Uber and Lyft are incredibly popular smartphone apps, providing people with a level of convenience they’ve never had before. But with this popularity comes an increased risk of accidents that can lead to devastating injuries. Rideshare drivers are prone to making mistakes just like any other motorist, and can cause crashes as a result.
Jones Law Group attorneys have a great deal of experience helping victims of accidents caused by the negligence of other drivers. If you’ve been hurt in a wreck due to a mistake made by an Uber or Lyft driver, please get in touch. We’ll listen to the details of your case and let you know how we may be able to help you pursue compensation.
Ridesharing Accident Injuries are More Common Than You’d Think
There’s a pretty good chance you don’t give a lot of thought to Uber or Lyft – until circumstances dictate that you need to contact one of them for a ride. But as these services increase in use, the number of accidents involving their drivers increases as well. According to research, the popularity of rideshare services led to a 3% increase in traffic deaths between 2010 and 2016.
Potential Liable Parties in a Ridesharing Accident
Uber and Lyft accidents are basically like other kinds of car wrecks. They involve determining which parties are at fault, and whether negligence played a role in causing the crash. The driver could have been negligent, and that could mean the rideshare service will share responsibility.
That’s really the only way in which a rideshare accident will differ from the “typical” accident. However, it’s a major difference. Instead of pursuing legal action against the driver, you will, in most instances, be taking action against the rideshare company.
If you’re hurt in a wreck caused by a driver working for the typical business, then you would expect that business to pay for your damages, or losses. But Uber and Lyft drivers aren’t technically employees. This can make it difficult to pursue direct action against these companies. That’s why it will be extremely important that you contact an attorney as quickly as you can.
There’s also a chance that the wreck wasn’t the rideshare driver’s fault at all. The driver could have had to swerve in order to avoid a pedestrian who suddenly darted into the street. Or, an impaired motorist may have played a role in causing the accident.
It will be up to your attorney to determine which parties are liable for your injury, and to take the action needed in order to help you obtain the compensation to which you’re entitled.
Types of Uber/Lyft Accidents
There are three main categories into which most rideshare service accidents fall. If you’ve been affected by any of them, please get in touch with an attorney as soon as you can.
Driver is Transporting a Rider
When an Uber or Lyft driver is transporting a paying customer, the companies cover passengers and other motorists in case an accident occurs. They will typically carry as much as $1 million in liability coverage. If you’re in an accident with a rideshare vehicle that had a customer inside, then you may be able to obtain compensation through that coverage.
Driver is Seeking a Rider
Even if the driver isn’t transporting a customer, you may still be able to pursue compensation through the rideshare company’s insurance carrier. However, you can only do so if the driver was using their app to find a passenger. In an instance such as this, Uber and Lyft will both offer up to $100,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and $50,000 per person. They both provide as much as $25,000 of coverage for property damage.
Driver is Not Using a Ridesharing App
If you are hurt in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, you may have to pursue compensation through that driver’s personal insurance policy, rather than that of the rideshare company. This will be the case if the driver didn’t have their mobile app on at the time of the accident. If so, then the driver is using their vehicle for personal reasons only – and won’t be covered by an Uber or Lyft insurance policy. The driver will be considered to be off-duty.
Pursuing an Insurance Claim Against Uber or Lyft
In order to have the best possible chance of success when trying to obtain compensation due to injuries involving an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, you’re going to need experienced legal help. This is a very complex area of the law, one that is still evolving. A skilled attorney will be up to date on the latest developments, and will know how to help you get what you deserve.
What to Do if You’re Involved in an Accident Involving a Rideshare Vehicle
Just like any sort of vehicle accident, there are many things a victim will have to do in order to not only protect their physical health, but also the health of their case. These are just a few to keep in mind.
- Call 911 if needed. If an accident takes place, you’ll first need to check to see if anyone is seriously hurt. If it appears they are, call 911 as fast as you can so they can obtain the medical help they need.
- Fill out a police report. The police report will be an incredibly important piece of evidence that will help strengthen your case. Don’t try to let anyone talk you out of it, because you’ll need it if you need to take legal action.
- Get the contact information of everyone involved. Get the name, address, phone number and email address of all drivers who were part of the accident. Also, get their insurance information as well if possible.
- Take pictures and videos. Photos and videos will also be a huge help to your case. Take pictures of the damage to all the vehicles, as well as your injuries and the accident scene.
- Get witness statements. If you know people saw what happened, get their contact information as well. Hopefully they’ll stay to speak to the police. If not, your attorney could always try to get in touch with them.
- Get medical help. Of course, you’ll need to get medical attention after an accident – even if you think you feel fine. Many injuries can have symptoms that don’t show up for days – or even weeks – afterward. If you don’t seek medical help, it will be hard for you to prove you deserve compensation.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney to Discuss Your Claim
Get in touch with Jones Law Group as soon as you can if you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver. We’ll make sure your rights are protected at every turn, and we’ll do all we can to help you recover compensation. If you would like to schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call (727) 571-1333.