Injured in an Accident While Riding in an Uber or Lyft?
If you were injured in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, contact a ridesharing accident lawyer at Munley Law 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. 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?
An accident involving a rideshare vehicle 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 ridesharing 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 policy. Still, an experienced attorney at Munley Law 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, for tracking their time on duty, and for arranging their next pick-up. 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
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
Getting proper compensation for your injuries after an Uber or Lyft accident can be complicated. A rideshare accident attorney at Munley Law will review the details of your accident, answer your questions, and make sure the appropriate parties are held responsible. Call for a free consultation. We have offices throughout Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and Pittsburgh.
Frequently Asked Questions About Rideshare Accidents
What Do I Do Following a Ridesharing Accident?
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.
Once you are able, contact our rideshare accident lawyer at Munley Law 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 obligations to speak with them until you first speak with a car accident attorney from Munley Law.
I Was Injured as a Rideshare Accident Driver. What Can I Do?
If you were the driver in a rideshare accident and were injured, you may be facing an uphill battle 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.
You may also run into trouble with your 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.
Why Do I Need to Hire a Rideshare Accident Attorney?
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 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.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Rideshare Accident Attorney?
At Munley Law, 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 case. If we are unable to reach a successful conclusion for your claim, you do not owe us a fee. And as always, the first consultation is always free.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive Following an Accident With an Uber or Lyft Driver?
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 received injuries, Munley Law is here to help. Contact our rideshare accident attorneys today for a free consultation. Choose carefully.