While rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are ideal and convenient for many commuters, travelers, tourists, and families alike, they have their drawbacks. One major drawback is the risk of injury and fatal accidents. In fact, according to the Booth School of Business, rideshare services like these have contributed to a three percent increase in fatalities linked to motor vehicle accidents. Studies show that fewer people are taking public transportation and opting for these ride-hailing services, increasing traffic on the roads.
What Causes Ridesharing Accidents?
Rideshare service accidents can happen for the same reasons as other motor vehicle accidents. However, rideshare drivers are more prone to accidents for a few reasons that are a direct result of their job:
Rideshare drivers face many distractions. Conversing with their passengers, looking at or listening to their GPS, and being on the rideshare platform are all distractions that can take their attention away from the road ahead of them. While they may seem necessary and innocent, they can prove fatal.
Driving in Unfamiliar Areas
Depending on where a rideshare driver chooses to work, they may frequently find themselves driving in areas they aren’t familiar with. This requires extra skill and attention, which the rideshare driver might not have that much to spare, to begin with.
Being In a Hurry
For rideshare drivers, time is money. The more passengers they can take to their destinations in their shift, the more money they can make. There is definitely an incentive to be quick. However, being in a hurry leads to speeding and other accuracy mistakes when it comes to driving.
Who is Responsible for Rideshare Accidents?
Many different parties can be responsible for rideshare accidents. For example, it could be the rideshare driver themselves, other drivers on the roads, a vehicle or part manufacturer, or even a government entity responsible for roadways, road conditions, traffic lights, or signs.
Suppose the rideshare driver is the responsible party. In that case, their rideshare platform, such as Uber or Lyft, may offer some insurance coverage to their accident victims. However, if their damages exceed what the rideshare company offers, the rideshare driver’s own insurance company may make up all or part of the difference. The key after a ride-share accident is to determine how it was caused, who caused it, and what applicable insurance policies are active with what limits.
This might sound simple, but in reality, it’s not. If the right at-fault parties aren’t identified and held accountable in a ride-share accident, the victims may not receive the compensation they deserve. This is why it’s imperative to have a rideshare car accident attorney on your side when going through this process. The best ride-share accident attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to determine which parties are liable for your injuries and damages. Once this is determined, they will obtain the insurance policies of the liable parties and file claims under their policies on your behalf.
Steps to Take for Uber and Lyft Passenger Accidents
- If you are a passenger in an Uber or Lyft and there’s an accident, please remain calm. Your first priority should be your health.
- If there are paramedics on the scene, follow their advice. If not, it’s still important to visit a licensed physician within a day, even if you don’t notice any pain or symptoms. Waiting too long can hurt your eventual lawsuit, so don’t delay.
- Report the accident to local law enforcement as well. They will write out a police report that can serve as valuable evidence in your case.
- Above all, get in touch with a qualified auto accident attorney as soon as possible. In fact, you should do so before you speak to law enforcement, if possible, and especially before you speak to an insurance provider. Your attorney will advocate on your behalf and will make sure that you don’t say anything which could harm your ability to obtain compensation.
What Happens If You Get In an Accident While Driving FOR Uber or Lyft?
If you get into an accident as an Uber or Lyft driver, follow the same steps. Also ensure that your passengers are safe, and that they get the medical attention they need. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, your ride share platform’s insurance company and your own insurance company may pay for your damages.
What are Typical Uber and Lyft Accident Settlement Amounts?
Uber and Lyft both use several different insurance companies, such as Progressive, for their coverages, which vary by state. Individual drivers also have their own insurance, which doesn’t have to be with the same company that the rideshare service uses. Settlement amounts always vary based on many factors such as:
- The type and severity of the victim’s injuries and damages
- How many other parties were involved, either as at fault parties or victims
- The type of insurance coverages available
- The strength of the evidence in support of your claim
Suppose you were hurt in a ride share accident. You suffer a back injury that prevents you from working for a year. You also underwent surgery. Your total losses equal $100,000. Your attorney estimates that you have a roughly 75 percent chance of winning your case should it go all the way to trial. Your settlement amount would likely be somewhere around $75,000, or 75 percent of your total losses.
Were You Recently Involved in a Ride-share Accident?
If you are a victim of a ride-share accident, you probably have a lot of questions. An experienced rideshare accident lawyer can help. Rideshare accidents can quickly become complex with so many parties involved and so much at stake between various insurance companies. Having an experienced lawyer to make sense of what is going on will ensure that you get the compensation you are entitled to receive. Insurance companies and the various involved parties are likely to point fingers at each other, and you. With legal representation, you can help move this often-draining process along faster and secure the best outcome possible for yourself.