Uber alone has over 118 million active users every year. Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have become a popular mode of transportation for millions of people in the country.
The convenience of using an app to request a ride has made it easier for passengers to get from one place to another easily. However, accidents can still occur while using these services.
If you’re injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, you may wonder if you can sue the rideshare drivers or the company. In this article, we will explore the legal options available to victims of rideshare car accidents.
Grounds for a Lawsuit
If you’re in a car accident with a rideshare driver, you may have grounds to sue an uber driver for a personal injury lawsuit. To have a valid claim, you must be able to prove that the driver was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries.
Negligence is a legal term that refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care. In the context of a car accident, negligence can include things like distracted driving, speeding, or DUI.
To establish negligence, you must be able to show that the driver:
- Had a duty to exercise reasonable care
- They breached that duty
- Their breach caused your injuries
In the case of rideshare drivers, they have to operate their vehicles safely and obey traffic laws. In some cases, the rideshare driver may be solely responsible for the accident. For example, if the driver was texting while driving, they would likely be charged with negligence.
In other cases, the rideshare company may also be liable. Especially if the accident occurred while the driver was on the job.
To have a valid claim against the rideshare company, you must be able to show that they were negligent in some way. This could include things like failing to train their drivers properly, failing to maintain their vehicles, or failing to screen their drivers for criminal or driving records.
Note that if you were a passenger in a rideshare vehicle involved in an accident, you may also have grounds for a lawsuit. In this case, you would not be suing the driver, but rather their insurance company or the rideshare company’s insurance company.
Liability & Insurance
When it comes to determining liability in a rideshare car accident, there are a few different factors to consider. Get a legal expert to help determine the at-fault party.
Time of Accident
One of the most important factors is whether the driver was on the clock at the time of the accident.
If the driver was driving for Uber or Lyft and had a passenger in the car, then the rideshare company’s insurance policy will likely be in effect. This means that the company’s insurance will cover damages and injuries resulting from the accident.
If the driver was not working for the rideshare company at the time of the accident, then their personal insurance policy will likely be in effect. This can complicate matters, as the driver’s personal insurance policy may not provide adequate coverage for a commercial accident.
In some cases, the rideshare company’s insurance policy may also be in effect if the driver was between rides or waiting for a passenger. Also known as the “Period 1” stage, both Uber and Lyft provide limited liability coverage for drivers during this period.
Note that insurance coverage can vary depending on the state and the specific circumstances of the accident. Some states have passed laws requiring rideshare companies to carry more comprehensive insurance coverage, while others have not.
Also, consider liability when pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. Liability refers to who is legally responsible for the accident and resulting injuries or damages.
If the rideshare driver was negligent and caused the accident, then they may be liable for any injuries or damages that result. If the accident was due to a defective vehicle part or poor road conditions, then liability may fall on the vehicle manufacturer or the government agency responsible for maintaining the road.
In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate a settlement with the rideshare driver or the rideshare company’s insurance provider. This may involve working with a personal injury attorney to negotiate a fair settlement amount. This gets based on the extent of your injuries and damages.
Steps to Take After an Accident
Involved in a rideshare accident? There are several important steps you should take to protect your health and your legal rights. These steps may include:
Seek Medical Attention
Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you do not feel immediate pain or discomfort, some injuries may not become apparent until hours or even days after the accident.
Seeking medical attention will help you receive the care you need. It will also create a record of your injuries that may be important if you decide to pursue legal action.
Contact the Police
After a rideshare accident, it is important to contact the police and file a report. The police will document the details of the accident.
They will create an official report used as evidence if you decide to pursue legal action. Provide the police with accurate and complete information about the accident and any injuries or damages.
Document the Accident
Take photos or videos of the accident scene. Include any damage to the vehicles involved, any injuries you have sustained, and any other relevant details.
This documentation can help support your insurance claim or lawsuit. It may also be evidence in court.
Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. You should also obtain the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the accident. Their testimony may be important if you decide to sue Uber or Lyft.
Notify the Rideshare Company
If you were a passenger in a rideshare vehicle at the time of the accident, notify the rideshare company as soon as possible. The company may be able to help with filing an insurance claim or pursuing legal action.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident, consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you with the legal implications of uber accident. They will gather evidence to support your claim and pursue fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
Compensation in Rideshare Accidents
If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident, you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. The specific types and amounts of compensation available to you will depend on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of your injuries.
If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident, you may get compensation for your medical expenses. This can include the cost of doctor’s visits, hospital stays, surgery, medication, physical therapy, and any other medical treatment you need as a result of the accident.
If you’re unable to work because of the injuries, you may receive compensation for your lost wages. This can include both the income you have already lost and the income you will lose in the future due to the injuries.
Was any of your belongings damaged in the accident? You’re entitled to compensation which often includes repair or replacement costs. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be able to recover the full cost of the property damage.
Pain & Suffering
Generally, pain and suffering compensation is meant to provide financial support for the physical and emotional distress experienced as a result of the accident. This can include compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages, and ongoing treatment, as well as compensation for the emotional trauma, anxiety, and other negative impacts on quality of life.
In some cases, you’re entitled to punitive damages if the rideshare driver or rideshare company acted with gross negligence or reckless disregard for your safety. Punitive damages are intended to punish the at-fault party and deter similar behavior in the future.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a legal time limit for filing a lawsuit or making a claim in a civil case. In the case of rideshare accidents, the statute of limitations can vary depending on the state and the circumstances of the accident.
It is important to understand the statute of limitations in your state and to take action within the designated time frame. Failing to file a claim or lawsuit within the statute of limitations can result in your case being dismissed. This means you will not be able to recover any compensation for your injuries and damages.
In most states, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two to three years from the date of the accident. Some states may have shorter or longer time limits. The statute of limitations can also vary depending on the type of claim or the parties involved.
Also, note that the statute of limitations may be tolled or extended in certain circumstances. Situations such as if the victim was a minor at the time of the accident or if the at-fault party was out of state.
An attorney can help you determine whether any tolling or extension applies to your case if you choose to sue Lyft or Uber.
The comparative negligence doctrine is used in personal injury cases to assign fault. This determines the amount of compensation awarded to the injured party. Under comparative negligence, both the plaintiff and the defendant may be assigned a percentage of fault for the accident.
The amount of compensation awarded to the injured party will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, a jury finds that the plaintiff is 20% at fault for the accident. The total damages award is $100,000. The plaintiff will receive $80,000 (the total damages award minus 20% of their percentage of fault).
We two types of comparative negligence – pure and modified.
Pure Comparative Negligence
This is where the injured party can still recover compensation for their damages even if they are more than 50% at fault for the accident. However, their compensation will get reduced by their percentage of fault.
For instance, if a jury finds that the plaintiff is 70% at fault for the accident, and the total damages award is $100,000, the plaintiff will receive $30,000 (the total damages award minus 70% for their percentage of fault).
Modified Comparative Negligence
Here, the injured party can recover compensation only if they are less than 50% at fault for the accident. If the injured party is 50% or more at fault, they’re barred from recovering any compensation.
For example, if a jury finds that the plaintiff is 60% at fault for the accident, and the total damages award is $100,000, the plaintiff will receive nothing because they are more than 50% at fault for the accident.
In rideshare accidents, comparative negligence can be a complicated issue. For example, if the uber passenger was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, they may get a percentage of fault for their injuries.
Additionally, if the rideshare driver was speeding or driving recklessly, they may get assigned a percentage of fault for the accident.
Holding Rideshare Drivers and Companies Accountable for Accidents
If you’re injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against the rideshare drivers or the rideshare company. Consult with a personal injury attorney who can help you determine your legal options and pursue compensation for your injuries.
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