Ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft have changed how we view travel. With a click on our phone, we can arrange transportation in seconds, making traveling and commuting easy. Unfortunately, while they may make our lives easier, rideshare vehicles get into accidents, and Uber or Lyft crashes can cause devastating consequences.
That is why one of the most common questions victims of a rideshare accident have is whether they can file a lawsuit after the collision. However, those wanting to fight for compensation for the injuries and losses they suffered need to ask a car accident lawyer to explain their rights.
Liability Following an Uber or Lyft Car Accident
Determining who you can hold liable after a rideshare accident can be challenging, and numerous factors can dictate who you can hold responsible. For instance, factors such as whose negligence caused the accident and whether the rideshare driver was logged into the app can play into who you can hold accountable for the collision.
In some situations, there may even be multiple parties involved, including:
- The rideshare driver: If their reckless driving caused the accident, these drivers could be held accountable for the damages and injuries they caused.
- Third parties: If a rideshare accident was due to the wrongful actions of a third party, such as a motorcyclist, other motorist, or pedestrian, they could be held liable for the accident.
- The rideshare company: However, because most rideshare drivers are not employees, but rather independent contractors, you cannot hold the rideshare company directly responsible for the accident, even if their driver caused the crash. However, most of these companies have insurance policies that cover those injured in an accident.
As you can see, due to the number of complex factors in a rideshare accident, you need an experienced Uber or Lyft lawyer to explain your legal options after a rideshare crash. Contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible after a collision to review your case and determine what legal remedies you can pursue.
Insurance Coverage: What Does It Mean for You Following a Crash?
Although most rideshare companies require their drivers to carry their own automobile insurance, rideshare companies also provide liability policies to cover victims of an accident under specific circumstances. However, the coverage will depend on what the Uber or Lyft driver did at the time of the accident.
- Was the rideshare driver logged into the app and waiting for a passenger?
- Was the rideshare driver in the vehicle, or were they on their way to pick up a passenger?
- Was the rideshare driver not even logged into the app when the accident happened?
Depending on the situation and what was happening at the time of the crash, the insurance coverage you may be entitled to will be affected. For example, Uber’s insurance coverage falls into the following categories:
When the rideshare driver is not logged into Uber’s app, they are considered off the job. If they are involved in an accident, their personal insurance coverage will have to cover any claims that arise.
If the rideshare driver is online and waiting for a passenger when involved in a crash, the company will offer 50/100/25 liability coverage.
This means that it provides coverage that includes:
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
Period 2 and Period 3
When the rideshare driver is en route to pick up a rider or is on their way to drop the rider off at their destination and they are in an accident, Uber provides the following coverage:
- $1 million third-party liability
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury and first-party injury insurance
- Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage. However, it is only up to the actual cash value of the car with a $2,500 deductible
To better understand your options and whether any of these periods apply to your rideshare accident, consider discussing the situation with a knowledgeable rideshare accident attorney. These lawyers can review the facts of what happened, figure out what legal actions you can take next, and help you fight for the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
What Compensation Can I Pursue After a Rideshare Accident?
If you can pursue a lawsuit following a rideshare accident, you may be entitled to certain types of compensation, usually divided into the following categories:
Economic damages are payments for the quantifiable losses that result from an accident.
- Medical bills from doctor visits, hospital stays, medications, medical devices, surgeries, and other types of medical treatments
- Expenses related to property damages
- Ongoing medical expenses
- Replacement domestic services
- Lost income
- Reduced earning capacity
- Lost business opportunities
These types of damages refer to payment for the subjective and hard-to-prove losses that result from an accident.
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of quality of life
- Inconvenience or humiliation due to the injuries resulting from the accident
- Loss of consortium
To determine which damages you can pursue after an Uber or Lyft accident, discuss the situation with an experienced rideshare accident lawyer as soon as possible. A legal professional can determine whether you have a viable legal claim, determine which damages you can pursue, and go after the financial recovery you deserve.
What Actions Can Protect Your Legal Rights After a Rideshare Accident?
While your main concern after a rideshare accident should be your health and safety, taking certain actions after the crash can also help protect your legal rights. For instance, consider the following steps:
Contact the Authorities
Immediately after a rideshare accident, you should contact the authorities. These medical personnel and police officers can ensure you get the medical help you need, investigate the incident, and write down their findings in their police reports. This police report can provide you and your attorney helpful information if you file an insurance claim or a lawsuit after the crash.
Get to a Doctor Right Away
Even if injuries appear minor, a healthcare professional should still examine you immediately. It is not uncommon for symptoms of certain types of devastating injuries to not appear right after an accident, such as a traumatic brain injury. However, delaying care for this injury can lead to debilitating and, at times, deadly consequences.
Furthermore, when you get examined by a doctor, you can obtain a medical report that can detail the extent of your injuries and provide your attorney with evidence of a direct connection between your injuries and the rideshare accident. This will be helpful if the other side or the insurance companies tries to question what happened or the injuries you suffered.
Let a Rideshare Accident Attorney Help You Collect Evidence
After a rideshare accident, the last thing you should worry about is gathering evidence and talking to witnesses at the scene. For these reasons, consider discussing your collision with an experienced rideshare accident attorney as soon as possible after your crash.
Once hired, your lawyers can promptly gather evidence that can show what happened and who was at fault, such as photos or videos of:
- The Accident scene
- The vehicles involved
- The damage to the vehicles
- The traffic and weather conditions at the time of the collision
- Skid marks or potholes on the road
- Other details of the crash
These lawyers can also find people who saw the accident and get their contact information. These individuals can usually provide the attorney with helpful details regarding what happened and even provide statements that can help corroborate your legal claim.
Stay Aware of What You Say to Others
Although discussing the accident with others may feel like a great way to help with your recovery and release some of the stress you feel after the crash, it may not be in your best interest to do so. The other side and the insurance company will be looking for anything to use against you. That is why it is usually a good idea to refrain from discussing the accident with anyone other than your attorney until the matter is resolved.
Be Careful of the Insurance Companies
Even though rideshare companies have insurance policies to help cover injuries, losses, and damages after a rideshare accident, this does not mean getting this compensation will be easy. In truth, insurance companies want to make a profit. The less they pay out in claims, the more money they make. As a result, it is common for these companies and their representatives to try to find anything to minimize the amount of your payout.
Consequently, consider reviewing your case with a skilled rideshare accident lawyer before discussing anything with these insurance companies. These attorneys can help you handle these conversations with the insurers, prepare you for the games these companies like to play, and help you go after the total compensation you deserve.
Reach out to an Experienced Rideshare Accident Attorney Today for More Information
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a rideshare accident due to another person’s wrongful actions and are now considering legal action, contact an experienced rideshare accident attorney as soon as possible. Once you hire these legal professionals, they can review your accident in detail, figure out what happened and who was at fault, and determine your legal options.
From there, they can also:
- Investigate the crash and secure the evidence needed to corroborate your claim.
- Hire experts to validate what happened, including accident reconstructionists, economists, and medical experts.
- Hold all the parties liable for the crash accountable for the losses and harm you suffered.
- Handle settlement negotiations and discussions with the insurance company and fight for a just settlement offer.
- Prepare for litigation if the other side is unwilling to get you a fair settlement amount, and fight tirelessly for the maximum compensation you deserve.
For further information regarding your legal options after a rideshare accident and whether you can pursue a lawsuit, contact an experienced and skilled personal injury attorney in New York today to schedule a free case consultation and find out how the legal team can help you fight for the justice and compensation you need.
Mr. Finkelstein is the Managing Partner of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP. He has become a noted consumer activist through his representation of injured individuals against corporate wrongdoers and irresponsible parties.
An accomplished litigator, Mr. Finkelstein has represented Plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has successfully handled dozens of multi-million dollar cases.