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Learn More About Fault and Damages in Rideshare Accident Claims

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have transformed the way we travel, offering convenience and affordability. However, accidents involving these services can be complex when determining liability and compensation. Understanding who is at fault and what damages you can claim is crucial for protecting your rights.

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Rideshare accidents can be particularly complex due to the involvement of multiple parties and varying insurance coverages. Whether you are a passenger, another driver, or a pedestrian, understanding who is at fault and what damages you can claim is essential. In the wake of an accident involving a Lyft or Uber, it’s important to know your rights and the steps you need to take to secure fair compensation. This is where experienced Uber and Lyft accident attorneys come into play. They specialize in the unique aspects of rideshare accidents and are adept at navigating the complexities of multiple insurance policies and liability issues. An Uber or Lyft attorney can help gather crucial evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and ensure that you receive the full compensation you deserve for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

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Who Can Be Held Liable for My Rideshare Accident?

In a rideshare accident, multiple parties could be held liable, including:

  • The Rideshare Driver: If the driver’s negligence caused the accident, they could be held responsible. Examples include distracted driving, speeding, or violating traffic laws.
  • Other Drivers: In cases where another vehicle caused the accident, that driver’s insurance would typically cover the damages.
  • The Rideshare Company: Companies like Uber and Lyft have insurance policies that cover their drivers under certain conditions. These policies kick in when the driver’s personal insurance is insufficient.
  • Vehicle Manufacturers: If a defect in either vehicle contributed to the accident, the manufacturer could be liable under product liability laws.

Determining liability requires a thorough investigation of the accident, including witness statements, traffic camera footage, and police reports.

How To Prove Liability in a Rideshare Accident

Proving liability in a rideshare accident involves gathering and presenting evidence to demonstrate fault. This process is crucial for securing compensation and holding the responsible party accountable. Here’s how you can establish liability, incorporating the four elements of proving negligence:

  1. Duty of Care: The first element involves showing that the rideshare driver owed a duty of care to the passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians. This means demonstrating that the driver was expected to operate the vehicle safely and follow traffic laws.
  2. Breach of Duty: Next, you must prove that the rideshare driver breached this duty of care. This can involve showing that the driver was distracted, speeding, under the influence, or otherwise acting negligently.
  3. Causation: It’s not enough to show that the driver was negligent; you also need to demonstrate that this negligence directly caused the accident. This involves linking the breach of duty to the injuries and damages sustained.
  4. Damages: Finally, you must prove that the accident caused actual damages, such as medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. This element is critical for justifying the compensation you are seeking.

The rise of ridesharing has contributed to an increase in accidents, often due to drivers trying to navigate unfamiliar areas, follow app instructions, or meet tight deadlines. To effectively establish these elements, your lawyer will help you gather the following types of evidence:

  • Police Reports: Obtain a copy of the police report, which contains vital information about the accident and the officer’s initial assessment of fault. The report can detail whether any traffic laws were violated and if the driver was cited.
  • Witness Statements: Collect statements from any witnesses who saw the accident. Their accounts can provide crucial support for your claim by corroborating your version of events and highlighting the driver’s negligence.
  • Traffic Camera Footage: If available, traffic camera footage can offer an unbiased view of the events leading to the accident. This footage can be instrumental in demonstrating how the accident occurred and who was at fault.
  • Driver’s Records: Investigate the rideshare driver’s history for any previous traffic violations or accidents. A pattern of reckless behavior can strengthen your case by showing a history of negligence.
  • Vehicle Maintenance Records: Ensure both vehicles were properly maintained, as mechanical failures can also contribute to accidents. Poor maintenance records can indicate negligence on the part of the driver or rideshare company.

By thoroughly gathering and presenting this evidence, you can effectively prove the four elements of negligence and establish liability in a rideshare accident. This comprehensive approach ensures that you have a strong case to secure the compensation you deserve.

What Compensation Will I Receive If I’m Hit by an Uber or Lyft?

The compensation you receive depends on the circumstances of the accident and the rideshare driver’s status at the time of the incident. Here’s a breakdown:

App Is Off

When the rideshare app is off, the driver’s personal auto insurance applies. In this scenario, any claims for damages or injuries must be made against the driver’s personal insurance policy.

App Is On, Driver Is Waiting for a Request

When the driver is online but hasn’t accepted a ride, both Uber and Lyft provide third-party liability coverage if the driver’s personal insurance doesn’t apply. This coverage includes:

  • $50,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $100,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • $25,000 per accident for property damage

Exceptions apply in certain states, such as Arizona and Nebraska, where lower coverage limits are mandated.

App Is On, Driver Is En Route or Ride Is in Progress

Once a ride request is accepted and the driver is either en route to pick up passengers or the ride is in progress, Uber and Lyft maintain substantial coverage:

  • At least $1,000,000 for third-party auto liability coverage: This high level of coverage protects against claims from other parties in the event of an accident.
  • First-party coverages: This includes uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, Personal Injury Protection (PIP), MedPay, and Occupational Accident coverage. However, there are more exceptions to these coverages when the driver is en route.
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage: If the driver has comprehensive and collision coverage on their personal policy, Lyft and Uber’s coverage will cover up to the actual cash value of the car with a $2,500 deductible.

What To Do After an Uber or Lyft Accident To Protect My Compensation

If you’re involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle, follow these steps to protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the priority. Get medical help immediately, even if you feel fine.
  2. Report the Accident: Call the police and ensure an official report is filed. This document will be crucial for your claim.
  3. Gather Evidence: Take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any visible injuries. Collect contact information from witnesses.
  4. Notify the Rideshare Company: Report the accident to Uber or Lyft through their app. This initiates their internal investigation and insurance process.
  5. Consult a Lawyer: Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to guide you through the process and advocate on your behalf.

Call Those Thumbs Up Guys® After an Accident

At Floyd Hunter Injury Law, we understand the complexities of rideshare accidents and are dedicated to helping you navigate your claim. Our experienced attorneys in Montgomery and Millbrook are here to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, call us today for a free consultation. Let us handle the legal complexities while you focus on your recovery.