fault” rules instead; in those states, you cannot file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver unless the accident is especially serious, as defined by state law. In at-fault states like Nevada and California, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party after a car accident. 

That said, another important consideration is that, as of now, Uber drivers are considered independent contractors in both states. This means in the vast majority of cases, you won’t be able to file a lawsuit against Uber directly in order to obtain compensation. 

However, you might be able to file a claim against Uber’s insurance policy, your own car insurance policy, or the driver’s personal insurance policy. You might also be able to file a lawsuit against the driver directly. The best course of action is highly case and fact-specific.

Uber’s Insurance Policies

Uber has three different policies in place, which vary depending on what the Uber driver’s status was at the time of the crash. 

The Driver Is Offline

If the driver is not online at the time of the accident – meaning their driver app is off, and they are not working – then the driver’s own insurance policy will apply to the case. In these circumstances, you may file a claim against that policy (or your own policy, or both), or you may file a lawsuit against the driver. Your best course of action will come down to the terms of the policy in question, your own car insurance policy, and whether the Uber driver will be able to compensate you for the accident.

The Driver Is Available and Online

If the driver is logged into the Uber app and is available to pick up a passenger but has yet to do so, Uber provides limited coverage in the form of:

  • $50,000 in bodily injury per person
  • $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident

Note that this coverage will only apply if the driver’s own coverage does not. In this circumstance, you may be able to file a claim against this limited policy or the at-fault driver’s policy. You may also sue the at-fault driver if this coverage is not enough to cover all of your damages. 

The Driver Is En Route To Pick Up a Passenger or During a Trip

If the Uber driver has already picked up the passenger or has accepted the ride request and is en route, Uber’s maximum insurance policy will apply:

  • $1,000,000 in third-party liability
  • Uninsured/underinsured coverage and/or first-party coverage
  • Comprehensive and collision coverage, up to actual cash value with a $2,500 deductible

In this sort of situation, it is likely your best course of action to file a claim against that lucrative insurance policy. But again, it is impossible to make that assessment without knowing the facts of the case.

Schedule a Consultation With a Personal Injury Lawyer To Discuss Your Case

If you’ve been involved in a car accident with an Uber driver, you likely have options for compensation. In at-fault states like California and Nevada, you won’t be limited to your own car insurance policy. 

In general, your options will come down to the driver’s status at the time of the crash in conjunction with the terms of your and the driver’s personal insurance policies. A personal injury lawyer can help you assess your options and from there, determine the course of action that sets you up best for a favorable outcome. 

Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations, so it won’t hurt to contact one for legal advice.

Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Hit and Run?

Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Hit and Run?

Normally, when a driver is in an accident, they stop to collect the other driver’s information, check on their injuries, and call for help if necessary. But what happens if the vehicle that caused the crash flees the scene? 

A 2018 study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety concluded that in 2016 there were 1,980 fatal hit-and-run crashes. Cumulatively, these crashes resulted in 2,049 deaths. 

Additionally, a 2020 study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that 24 percent of pedestrian deaths in 2020 were the result of a hit-and-run accident. These numbers show that hit-and-run collisions are a real problem.

If you have recently been in a hit-and-run accident, you may be considering hiring a lawyer. Here is what you need to know.

Treat the Accident the Same as Another Crash

One important thing to remember about hit-and-run accidents is that they should be treated in the same manner as any other crash. This means that even though you are not able to identify the other party, you will still need to prove you are not at fault and deserve compensation. 

In this regard, contacting an attorney could help you obtain compensation for your medical bills and the damage to your vehicle.

Try to Identify the Driver

Unfortunately, many hit-and-run crashes remain unsolved due to the police being unable to locate the other driver. You can help them out by writing down everything you can remember about the accident. Make sure to do so immediately following the accident, while everything is fresh in your mind.

Helpful details include any of the following information about the other driver:

  • Vehicle’s make and model
  • Vehicle’s color
  • License plate number
  • Driver’s facial characteristics

Even partial information is helpful and can potentially lead to the apprehension of the other driver.

If other drivers were present, make sure to ask them if they are able to remember any identifying characteristics of the vehicle or driver. If the accident occurred near a store or roadway where there is a security camera, check with the camera’s owner to see if the footage can be reviewed.

Finally, take pictures of the damage to your vehicle. This will help down the line when you are filing a claim and need proof of damages. If any issues arise, this will enable you to show you are telling the truth.

Obtain Medical Treatment

After the accident, you should go to a hospital immediately and get yourself checked out. This applies even if you do not have any visible injuries. Getting medical attention ensures that you are in good health, but is also important in helping you receive just compensation.

Going to the doctor will serve as an index of your injuries and allow for precise documentation should you decide to file a personal injury claim.

Recover Damages

The process for recovering damages from a hit-and-run accident is slightly different than a regular accident. 

In the case of a normal accident, you would go to the other driver’s insurance agency for compensation. However, since the other driver fled the scene, you will need to go to your insurance company. The specifics of how to go about this will depend on the laws in your state.

How Compensation Works

If you are injured in a hit-and-run collision, you are entitled to compensation for medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering experienced as a result of the accident. 

An experienced personal injury attorney will understand the types of compensation involved and know how to advocate on your behalf, even when it comes to dealing with your own insurance company.

Persistent Pain After a Car Accident: What to Do Next

Persistent Pain After a Car Accident: What to Do Next

Pain can make your life miserable and prevent you from working, performing daily activities, or even sleeping. It can also affect your mood and alter how you interact with the people around you.

More importantly, pain is your nervous system’s way of telling you that something has gone wrong. Pain after a car accident can come from many sources, and most of these possible forms of pain should signal you to take action to find their source.

Learn what to do if you experience persistent pain after a car accident.

The Body’s Pain Response

Your nerves produce pain signals that travel to your brain, which interprets them in a surprisingly detailed way. Your brain can often tell you the nature of the pain’s sensation, its intensity, and its location.

Knowing these details will help you describe your pain to your doctor. For example, different conditions cause sharp pains and dull aches. Likewise, a pain that feels like a throbbing pulse has dissimilar causes from a pain that feels like an electric shock.

These pain sensations all share a common purpose: allowing the nervous system to alert your brain that something has gone wrong in your body. Sometimes, pain is the direct result of injuries, but other times, your pain will come from diseases. Pain can even warn you of environmental dangers, such as hot surfaces or sharp objects.

The effectiveness of the body’s pain response depends on what you do with the information it provides you. When you experience pain, your body is signaling that it needs help, and if you ignore your body, you risk worsening an injury or condition that has already set off your internal alarm system.

Types of Pain

Doctors classify pain in several ways to help them identify the source of your pain and its potential treatment options. Some important pain classes include:

Acute vs. Chronic

Acute pain comes on suddenly due to an injury, disease, or condition. It goes away once doctors address the cause of the pain.

Chronic pain has a longer-term, possibly constant, duration. It may arise from an untreatable condition like rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis. It can also come from an injury that did not heal properly or is healing slowly. 

For example, a car accident can tear the cartilage in a joint. Cartilage heals very slowly, and replacement cartilage usually lacks the strength and flexibility of the original cartilage. As a result, you might have ongoing (chronic) pain in the joint.

Somatic vs. Visceral

You experience somatic pain in your musculoskeletal system. When you feel achy joints or tense muscles, you’re experiencing somatic pain.

Visceral pain comes from your organs. Examples of visceral pain include a stomach ache or chest pain.

Local vs. Referred

Local pain occurs at an injury site. If your seat belt bruises your chest in a car accident, your sternum and ribs will hurt.

Referred pain occurs somewhere different than the injury site and usually occurs due to nerve damage. You have referred pain if your neck injury causes pain in your hands and fingers. 

These characterizations make the distinction between local and referred pain one of the most important when diagnosing the cause of your pain.

Steps to Take if You Have Persistent Pain After an Accident

Pain can arise suddenly after an injury, but it often only occurs after an accident where swollen and damaged tissue sets off your body’s pain response.

A concussion happens when a jolt to your brain causes it to swell. Often, you might not experience a headache or other concussion symptoms until hours or even days after your accident.

Persistent pain after an accident can signify a severe injury. You should not assume that your pain is unrelated to your accident. You should also not believe your pain will disappear because it came on late.

If you experience persistent pain after an accident, you should do the following:

See a Doctor

A doctor can try to diagnose the source of your pain. Often, your doctor can prescribe a course of treatment or physical therapy to relieve your pain and repair your injury.

Doctors can also eliminate other causes of pain that might signify more severe injuries. Car accidents often cause seat belt injuries that usually involve a bruised chest, strained muscles, or fractured ribs. 

While painful, these conditions will not kill you; however, chest pain after a car accident could also signify internal bleeding or lung damage. These conditions can kill you without medical treatment. Seeing a doctor about your pain after a car accident could save your life.

Get Treatment

Acute pain after a car accident often means you have suffered an injury that doctors can treat. Doctors can treat fractured bones, torn ligaments, and other painful injuries relatively easily. Treatment and medication can relieve your pain and set you on the path to recovery.

Even if you choose not to treat your injury, your doctor can treat the pain it causes. For example, doctors can only fully treat a herniated disc with surgery to remove it, but they can relieve the pain without surgery by administering anti-inflammatory injections into the nerves irritated by the herniated disc.

Talk to a Lawyer

Many accident victims avoid seeing a doctor and getting treatment because they cannot afford it. At the same time, their painful conditions may prevent them from working, leaving them trapped: They cannot work until they get treatment but cannot get treatment unless they work.

If your car accident resulted from someone else’s negligence, you could seek injury compensation. This compensation will cover your medical costs to pay for treatment and therapy. In many cases, injury compensation will help you avoid both financial and health problems.

Do Not Suffer from Persistent Pain

You can seek pain relief after a car accident. You may have a health insurance policy that will cover the treatment of your injuries and include medical payment coverage that will help you pay for said treatment. 

You can pursue injury compensation for accidents where someone else was at fault. And if you were working as a driver when your accident happened, you might even receive workers’ comp benefits.Everything becomes more difficult when you experience persistent pain, but you probably have options for getting medical treatment. You should check into all of them, as you do not need to suffer from persistent pain needlessly.