This is the next post in a series of articles discussing lawsuits against Uber and its drivers in Fort Worth, Texas. The previous post discussed the various elements involved in establishing the liability of an Uber driver and possibly of Uber itself. As in other automobile accident cases, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant driver caused the incident. Under some circumstances, it may also be possible to establish Uber’s responsibility as it relates to the hiring, training or supervision of the driver. An experienced attorney can review the facts of your case and determine how best to proceed. This article will address the process of dealing with insurance companies following an Uber accident. If you or a loved one have been injured, we recommend contacting a lawyer as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.
In a typical auto accident case, the injured party seeks compensation for their injuries and property damages from the responsible driver’s insurance company. This process begins very soon after the accident when the victim or their family are contacted by insurance adjusters attempting to gather information about the case. It is important to understand the adjuster does not represent the victim. The adjuster’s goal is to minimize the exposure to the defendant. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to quickly offer financial settlements to victims in hopes of resolving the matter quickly. Because it is difficult to ascertain damages when a catastrophic injury occurs, it is typically not in a victim’s best interest to hastily accept a settlement offer. Instead, we recommend retaining a law firm to work with the insurance companies on your behalf and help preserve your right to a fair recovery of damages.
A potentially complicating factor when an Uber driver is involved is whether the victim will recover from the driver’s insurance policy or the commercial insurance policy held by the company itself. This determination will depend largely upon the specific circumstances of the accident, for instance, whether the driver was operating the vehicle for personal purposes of actively carrying an Uber passenger at the time. Regardless of which policy or policies will ultimately provide coverage, your attorney will contact Uber and the driver’s insurance companies. Your attorney’s investigation of the accident will assist them in presenting the appropriate claims to the appropriate insurance companies. For this reason, it is even more important to retain counsel as soon as possible after an Uber-related accident.
Once counsel is retained, they will then begin gathering evidence of the defendant’s liability. This evidence may include police reports, witness statements, photographs of the scene, and the driver’s phone and texting records. In addition, your counsel will immediately contact the rideshare company and request copies of all relevant documents about the driver, including their driving record, hiring date, background screening, etc. Counsel will also gather information about the injuries and damages sustained by the victim. If the victim has suffered serious injuries, then it is possible that they may be undergoing treatment for some time. If this is the case, then counsel will notify the insurance adjusters of the lengthy treatment period. The case will then be in a “holding pattern” until the victim’s long-term prognosis can be ascertained. The attorney will use this information to ultimately prepare a demand for payment to be sent to the insurance company. This demand will include a breakdown of the compensation requested and evidence supporting the claims of liability and damages. Counsel will then negotiate back and forth with the adjuster. If a settlement cannot be reached then a lawsuit will be filed on the victim’s behalf.
When a catastrophic accident occurs, engaging in a legal battle can seem overwhelming, particularly if a large corporation like Uber is involved. For these reasons, we recommend engaging experienced counsel immediately after the accident to assist you. When selecting a law firm to represent you, we suggest locating a firm with multiple attorneys who are board certified in personal injury law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We also recommend law firms who employ on-site investigators and have the financial resources available to thoroughly manage your case, whether during settlement negotiations or at trial. These recommendations apply regardless of whether the incident took place in Fort Worth, Dallas, or another Texas area.