RICHMOND UBER ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
Ride sharing has become incredibly popular these days, to the point that it has even replaced the taxi as the go-to method for getting from place to place around town. There are many rideshare companies, but the market is definitely dominated by Uber and Lyft. In Virginia, these platforms are known as "Transportation Network Companies," or TNCs.
What happens if you were in an Uber, and were hurt in a car accident? Whose insurance is going to compensate you for your injuries? What if you were an Uber driver, and were hurt in a crash that was not your fault? What are your rights?
Joe Blaszkow is the Richmond Uber Attorney, and he and his team have been representing people hurt in Uber accidents since the platforms were launched. We know how to fight for the rights of injured people, regardless of how the accident happened. If you have been hurt in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Speak to a Richmond Uber accident lawyer right away!
7824 Shrader Road, Richmond, Va. 23294
What Are Ridesharing Companies?
There are several ride-sharing platforms, and it seems like there are new ones every month. The market leaders are Uber and lyft. Virginia classifies these kind of companies as Transportation Network Companies. This means that individuals are affiliating themselves with an App, and then using their personal vehicle to transport passengers around.
Transportation Network Companies are required to provide $1 million in bodily injury liability coverage whenever there is a passenger in the vehicle. It is important to note however, that this coverage is not in effect all the time.
Insurance for Richmond Uber Accidents
In Virginia, Uber operates under a tier system when providing insurance coverage. This is far different from regular car accidents, and even from regular commercial vehicles. Depending on the situation that is involved, the level of insurance that Uber provides is different.
Uber's Tier System is defined as follows:
Tier One: This means that the Uber driver is not using the app at all. Even if there is an Uber sign in the driver's window, he is not actively working for Uber. This means that the driver's normal car insurance applies, not Uber's.
Tier Two. In this stage, the Uber drivers App is active, and the driver is actively trying to get a ride. This is often the stage when a driver has discharged one passenger, and is now waiting to pick up another. In this tier, Uber's policy limits are $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident.
Tier Three. The app is on, and the driver is going to pick up a passenger, or has a passenger on board. During this tier, Uber has a $1 million liability policy.
Determining Insurance Coverage When you're an Uber Passenger in a Car Accident
Insurance coverage is going to be governed by the rules of liability, and who was at fault for the accident. Just because you were in an Uber, does not mean that Uber is responsible for the accident. In order for an insurance company to be liable, their "insured" has to have been negligent in the happening of the accident. In order for us to determine who was liable, we have to begin investigating right away. However, here are some of the more common liability scenarios:
Another driver. If, for example, you are an Uber passenger and your Uber is sitting at a red light and is rear-ended, then your claim is going to be against the person who rear-ended your Uber. This is pursued against the at-fault driver's liability coverage.
The Uber driver. If you are involved in an accident where the Uber driver was negligent, then your claim is going to be pursued against that driver, and against Uber. This is the scenario when, as a passenger, that $1 million liability insurance policy comes into play.
What if the other driver has no insurance? If you are struck by a driver who has no insurance, then your case proceeds through uninsured motorist coverage (called UM). Uber does provide uninsured motorist coverage, but it is far lower than the $1 million policy limits that they offer for bodily injury. Sometimes, it is necessary to for us to explore other sources of UM coverage, such as through your own car insurance and/or any coverage available through other resident relatives at your home. This is, however, very fact-specific.
It is our responsibility to identify each and every person who is negligent, so we can hold that negligent person responsible. There are instances where both another driver and the Uber driver are responsible - you may then have a claim against both parties. This is known as shared liability. We will identify all of the potential insurance sources to make sure that we are getting the maximum compensation for you!
Steps after a Richmond Uber Accident
If you have been involved in an Uber accident, you need to stay safe, and preserve your rights later on. Take the following steps:
Call the police. Always, always call the police, especially if someone tells you that you shouldn't get the police involved. This is an immediate red flag. Sometimes there are jurisdictions when the dispatcher will tell you that the police are not coming. However, you should always call them because at the very least, this logs the time, location, and parties involved in the collision, in the event there is a dispute later on
Exchange information. Get the contact information of everyone involved. This means all drivers, and all passengers. Do not think that an insurance company is going to get this information and share it with you later on. Especially when it comes to Uber and Lyft, because they will not! Always make sure that you are getting the name, address, phone number, and email address of everyone involved. For drivers, always get a picture of the driver's license, not just an insurance card
Take pictures. You cannot have enough pictures! Take pictures and video of everything that is, in any way, related to the accident and the location. This may include stop signs, stop lights, debris on the roadway, tire marks, damage to all vehicles, and more.
Get medical treatment. If you have been hurt, or even if you just feel a little unwell, you should get checked out immediately. We always recommend people to go to the emergency room, or an urgent care center. You cannot see all injuries, especially internal injuries. Prompt medical treatment will not only make sure that you are getting these injuries evaluated, but will also help you in your claim later on
Call a Richmond Uber Accident Lawyer. Never speak to an insurance company without the guidance of a professional personal injury law firm. Insurance companies will offer immediate settlements that do not give you the value of your claim, because they want you to go away. They will attempt to take statements and try to get other information that they can use against you. Always talk to a lawyer!
What damages Can be Claimed
If you have been involved in an Uber accident that was not your fault, you have the ability to file a claim for your damages. Damages is a legal term of art, that represents the many ways in which the accident has impacted you, financially, emotionally, and physically. There are numerous items that make up your damages but the most common include:
Pain and suffering
Impairment in activities of daily living
Future medical expenses
Time lost from work
Future lost wages
Loss of earning capacity
Talking to Uber After the Car Accident
Uber is currently contracting with Farmers Insurance to handle their claims. Their adjusters are very highly trained, and very good at their jobs. They are trained to get as much information from you as possible, because they want to use that information against you! Virginia is a contributory negligence jurisdiction, which means if they can allege that you are even 1% responsible for the accident, it is a bar to your claim.
However, as a passenger in an Uber, generally you are blameless for the happening of the accident. However, the adjusters are not only looking to place blame. They are also looking to minimize your claim as much as possible. They will often attempt to get you to sign authorizations so that they can obtain your full medical records. They will not simply obtain records from the accident, but they will also obtain pre-accident medical records, in order to try to prove that any pain you are experiencing is actually left over from something else. The burden of proof is on you, the claimant, to prove that your injuries are causally linked to the accident.
Always remember that insurance companies answer to their stockholders, not to you. In order to protect yourself, you need someone who is fighting for you!
Who is Raiser, LLC?
Many Uber drivers have seen text messages and documents that reference the name Raiser. This is one of many corporations that is owned by Uber - it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Uber. It is a legal construct, a limited liability corporation, created by Uber to try to avoid certain regulations, or to absorb certain lawsuits. It does not change the way that we fight for our clients, or how we process their claims.
Generally, this is referred to as a holding company.
Contact a Richmond Uber Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, and you have been injured, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries. But who your claim is against, and how the accident happened may be complicated. Never fight these battles alone, because the insurance companies merely want you to go away.
Our job is to get you all of the compensation you are entitled to. Let us help you hold the negligent parties responsible. Get Justice with Joe! Call our Richmond office for a free consultation!
Get Justice with Joe!
Joe Blaszkow and his team have been fighting for people injured in car accidents for decades. Put our experience to work for you !
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