Riding with Uber in Miami can provide convenient transportation, but what happens if an Uber driver gets into an accident? Dealing with injuries, medical bills, property damage, and insurance claims after an Uber accident can be complicated.
This article provides an overview of what accident victims can expect when seeking compensation for an Uber accident in Miami.
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Determining Fault and Liability After a Miami Uber Accident
The first step after any auto accident is determining who was at fault. This will impact any potential injury claims and settlements.
In Uber accidents, there may be multiple parties that share liability depending on the circumstances:
The at-fault driver
Uber or the Uber driver
Accident victims need to understand how fault is determined in these situations. A Miami Uber accident attorney can help assess liability based on the evidence and Florida car accident law.
Uber’s Insurance Policy for Accident Claims
As of October 2019, James River no longer insures Uber drivers. Uber transitioned to other insurance providers, including Allstate, Progressive, and Farmers
The policy has three periods of coverage depending on when the accident occurred:
Period 1 - The App Opened
If the accident happens when a driver has the Uber app open but hasn’t accepted a ride request yet, contingent liability coverage up to $50,000 per person for bodily injury applies. This covers the driver's liability.
Period 2 - En Route to Pickup
When an Uber driver is en route to pick up a passenger after accepting a ride request, insurance increases to $1 million in third-party liability coverage.
Period 3 - Passenger in the Vehicle
When a passenger rides in an Uber vehicle, third-party liability coverage is $1 million. This also covers uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage up to $1 million and $50,000 in no-fault personal injury protection (PIP).
So, in many Uber accidents, the rideshare company provides primary insurance coverage for victims’ injuries and losses. However, there may still be situations where personal auto policies need to fill gaps. An attorney can help you fully understand all applicable coverages and pursue maximum compensation allowed.
Common Causes of Miami Uber Accidents
Determining what caused an Uber car accident is also essential to assessing liability and fault.
Some common causes of rideshare crashes include:
Distracted driving - Drivers talking, texting, eating while driving
Fatigued driving – Drowsy driving or falling asleep at the wheel
Speeding – Exceeding speed limits or driving too fast for conditions
Aggressive driving – Making unsafe lane changes, tailgating, improper passing
Poor vehicle maintenance – Bald tires, faulty brakes, burned-out headlights/taillights
Inclement weather - Wet roads, poor visibility
Pinpointing the cause of the accident guides negotiations with insurance adjusters and strengthens an injury claim. It also informs any additional liable parties that should share fault.
Steps To Take After a Rideshare Crash in Miami
It’s essential Uber passengers and drivers take specific steps immediately after an accident to protect their rights and facilitate the claims process:
Get medical help - Prioritize any immediate health needs from EMTs and hospital emergency rooms. Don’t refuse medical transportation or assistance since this hurts later injury claims.
Report the accident to authorities – All parties involved should contact the police to have an official accident report filed. Victims should request a copy of this crash report.
Exchange insurance information – Uber drivers and passengers should share their personal insurance information along with Uber’s third-party liability insurance details. Also, gather driver’s licenses and contact details from all parties.
Take photos and document evidence from the scene – Pictures of vehicle damage, skid marks, weather conditions, street signs, etc., capture valuable proof to show what happened.
Get witness contact info – Witnesses often leave the scene quickly, so try to act fast in obtaining their accounts and phone numbers. Their corroboration strengthens an injury claim.
Keep records of all accident-related documents, medical bills, and expenses – Maintain thorough files immediately.
This support demands proper reimbursement for economic and non-economic damages in an eventual settlement.
Common Injuries From Miami Rideshare Accidents
Because settlement amounts are closely tied to the severity of accident injuries, it helps to understand frequent crash-related health impacts.
Some common rideshare accident injuries include:
Whiplash describes neck pain and sprains from the head, suddenly jerking back and forth. Symptoms like stiffness, headaches, and shoulder pain may appear immediately or take days to manifest. Treatments range from over-the-counter medication to physical therapy and neck braces.
Spinal fractures, slipped discs, pinched nerves, or other back trauma often stem from the jarring forces of a collision. Back injuries cause excruciating pain, impaired mobility, and even paralysis in severe cases. Treatments like surgery, injections, or assistive devices may provide relief.
Significant accidents may result in fractures of legs, arms, ribs, and other bones. These injuries usually require casts, splints, or metal plates with screws to stabilize broken areas during healing. Physical therapy helps restore strength and mobility afterward.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
Hard bumps on the head can damage the brain.
Traumatic brain injuries like concussions or bleeding cause problems like headaches, memory loss, confusion, blurred vision, mood changes, convulsions, and loss of consciousness. TBIs necessitate immediate emergency care, medications, or rehabilitation.
Being in a severe Uber crash may also lead to psychological injuries like depression, anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, and post-traumatic stress disorder. These require counseling, therapy, and psychiatric treatment.
Documenting any short or long-term effects from these types of injuries allows proper valuation in settlement negotiations.
Steps in an Uber Injury Claim and Lawsuit
Pursuing compensation after an Uber accident involves these general stages:
Gathering evidence to prove liability and injuries suffered lays the foundation for a strong claim. An attorney conducts a thorough probe by collecting police reports, medical records, bills, witness statements, and more.
Demand Letter and Early Negotiations
After an attorney reviews the case's merits, an initial demand letter makes a settlement offer to Uber’s insurer or the at-fault driver’s insurer. Further information exchanges and negotiations aim to resolve the claim.
If early settlement talks reach an impasse, a personal injury lawsuit enters the courts to argue entitlement to damages suffered. This legal process adheres to strict filing guidelines and deadlines.
Now, the legal teams exchange information through depositions, interrogatories, document exchanges, and independent medical evaluations. Both sides investigate details and positions to prepare arguments.
As discovery reveals case strengths and weaknesses, renewed settlement talks often produce an agreeable out-of-court resolution. Over 90% of personal injury claims are settled before reaching trial.
If no settlement materializes, the court hears arguments, examines the evidence, and decides if victims proved their injury claims deserve compensation – and how much. Either side can appeal the verdict.
Securing experienced Uber accident counsel optimizes outcomes at every phase. Savvy negotiators maximize settlements, while skilled litigators build persuasive arguments before judges and juries if needed. An attorney also ensures strict adherence to legal procedures.
Factors That Determine Settlement Amounts in Uber Injury Cases
Many elements affect what a Miami Uber accident claim settles for.
Key considerations include:
Actual Costs and Losses
Settlements account for all hard economic damages like medical and therapy bills, lost wages, property repairs/replacement, and other out-of-pocket expenses tied to the crash. Maintaining meticulous records of all costs proves reasonable reimbursement totals.
Msevereious injuries that cause continuing disabilities or loss of quality of life warrant higher payouts. Permanent impairment may increase an offer substantially compared to routine soft tissue injuries.
Insurance Coverage Limits
Available insurance policy maximums from Uber or other drivers cap what victims can recover in some cases. However, underinsured and uninsured coverage may help fill gaps if needed.
Shared Liability and Fault
Florida follows comparative fault rules, so victims’ negligence reduces damages proportionally. However, credible liability arguments that show a defendant’s high degree of fault support significant settlements.
Strength of Evidence
Solid proof of injuries and fault from police reports, medical reports, credible witness statements, and professional opinions make a strong claim. Weaker evidence based mainly on victim allegations reduces leverage in negotiations.
Willingness to Go to Trial
An attorney willing to take an injury case through a courtroom trial has greater bargaining power to secure an enhanced settlement offer. Insurers wish to avoid costly litigation and negative publicity.
Experienced attorneys familiar with typical settlement range for various injury scenarios can generally obtain a client’s maximum case value. Their negotiating skills typically produce a multiplier several times above the actual costs. This accounts for pain and suffering.
Frequently Asked Questions About Miami Rideshare Accident Settlements
What Is The Average Settlement Amount For A Miami Uber Accident?
Settlement values vary widely based on injury severity, available insurance, and other case specifics. However, average Uber settlements generally fall between $30,000 to $80,000. Wrongful death claims or catastrophic injuries may reach higher.
How Long Does An Uber Accident Settlement Take In Miami?
Waiting for police reports, collecting medical records, lengthy negotiations, and legal proceedings mean most cases are resolved between six months to two years after the accident. Expedited settlements occasionally pay sooner when liability and damages favor the plaintiff.
Should I Report Minor Pain After An Uber Accident?
Yes, promptly seek medical care after any Uber crash and report all symptoms – no matter how slight. Later claims denials often state pre-existing conditions or new injuries caused ongoing symptoms if early physician records show no pain initially.
Can Uber Accident Victims Recover Money For Pain And Suffering?
Yes, emotional distress and loss of life enjoyment qualify for compensation in personal injury settlements and court judgments. An attorney will secure evidence like counseling records to validate mental anguish for appropriate restitution.
Is Hiring A Lawyer Worth The Legal Fees In An Uber Accident Claim?
Seasoned Miami Uber accident lawyers obtain substantially larger settlements - even after legal fees - than victims negotiating alone. Their savvy navigation of insurance negotiations saves clients headaches, too.
Why Choose a Miami Uber Accident Attorney?
Handling an auto insurance claim alone after being injured by an Uber can undermine the potential value.
An attorney levels the playing field against Uber’s legal and insurance resources.
A Miami Uber accident lawyer delivers many benefits:
Maximizes Financial Recovery - Professionals in calculating accident damages based on injuries and losses sustained
Deals Directly with Insurance - Professionals at negotiating top-dollar settlements from Uber or other insurers
Litigates Cases Skillfully - Proven trial lawyers able to argue cases in court if needed
Protects Client’s Rights - Guard against victim blaming and ensure fair compensation
Allows Focus on Healing - Lawyers manage the complex legal process so clients avoid headaches