What Are Your Legal Rights If You Are Involved In An Accident With Uber Or Lyft
Ride sharing apps have revolutionized the transportation industry in the past decade. People are using Uber and Lyft in lieu or in addition to traditional taxi services or public transportation to get to work, run errands, explore new cities, and get home safely after putting back a few brews with their buds. High school students are even using Uber and Lyft to get to and from work or to visit friends on the other end of town rather than investing their resources into getting a driver’s license and car of their own.
Simply put, ridesharing services are no longer a passing fad; they’re here to stay. With that fact comes the need to understand the legal implications of motor vehicle accidents involving vehicles driven by Uber or Lyft contractors. These are life-changing issues for those who suffer serious injuries in Uber or Lyft accidents. They need to know their rights and know who they can turn to for guidance in the event tragedy strikes.
To get started exploring the legal options of Uber or Lyft accident victims, consider the following:
What Are The Legal Rights of Ride-Sharing Passengers Who Are Injured In A Car Accident?
Reasonable people acknowledge that sometimes stuff happens. Motor vehicle accidents are no exception. Uber and Lyft drivers are, for the most part, good people looking to supplement their income by giving others a lift (pun intended) from point A to point B. Despite their good intentions, acts of negligence can occur, resulting in innocent passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians suffering devastating injuries such as spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Passengers who are injured in Uber or Lyft accidents have the ability to obtain compensation for their injuries in the same way passengers in other motor vehicle accidents have the ability to obtain compensation. This includes the ability to get compensated via their auto insurance policy as well as pursuing compensation via personal injury claim for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost earnings, and other damages.
Ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft are required to have insurance policies that cover accidents prior to operating in a given jurisdiction. For example, they must carry liability coverage in excess of $1,000,000 in order to operate in Chicago. This makes it likely that any injuries sustained by passengers in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver will be properly covered. However, that doesn’t mean getting the rightful compensation will be easy. The insurance companies will go to great lengths to reduce their costs by achieving a quick settlement that is in their best interest.
In situations where the at-fault driver of another vehicle hits an Uber or Lyft vehicle and causes injuries, personal injury compensation can be sought by bringing a claim against the at-fault driver and their insurance company. Like any other personal injury claim, this would seek compensation for medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and other damages related to the accident.
No matter the source of compensation it’s crucial that injured passengers understand their claim needs to be forward looking. Catastrophic injuries can have time treatment needs and that means lifetime expenses. Accepting anything less than a fair settlement can leave them on the hook for those costs despite them having no role in causing the accident that hurt them.
The best way to avoid such a mistake is to have an experienced attorney looking out for you after an Uber or Lyft ride-sharing accident. Your attorney will review any settlement offers and be prepared to take your case to trial if that is necessary to obtain the full and fair compensation you are entitled to for what you have been through and will continue to go through as a result of someone else’s negligence.
What Are Your Rights If An Uber Of Lyft Car Hits You?
Your rights will be the same in this scenario as any other motor vehicle accident where you are struck by an at-fault driver while driving your vehicle. You have the right to go after the insurance coverage of the at-fault driver in order to obtain compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, and your lost earnings. This includes compensation for anticipated future medical costs and lost earnings as well, making it crucial to have an experienced attorney who will work with experts to determine the true cost of your injury.
The good news is that you will likely not encounter issues related to a lack of insurance coverage on the part of the Uber of Lyft driver who hit you. Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing companies are required to hold liability coverage of at least $1,000,000 in Chicago and many other markets they work in. However, just because the coverage is adequate doesn’t mean the insurance company will smile and hand you a check for your trouble. They will go to great lengths to avoid a fair settlement. This often begins in the hours and days after a crash, where they will make phone calls or send adjusters to your door to speak with you. It is recommended that you don’t speak with them or sign anything until you have had the chance to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer.
Personal injury claims can be very complex as they involve issues such as civil law and insurance subrogation that the average person simply doesn’t have any reason to understand. The good news is that your attorney will handles these thorny issues for you so you can focus on making as full a physical, mental, and emotional recovery as possible after your accident.
While you work on getting back on your feet- maybe literally – your attorney will sift through the available coverage whether that is from Uber, Lyft, the driver or even your own auto insurance policy. Wherever compensation exists, your attorney will fight to make sure you have access to it to fund your recovery and your future.
Where Can You Find Legal Representation If You’re Involved In A Ride-Sharing Accident?
You are not legally required to have a personal injury lawyer handling your Uber, Lyft or ridesharing accident case, but it is in your best interest to do so. You choice of attorney will have far-reaching consequences for you, good or bad, as your attorney will have perhaps the most critical role in determining the outcome of your personal injury claim.
There are many attorneys who dabble in personal injury or occasionally take on a case for a friend, neighbor or family member who slips on ice or has a child bitten by a dangerous dog. Some of these attorneys obtain settlements for their clients or at least steer their clients away from accepting the insurance company’s bad faith first offer before referring the case to a more experienced lawyer. However, there is a distinct difference between attorneys who handle the occasional personal injury claim and attorneys who devote their careers to personal injury, wrongful death, and other aspects of tort law.
A dedicated Uber or Lyft accident lawyer will know the ins and outs of the personal injury claims process, be familiar with the local and state courts that will handle a potential trial, and may even have past interactions with the insurance companies that are involved in your claim. A successful personal injury attorney’s reputation will precede them. This is a potential advantage for you, as the insurance companies know your attorney will not fall for their typical tactics.
They know your representative will not take a quick settlement just to move on; instead, they will fight to the end for every cent your claim is worth to make sure you have the resources you need to put the pieces back together after your rideshare accident. If that means going to trial they know your attorney will be fully prepared to build a strong case for obtaining the compensation you need now and well into the future for your injuries and related expenses.
Local Experience Matters In Personal Injury Cases Involving Lyft And Uber
An accident attorney with local experience is important, as they will have a strong network of accident investigators, doctors, life-care planners, vocational therapists and other experts throughout the community ready to assist you and your attorney. The size of a law firm’s roster or an office in a shiny tower mean nothing if they are unable to get things processed quickly in the local courts handling your personal injury claim. Likewise, if they are unable to get experts to the scene of the crash in the first place to gather evidence or recreate the accident, your will suffer the consequences in the form of a smaller settlement or jury award.
Beyond making sure you have a proven Uber accident lawyer looking out for you, much of your choice will come down to your own gut and your own comfort. You’ll be relying on your attorney to answer your questions, explain the process, and put your mind at ease while your case moves through the legal process. The lawyers at Mark L. Karno & Associates, LLC have decades of experience in handling these types of accident cases.|