Ridesharing services like Uber provide a lot of convenience. However, negligent driving by rideshare operators can easily cause crashes and injuries to passengers. If you suffered harm while riding in an Uber, contacting a Detroit car accident lawyer is essential to potentially recover compensation available through injury claims.
Suing Uber vs. Just the Driver
In basic rideshare accident cases caused only by a driver’s negligence, filing a claim only against their insurance policy is typically quicker. It can also be more straightforward. However, their coverage limits may not fully compensate for your damages.
If the evidence shows Uber contributed to the crash through wider corporate negligence, suing them directly opens the door to additional liability sources and compensation. This helps because it goes well beyond just the driver’s policy. It takes more work to prove corporate culpability but has a larger upside.
For example, your attorney would need to establish that inadequate driver vetting and training by Uber led to the particular crash circumstances. Or, a pattern of the company ignoring past driver misconduct or complaints shows negligence that played a role in failing to prevent your accident. Suing Uber directly also gives access to their substantial corporate resources for damage recovery.
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How Fault Is Determined in Rideshare Accidents
Since multiple parties may share blame in rideshare crashes, determining percentages of fault helps establish liability. Michigan uses a pure comparative negligence system. This means even passengers partially at fault can still recover reduced damages proportional to the rideshare driver’s percentage of fault.
A Detroit personal injury lawyer will fight to potentially keep any finding of comparative passenger negligence to an absolute minimum. If jurors determine the Uber driver was 80% at fault for causing the crash through negligent actions like speeding and distracted driving, they bear 80% of the liability. However, if the plaintiff passenger failed to wear a seatbelt and gets assigned 20% fault, their damages award is reduced by that percentage.
This system incentivizes an Uber accident lawyer in Detroit, MI to identify all forms of negligence by the driver that contributed to causing the crash. The higher the percentage of fault attributed to them, the larger your potential payout. Legitimate defense arguments alleging any passenger contributory negligence get reduced to a minimum.
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Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages in Injury Claims
There are two main categories of accident injury damages. They are economic and non-economic damages, and it is important to know the difference. Here is what you should know about the claims:
- Economic – These cover quantifiable monetary losses like medical bills, lost income from missed work, property damage, and other out-of-pocket costs stemming from the rideshare crash injuries.
- Non-Economic – This compensation is for non-tangible but still very real losses like pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, emotional distress, trauma, permanent scarring or disabilities, loss of companionship, and other such damages.
While insurers often try to limit claims to just economic damages, your attorney will fight to prove substantial non-economic injuries as well. The total value of both is necessary to fully compensate victims. Do not let insurance companies convince you only your financial costs matter.
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How Comparative Fault Works in Uber Accident Claims
Under Michigan’s comparative fault system, even passengers who were partially responsible for their rideshare injuries can still make viable injury claims. Their compensation is reduced by their percentage of fault. It is beneficial to understand how fault works.
For example, if jurors find the negligent Uber driver 75% at fault and the passenger 25% at fault for not using a seatbelt, the passenger’s award is discounted by 25%. So if proven damages total $100,000, the passenger would still recover $75,000. However, in some states being 25% responsible would bar any recovery at all.
An experienced Detroit Uber accident lawyer who specializes in Uber accidents can help with the findings of driver negligence and recklessness while working to minimize any juror perceptions of passenger contributory fault. This moves their percentage of liability as high as possible for the biggest client payout. Even when passengers were not perfect, comparative fault allows significant compensation.
You will always work directly with your attorney throughout your case.
Steps to Take After an Uber Accident in Detroit
Being injured as an Uber rider means you need to take certain steps. However, you must also allow more time to address your injuries. You should consider the following steps:
- Seek any urgent medical care needed at a hospital or doctor’s office. This provides treatment while also documenting your injuries.
- File a police report on the accident if this was not already done. Provide accurate details on how the crash happened while everything is still fresh in your mind.
- Take several photos capturing damage to all vehicles, your injuries, and the overall accident scene. This evidence can significantly improve the outcome of your case.
- Get contact and insurance information from all drivers involved. Also, get witness contact info if available.
- Report the accident and your injuries to Uber through their app or by phone. Provide all salient details while requesting they preserve all data related to your trip and the driver.
Though Uber discourages it in their policies, working with a qualified lawyer who represents only your interests is wise. Do not trust Uber or an insurance company to take proper care of you. You deserve to have your own legal representation on your side.
Why a Settlement May Be Better than a Trial
Although a favorable jury verdict after trial is ideal, most rideshare injury claims are settled out of court. They do this through negotiations between your lawyer and the defendant’s attorneys and insurers. There are many reasons why many people prefer settlements, including the following:
- Uncertainty over how a jury will perceive the case, and the risk of getting nothing or less than you deserve
- Delays to wait through lengthy litigation in court
- The additional stress of a trial
- Rising case expenses the longer the legal process drags on
- The ability to recover money immediately, instead of waiting through appeals of a verdict
Your Uber accident attorney in Detroit will determine if a fair settlement offer is preferable to continuing trial litigation. They will advise you based on a strategic assessment of all case factors. You decide whether to accept a settlement or take your chances at trial.
Contact a Detroit Rideshare Accident Attorney Today
Suffering injuries as an Uber passenger can significantly impact your life. An experienced Detroit rideshare accident lawyer can handle your case so you can focus on recovery. Contact our team for a free consultation.
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