Filing a Lawsuit After an Uber or Lyft Car Accident

Jun 6, 2024 | Pierre Prialé
Filing a Lawsuit After an Uber or Lyft Car Accident

If you have been in a car accident while riding an Uber or Lyft, you may wonder about your legal options. Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular in recent years, but with their rise in popularity, the number of accidents involving these vehicles has also increased. If you've recently suffered an injury in an accident with an Uber or Lyft, it's to your benefit to hire a rideshare accident attorney.

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Causes of Rideshare Accidents

A young woman using a rideshare app on her smartphone to order a taxi or carpool ride while traveling.

Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the way we travel. With just a few taps on our smartphones, we can summon a car to pick us up and take us to our destination. While these services have made transportation more convenient, they have also brought their fair share of risks and challenges.

Distracted Driving

One of the most common causes of rideshare accidents is distracted driving. Drivers rely heavily on navigation apps and constantly receive ride requests and notifications, so it is easy for them to become distracted behind the wheel. Checking their phones, adjusting the GPS, or interacting with the rideshare app can take their attention away from the road, leading to reckless driving and accidents.

Driver Fatigue

Another contributing factor to rideshare accidents is fatigue. Many rideshare drivers work long hours to meet the high demand for their services. Working late at night or for extended periods without proper rest can lead to drowsy driving, impairing their judgment and reaction times. Fatigue can cause drivers to nod off at the wheel or have slower reflexes, increasing the risk of accidents.

Speeding

Speeding is also a prevalent cause of rideshare accidents. Drivers may feel the pressure to complete as many rides as possible within a limited timeframe, leading them to exceed speed limits and drive recklessly. Speeding reduces the driver's ability to react to unexpected situations and increases the severity of accidents, making it a significant risk factor on the road.

Poor Vehicle Maintenance

Lastly, inadequate vehicle maintenance can contribute to rideshare accidents. Rideshare drivers are responsible for maintaining their own vehicles, and some may not properly maintain or inspect their cars regularly. Worn-out tires, faulty brakes, or other mechanical issues can lead to accidents, endangering the driver, their passengers, and other road users.

When you are involved in a rideshare accident, it can be overwhelming to navigate the legal process on your own. That's where an experienced car accident attorney can help. They can investigate the accident and determine liability. Additionally, they can negotiate with insurance companies and fight for your rights to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.

Types of Rideshare Accidents

A professional businesswoman using her cellphone in the back seat of a taxi or rideshare car. The driver is in the front, and she is accessing a rideshare mobile app.

Rideshare accidents can range from minor fender benders to more serious collisions. Some common types of rideshare accidents include:

  • Rear-end collisions: These occur when the rideshare vehicle is struck from behind by another vehicle.
  • T-bone accidents: These occur when a vehicle crashes into the side of the rideshare vehicle, forming a "T" shape.
  • Side-swipe accidents: These occur when two vehicles traveling in the same direction make contact with each other.
  • Pedestrian accidents: These occur when a rideshare vehicle strikes a pedestrian, often when the driver is distracted or fails to yield the right of way.
  • Multi-vehicle accidents: These occur when multiple vehicles are involved in a collision, potentially leading to more severe injuries and damages.

Who is to Blame for Uber and Lyft Accidents?

Determining liability in rideshare accidents can be challenging. In traditional car accident cases, determining liability usually involves the vehicles' drivers. However, in rideshare accidents, there are additional parties that may share the responsibility, including:

  • The rideshare driver: If the rideshare driver's negligence caused the accident, they may be held responsible.
  • The rideshare company: Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft may also be held liable for accidents caused by their drivers, especially if they failed to vet and train their drivers properly or if they failed to address known safety concerns.
  • Other drivers: If another driver involved in the accident was at fault, they may also share the responsibility.

Potential Damages in an Uber or Lyft Claim

If you have suffered an injury in a rideshare accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical expenses: This includes the cost of current and future medical treatment, such as hospital bills, surgeries, medications, and rehabilitation.
  • Lost income: If your injuries prevent you from working, you can recover lost income, including past and future income.
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you have endured as a result of the accident.
  • Property damage: If your personal property, such as your vehicle, was damaged in the accident, you may be able to recover the cost of repairs or replacement.

Remember that the specific damages you may be eligible for will depend on the details of your case.

The Statute of Limitations for Rideshare Accidents

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If you are considering filing a lawsuit after a rideshare accident, it's important to be aware of the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the time period within which you must file a lawsuit. Failure to file within this time frame can result in your case being dismissed.

In most states, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including rideshare accidents, is typically between one and three years from the date of the accident. However, it's important to consult with a car accident lawyer in your jurisdiction to understand the specific time limitations that apply to your case.

Uber and Lyft Insurance Policies

Both Uber and Lyft have insurance policies that cover accidents involving their drivers. However, the availability and extent of coverage can vary depending on the circumstances of the accident. Here is a breakdown of the insurance coverage provided by Uber and Lyft:

  • The driver is not logged into the rideshare app. In this scenario, the driver's personal insurance policy will be the primary coverage.
  • The driver is logged into the app and waiting for a ride request. Uber and Lyft provide liability coverage during this period, with limits typically between $50,000 and $100,000 per person injured in an accident and up to $25,000 for property damage.
  • The driver has accepted a ride request and is en route to pick up or transport the passengers. Uber and Lyft provide increased liability coverage during this period, with limits ranging from $1 million to $2.5 million.

What Makes Rideshare Accidents So Complex

Rideshare accidents can be more complex than traditional car accident cases for several reasons:

  • Insurance coverage: Determining which insurance policy applies and how much coverage is available can be challenging, especially if multiple parties are involved.
  • Rideshare company involvement: Rideshare companies often have teams of legal professionals ready to defend their drivers and protect their interests, making it important for accident victims to seek legal representation.
  • Driver classification: Classifying rideshare drivers as independent contractors can make it more challenging to hold rideshare companies accountable for their drivers' actions.
  • Multiple parties: Rideshare accidents can involve multiple parties, including the rideshare driver, other drivers, and the rideshare company itself, which adds complexity to the legal process.

Will Your Uber or Lyft Case Settle Out of Court?

Whether your Uber or Lyft case will settle out of court or go to trial will depend on a variety of factors, including the strength of your case, the willingness of the insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement, and the advice of your attorney. Many personal injury cases, including rideshare accidents, are resolved through settlement negotiations. However, in some cases, going to trial may be necessary to achieve a just outcome.

The Benefits of Settling Your Claim

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When you file a lawsuit after an Uber or Lyft car accident, one option you have is to settle your claim. Settling your claim means reaching an agreement with the responsible party or their insurance company without going to trial. While going to trial may seem like a more enticing option, you should consider the benefits of settling your claim.

One of the main benefits of settling your claim is the certainty it provides. Trials can be unpredictable, and there is always the risk of not getting the outcome you desire. By settling your claim, you have control over the outcome and can avoid the uncertainty and potential stress of a trial.

Additionally, settling your claim can save you time and money. Trials can be lengthy and expensive, involving court fees, expert witness fees, and attorney fees. By settling, you can avoid these additional costs and move forward with your life more quickly.

Another benefit of settling your claim is the potential for a faster resolution. Lawsuits can take months or even years to conclude, especially when many legal issues are involved. By settling your claim, you can expedite the resolution process and receive compensation for your injuries and damages sooner.

Furthermore, settling your claim can offer you privacy and confidentiality. Trials are public proceedings, and the details of your case can become part of the public record. However, by settling your claim, you can keep the details of your accident and personal information confidential. This can be particularly important for individuals who value their privacy or want to avoid unwanted attention.

Remember, if you decide to settle your claim, you should alway have the guidance and support of an experienced attorney who can negotiate on your behalf and ensure you receive fair compensation.

Should You File a Lawsuit?

Deciding whether to file a lawsuit after a rideshare accident is a personal decision that should be made with the guidance of an experienced car accident attorney. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Severity of injuries: If you have suffered significant injuries that have resulted in substantial medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering, filing a lawsuit may be warranted to seek full and fair compensation.
  • Liability: If the accident was clearly the fault of the rideshare driver or the rideshare company, pursuing legal action may be appropriate.
  • Insurance coverage: If the insurance company refuses to provide the compensation you deserve or is delaying the claims process, filing a lawsuit may be necessary to protect your rights.
  • Future impact: If your injuries have long-term consequences that may require ongoing medical treatment or impact your ability to work in the future, filing a lawsuit can help ensure you receive appropriate compensation for these future damages.

Consult with a car accident attorney experienced in rideshare accidents to fully assess your case and understand your legal options.

The Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Attorney

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Dealing with the legal process after a rideshare accident can be challenging, especially when interacting with insurance companies and rideshare companies that prioritize their own interests. Hiring a car accident attorney can provide several benefits, including:

  • Legal experience: A car accident attorney has extensive knowledge of personal injury laws and understands how to handle the legal system to maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation.
  • Investigation and evidence gathering: An attorney can conduct a thorough investigation into the accident, gathering evidence such as witness statements, accident reports, and driver logs to build a strong case.
  • Negotiation with insurance companies: Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts or deny claims altogether. A car accident lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company to seek the compensation you deserve.
  • Trial representation: If your case goes to trial, an attorney will represent your interests and fight for a favorable outcome.
  • Peace of mind: Hiring an attorney allows you to focus on your recovery while knowing that your legal rights are being protected.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in an Uber or Lyft accident, seek legal representation as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury lawyer is here to navigate the personal injury legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact one today to schedule your free consultation. Hiring an attorney costs nothing upfront, so you have nothing to lose by starting the process now.

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Pierre Prialé

Over the course of his career, Prialé has handled approximately 2,000 criminal defense and traffic cases, including DUI, reckless driving, weapons charges, and personal injury cases. His dedication to helping clients in difficult and desperate situations has earned him a reputation for being a committed and knowledgeable attorney.

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