According to the company’s annual report, Uber provided nearly 7 billion ridesharing trips in 2019. With the popularity of ridesharing continuing to grow, it is likely that many people will be involved in wrecks involving rideshare programs and should know how to handle the situation.
A Spindale Uber and Lyft rideshare accident lawyer from Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, may be able to help you hold rideshare companies responsible for the negligent acts of their drivers. Contact our firm at (828) 286-3866 to learn more about your legal rights and options.
Why Rideshare Accidents Happen
Rideshare drivers are often just regular people who drive for a living. It does not take professional driving experience to become a rideshare driver. In fact, Uber’s minimum driver requirements mandate little more than having a valid driver’s license and minimal driving experience. This means that rideshare drivers are just as experienced or inexperienced as other drivers and are subject to the same types of mistakes as other drivers, such as:
- Not paying attention
- Being distracted
- Not obeying traffic signs or signals
- Following too closely
Additionally, rideshare drivers are paid by the app per ride, so the more rides they can fulfill during their shift, the more money they will make. This can result in drivers prioritizing profit over safety.
When the Rideshare Driver Is Not at Fault
While many car wrecks are caused by a driver’s irresponsible behavior, this is not the case in every single collision. It is possible that your rideshare accident was caused not by a driver but by:
- An auto part manufacturer who did not take proper care when testing or developing a product, or who did not recall a faulty product in a timely manner
- A maintenance crew that failed to identify or correct an obvious flaw in your or the other driver’s vehicle
- A city or other government entity that did not properly maintain the road you were on at the time of the wreck
In such cases, you would not sue the driver or the rideshare company. Instead, you would seek compensation from the true liable party’s insurance company.
Part of filing a successful claim or lawsuit is making sure that you know the identity of every responsible party. An attorney from our firm can obtain this information for you by investigating the cause of your wreck.
Seeking Fair Compensation from a Rideshare Driver
After a rideshare accident, you may be eligible to collect compensation on the basis of financial, physical, and psychological damage. Common examples of collision damages include the following:
- Medical expenses related to emergency treatments, hospital stays, medications, assistive devices, psychological treatment, and more
- Repair expenses related to fixing the damage the wreck did to your vehicle or even replacing your vehicle if it cannot be fixed
- Loss of wages caused by your temporary inability to work as your injuries healed
- Loss of earning capacity caused by your permanent inability to work as much as you did pre-collision
- Pain and suffering related to your injuries or the wreck itself, including both physical and mental pain
- Permanent or temporary disabilities that affect your intellectual capacity, range of motion, or ability to perform regular activities
- Disfiguring marks caused by burns, surgical scars, or wounds that will never heal properly
- Reduced quality of life, including the inability to perform regular, necessary tasks without help or having to give up hobbies that made your life more enjoyable
- Loss of consortium, or the negative effects the wreck has had on your relationships with relatives
Which type of damages you can ask for – and the exact amount of money you can get for them – will vary depending on the specifics of your case. We can review your situation to ensure that you ask for the maximum possible amount of compensation. You should not have to worry about paying accident expenses caused by someone else’s negligence.
What to Do If You Were Involved in a Rideshare Accident
If you were involved in a rideshare accident, there are several things you can do to potentially protect your claim and preserve evidence for your personal injury lawyer. Follow these steps:
Save Information About the Ride
Write down the information about the ride that resulted in a wreck, including:
- The driver’s name
- The vehicle involved
- The time and date of the ride
- Where the wreck occurred
- The driver’s reviews
Be sure you take screenshots of this information in case it accidentally gets lost later. These details could also be found in the official car accident report.
Notify the Rideshare Company
The rideshare company may ask you to explain how the wreck happened before providing information to you about the insurance coverage that applies. When speaking to the rideshare company or their insurer, do not agree to give a recorded statement. Make only factual and concise statements if you explain the wreck.
Maintain Your Medical Records
After the collision, you may have received a number of medical bills. Keep track of all of this information, as your lawyer may be able to use it later to justify a demand for compensation. Keep all medical records, including those regarding:
- Ambulance costs
- Imaging test results
- Lab results
- Over-the-counter products you bought, such as those for wound dressings
- Follow-up treatment notes
- Physical therapy notes
File an Insurance Claim
There may be one or more insurance companies involved with the claim. If you file, keep your statements brief and factual. It may be wise to avoid signing anything or giving a recorded statement until you speak to a legal professional who may be able to help with your claim.
Call (828) 286-3866 today for your free consultation with Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, and learn how a Spindale Uber and Lyft rideshare accident lawyer may be able to help you.
Insurance Coverage Depends on When the Wreck Occurs
In rideshare accident cases, the insurance policy that applies usually depends on when during the ride the accident occurred, as follows:
While the App Is Off
If the rideshare driver was not actively taking ride requests at the time of the wreck, they are treated like any other type of driver. If they are at fault for the wreck, their personal insurance should apply.
Waiting for a Ride Request
If the driver is actively waiting for a ride request and is using the app when the accident occurs, the rideshare company’s liability coverage should apply. The insurance coverage for both Uber and Lyft during this time typically comes in the following amounts:
- $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident
- $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident
Picking Up or Transporting a Passenger
If the Uber driver is on the way to pick up a passenger or is actively transporting a passenger, the maximum liability insurance applies, including:
- $1 million in liability coverage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury
- Contingent comprehensive and collision insurance
How Our Firm Helps Rideshare Accident Victims
Our lawyers may be able to assist you with every aspect of your claim, including:
- Investigating the cause of the wreck
- Identifying all potentially liable parties and sources of insurance
- Potentially proving that you did not contribute to the wreck
- Reviewing the insurance policies involved in the claim
- Requesting medical and employment records to substantiate your damages
- Filing your claim for you
- Handling all communication with the insurance company
- Negotiating for a fair settlement that accounts for the full extent of your damages
- Advising you of your rights and notifying you of whether a proposed settlement includes fair compensation for your claim
You can contact us to learn more about how we may be able to help you through this challenging time.
We Are Here for You
In addition to the above tasks, we strive to make the legal experience easier and less stressful for clients by being there whenever and in whatever capacity they need us. This includes:
- Offering a free, no-obligation consultation at any time, day or night, so you know if you have a viable case
- Responding to all calls in a timely manner
- Being attentive whenever you have something to tell us
- Not charging attorney’s fees until after you receive your compensation
- Keeping you updated throughout the process so you do not have to ask for information or worry about what is going on
- Helping you figure out the best way to approach your case and then implementing that plan on your behalf
Our team is dedicated to helping all North Carolinians access the legal help they need. If there is any way we can make your experience more bearable – including coming to see you. If you are unable to come to our office, just ask.
Contact Our Firm Immediately for Prompt Attention to Your Case
If you or a loved one was injured in a rideshare accident, a Spindale Uber and Lyft rideshare accident lawyer from Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, may be able to help. We assist clients throughout Spindale, Rutherfordton, Morganton, and surrounding areas.
We can discuss your legal rights and options during a free and confidential consultation. In addition, our firm doesn’t charge any attorney fees unless we successfully help recover compensation for your claim. Contact our team at (828) 286-3866 to get started on your claim.