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Many people use Uber to get around every day—and you may call an Uber without thinking twice. However, what happens when your Uber driver crashes and you get hurt? Whe you might not have worried about this situation, our attorneys certainly have, because we’ve seen it happen so many times! Our experience in handling so many Uber car accident claims has given us INSIDER INFORMATION on how Uber handles insurance and injury claims, so we’re ready to go to bat for you if you’ve been hurt.
INSIDER TIP – Uber Insurance is Complicated!
When Uber started, the insurance requirements were all over the place and not regulated, which left an unorganized mess when it came to figuring out who and how to sue after a crash in which an Uber driver was involved. Things are complicated further by the question of whether an Uber driver is an employee of Uber or an independent contractor. (Note that drivers of rideshare services like Uber are generally considered independent contractors in most jurisdictions.) Finally, the amount of insurance coverage avaable varies as to whether an Uber driver is actively driving a passenger or on “standby.”
Generally speaking, if you are hit by an Uber driver that is logged into the app, but on “standby,” you wl likely NOT have access to Uber’s insurance. In this situation, the insurance coverage in place is the personal insurance coverage of the driver. NOTE, however – there is a danger here! There are situations when there wl be a dispute between insurance companies about coverage. For example, if a driver is on “standby” and causes an accident, the Uber insurance could be denied because the driver didn’t have a passenger. On the other hand, the driver’s personal insurance could deny the claim arguing that the driver was using the vehicle for commercial purposes! In such a situation, you wl absolutely need the assistance of an experienced ride share or Uber accident attorney to help sort out liabity and make sure that the claim is accepted.
The good news is this – when the Uber driver has a paying passenger on board, there is probably going to be coverage of $1,000,000.00 for the accident. This is true whether you are hit by an Uber driver, or if you are an Uber passenger when your driver causes the wreck. Additionally, if the Uber driver hits a pedestrian or bicycle rider, the same coverage would apply to those claims as well. Keep in mind, just because the insurance coverage is there, you wl stl have to fight to prove your damages! Uber and its insurance company are well known for playing “hardball” to minimize claim payments, so the help and advice of an experienced Uber personal injury claim attorney wl be key to maximizing your recovery.
It is quite common for Uber drivers to be in accidents with drivers who “hit and run” or do not have any insurance coverage of their own. Sometimes the at-fault driver wl have only minimal insurance coverage, and your injuries and damages may be substantial. In these situations, Uber provides that same $1,000,000.00 coverage for uninsured or underinsured motorists. The situation is complex, the laws relating to coverage for this coverage vary from state to state. The fundamental guidelines, however, remain the same. No matter which company or insurance carrier has coverage for the claim, they WL fight tooth and na to pay out as little as possible on the claim. Often times, they wl argue about whether they owe anything at all.
Uber may seem to cover its drivers and passengers, but the company does so because it is required to—NOT because it cares. If you were an Uber passenger, the $1 mlion policy limit means that your case likely wl not exceed the policy limits, which is the one piece of good news. Accident victims who suffered catastrophic and life-changing injuries may exceed $1 mlion in damages, but most people’s losses wl fall within this policy’s limits.
Just because the policy is so substantial does not mean that you wl automatically receive what you deserve. Instead, Uber and its insurer are all trying to cut costs by avoiding liabity WHENEVER POSSIBLE—just like any other car insurance case. That’s why you need an experienced Uber personal injury car accident attorney going to bat for you.
Our attorneys wl first fight to make sure you have the maximum amount of coverage avaable for your claim. More than that – we wl FIGHT to get you the FULL amount of money you deserve after an Uber accident. Just like any other auto insurance claim, sometimes the insurance company wl simply refuse to offer a fair amount even when high policy limits exist. We know how to fight and win these battles on Uber Claims!
How Long Does A Settlement Case Take To Payout?
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Once the insurance company finally agrees to a personal injury settlement, most victims are eager to wrap up their case, receive their compensation, and start using that money to address their medical bls and other costs.
However, the settlement process isn’t as simple as the insurance company just dropping a check in the ma. Whe most personal injury settlements in Texas finalize within six weeks or less, the process to get there can be a bit complex. Fortunately, if you know what to expect, you’ll find this process a lot easier to navigate.
Once you reach a settlement with the insurance company, the lawyers typically draft a series of release forms. Depending on your circumstances, your release forms might be relatively simple, or they might contain detaed terms and conditions that your attorney wl have to read over very carefully.
Sometimes, parties negotiate back and forth about the terms of the settlement. After these negotiations finish and the release forms reach their final state, you wl have to review and sign them before your settlement can proceed.
Once the insurance company receives your signed release forms, it should process them and issue a settlement check. Usually, they’ll make this check payable to both you and your attorney and then send it to your attorney.
Whe this process should run smoothly, insurance companies sometimes delay payment for various reasons, including flat-out clerical errors. If you experience prolonged delays whe waiting for your settlement check, you should contact your lawyer for assistance.
“If you experience prolonged delays whe waiting for your settlement check, you should contact your lawyer for assistance.”
Upon receipt, your attorney wl deposit the insurance check into a special trust or escrow account. This is only temporary, and it’s not your attorney’s decision — it’s a mandatory part of the settlement process under State Bar of Texas rules. Once the settlement check clears, your lawyer wl distribute your settlement money.
Usually, your lawyer wl have to use some of your settlement money to settle various unpaid debts (also called liens). For example, your lawyer might have to send portions of your settlement money to:
It’s important to resolve these liens right away with your settlement funds. If you ignore liens from medical providers, government agencies, or insurance companies, you might face serious penalties. If you have questions about any liens and how they relate to your personal injury claim, you should schedule an appointment with your lawyer to discuss them.
After your lawyer pays any liens, they’ll deduct legal fees and costs from your settlement. Your lawyer’s fees wl amount to a certain percentage of your settlement as set forth in the attorney-client contract signed by you at the beginning of your case.
Meanwhe, your legal costs and expenses wl depend on lots of factors that are unique to your case. The total wl include costs associated with:
You should always get an itemized statement detaing your legal costs. And, if you have any concerns about your costs, make sure you discuss them with your personal injury lawyer.
“You should always get an itemized statement detaing your legal costs. And, if you have any concerns about your costs, make sure you discuss them with your personal injury lawyer.”
Once all of your liens and fees are deducted, you should receive the remainder of your settlement money.
As we mentioned before, most injured victims receive their settlement funds within about six weeks from the end of negotiations. However, additional delays can happen.
If your settlement gets delayed extensively and you’re wondering what’s going on, you should contact your personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer should be able to at least explain the delay and might even be able to resolve it. And, he or she might be able to give you options that could expedite your payment. For example, your lawyer might agree to issue a partial settlement payment, retaining a portion of the settlement proceeds whe he or she negotiates your liens.
On rare occasions, a personal injury claim gets paid through a structured settlement, which is an arrangement that involves the victim receiving portions of their settlement over time. Typically, these structured settlements occur when the victim is a minor or has a catastrophic injury claim that involves ongoing, expensive medical and nursing care.
Usually, a structured settlement involves the insurance company funding an annuity for the victim. An annuity is a type of insurance contract that pays out guaranteed amounts on a fixed, regular schedule. For example, if you received a structured settlement, your annuity might pay you a portion of your settlement every month, every year, or every few years.
Structured settlements might sound sensible, but they can involve a level of risk for the victim. Certain annuities are only payable during your lifetime, which means that once you die, all annuity payments stop. If you’re concerned about this happening, you and your lawyer should carefully review and discuss the terms of your proposed structured settlement.
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