The Pew Research Center, in 2018, found that 36 percent of American adults had used a rideshare service, such as Uber and Lyft, as a form of travel. Yet, what happens when you get injured in an accident while riding in a rideshare vehicle? Furthermore, what happens when you are driving your own personal vehicle and are involved in an accident with a rideshare service driver?
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle like Uber or Lyft, a personal injury lawyer at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, may be able to help you pursue compensation. We serve people in Rutherfordton, including people who were visiting North Carolina on travel. Let our rideshare accident lawyer review your case and see what we may be able to do for you.
Victims in Rideshare Accidents May Be Entitled to Compensation for Damages
Following a car accident, you may be faced with damages, which can include financial, physical, and emotional losses. When looking to pursue an insurance claim with your own insurance and the defendant’s, you may be required to monetize all your damages to determine how much compensation you should demand.
Car accident damages may include, but are not limited to:
- Current and future medical costs
- Current and future loss of wages
- Loss of consortium
- Property damages
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
Our legal team can help you calculate these losses and retrieve evidence to prove their value. Evidence can range from financial documents, such as tax forms and repair bills, to medical analysis from your treating physicians. If necessary, we may consult other industry experts to provide testimony on the extent of your damages.
If You Lost a Loved One in an Uber or Lyft Accident
If you lost a loved one in a rideshare accident, we may suggest filing a wrongful death action or lawsuit, depending on your relationship with the victim. With this type of case, you may pursue other types of damages, such as funeral expenses or emotional losses.
Other losses may include:
- Loss of financial support
- Costs for burial or cremation services
- Loss of parental guidance
- Loss of companionship
If you inherited medical debts because your loved one passed away while they were being treated for their accident-related injuries, we may be able to recover these costs as well.
Uber and Lyft Provide Accident Insurance Coverage in Certain Situations
Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies have strict liability over the safety of their passengers, and by law in North Carolina, they must provide liability coverage in the event an accident should occur. However, there are rules as to when Uber and Lyft must provide coverage versus the rideshare driver or another party.
Uber Provides Coverage If the App is on and the Rideshare Driver is Engaged
According to Uber, the company maintains auto insurance for their drivers while they are providing the rideshare service. For both Uber and Lyft ridesharing services, the driver is subject to their own personal insurance coverage when they drive while the app is off or they are offline.
Uber also provides coverage for their drivers while they are available or waiting for a ride request. According to Uber, this coverage includes:
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury per wreck
- $25,000 in property damage per wreck
However, for this type of coverage, Uber states the following message for their drivers: “We maintain automobile liability insurance on your behalf if you do not maintain applicable insurance of at least this amount.” This means that Uber uses a third-party liability insurance coverage if the driver’s insurance does not apply.
Additionally, Uber offers insurance coverage while the driver is on their way to pick up a passenger or while they are riding together. Within this policy includes:
- $1,000,000 third-party liability
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (with limits varying by state)
- Comprehensive and collision coverage as long as the driver has this coverage in their own personal policy
Lyft Has Similar Policy Terms in Its Liability Coverage
Similarly, Lyft also offers the same insurance coverages as Uber does while the driver is waiting for a ride request. In addition, Lyft includes third-party liability insurance coverage when the driver’s personal policy does not cover the accident. During rides, Lyft also includes the same types of insurance coverages as Uber.
Whether you are pursuing compensation from Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare company, our team can review the relevant insurance policy terms to determine how to move your case forward.
North Carolina’s Statute of Limitations Sets a Deadline for Rideshare Accident Cases
While many people choose to settle their case with an insurance claim, in some cases, filing a lawsuit may be viable if the opposing party’s insurance policy does not cover enough damages or if the insurer does not agree with the compensation terms. If you decide to file a lawsuit, you must do so within the statute of limitations in North Carolina.
The statute of limitations essentially is a time limit for plaintiffs to file their legal action following their accident. In North Carolina, plaintiffs generally have three years from the date of their accidents to file personal injury lawsuits, per G.S. § 1-52.
There is a separate deadline for wrongful death cases, which is two years from the date of death, per G.S. § 1-53.
Filing Late Could Bar You From Pursuing Compensation
If you fail to submit your lawsuit within the statute of limitations, you may be forced to forfeit your legal recourse rights in court. Filing your lawsuit late could:
- Have your case dismissed upon submission, meaning your case won’t be heard
- Allow the opposing party to request a case dismissal from the judge, which would absolve them of liability
- Jeopardize your ability to pursue compensation from the insurance company since there won’t be a lawsuit to use as leverage to negotiate
Rather than risk submitting your case late, allow our team to manage your case for you. We can identify and monitor your case’s filing deadline, and then take appropriate actions to prepare your case for trial.
Our Legal Team Can Help You Build and Submit Your Case
In order to submit your case, you must provide evidence for the claims you make when presenting your notice to sue. This is another crucial factor to consider when determining when to take action – that is, certain evidence may be time-sensitive. For example, if your case relies on a witness’s testimony, interviewing them right after the accident may be more beneficial than reaching out to them a year later.
Our legal team understands what elements should be incorporated in your case, so we offer to fulfill certain services on your behalf to prepare your case. This includes:
- Investigating your accident to identify potentially liable parties and retrieve evidence
- Communicating with relevant parties, such as an insurance company or the opposing legal team(s)
- Interviewing witnesses to record and preserve their statements
- Subpoenaing evidence when necessary so that it can be preserved and used as part of your case profile
A lawyer from our team can serve you in Rutherfordton and work to negotiate a settlement for you. However, with these preparations, we can be ready to take your case to court if necessary.
Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, Today to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Case
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving a rideshare service vehicle, contact Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, to learn more about your legal recourse options. A personal injury lawyer from our team in Rutherfordton can help you take on big corporations like Uber and Lyft and help you fight for the compensation you need to recover from your damages.
To learn more and start building a personal injury case following your accident with a rideshare vehicle, call our law office today at (828) 286-3866.