What To Do If You’re Involved In An Accident With A Rideshare Service
Accidents involving rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are far more common than the respective companies would like to admit. Rideshare companies want customers to believe that their safety is paramount, but they have no way of actually enforcing this belief. The cars are driven by individuals who most likely received no training. If an accident does occur while you are using one of these services, then you may be owed compensation.
Handling Uber accident cases can be tricky. That’s why you’ll need the help of experienced, professional Uber accident attorneys in San Bernardino. Our attorneys have gone toe-to-toe with major corporations like Uber and won our clients significant settlements. We know that each case is unique and take a personalized approach with every new client. Call us immediately at (800) 900-9393 if you’ve recently been involved in an Uber or Lyft accident.
Uber and Lyft Accident Statistics
In the past, Uber did their best to keep accident statistics hidden from the public. But as more and more accidents took place Uber was forced into the spotlight. In 2018, the company released a US safety brief that highlighted some interesting statistics.
Between 2017 and 2018 97 fatal accidents resulted in 107 deaths. Those figures equated to roughly 0.59 fatalities per million miles driven. That number is significantly lower than the national average for drivers. The percentage of deaths is split evenly with 21 percent being drivers and 21 percent being riders. The remaining deaths were individuals outside of the vehicle.
Other alarming statistics have surfaced due to research efforts. A study published by the University of Chicago claims rideshare services have led to a 3 percent increase in fatal car accidents.
What are the Most Common Types of Uber and Lyft Accidents?
Accidents that occur when using a rideshare company are not always the fault of the driver and it’s not always the rider who is injured. Many different types of accidents occur with various parties potentially at fault. Here are a few of the most common accident types that we handle regularly.
1. Passenger injury caused by a negligent driver. This is a very common and straightforward case. The driver’s negligence must be proven to win a settlement.
2. Third-party injury caused by a liable driver. Third-party injuries accounted for a large percent of Uber and Lyft accidents between 2017 and 2018. If you are a pedestrian struck by an Uber driver, then you are still owed compensation.
3. Passenger injury caused by a different Uber driver. Accidents involving two or more rideshare drivers are not uncommon. In these cases, it’s important to determine exactly who was responsible for the accident.
4. Property damage caused by a negligent driver. Rideshare accidents don’t always involve bodily harm. The driver may damage personal property and should pay to have that property restored.
5. Rideshare driver injured because of their own negligence. Sometimes a driver is responsible for injuring themselves. If they were found to be negligent, then their insurance will likely refuse to cover expenses.
6. Rideshare driver injured because of the negligence of another driver. When another driver is responsible for an Uber or Lyft driver’s injury, then the responsible party’s insurance company should provide compensation.
7. Passenger and/or driver injury caused by a defective vehicle component. In some cases, an accident may not be the fault of any specific person but rather a defective part. In these cases, we determine where the component came from and whether it played a significant role in causing the injury.
Who Can Be Found Liable in an Uber Accident?
It’s our job as personal injury attorneys to investigate the accident and determine exactly who is liable. We then pursue compensation from that liability party. There are a few different people or organizations that may be found liable.
1. Uber or Lyft Driver
The driver is found to be the liable party in a large majority of these cases. When the driver is found to be at fault you will seek compensation from the insurance carrier used by the Uber company.
If you were in a separate vehicle that was hit by an Uber driver, then you may seek compensation from their personal insurance provider rather than the Uber provider. Which company you pursue will depend on whether or not the driver was currently using the Uber app. If they were using their app, then you will file with the Uber insurance company. If not, then you will file with their personal insurance provider.
2. The Rideshare Companies
There are only a few instances where the rideshare company itself can be found liable. For example, if the company didn’t take reasonable measures to properly screen employees, then they may be found liable. We will investigate this possibility during the discovery phase of the lawsuit.
3. Any Related Third Parties
Other drivers are one of the third-party possibilities that are commonly found liable. If your Uber ride resulted in an accident where another driver was responsible, then you would seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance provider. Other possibilities include the manufacturer of the car, the manufacturer of a specific component, and government organizations responsible for road maintenance.
How Are Rideshare Accident Cases Different from Traditional Accident Claims?
The added component of a third party that is responsible for paying drivers makes Uber accident cases slightly more complex than normal auto accidents. Traditional accidents are very straightforward. Rideshare accidents are different because there is a possibility that Uber or Lyft was responsible for the accident.
The available policy limits from the insurance provider are different as well. Most insurance policies do not cover rideshare services. Uber and Lyft provide their drivers with a company insurance policy. However, there are some requirements needed to qualify for this policy.
Does Uber Have A $1 Million Insurance Policy for Accidents?
Yes. This policy is not always available for drivers and riders. The availability of the policy is determined by what period of the trip the accident occurred in. Every Uber rideshare trip can be broken down into three periods.
The first period begins when the app is turned on. If this app is not on, then you will file your claim with the driver’s personal insurance. Once turned on, the driver receives limited liability coverage up to $100k total with $50k per person and $25k for property damage.
The driver is waiting for a client during phase one. Once a driver receives an order they will travel to the passenger’s location. This is considered phase two. This is when the Uber $1 million total liability coverage is activated.
If you were in an accident with an Uber driver while they were en route to pick up a passenger, then you would receive compensation from this policy. It’s not uncommon for Uber to try and deny coverage at this point. The driver will need to show that they were actually traveling to pick up a customer and not actually in phase one. Our research during the discovery phase will help us determine if the driver was in phase two and if proof exists.
The final phase begins when the passenger enters the vehicle. It’s simple for our lawyers to prove that the accident occurred during this phase because the passenger’s presence in the vehicle makes it difficult to refute. The same $1 million policy limit is available during this period.
What Type of Compensation Can I Seek in an Uber Accident?
You will have access to the three standard types of compensation available in most personal injury cases in San Bernadino. They are:
1. Economic Damages – This type of compensation will cover all expenses with clear monetary value. Examples include medical expenses, loss of wages, and the loss of personal property. Having access to receipts makes it much easier to negotiate economic compensation.
2. Non-Economic Damages – These expenses do not have a clear monetary value. They include grief, mental suffering, terror, and other emotional damages. They are harder to quantify and it will take some degree of negotiation to reach an agreeable number.
3. Punitive Damages – The final type of compensation is a form of punishment enforced by a judge or jury. If it is clear that the driver was guilty of malice, fraud, or oppression, then the judge may decide to award punitive compensation.
Should I Just Accept a Settlement Offer?
The vast majority of cases we handle end with a settlement provided by Uber. It’s often cheaper and easier for the company to settle rather than fight in court. You should never accept the very first settlement that the company offers. Our legal team will use the evidence and records we acquire to negotiate an acceptable amount. The first settlement offered by companies like Uber and Lyft is often far too low.
How Much Will an Uber Accident Lawyer Cost?
There is no upfront fee to hire our attorneys. We offer a free case review and work entirely on a contingency basis. That means we don’t receive payment unless you win your case. Our final payment will be a percentage of the compensation you receive. It’s in our best interest to fight for the biggest settlement possible.
Are There Time Limits for Filing an Uber Accident Claim?
Yes. There is a period known as the car accident statute of limitations. In San Bernardino, the time period for filing a car accident claim is two years. We advise filing your claim as soon as possible. It becomes more difficult to gather evidence and win a claim as time passes.
Why Do I Need A Lawyer?
Anyone who has been in an accident involving a rideshare company will benefit from professional legal help. Companies like Uber and Lyft have their own lawyers who will be working to deny your claims. Our legal
experts will help you fight back during each step of the process.
Case Preparation – This is where we research the accident, gather evidence, and speak to witnesses. We will use our resources and legal knowledge to determine who is liable and proceed from there.
Settlement Negotiations – You are far more likely to get an agreeable settlement offer if you have a lawyer to help you negotiate.
Trial Preparation & Representation – If you cannot reach a settlement, then the case will proceed with a trial. We will represent your rights in the courtroom so that the jury understands that you deserve proper compensation.
Accidents involving rideshare companies happen every day. Whether you were another driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian; you are entitled to compensation. Don’t let the big companies bully you into taking a sub-par settlement. Our lawyers will fight the big insurance companies to get you the compensation that you deserve. Pick up the phone and call our staff at (800) 900-9393 to get started for free.