Ridesharing Car Accidents
Ridesharing services offered through Uber and Lyft are popular in public transportation. While the ridesharing industry is growing rapidly, so too are legal issues relating to liability when Uber and Lyft drivers are involved in an accident. The question of who is responsible puts many customers in a tough position after an accident. Innocent riders could be flung into a protracted legal battle after an accident. While Uber and Lyft advertise million-dollar liability insurance policies to protect their customers, they consider their drivers independent contractors, which can complicate the issue of liability.
The Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC help clients involved in ridesharing car accidents obtain the compensation they need to cover their injuries. They are committed to holding those responsible for an accident liable for their actions and will pursue restitution from Uber, Lyft, the driver’s personal insurance company, and third parties directly involved in the accident.
What are the Causes of Ridesharing Accidents?
You cannot stop ridesharing accidents by yourself, but you should understand how these accidents are caused. Be on the lookout for the telltale signs of a bad driver, or issues that concern you. Common causes of ridesharing accidents are:
- Inexperienced drivers. Studies show that rideshare drivers often have less experience than the traditional taxi driver. Because of this, you are getting into a vehicle that is far less safe than a taxi.
- Speeding. Because rideshare drivers tend to be less experienced, they are more likely to speed. These drivers may not understand how fast they are going, or they might speed so that they can get to their destination as fast as possible. By doing this, the driver hopes to get a better review. However, they are putting themselves and their passengers in danger.
- Distractions. You might feel like it is impolite to remain silent in the car or ignore the driver, but the driver should be focused on the road. Drivers who are talking on the phone or adjusting the stereo are not paying attention to the road.
- Drowsy driving. These drivers must continue to pick up fares if they want to make money, and they might drive while drowsy because they feel they have no choice. Do not get into a car with a driver that you believe is nearly asleep.
Driver Liability for Injuries and Damages
Uber and Lyft are service providers that consider their drivers to be independent contractors. Each of these companies carry their own insurance policies to cover damages and injuries, however, independent contractors are responsible for carrying private insurance policies that cover their passengers and vehicles. Since independent contractors operate their own business, Uber and Lyft shift accident liability onto the drivers that rely on their services to operate.
It is easy to see how complex the legal issues become when an accident victim attempts to claim compensation for injuries in an Uber or Lyft-related car accident. Victims need to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer to ensure that their legal rights are protected and that compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering is paid by those responsible for the accident.
What Should I Do After an Accident in a Rideshare Vehicle?
If the driver is able, they should call 911 as soon as the accident occurs. If you can exit the car safely, take pictures of the accident scene, the car you were riding in, and show the prevailing weather conditions. Remain on the scene so that your statement can be added to the police report and seek medical treatment. It is vital to receive immediate medical care, even though you might think you are not injured. Emergency medical care establishes that you have been hurt, and your doctor can explain how much it will cost to manage your care. You may need a treatment plan that explains how long your treatment will last and how much it will cost.
Where Do I Begin?
At McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC, we will first pursue compensation from the Uber or Lyft driver’s private insurance company. After careful investigation into the ridesharing accident, third parties that played a part in the accident will also be held liable. In cases where a victim’s injuries exceed the limit of the liable party’s insurance coverage, compensation will be pursued from their own insurance company for the balance they are entitled to receive. The driver’s insurance, the at-fault motorist’s insurance, and insurance provided by Uber or Lyft all play an important part in your case.
In some cases, an Uber or Lyft driver’s insurance company may refuse to pay because their client was operating their vehicle for commercial purposes at the time of the accident. When this happens, we are prepared to argue that your injuries are still covered. We understand how insurance companies try to save money, and we will not allow the insurance carrier to offer less than what you deserve.
Uber and Lyft provide insurance coverage for accidents and injuries, but they have very specific stipulations when determining liability. An Uber or Lyft driver that is involved in an accident when they are standing by for dispatch, but do not have customers in their vehicle, will need to rely on their private insurance carrier for coverage. Uber and Lyft will provide an additional $50,000 for injuries and $25,000 in property damage if they exceed the driver’s private insurance coverage.
Drivers involved in a car accident with clients in the vehicle should be covered for injuries and damages under Uber and Lyft insurance policies, however, collecting compensation in these claims can be tricky. We understand how Uber and Lyft have set up their insurance policies, and we will use that knowledge to show that you deserve compensation under their policy.
Since Uber and Lyft classify their drivers as independent contractors, many of the insurance companies representing these vendors will deny liability, claiming that the independent contractor’s insurance policy should cover the injuries and damages. Our lawyers are prepared to hold Uber and Lyft liable for injuries and damages and claim the maximum compensation available for our clients.
You should send any letter you receive to our office for review. If you receive phone calls from a rideshare carrier, do not tell them anything. We will speak on your behalf and communicate with these companies as needed. If you provide any extra information to an insurance company, you might be denied coverage and be accused of causing the accident. Insurance companies and lawyers for the defendant might try to get you to settle right away because they want the case to end. They know that we can force their hand and obtain the maximum compensation possible in your case.
Filing a Claim for Wrongful Death
You may file a wrongful death lawsuit after a ridesharing accident if your family member or loved one was killed in the accident. You can file a wrongful death lawsuit up to two years after the date of the death. Wrongful death claims allow you to recover final expenses, medical expenses, and lost earning potential. Ensure that a representative of the estate in Pennsylvania files the claim. In New Jersey and Delaware, immediate family members can file the lawsuit.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Help Victims Injured in Ridesharing Car Accidents
If you or someone you know was injured in a ridesharing car accident, contact a Philadelphia car accident lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. Call us at 215-569-8488 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we help clients throughout the surrounding areas.