Ridesharing programs such as Uber and Lyft are becoming increasingly popular in Illinois and Missouri. For many people, these services are more convenient and cheaper than buses, taxis, and other modes of transportation. Unfortunately, the benefits of taking an Uber or Lyft do not come without risk. Ridesharing drivers are no more immune to being involved in an accident than any other motorist on the road. If you have been injured in an Uber or Lyft, or were hit by a ridesharing driver, our car accident lawyers in Missouri and Illinois can advise on your claim.
What Causes Uber and Lyft Accidents?
Uber and Lyft drivers typically use their own vehicle to transport passengers, and they are just as likely to act carelessly when behind the wheel as any other driver. The most common negligent actions that cause Uber and Lyft accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Impaired driving
- Failure to obey traffic signs and signals
- Reckless driving
Many cities and states have imposed rules on ridesharing drivers in order to make the roads safer for others and to protect passengers that are being transported. Uber and Lyft drivers in both Illinois and Missouri must drive a certain type of vehicle, have a valid driver’s license, and pass a driver screening, which reviews the driving history and criminal background check of the ridesharing driver.
All of these safety steps are taken to reduce the amount of rideshare accidents on the road. Still, Uber and Lyft drivers do not always act safely on the road. When that is the case, they pose a danger to others. Anyone that is injured in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver should speak to a car accident lawyer who can help prove the negligence of the ridesharing driver.
What Insurance Company is Responsible for Paying Damages?
There are many different insurance policies involved after an Uber or Lyft accident. These may include:
- The personal auto insurance of the Uber or Lyft driver
- Uber or Lyft’s insurance policy
- A combination of the ridesharing driver’s and the company’s insurance
- Your own auto insurance policy
The insurance company accident victims must file a claim with will depend largely on what the Uber or Lyft driver was doing at the time of the crash:
If the Driver Was Offline:
If the Uber or Lyft driver was offline, you will likely have to file a claim with the driver’s own auto insurance company. When a ridesharing driver is offline, it means they were not logged into the app and they were not available to pick up passengers.
While filing a claim with the ridesharing driver’s personal insurance sounds straightforward, it is sometimes difficult to do. Insurers are notorious for trying to delay claims, and they often do not provide coverage for commercial activity. Even when a driver was not using their vehicle for commercial purposes, the insurer may try to argue that they were and deny you the damages you deserve. This is why it is so important to always work with a car accident lawyer that can advise on your claim.
Driver Using Ridesharing App Without Passenger
The second scenario in which a ridesharing accident could occur is when the driver was using the ridesharing app but did not have a passenger in their vehicle. In this case, you may be able to file a claim with the ridesharing company’s insurer.
Driver Using Ridesharing App and Carrying Passenger
While ridesharing drivers are carrying passengers or accepting ride requests, the ridesharing company’s liability insurance should cover them in the event of an accident. If you are injured as a passenger in a ridesharing vehicle, or you were hit by a ridesharing driver as they were going to pick up a passenger, you can file a claim with the company’s insurer. Both Uber and Lyft offer up to $1 million in total coverage in this scenario.
Damages Available in Uber and Lyft Accident Claims
The damages available in an Uber and Lyft accident claim are the same as those available in any other type of car accident claim. If you are successful with your claim, you can recover:
- Past and future medical expenses for bodily injury
- Physical therapy
- Lost income
- Accommodations for a disability
- Car rental fees
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
In the event that an Uber or Lyft accident results in a fatality, loved ones can also recover damages for funeral and burial costs, and other losses related to the death.
What to Do After an Uber or Lyft Accident
Just like any other type of car accident, the steps you take in the moments following the crash are critical for the success of your claim. After an Uber or Lyft accident, you should:
- Seek medical attention right away and follow through with all treatment plans.
- Report the accident to your own insurance company and the ridesharing company.
- Ask the law enforcement agency that appeared on the scene for a copy of the accident report.
- Collect all important information, including invoices for medical treatment, photos from the crash scene, and letters from the insurance company.
- Do not speak to the insurance company but instead, direct them to your Uber and Lyft accident lawyer.
After you take the above steps, it will be much more difficult for the insurance company to deny your claim.
Get Legal Help Today
Uber and Lyft accident claims are much more complex than other car accident claims. If you or someone you love has been injured, do not take on your claim alone. At the Law Office of Jerome, Salmi & Kopis, LLC, our personal injury attorneys have experience with these types of claims, and we will put our knowledge to work for you. Contact us today to schedule a free case review.