Uber Accident Attorney
Uber Car Accident Lawyer
Ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft provide a cheaper alternative to taxis. Also, they are more convenient than public transportation. Ridesharing apps connect private drivers to passengers. These apps have also allowed drivers to have a new source of income. Drivers can work when they want to work. However, as the number of rideshare app users increases, so does the number of accidents.
Ridesharing apps are typically considered technology companies. They are not usually held to the same legal standards as taxi drivers. Therefore, passengers who are injured in a collision must usually file an accident claim against the driver instead of Uber itself. There is often confusion surrounding these types of claims. Insurance companies may not provide proper compensation to accident victims or may wrongly deny claims. If you were an Uber passenger involved in an accident, an Uber accident lawyer can help.
Uber Drivers as Independent Contractors
Uber drivers are usually considered independent contractors. This can create an obstacle for recovery for Uber passengers who are injured. Employers are typically vicariously liable for the actions of their employees. However, this rule does not usually apply to independent contractors. This legal separation allows Uber, Lyft and other rideshare services to shift liability from the company to the driver.
Despite not being the employer of record, Uber maintains a sizable insurance policy for Uber drivers. Policy limits may go up to $1 million in some circumstances for liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Lyft has similar policies in place. In comparison, many motorists carry only $15,000 in liability coverage. These larger policy limits may allow injured Uber passengers and Lyft passengers to recover more money for the damages that they sustain.
Uber divides its insurance eligibility into three categories. The period determines whether an Uber passenger receives coverage under this policy.
Period one begins when the app is active. The driver is waiting for a ride request. If an accident occurs during this period, limited liability coverage may apply. This includes the following coverage:
- Up to $50,000 per injury per person
- $100,000 maximum for injury liability
- $30,000 property damage
All other types of coverage fall under the driver’s personal insurance. This can also be problematic because many insurance companies will specifically exclude coverage for people who are working or carrying passengers for pay. However, the driver may have a rideshare specific policy that provides coverage.
Period two begins when the driver is en route to pick up an Uber passenger. During this period, Uber’s insurance coverage may kick in. This includes up to one million dollars of coverage in total liability coverage. This includes up to one million dollars of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. There is a $1,000 deductible. Uber’s insurance policy covers the following:
- Uber driver’s liability to a third party
- Injuries caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist
- Collision and comprehensive coverage if the driver has this coverage on his or her personal insurance
Although more coverage is available, it can be difficult to navigate Uber’s insurance coverage without the assistance of an Uber accident lawyer. The insurance company may require the Uber driver to prove that he or she was in the process of picking up an Uber passenger at the time of the accident. If the driver does not produce this evidence, the insurance company may deny the claim. An Uber accident attorney can help you preserve evidence to support your claim, such as advising you to take a screenshot of the time you requested a ride. This specialized advice can help you maximize the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Period three is the period while the passenger is in the vehicle. If an accident occurs during this period, the rideshare company insurance should apply. There should be less debate with the insurance company when an accident occurs during this time period because it is clearer the accident occurred as part of the rideshare transaction.
Pedestrian Accidents Caused by Rideshare Drivers
In some accidents, the rideshare driver does not hurt someone inside the car but rather outside it. If an Uber driver or Lyft driver hits a pedestrian, the more expansive insurance policy may apply. However, if the rideshare company can show that the driver was not actively on a requested ride, it may deny such claim. Because Uber and Lyft are not considered the employer of rideshare drivers, they may try to sidestep this liability on this basis. An experienced Uber accident law firm can explore all legal options in these situations.
Damages in Uber Car Accident Claims
Negligent Uber drivers and Lyft drivers may be liable for extensive damages. These injury claims may seek compensation for the following:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
If you are injured in an Uber vehicle, it is important to talk to an Uber accident lawyer who is experienced in representing clients involved in rideshare accidents. These injury claims can often be complicated and require specialized knowledge.
Uber Insurance Policy for Drivers and Consequences
If you are an Uber driver or other rideshare driver, it is important that you understand how the insurance coverage applies. While Uber and Lyft’s insurance may provide benefits for injured passengers, it may not help you. You may not receive compensation for your own lost wages, medical expenses or rental cars. However, if the other driver was at fault for the accident, you may be able to pursue your own injury claim against the at-fault driver. You may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Property damage – You may be able to get your vehicle repaired or replaced. This is critical as a rideshare driver who depends on the vehicle for work.
- Lost wages – You may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages while recovering or waiting for your vehicle repair.
- Rental car – While you cannot drive for a rideshare company with a rental car, you may still be able to use a rental car to take care of other responsibilities.
- Medical expenses – Even low-speed accidents can result in serious injuries. You may be able to be compensated for these expenses.
- Pain and suffering – You may also be able to receive compensation for your pain and suffering.
If the other party was at fault, you may want to retain the assistance of an Uber accident lawyer who can help negotiate a favorable settlement for the damages you suffered. Rideshare accidents can result in unforeseen financial consequences. Uber, Lyft or other rideshare companies may shut down your ability to use the app for weeks. This may occur even if the accident is not your fault. This can jeopardize your livelihood. An Uber accident lawyer can help you seek full compensation for your losses.
Uber and Lyft Denied Injury Claims
Insurance companies try to avoid paying out as many claims as possible. Insurance companies employ insurance adjusters to protect their financial stability. They are motivated to deny claims outright. In other situations, they offer low settlements that do not provide for the full extent of an injured passenger’s damages.
Insurance companies don’t pay on all claims, even if it seems clear how the accident happened. In this situation, you should contact an Uber accident lawyer. Many rideshare accidents are complicated and are a new trend in litigation. An Uber accident lawyer can explain if any of the following legal options are available:
- Suing Uber directly
- Suing the driver directly
- Filing a claim with the driver’s personal insurance company
- Filing a claim with a third-party’s insurance company
- Suing a third party
Knowing which insurance policy applies during a rideshare accident is often complicated. Filing a claim as an Uber passenger is best left to the discretion of a seasoned Uber car accident lawyer who is well-versed in rideshare accidents and insurance regulations.
How an Uber Accident Lawyer Can Help
You have the right to a safe Uber or Lyft ride. Rideshare companies are responsible for completing background checks and motor vehicle screenings on rideshare drivers. Some states require drivers to complete safety education courses. Additionally, many states have passed additional legislation that further increases the responsibility of these companies. Experienced Uber accident lawyers stay up-to-date on recent changes in the law and can explain how they may impact your claim.
An Uber accident lawyer can assist with critical aspects of your claim, including:
- Investigating your claim
- Identifying parties legally responsible for your claim
- Preserving evidence
- Advising you to seek medical attention
- Referring you to medical providers
- Reviewing insurance policies that may apply to your claim
- Handling communications with the insurance company
- Maximizing your damages award
- Retaining experts for help establishing the timing of an accident, its cause and the extent of your damages
- Negotiating a fair settlement of your claim
- Litigating your case
If you were injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. An Uber accident lawyer can discuss the specific circumstances of your case during a free consultation. Contact our law office to speak with an Uber accident lawyer today.