Relying on ridesharing services like Uber has become a popular form of transportation for many people in Los Angeles and Southern California. However, what if something goes wrong during your ride? What if you are involved in an accident with your driver or experience an incident that leaves you injured or feeling unsafe?

Can you file a lawsuit against Uber to hold it accountable? Below, our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers discuss how to sue Uber as a rider.

If you have been in an accident as an Uber passenger or experienced an incident during your Uber ride, you have the legal right to pursue financial compensation for your losses. You may be able to file a claim to recover compensation from Uber. Do not hesitate to contact our law firm to discuss your unique situation during a free case review. We can help you understand your legal options for moving forward.

How to Sue Uber as a Rider: Step-by-Step Guide

1. Collect Evidence for Your Lawsuit Against Uber

The first thing to do is document and collect evidence. Take pictures of the accident scene, any injuries, and damages.

Keep records of your Uber trip receipt and get a copy of a police report if there is one. If there were witnesses to the accident, request their contact information to get witness statements.Man with black sunglasses driving a car with his hand on the steering wheel

We also recommend seeking medical attention right after an accident. Even if you feel fine, some injuries may not appear for days or weeks after an accident. You want to ensure you treat injuries as soon as possible, and medical records serve as critical evidence in an accident claim.

You should also use the app to report that an accident occurred during your trip with Uber. We do not recommend making assumptions about accident fault or the extent of your injuries and damages until you consult an attorney.

2. Contact an Experienced Attorney Who Handles Uber Claims

We recommend consulting with an experienced attorney who handles claims and lawsuits against Uber. Many Uber accident lawyers, including ours, offer a free initial consultation to discuss your potential legal options and determine whether they can help you with your case.

We can help you understand whether you can potentially sue Uber and your best steps for moving forward. If we determine that we can take your case, we will fight for you every step of the way. We can help you navigate the entire legal process, from drafting paperwork to case resolution.

3. Negotiate a Settlement With Uber

In order to work toward a settlement, you and your attorney must first create a document called a demand letter. A demand letter will detail the specifics of your claim, including what happened, how Uber was negligent, and what compensation you are seeking. It will also include evidence supporting your claim.

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Once received, Uber’s legal team may review it and respond to it with acceptance or a counteroffer, or Uber may deny it. Uber has a history of denying liability for accidents involving its Uber drivers, because they are independent contractors and not employees. Even so, your attorney will evaluate any settlement offers and negotiate on your behalf to help you get the maximum compensation available for your losses.

The negotiation process may involve multiple rounds of counter offers until both parties are satisfied. If both sides can reach a fair settlement amount, the case will be settled out of court.

4. File a Lawsuit Against Uber

If both parties cannot reach a settlement, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit against Uber. If your case goes to trial, you can expect to present your case in front of a judge or jury.

It is important to understand that even after a lawsuit is filed, it is not uncommon for negotiations to continue. In some cases, filing a lawsuit is necessary for a company like Uber to get serious about reaching a fair settlement.

If a settlement is not reached, the judge or jury will decide on the case’s outcome after hearing all evidence and arguments. If they rule in your favor, they will also determine the compensation award for Uber incidents.

Lawyer mediating two parties in her office

Can I Sue Uber in Small Claims Court?

As part of its user agreement, Uber includes an arbitration clause. This clause states that individuals should address disputes with Uber through arbitration, rather than traditional litigation or a class action lawsuit. This waiver is designed to minimize the risk of it dealing with an individual or class action lawsuit in the traditional court system. However, the clause does make an exception for suing Uber in small claims court.

Depending on your situation, taking legal action against Uber in small claims court may be a viable option for you. Small claims court is designed for individuals to resolve disputes without the financial resources or time needed for the traditional court process.

What Is Small Claims Court?

Small claims court is a special court that handles minor civil disputes. The process is designed to be simpler, faster, and less formal than traditional court proceedings. It may be a good option for people who do not want to hire a lawyer and when the claim involves small amounts of money.

Small claims court has a cap on how much a plaintiff can claim. In California, it is $10,000 or less when an individual is the plaintiff. If you file the claim, you are the plaintiff, and Uber is the defendant.

How Do I Sue Uber in Small Claims Court?

Depending on your situation, you may decide to sue Uber in small claims court. A general process of what to expect taking Uber to small claims court includes the following:Man in suit driving a car with a woman at the backseat

  1. File a claim. In order to file a claim, you first must fill out and file a small claims form. In California, this form is SC-100 (Plaintiff’s Claim and Order to Go to Small Claims Court). This form explains who you are, why you are suing Uber, and how much you are claiming. You will file this form with the court clerk in the appropriate court in your county. You will also have to pay a filing fee.
  2. Serve Uber. Once you have filed your complaint, you must serve Uber with a copy. This legal notice informs Uber of the pending legal action against them. However, you cannot serve Uber yourself. You can learn more about how to serve a defendant on the California Courts self-help website.
  3. Attend the hearing. You will present your case before a judge on the scheduled court date. The judge will make a decision after hearing both sides. You cannot appeal if the judge decides that Uber does not owe you money.

Tips for Suing Uber in Small Claims Court

  • Consult with an attorney. While you cannot have an attorney represent you in a California small claims court, consider consulting with one before you file your lawsuit against Uber. An attorney can answer your legal questions and help you determine whether taking Uber to small claims is your best option for seeking compensation.
  • Gather evidence. Put together as much evidence as you can to support your claim. Relevant evidence may include ride receipts or transaction records, correspondence with Uber, medical bills, repair costs, witness statements, and photos or videos.
  • Prepare your case. Even though it is a simplified process, you still need to prepare and be ready to present your arguments clearly and effectively. Plan what you are going to say in advance. Have copies of relevant documents and evidence on hand and any witnesses ready. You can learn more about how to prepare for small claims court on the California Courts website.

How to Report an Uber Driver on Uber

While most Uber rides happen without any issues, there are instances where passengers might face problems with the Uber service. Whether it is unprofessional behavior, unsafe driving, or serious offenses like sexual assault, riders should report Uber drivers in these situations. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to report a driver on Uber:

  1. Open the Uber app. Launch the Uber app on your phone.
  2. Go to the Activity tab. Tap on the “Activity” tab on the menu at the bottom of your screen. This tab will show you your past trips with Uber drivers.
  3. Choose the relevant trip. Find and tap on the specific trip where you experienced an issue with the driver.
  4. Choose “Report safety issue” or “Provide driver feedback.” Once you have selected the correct trip, scroll down to the “Help” section. You should see an option to report a safety-related issue or provide driver feedback for matters unrelated to safety.
  5. Select the relevant issue. Uber provides several potential safety issues you could have faced during your trip. Examples include, but are not limited to, discrimination, dangerous driving, or the driver not matching the profile in the app. If none of the options fit perfectly, pick the closest one and provide more details in the next step.
  6. Detail the issue. Depending on your chosen issue, the app will prompt you to provide specific details. Describe the problem as well as possible, ensuring you include all relevant information. If you have relevant photos or documentation, include them.
  7. Review and submit. Check the details you have provided for accuracy, and then submit your report. After submitting your report, Uber’s support team will review the details. They may request further information or provide you with an update on any actions taken.

Remember, if you ever feel unsafe during an Uber ride, your immediate safety comes first. If necessary, end the trip with the driver early in a safe location. In emergencies, always contact local authorities by dialing 9-1-1.

Can I Sue Uber For Injuries After A Car Accident?

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys

At the Law Offices of Steers & Associates, our attorneys have more than 40 years of combined experience and success in helping individuals like you with personal injury cases. If you have suffered damages as a passenger in an Uber accident, we may be able to help you, too. You may have a viable lawsuit against Uber to recover compensation for your damages

Our team offers a free consultation to answer your legal questions about how to sue Uber as a rider. We can help you understand your potential legal options for seeking compensation against Uber or a driver. Call us today at (800) 824-5416 or submit our online contact form to schedule yours.