Ridesharing services like Uber are incredibly convenient for the average person. That does not mean, however, that they’re always safe to use. Anyone can sign up to be an Uber driver. Like drivers in personal vehicles, hired drivers can end up distracted behind the wheel. If that distraction leads to an accident, you could pay the price.
Fortunately, you have rights as a passenger in an active Uber or as someone hit by an on-duty Uber driver. An experienced Virginia rideshare accident lawyer can help you take civil action against the Uber driver responsible for your accident. Contact Atkinson Law to explore your legal options and file a car crash claim for accident-related damages.
When to Call an Uber Accident Lawyer
Whether you’re a passenger in an Uber or are driving your own vehicle and are struck by an on-duty driver, your losses may entitle you to damages. Thorough investigation and expert legal analysis will determine eligibility for compensation, a fancy word for money. While you can represent yourself through these proceedings, it’s far easier to secure compensation with a lawyer fighting for you. Insurance companies know that you are unlikely to challenge their low-ball offers by filing a personal injury lawsuit all by yourself.
An experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer will gather evidence of the negligence that caused your accident so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. The simple act of hiring Atkinson Law can keep the insurance companies from wasting your time with insufficient Uber accident settlement offers. And if it becomes necessary to prepare a personal injury complaint, we will draft and file it for you in the appropriate civil court.
Code of Virginia § 8.01-243 gives you two years to investigate your losses, format your evidence, and present your complaint to a civil court. If you cannot file by this deadline, you may lose the right to take legal action against the party responsible for your losses. Fortunately, you can contact an attorney within minutes of your accident to kickstart your investigation.
For a free legal consultation with a uber accidents lawyer serving Virginia, call 757-648-8579
Who’s to Blame for an Uber Accident?
In a standard motor vehicle accident, you might bring a personal injury claim against another individual motorist. However, matters grow more complicated when you get into an accident with someone driving for a rideshare company like Uber. Employment and insurance contracts begin to dictate who will pay for your losses on the road.
One party who may be liable for your losses, depending on the circumstances that led to your accident and the contracts involved is:
Your Uber Driver
Most Uber drivers work as independent contractors. This means that these drivers are considered responsible for their own behavior on the road. Generally, Uber can step in and provide a driver with legal support and liability insurance if the driver was on duty when an accident occurred.
What does this mean for you if you’re an Uber passenger? It means that it’s likely you’ll have the right to hold an Uber driver liable for your accident if you file a personal injury claim. But, Uber protects drivers with passengers in the car and often takes the brunt of the financial obligations if an Uber driver causes an accident, even if the driver gets the legal blame.
Passengers in an Accident Involving Another Driver
If you’re a passenger in an Uber, and your driver gets into an accident, your driver is not automatically at fault. Should evidence indicate that another driver was negligent and bears responsibility for your accident, then this other driver should be named in your civil lawsuit.
In Virginia, accident victims may use the legal doctrine of “joint and several liability” against both your Uber driver and the other driver involved in your accident. As a passenger in a rideshare, you’re entitled to a duty of care from both your driver and other motorists on the road. If you can prove that both parties violated the duty of care, you can request full damages from either defendant.
You should always work with a Virginia Uber accident lawyer to determine the division of fault in your case. Atkinson Law can also help you bring forward evidence to maximize your claim.
Drivers in an Accident With an Uber Driver
If an Uber driver hits your car, it’s essential to figure out if the Uber driver was on duty. On-duty Uber drivers with passengers in their vehicle or who are on their way to pick up passengers may receive additional liability coverage and access to Uber’s legal counsel. Off-duty Uber drivers or drivers not using the app at the time of an accident do not benefit from that protection.
In other words, you can hold Uber accountable for an on-duty driver’s negligence in civil court. If the driver wasn’t on duty at the time of your accident, though, your attorney should still file a claim against that individual driver, but only that driver’s personal liability insurance will be available to compensate for your damages.
That said, Virginia is one of the few states that recognizes pure contributory negligence. If you are even the slightest bit responsible for your accident, you may lose your right to compensation. You can discuss the role of pure contributory negligence in your case during a free case consultation with attorney Ed Atkinson.
Virginia Uber Accident Lawyer Near Me 757-648-8579
Taking Action After an Uber Accident
When you file an Uber accident claim, your lawyer will make sure you have all of the information you need. If you name a particular party liable for your losses, your attorney will help you gather evidence to defend that position. Similarly, they will use this evidence to present an estimate of your case’s total value.
Once a law firm has this information, they’ll discuss potential settlement offers or bringing your case before a judge. Our attorney can help you ensure that an Uber accident claim addresses all aspects of your accident before sending a formal demand package.
Find the Sum of Your Accident’s Losses
It’s standard procedure for insurance adjusters to underestimate the economic stress an accident can introduce to your life. That’s why you need an attorney on your side. An Uber accident lawyer in Virginia prioritizes your needs after an accident, not the insurance company’s needs. We will calculate the full value of your losses when handling your accident claim.
In estimating the value of your Uber accident’s economic expenses, we find the amount of your damages, including your:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Lost wages and loss of income while recovering
- Loss of earning capacity
We fight for compensation to cover these expenses by presenting evidence proving how they relate to your accident. Next, our team maximizes the value of your case by proving your non-economic damages or non-billable losses. These can range from the emotional distress of an Uber accident to any pain and suffering you’ve endured while recovering, or mental anguish flowing from permanent injury.
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Uber Accident Lawyers Represent Your Best Interests
Evaluating your legal options after an Uber accident can be tricky, particularly if you’re contending with serious injuries on top of the rest of your losses. If you want to pursue legal action but aren’t sure where to start, turn to Atkinson Law. An experienced Uber accident attorney in Virginia can translate your losses into money damages while you focus on recovering.
We can investigate your accident for proof of negligence and prepare your claim for an out-of-court settlement or a civil trial if need be. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with our team today, you can contact our office over the phone or by using our online contact form.