How Do Rideshare Accidents Happen?
A rideshare accident is essentially a car accident like any other, except it involves someone acting as a rideshare driver at the time of the collision. Rideshare accidents can happen due to all sorts of acts of negligence, like drunk driving or speeding. However, Uber and Lyft drivers are working when they are driving, and they need to use an app to pick up new fares. This introduction of an app to the inside of their car while they drive can increase the risk of a crash caused by driver distraction, more so than the average vehicle. The risks of distractions caused by talking with passengers can also be heightened for rideshare drivers.
Insurance Coverage in an Uber & Lyft Accident
Uber and Lyft both carry large insurance policies that can help pay for the damages passengers and motorists experience after being in a rideshare accident. When the coverage is provided, the policy caps could mean that the full extent of your damages are covered, allowing you to move on with your life with minimal interruptions. Of course, a major insurance company probably will not make your rideshare accident claim is easy, so you should prepare to fight for the coverage amounts you deserve.
Uber’s insurance policy for rideshare drivers has three tiers:
- Offline: When an Uber driver is not using the app or is marked as offline, Uber’s insurance policy does not apply. Accident claims would have to be filed against the driver’s privately held policy and/or other motorists involved in the crash.
- Available: When an Uber driver is waiting to get a new ride request or is marked as available, Uber provides 50/100/25 third-party liability insurance to cover the driver in case of an accident. However, this policy’s coverage only applies if the driver’s privately held auto insurance policy does not apply.
- With passenger: When an Uber driver is en route to pick up a passenger or already has one in their vehicle, Uber provides its $1,000,000 third-party liability uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury policy. At this phase in an Uber ride, the policy also provides contingent comprehensive and collision coverage up to the cash value of a totaled vehicle, minus a deductible.
Lyft also uses an incredibly similar insurance policy for its rides. The coverage provided varies based on whether or not a Lyft rideshare driver is using the app, looking for a passenger, or has accepted a fare.
Who is Liable for Damages in a Rideshare Accident?
You might want to blame Uber for your Uber accident and then name it as a defendant. Unfortunately, this might not be possible. Uber and Lyft have both put in a lot of legal work in and out of courts to make certain that drivers who use their apps and get paid for picking up passengers are not considered employees, but rather are independent contractors.
Employers usually cannot be held liable for the accidents caused by independent contractors they pay, so this allows Uber and Lyft to escape liability. The insurance policies that they offer as coverage are hard limits in most cases and suing them for damages beyond the provided coverage is difficult. As your Uber accident attorney in Fresno, we can help you fight for the compensation you deserve!
What to Do After an Uber or Lyft Accident
Because the situation is already tilted to benefit Uber and Lyft after an accident, it is highly important that you take the right steps after being in a rideshare accident.
A few things you should do after being in an Uber or Lyft accident are:
- Get as much information as you can from your rideshare driver, including their driver’s license and anything related to their profile on the rideshare app.
- Talk to eyewitnesses like people in other vehicles or pedestrians to see if they saw something that could benefit your case.
- Call the rideshare company or use the app to report the accident and inform them that you have been seriously injured.
- See a doctor the same day as the accident, even if you feel fine, to create a clear connection between your injuries and the crash in your medical records.
- Get the help of a rideshare accident attorney to learn how you can start forming a claim and who can be named as the defendants.
Pedestrian vs. Uber or Lyft Accident
One particular circumstance that often proves catastrophic or even deadly for those involved is when a pedestrian is hit by an Uber or Lyft vehicle. A rideshare driver may be distracted reviewing the app or observing the directions on a map and recklessly strike a pedestrian. These cases often result in catastrophic injuries to the victim.
If a pedestrian enters the roadway, vehicles are expected to allow them to cross safely, even when not at a crosswalk. Pedestrians are also expected to take precautions to look out for the wellbeing of themselves and others when crossing the road. If you are a pedestrian who was injured in an accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you should work with an attorney immediately to build a case that fights for your rights. Don’t just accept an offer from an insurance company until you talk with an experienced Uber or Lyft accident lawyer who can evaluate the situation.
Uber & Lyft Accident Settlements
Settlements are sometimes possible in rideshare accidents. Our Lyft accident attorneys in Fresno have dealt with the rideshare company before, so we know how to negotiate a fair settlement amount. We have also worked on client cases that were brought against Uber.
Most parties benefit from a settlement because it closes a case sooner than later, which means you can get the money you need to recover without waiting too long. However, if you aren’t being offered a fair settlement, then we can talk about taking your case to court.
Managing Tough Claims Involving Huge Corporations
Your rideshare accident claim should not be difficult, but big corporations and their insurance companies might think otherwise. It is nothing personal, but they are thinking about their profits first. That is one of the differences between them and our Fresno Uber & Lyft accident attorneys. We care about you because we are genuinely invested in your wellbeing and future. By giving your case our full attention and every available resource, we hope to secure a win in your name and allow you to rest as comfortably as possible.