December 26

Can I Sue Uber for Emotional Distress After an Accident?

Rideshare services like Uber have transformed urban transportation, offering convenient options for commuters. However, accidents involving these services can raise complex legal questions.

Specifically, passengers involved in Uber accidents might wonder about suing for emotional distress. The key consideration is whether another party’s negligence caused your injuries.

A Pasadena Uber accident attorney can navigate the complex legal landscape, determining if you have a valid claim for emotional distress. This claim depends on factors that will be discussed in this blog.

Who’s Responsible for Uber Accidents?

To pursue a lawsuit, the first thing you need to do is determine who is at fault. This will involve identifying negligent driving behaviors, such as distracted, inattentive, or reckless driving. In these incidents, the negligent party, or their insurance company is responsible for compensating the injured person for their injuries. 

For instance, if an Uber driver runs a red light, causing an accident, they’re likely at fault. Conversely, if another vehicle hits the Uber, that other driver might be responsible. As a passenger, pinpointing fault isn’t immediate; however, gathering all drivers’ insurance details is essential. 

Understanding whether to attribute fault to the driver or Uber hinges on specific accident circumstances and the driver’s status at the time of the incident. In such scenarios, seeking guidance from a professional, such as a Pasadena car accident attorney, can be valuable.

Emotional Distress in Simple Terms

Emotional distress, in a legal context, refers to the psychological impact suffered due to an incident, often manifesting as anxiety, inconvenience, loss of quality of life, depression, or other form of trauma. Legally, it becomes relevant when this distress is a direct result of someone else’s negligent actions, such as in personal injury cases. 

To include emotional distress in a claim, there must be a clear connection between the incident and the psychological harm experienced. The claimant needs to demonstrate how the event significantly disrupted their mental well-being. This often requires medical or psychological evidence.

When Can You Sue For Emotional Distress?

Suing for emotional distress is viable under specific legal conditions. Although there are many nuances, key elements for being able to claim emotional distress include:

  • The existence of a duty by the person or entity who caused the emotional injury.
  • The breach of that duty by the person or entity who caused the emotional injury.
  • Emotional injury which is foreseeable from the breach of that duty.

Emotional distress claims can arise from intentional harm, pain and suffering, or loss of consortium. In the context of a car accident in an Uber, claims often focus on pain and suffering due to the injury. The contractual relationship formed when using a rideshare service like Uber plays a critical role, as there is an expectation of safe transit.

When Could Uber Be Liable?

Uber could be liable in situations where its driver fails to fulfill its duty of ensuring passenger safety. This responsibility is inherent in the service they provide. When an Uber passenger experiences emotional distress due to an incident related to the ride – be it an accident, assault, or any other harmful event – Uber’s liability comes into question. 

The key is establishing that the distress was a direct consequence of the ride or the driver’s actions while in service. Uber’s comprehensive insurance policies and operational protocols suggest an acknowledgment of this responsibility. 

However, proving liability, especially for emotional distress without physical injury, requires a thorough understanding of the legal nuances surrounding rideshare services and their duty towards passengers, which makes consulting a Pasadena Uber accident attorney essential.

There are also situations where the Uber driver is not the one at fault, while you were in the Uber vehicle, yet you may still be able to make a claim through Uber for such injuries.  One instance of this can arise when the actual at fault driver who collided with the Uber vehicle occupied by you does not have insurance or has very minimal insurance.  In such an instance, Uber’s Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist insurance policy may come into play.

What Can You Collect in a Rideshare Accident Claim?

In a rideshare accident claim, compensation extends to both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages cover monetary losses: 

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished earning potential.

While non-economic damages are more subjective, encompassing:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of quality of life, among many other examples.

Responsibility for these damages often becomes a fight between the other driver’s insurance, Uber, and you.

What to Do Right After an Uber Accident

After an Uber accident, it’s essential to take immediate action for both your safety and legal protection. 

  • Call the police to officially report the accident, as this report will serve as crucial evidence. 
  • Even if you feel fine, get medical attention, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent. 
  • Exchange contact and insurance details with your Uber driver and any others involved. 
  • Ensure you stay at the accident scene to give your statement to the police, confirming your presence as a passenger. 
  • Gather as much evidence as possible, including photos and witness statements. It’s important to remember that while Uber might quickly propose a settlement, you have rights. 

Consult a Pasadena personal injury attorney to evaluate your complete losses and future damages linked to the accident. This ensures you don’t accept a settlement that falls short of what you’re entitled to.

Why You Need a Lawyer

A seasoned attorney brings clarity to the often-confusing array of insurance coverage issues, factual issues, legal statutes, and case law, and very importantly, ensures your claim aligns with legal standards. It is important to have the knowledge and experience when handling injury claims.  This also includes skillful negotiations, including ensuring that your emotional trauma is acknowledged and appropriately compensated within the framework of the law by the insurance company or other responsible entity. The lawyers can effectively challenge any attempts to minimize or dismiss your Uber personal injury claim, using their skill and expertise to advocate for your rights. 

In navigating the complexities of personal injury and emotional distress claims, partnering with knowledgeable legal professionals like those at Grigoryan Blum & Grigoryan can make a significant difference. With our deep expertise and commitment to personalized care, We stand out as compassionate and dedicated advocates for your rights. Our team views each client as a unique individual, with unique experiences, not just a case or claim number, ensuring a tailored approach to your specific situation. 

If you’re seeking legal representation that combines expertise with a personal touch, schedule a free consultation with the personal injury attorneys at Law GBG. We make your fight our fight, striving tirelessly to secure the settlement you rightfully deserve. Contact us today to take the first step towards peace of mind and justice.

Click here for our complete guide to hiring a personal injury lawyer.


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30 North Raymond Avenue, Suite #514
Pasadena, CA 91103
United States