According to Uber’s recent safety report, 99.9% of Uber trips were safely completed. However, many attorneys, victims, and safety-concerned citizens have been critical of Uber’s reporting methods. It seems likely that this statistic leaves out minor accidents, even those resulting in long-term injuries.
Getting into an accident involving an Uber driver leaves victims confused. Do they file a claim with the Uber driver? Do they file a claim with the company?
The first thing Uber accident victims should do is look into choosing Uber accident attorneys. Because these claims can get tricky, having the proper legal representation on your side is crucial.
What qualities should you look for in an Uber accident attorney? How can you ensure that you’re working with an experienced attorney who meets your needs? Read on for our guide.
Seek Medical Attention First
Before looking for an attorney to represent your claims, seek medical attention. An estimated 27% of car accidents result in injuries, and many victims don’t recognize the signs of their injuries right away. This can be the result of shock, a state that many people enter after a traumatic incident, or the result of invisible or internal injuries that are harder to notice.
In other words, even if you don’t believe you sustained injuries in an Uber accident, we still urge you to schedule an appointment with a medical professional.
Remember that you won’t have grounds to file an Uber accident claim without proof of injuries. The longer you wait to seek medical care, the harder it will be to establish that your injuries resulted from the accident. Going to a doctor is crucial for your health, safety, and your Uber accident claim.
Begin Your Search ASAP
The next step after seeking medical attention is beginning your search for an experienced Uber accident attorney. Your best bet is to hire an attorney from the get-go. If you can stand to wait, don’t even begin the process of filing your claim before you’ve hired an attorney.
There are a few reasons for this. First, many attorneys want to open a claim with their clients, not jump in when it’s already underway. You may make errors that an experienced attorney will recognize as challenging to recover from, making them less inclined to take your case.
The second is that the second you file a claim, the defendant’s insurance company will contact you. They’re going to ask questions and ask for records, and without an attorney, you may fall into the trap they’re setting to disprove your version of events. It would be best to never interact with the defendant’s insurance company without consulting your attorney first.
Look for Uber Accident Case Experience
A straightforward way to narrow down your search results from the beginning: look for Uber accident case experience, specifically.
If you look up “attorneys near me,” you’re going to hundreds of options for attorneys, many of which are not qualified to handle your case. Remember, while all lawyers passed the Bar, not all lawyers possess the same expertise. Even narrowing down your search to “personal injury attorneys,” you’ll still get every attorney that falls under that vast umbrella, including those who don’t know much about car accident laws.
The goal is to find an attorney with years of experience representing the victims of car accidents. These attorneys will come equipped with the knowledge of car accident laws in your area and the proper tactics to establish the facts of your case.
Look for Referrals and Reviews
Any attorney will tell you that they’re great at what they do. How can you know for sure if that’s an accurate assessment?
Reading online reviews and asking for referrals is a great way to learn more about attorneys before hiring them. Previous clients can give you better insight into an attorney’s work ethic, attitude, persistence, communication style, and overall success.
You should be able to track down reviews on websites like Google Review and Yelp in addition to the attorney’s website. You can also ask attorneys for referrals to previous clients, allowing you to ask them questions directly.
Learn About Uber Accident Claims
While it’s never a good idea to represent yourself in an Uber accident claim, learning a bit about how they work is not a bad idea. Not only does this better prepare you for the process ahead, but it also puts you in a position to ask potential attorneys the right questions.
Let’s go over the basics of an Uber accident claim and who you’re filing that claim against. Uber drivers are considered contractors rather than employees, so the company doesn’t have to accept liability for any accidents their drivers’ cause. However, they have developed a liability insurance program that may come into play during your Uber accident claim.
Uber’s million-dollar liability policy kicks in if the Uber driver was transporting a passenger or retrieving a passenger at the time of the accident. If the Uber driver was logged into the app but not “on the trip,” you may be left with their contingency policy that covers up to $125,000 total per accident or the driver’s insurance. If the Uber driver wasn’t logged in to the app, you’re dealing with a typical car accident claim.
Secure Multiple Case Consultations
Most Uber accident attorneys will begin the process with a case consultation. After all, they’re screening their clients, too. This is good for Uber accident victims because it allows them to talk to attorneys before making a final decision.
During your case consultations, learn more about how different attorneys approach cases like yours. Ask how many Uber accident claims they’ve fought and how successful they were in securing compensation for their clients. You can also ask them how they would approach your case.
People often overlook one helpful question: “What kind of court experience do you have?” Most personal injury claims settle out of court, meaning you may never have to step foot in a courtroom. However, that also means that many personal injury attorneys have minimal court experience, which may not bode well if your claim is significant or contentious.
Compare Attorney Fees
Only you can decide how much you’re willing and able to pay for legal representation. Comparing attorney fees is crucial to select an Uber accident attorney, even if it means ruling out some of your top choices.
The good news is that many personal injury lawyers work on contingency fees. That means they receive a percentage of your winnings rather than charging upfront fees for individual services. This percentage is usually set, meaning the final payment amount will depend on the compensation you receive.
Don’t assume that all attorneys charge contingency fees. During your consultations, ask for a clear and direct explanation of all charges. If an attorney doesn’t give you a straight answer or charges unusual upfront fees, keep looking for someone else to represent you.
Look for Past Disciplinary Issues
Finally, do a quick background check on your attorney. No, this doesn’t involve hiring a personal investigator or running an attorney’s information through costly background check software, and there’s a simple way to screen attorneys for disciplinary actions.
Head to your state’s Bar database. Not only will this allow you to verify that your attorney is currently licensed, but it will also allow you to access disciplinary records.
If an attorney has a long rap sheet of complaints, grievances, and other disciplinary actions taken against them, you may want to reconsider. While you want an attorney who fights hard for their clients, you don’t want an attorney who conducts themselves dishonestly or illegally to do so.
Prioritize Choosing Uber Accident Attorneys for Your Claim
Uber accidents are no joke. Like any other car accident, they can leave you with serious injuries or chronic disabilities. Unlike other car accidents, however, you don’t always know who you’re filing an Uber accident claim against.
Get started by scheduling your free case consultation. We stand up for the injured and protect you from financial harm.