Injured in an Accident While Riding in an Uber or Lyft?
If you were injured in a rideshare accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, contact a ridesharing accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys for a free discussion of your case. Insurance coverage for these kinds of accidents can be complicated – we can make sure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
You need to make sure your rights are protected after any type of auto accident. Even if the rideshare company has said it will take care of the claim, it’s important that you speak with a Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Our rideshare accident lawyers will investigate your claim, negotiate with the insurance companies, and represent you in a court of law. Don’t delay; call, chat, or fill out our contact form. There’s no charge for the consultation, and we never take a fee unless we win your case.
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What Makes a Rideshare Accident Different Than a Regular Car Accident?
Rideshare services are making it easier for riders to get from point A to point B. According to a study from the Pew Research Center, 36 percent of Americans have used a rideshare service like Lyft or Uber at some point. However, these types of services also have their dangers, including car accidents. When you’re in a rideshare accident, there are a lot of potentially liable parties involved, including rideshare drivers, the rideshare company, and more. For that reason, if you’ve been in a rideshare accident, you’ll want an experienced rideshare accident attorney on your side.
An accident involving a rideshare vehicle and rideshare driver presents a unique set of circumstances. It’s not the same as an accident with a regular passenger vehicle, but it’s also a bit different from a traditional commercial vehicle accident. Uber and Lyft drivers typically use their personal vehicles to provide transportation to rideshare passengers. Uber and Lyft drivers do not need to have a commercial driver’s license or purchase commercial auto insurance as opposed to a taxi driver.
However, the rideshare company does provide commercial insurance coverage while the driver is on-duty. This means the passenger is either in the vehicle at the time of the accident or a request for the ride has been accepted. So, who is financially liable for any injuries resulting from the accident will depend on your particular circumstances.
Regardless of how the accident happened, you should report the incident to Lyft or Uber through their app as soon as possible.
Who is Responsible for Your Bills After a Ridesharing Accident?
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft offer $1 million in liability insurance. However, there are some limitations regarding when this coverage applies and who will be covered. Liability may change depending on your unique circumstances.
If you’re hurt in a single-vehicle accident as a ridesharing passenger, OR if you’re hurt in an accident for which your rideshare driver was at fault.
Your injuries will likely be covered by the company insurance policy. Even if your ridesharing driver is at fault and on duty at the time of your accident, the ridesharing company may still fight the claim and try to deny liability. This is why it’s important to have an experienced car accident lawyer who will fight on your behalf. For more than 60 years, our firm has obtained the maximum compensation for injured victims in all types of accidents.
Note: Even if an Uber driver does not have a passenger in the vehicle, they are still considered “on duty” from the time they accept a ride until they drop their passenger off. This includes the time they are “en route” to pick someone up.
If you were hit by an off-duty Uber or Lyft driver, you may have to seek compensation via the driver’s personal insurance policy, rather than the company’s policy. Still, the experienced rideshare accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys will investigate the accident and pursue every possibility to make sure you get the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
What Caused Your Rideshare Accident?
Although rideshare drivers go through a thorough background check, many are prone to the same accident risks as anyone else on the road. However, there are some additional dangers that may affect Uber and Lyft drivers specifically.
Because rideshare drivers often work multiple jobs, they may be especially prone to driver fatigue. Drowsy driving has been shown to affect alertness and reaction time as much as driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Furthermore, ridesharing is, of course, based on smartphone apps. Drivers rely on smartphones for directions, tracking their time on duty, and for arranging their next pickup. This close tie to their ridesharing apps creates an environment ripe for driver distraction.
Other negligent causes for a rideshare accident include:
- Aggressive driving, such as speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and running red lights.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Poor road conditions, either caused by the weather or poor maintenance
- Defective parts in the vehicle such as bad tires or faulty airbags
- Dropping off passengers in unsafe locations
What Are the Requirements for Driving for a Rideshare Company?
In order to help ensure the safety of the apps’ users, rideshare services like Uber and Lyft require that their drivers meet certain standards. Both Uber and Lyft require that their drivers:
- Meet the minimum age requirement. For Lyft, drivers must be at least 21 years of age; for Uber, drivers must meet or exceed the minimum age for the city in which they work.
- Have a valid driver’s license and proof of residency in your city and state
- Have at least one year of licensed driving experience (Uber requires three years if the driver is younger than 23)
- Provide proof of vehicle insurance
- Pass a safety screening that will review your driving record and criminal history
In addition, vehicles used for Uber and Lyft must meet certain standards. In general, they must be four-door vehicles in good condition, less than 10-15 years old. Individual cities may have their own specific requirements as well. For example, to drive for Uber in Scranton, the vehicle needs to be 15 years old or newer, a four-door car or minivan, and have no commercial branding on the vehicle. However, to drive for Lyft in Philadelphia, the car needs to have at least five to eight seats, including the driver’s seat.
Drivers may also be able to rent a car to use. Each rental car does come with its own insurance policy that is included in the rental fee.
Call a Rideshare Accident Lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys
Getting proper compensation for your injuries after an Uber or Lyft accident can be complicated. A rideshare accident attorney at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys will review the details of your accident, answer your questions, and make sure the appropriate parties are held responsible. Call for a free consultation with our rideshare accident lawyers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Rideshare Accidents
Q: What Do I Do Following a Ridesharing Accident?
A: If you were a passenger in a rideshare vehicle and were injured in an accident, your first step is to report the accident to the ridesharing company through their app, preferably at the scene of the accident.
Then, seek medical treatment, immediately. Do this even if you don’t feel like you sustained injuries. You never know what kind of injuries may show up later, after the adrenaline wears off. It’s imperative you have these injuries seen by a doctor as soon as possible. Keep all documentation after seeing any medical professionals, including medical expenses and bills, prescriptions, diagnoses, and more.
Once you are able, contact our rideshare accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys to learn what legal options are available to you.
Be aware that the ridesharing company and the insurance company will try to reach out to you to learn about the accident. You are not under any obligation to speak with them until you first speak with a personal injury attorney from Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys.
Q: I Was Injured as a Rideshare Accident Driver. What Can I Do?
A: If you were the driver in a rideshare accident and were injured, you may be facing an uphill battle in getting compensation for your injuries. Although you may work for Uber or Lyft, you are still considered an independent contractor, so workers’ compensation will not be available to you.
Rideshare drivers may also run into trouble with their own insurance company. Unless you have specifically purchased rideshare insurance coverage with your claim, your claim may be denied under your personal insurance since you were using the car for commercial purposes.
However, you may be able to file a claim with the rideshare company’s insurance. For example, Uber and Lyft each offer liability insurance coverage for their drivers. This policy will kick in if your insurance denies your claim. But as you can imagine, it can be difficult to deal with any insurance company so contact our ridesharing accident lawyers for assistance.
Q: Why Do I Need to Hire a Rideshare Accident Attorney?
A: No matter who was driving at the time of the accident, all car accident cases tend to be complex. Many times, the insurance companies will try to avoid paying the full amount owed to you for your injuries. You may be eager to get a settlement check so you can start paying off your bills, but unfortunately, that check will not cover the majority of your expenses.
It’s always best to speak with a personal injury lawyer after any type of accident involving an injury. Not only with the personal injury attorney sit down and explain what your next steps should be, but can give you a rough estimate of how much your claim is really worth.
An auto accident lawyer can also negotiate with your insurance company to make sure you are properly compensated. We have decades of experience dealing with insurance companies across the country and know what tactics they use to deny a claim.
And finally, a rideshare accident lawyer can represent you in court. Not all cases end with a settlement and sometimes your case may head to the courtroom. If this happens, you’re going to need a trial attorney that has the skills and experience needed to win your case.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Rideshare Accident Attorney?
A: At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we work on a contingency basis. What this means is we do not receive a fee from you until we reach a settlement or verdict in your rideshare accident claim. If we are unable to reach a successful conclusion for your personal injury claim, you do not owe us a fee. And as always, the first consultation is always free.
Q: What Type of Compensation Can I Receive Following an Accident With an Uber or Lyft Driver?
A: There are two types of compensation you may receive after any type of car accident – economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include any monetary losses you may have received following an accident. This includes but is not limited to medical bills, property damage, loss of wages, and loss of earning potential.
Non-economic damages are non-monetary losses you had suffered. These damages are a little more subjective since there’s no monetary value attached to them. These include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, loss of consortium, and mental anguish.
If you were in a rideshare accident and sustained injuries, Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys is here to help. Contact our rideshare accident attorneys today for a free consultation. Choose carefully.
Q. Who Is At Fault for the Rideshare Accident and Who Will Cover My Losses?
A: Just like other drivers on the road, a rideshare driver is covered by Uber and Lyft’s $1 million in liability insurance. However, due to the complexity of these types of accidents, these are often met with limitations. Some cases may involve multiple insurance companies, including the personal auto insurance of the rideshare driver.
For Uber, a driver only gets coverage if they are actively working, not anytime during their drive. This means they must be logged into the app. They also provide some coverage if the driver is marked as available and waiting for a ride. If, however, they are not active, the personal auto insurance policy of the rideshare driver would come into play.
In the event the driver is available or waiting for a ride request, Uber provides some third-party liability insurance for accidents if the driver’s personal insurance does not apply. This includes:
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
If the driver is en route to pick up riders or has passengers and is in the middle of the trip, Uber provides the following coverage:
- $1,00,000 third-party liability
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury and/or first-party injury insurance
- Contingent comprehensive and collision up to the actual cash value of the car with a $2,500 deductible
Similar to Uber, Lyft has insurance coverage options for its drivers involved in car accidents.
If the driver is not logged into the Lyft app, then they would need to apply their own personal insurance for any car accidents they are involved in. But, if the driver is in the app and waiting for a ride request, Lyft will provide third-party liability insurance for accidents if the driver’s personal insurance does not apply. This includes:
- $50,000/person for bodily injury
- $100,000/accident for bodily injury
- $25,000/accident for property damage
If the driver is actively working, meaning picking up passengers, or is in the middle of a ride during the accident, then Lyft coverage offers:
- $1,000,000 for third-party auto liability
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury
- Contingent comprehensive and collision up to the actual cash value of the car with a $2,500 deductible
- How long does it take to settle a rideshare accident?
After an accident, you may be left wondering how long it will take Uber or Lyft to settle a rideshare accident. The answer varies.
If an accident did not result in significant damages or injuries, generally that means it can be settled sooner than those that are severe. Why? In these cases, you’re usually dealing with property damage only, which is an easier case value to estimate. If bodily harm, especially severe, is involved, you must also take into account long-term medical expenses and care, loss of quality of life, and more factors that are harder to numerate.
If your car was hit by a Uber or Lyft driver and you were seriously injured, your first phone call is to our rideshare accident attorneys. We can help you get the compensation from rideshare companies that you need to get you back on your feet.