Each time you get into the back seat of a stranger’s car for an Uber ride, you trust that Uber Technologies, Inc. has taken all of the appropriate measures to ensure that their drivers are trustworthy, reliable, and safe. This includes things like criminal background checks, rigorous rating standards, vehicle inspections, and much more. However, no amount of precautionary actions will ever guarantee that you are not involved in an accident while traveling with a ridesharing service, which is why it is so important that you know how to partner with an Uber accident lawyer in New Jersey as soon as possible after your crash.
When you file an insurance claim after an injury, whether it is from an Uber accident or any other number of incidents, you can be certain that the insurance company is not going to be performing their investigation while focusing on your best interests – insurance companies make their money by paying as little as possible on claims, while still successfully settling them. If you accept the initial settlement from the insurance company, it will come with a waiver that you will sign that absolves the insurance company or their client from ANY additional liability for the accident, regardless of whether or not additional information were to arise that changed the situation.
Contact Balkin & Mausner Now for a Free Initial Consultation With a New Jersey Uber Accident Attorney
The sooner you contact our New Jersey law firm to speak with an Uber accident attorney during a free initial consultation, the sooner you will be able to move forward with your case confident that you have legal representation that is focused on your needs and financial interests. The stress of an insurance claims process can be overwhelming, especially while you are trying to focus on recovering from serious injuries. In fact, stress is a major detractor to physical wound recovery, so the sooner you have an attorney handling your claim, the sooner you can focus on making a successful recovery.
Read more below to get a sense of what to expect after an Uber accident in New Jersey, and contact us as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case specifically with an experienced and aggressive attorney.
Filing a Claim With an Uber Driver’s Insurance Policy
The relationship between Uber Technologies, Inc. and their drivers is complicated, primarily because Uber does not classify drivers as employees, but as “independent contractors” who simply use Uber’s platform to connect with fares. There are many legal implications to this designation that go far beyond insurance protection, but in terms of your injuries, the main issue will be how they are insured. Here’s how it works:
When an Uber driver is active in the app and looking for a fare, they are covered by additional insurance that only kicks in if the driver’s personal insurance limits are maxed out after an accident. However, as a passenger in an Uber accident, you will not need to worry about this policy at all because you will be fully protected under Uber’s insurance policy.
When an Uber driver has either accepted a fare and is driving to pick them up, or if the driver is in the process of driving a fare, then Uber’s insurance policy covers both the driver, the passenger(s), as well as anyone else involved in the accident. The coverage limits for this policy are at a minimum of $1 million, but this amount varies depending on the state that the accident happened in, and more.
Seeking Damages After an Uber Accident
The good news is that, unlike most personal car insurance policies, you will have a policy limit of at least $1 million to seek damages from. The bad news is that no matter how high a policy limit is, the insurance company is no less stingy with their payments, and will still require a lot of work in order to get you the money that you truly deserve after a serious accident. During the claims investigation, the insurance agent assigned to your case will be looking for ways to reduce the settlement amount by trying to downplay your injuries or disregard your non-economic damages entirely. Since you are the passenger in the crash, there is little that the insurance company can do to pin fault on you, so they will look for other ways to save money.
Your economic damages include things like all of your medical-related expenses—such as your hospital bills, physical therapy costs, assistive devices, medications and prescriptions, copayments, and more—, your income-related impacts—lost wages, paid time off or vacation days cashed in to cover missed work, diminished earning capacity, and even long-term disability—, and a range of other measurable costs and losses that will make up the basis of your claim. These damages are easy to prove, simple to measure, and are the easier of the two compensatory damages to be fairly compensated for.
Non-economic damages are much harder to calculate than economic damages, primarily because they seek compensation for issues that do not have dollar values associated with them at all, and are difficult to measure due to their abstract and subjective nature. They include things like the pain and suffering that you endured as a result of your injuries, the psychological impacts that such a traumatic event has on you, and other physical, emotional, and psychological damages.
As you can imagine, assigning a dollar value to these types of damages is complicated; however, an experienced personal injury attorney will have tools available to them they will provide a clear method of calculating the amount that you are entitled to for each of these damages. The insurance company will be more aggressive in pushing back on these damages, but your attorney will be able to negotiate aggressively to hopefully reach a settlement agreement, or take the next step and file a lawsuit in the New Jersey courts.