Can You Recover Compensation after an Uber or Lyft Accident?
The good news for people who have been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident caused by someone else is that they are legally entitled to financial compensation for their injuries. However, the process to get there can be very difficult. In some ways, the rideshare insurance companies do all they can to make it difficult for you to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Typically, rideshare claims follow the usual process of going to an insurance company first to see if you can reach a settlement agreement. Of course, you can always file a lawsuit if you cannot reach a settlement. Finally, the standard rules of negligence that apply to all personal injury cases apply to your claim as well. Where it starts to get complicated is in figuring out which insurance coverage applies and how much there is.
If you are injured in a rideshare accident, your attorney must investigate to know who was responsible for the accident. The rideshare driver is not automatically responsible for the crash. The insurance company for the at-fault driver is obligated to pay for the damages.
The Rideshare System May Encourage Danger
If you are injured in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver, you would need to prove that the rideshare driver was negligent in the crash to receive compensation. This follows the same four-part negligence case that is used in every single personal injury claim. The rideshare driver owes you the duty of care the same way that they owe it to their passenger. They breach that duty when they act differently from how a reasonable driver would under the circumstances. Here are some examples of things that rideshare drivers do that would breach the duty of care:
- Taking their eyes off the road because they are looking at the app to get hired for rides
- Abruptly cutting across traffic to pull over to pick up or drop off a passenger
- Speeding because they want to be on time to pick up a passenger
- Driving aggressively because they want to get a passenger to their destination quickly to earn a better rating
- Being careless because they are in an unfamiliar neighborhood and do not know where they are going.
Some critics argue that the entire rideshare system encourages negligence. Drivers are put out onto the road with little to no training and are allowed to have passengers’ safety in their hands. They are told that the app (which is on their mobile device) is their lifeline to getting new work. Then, they are paid a staggeringly low wage, forcing them to hustle and deadhead to eke out even a small living. Nonetheless, the driver is not always at fault for the accident.
Injured Passengers Will Be Paid – But By Whom?
If you are an injured passenger, you will be compensated by someone. First, you need to understand the insurance coverage. Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft maintain policies for their drivers. There are a few different rules for coverage, depending on what the driver is doing at the time of the accident.
- If the driver has either accepted a ride on the app or has a passenger in the car, there is a $1 million policy in place. This policy provides coverage if another driver was responsible and they did not have enough insurance coverage. This is not a $1 million per passenger policy. Instead, it is on a per-accident basis, meaning the insurance policy will not pay more than $1 million period.
- If the driver has the app on but has not accepted a ride request, there is $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident.
- If the app is offline, the driver’s own personal insurance coverage applies for any liability they incur.
The Insurance Company Will Make Things Hard
Of course, the presence of an insurance company in the picture makes things a little tougher for accident victims. Companies like Uber and Lyft use some of the nation’s biggest insurance companies for their coverage. These companies all have a reputation for being difficult when it comes to paying claims.
If you are an injured passenger, the insurance company may deny that its driver was responsible for the accident. You may end up caught in the middle between the two insurance companies as each seeks to avoid having to pay the claim. In the end, someone will have to pay. The issue is even worse if you are an injured driver in a crash with a rideshare car. Then, the insurance company may try to deny the claim, forcing you to file a lawsuit where you need to prove fault.
You Will Have to Fight for What You Deserve
Even if the insurance company offers you a settlement, it is still far from the end of the matter. While liability may not be an issue, compensation often is. This is often the problem with the insurance company. They are trying to lowball your claim to save money. Don’t be afraid to say no if the insurance company is offering you too little. We are happy to do it for you and tell them what you deserve.
No matter how much the facts are on your side, your claim gains viability when you hire a rideshare accident lawyer. The facts cannot help you until you have someone who can gather evidence and present your side of the story.
Experienced Miami Rideshare Lawyers Helping Victims Recover Compensation
At the Iscoe Law Firm, we have decades of experience in holding people accountable for their actions when they injure you. This allows us to handle the complexity that relatively new areas like rideshare liability introduce. Call us today at 800-800-6500 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation. We will fight hard to protect your legal rights.