Rideshare Car Accident Lawsuits | Understanding Lyft & Uber Litigation

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Rideshare services like Lyft, Uber, and Via have become increasingly popular since the launch of the first ride-hailing app in 2013. As of 2022, more than a third of Americans had used a rideshare app, and passengers took more than 7.6 billion trips with Lyft and Uber that year alone.

While the vast majority of rideshare trips are safe, car accidents are always possible. Individuals involved in crashes are often able to receive compensation from the party at fault or their insurance provider, but the situation is more complicated when it comes to companies like Lyft and Uber.

The rideshare accident attorneys at Wallace Miller are experienced in the complex questions of liability coverage that arise in Lyft and Uber accident settlements. Our goal is to take care of the legal side so that you can focus on recovery. Get in touch with Wallace Miller today at 312-261-6193 or fill out our online questionnaire for a free and confidential assessment of your rideshare case.

Photograph by Pixabay.

Types of accidents eligible for a rideshare accident lawsuit

There are a number of circumstances in which you might be eligible to file for insurance coverage or participate in a rideshare lawsuit. These include:

  • If you were injured in a car accident while a passenger in a rideshare.
  • If you were walking or cycling and were hit by a rideshare vehicle.
  • If you were in another car that was involved in an accident with a Lyft or Uber driver.

If you’re unsure whether or not you may be eligible to file a claim, get in touch with Wallace Miller today. We can review your Lyft or Uber accident case and help you determine the best path forward.

Photograph of red rideshare car by Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Scalable Grid Engine, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Photograph by Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Scalable Grid Engine, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

What is the liability of Uber and Lyft if one of their drivers gets in an accident?

The liability of rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft when their drivers are involved in car crashes depends on the situation. In some areas of U.S. law, a doctrine called respondeat superior holds that an employer can be held liable for the actions of their employees if the employee is acting for the employer’s benefit and under their control.

This doctrine generally does not apply to independent contractors like Lyft and Uber drivers. However, you may still be able to receive a payout through the rideshare companies’ insurance coverage.

The Uber headquarters in Mission Bay, San Francisco. Photograph by HaeB, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Uber headquarters in Mission Bay, San Francisco. Photograph by HaeB, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In the case of Uber, for example, insurance coverage varies depending on whether the Uber driver was carrying a passenger at the time of the accident. If there was a passenger in the car, Uber’s insurance policy covers up to $1 million in damages.

That said, Uber does not have a coverage plan for uninsured or underinsured motorists. These types of plans protect individuals who are injured in a car accident by someone who has no or inadequate insurance. This means if the value of your claim exceeds Uber’s policy limits, you may not be able to recover the full amount of damages without filing a lawsuit.

In rideshare crash cases, it is generally better to bring a claim against the rideshare company, rather than the individual Lyft or Uber driver. Multi-billion-dollar companies like Uber and Lyft have much more extensive resources available to pay out fair settlement amounts, and their insurance can often provide higher compensation than a driver’s personal car insurance policy.

Whether you are negotiating the complex insurance claims process of Lyft or Uber or filing a lawsuit against the party responsible for the accident, the attorneys at Wallace Miller can help you assess your case and navigate the process.

Photograph by Pixabay.

What a car accident attorney can do to help your case

If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries or even death as a result of an Uber accident, it is important to hire the right lawyer to fight for your case. The experienced lawyers at Wallace Miller have more than 75 years of cumulative experience in representing plaintiffs against insurance companies and other responsible parties.

Over the course of a personal injury lawsuit, your attorney will:

Investigate the case & collect evidence

Your attorney at Wallace Miller will gather information about your rideshare case, including police reports and medical records. They will then contact the at-fault driver, the insurance carrier, and the rideshare company to file a claim.

In order to maximize your potential settlement, your lawyers will investigate the circumstances of the crash. They will also work to avoid unnecessary litigation as much as possible.

Photograph by Pixabay.

Help you understand (and advocate for) your rights

The rideshare lawyers at Wallace Miller are experts in state and federal law related to these types of cases. They can help you navigate your legal rights and the complicated policies of rideshare and insurance companies in order to prove liability.

If you choose to hire a rideshare attorney, they will provide insight and advice about filing your lawsuit, proving the liability of the party at fault, and navigating the settlement process.

Negotiate your settlement

Many rideshare cases are settled out of court. If the insurance company or party at fault proposes a settlement, your rideshare lawyer will help negotiate the amount to compensate you for significant injuries and medical expenses.

Photograph by Pixabay.

Represent you in court against the rideshare company

Insurance companies sometimes refuse to admit fault or offer compensation amounts much lower than what you deserve. The companies and individuals may dispute the degree of liability, the nature and severity of the injury, or the causality of the accident—or they may just not want to pay.

In these cases, a rideshare lawsuit may go to court. If this occurs, your attorneys at Wallace Miller will represent you in the legal process, argue for your case, and fight for an equitable settlement.

What should I do after an accident involving a rideshare?

Regardless of the extent of your injuries or your involvement in the crash, an accident scene is always a stressful situation. It’s important to be prepared so that you can assess the circumstances and gather the evidence you need for a successful rideshare injury claim.

  1. First and foremost, assess the safety of the crash scene and your own well-being. Even if you believe you have not been injured, move carefully and take care of yourself. If you find that you have been hurt, immediately call 911 for medical assistance or ask someone else to do so.
  2. Check on others at the scene. Make sure that everyone is safe and out of the way of traffic. If anyone has been injured, call 911 immediately and request medical assistance.
  3. If you or someone else at the scene hasn’t already done so, call 911 and talk to the police. They will send responding officers to file a police report. The police report is an important part of gathering evidence for a future claim, and many insurance companies require the report for their claims process.
  4. Gather evidence at the scene. Take screenshots of the rideshare app that you were using and take pictures of the vehicles involved, the license plates, any damage to the vehicles, and the position of the cars where the accident happened. Get the contact information of the drivers, including their names, insurance policy numbers, and driver’s license numbers. If others witnessed the accident, you may want to speak with them and write down their contact information in order to corroborate your story.
  5. Each rideshare app has its own process for reporting a car accident. As soon as you can, report the crash through the app correctly and completely. A prompt accident report through the rideshare-specific system is crucial for claiming insurance payouts down the road.
  6. Contact a rideshare accident attorney to discuss your options for pursuing an insurance claim. The right personal injury claims attorney will be able to walk you through the Lyft or Uber car accident claims process and achieve the best possible settlement.

Photograph by Pixabay.

If you are involved in an accident, it is very important that you do not speak with any insurance agencies about your injuries and potential liability for the crash until you have hired a lawyer. Because insurance companies as well as rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber are invested in paying clients as little as possible, any statements not made in consultation with an experienced car accident attorney can have serious consequences for your ability to receive compensation for your claim.

Recovering from an Uber or Lyft accident

If you are in a car accident involving a rideshare driver, the last thing you want to worry about during your convalescence is navigating a complicated claims process. Our Uber accident lawyers focus on the insurance and litigation process so you can devote your energy to healing.

While the rideshare company’s insurance policy may cover your damages, the company may also try to give you a lower offer than your claim is worth. We can advocate for you in order to prevent these companies from insisting on a low offer and make sure that you are properly compensated for the physical injuries and emotional trauma you suffered.

Photograph by Pixabay.

Uber and Lyft accident frequently asked questions

What is the average Uber accident settlement worth?

The average settlement from a rideshare accident can range significantly. Both Uber and Lyft have insurance policies that cover up to $1 million in damages if the injured passenger was in the car.

Beyond the amount of insurance coverage, the settlement varies depending on the severity of the injury and the liability of the driver and rideshare company. Whether your claim settles out of court or goes to trial, your rideshare lawyer at Wallace Miller will fight for the highest possible settlement or verdict.

Photograph by Pixabay.

What types of damages can someone involved in an Uber accident claim?

The settlement you receive from a liability claim could compensate you for a variety of accident-related losses, such as:

  • Emotional distress
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Medical bills and future medical expenses
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life due to an inability to enjoy the same activities as before the injury
  • Property damage

In a lawsuit against a negligent party, you might also be able to recover punitive or exemplary damages if they are held liable for the accident. Punitive damages are extra financial awards that punish the defendant for their misconduct and discourage future wrongdoing.

Every state is different, but courts typically require clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s actions or intent in order to grant this type of financial award.

Photograph by Pixabay.

Why should I hire a car accident lawyer?

State laws and the process of proving a claim are complicated, and navigating the insurance system on your own can result in a denied claim or an insignificant settlement offer. Wallace Miller’s rideshare lawyers are dedicated to reaching the best possible resolution in your case.

If you have suffered harm as a result of a rideshare car crash, reach out to us today. Our firm can be reached at 312-261-6193 or via our online questionnaire for an assessment of your case.

What is the statute of limitations for rideshare claims?

If you want to file a lawsuit or hire a lawyer for injuries caused by an Uber or Lyft accident, you must follow a strict timeframe. The statutes of limitations in each state differ, but typically allow one to five years to file a case. In order to pursue compensation, the car accident claim must be filed within that period.

For example, if the laws in your state impose a two-year statutory time period, you must initiate your lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident. You will likely lose your right to pursue legal action and collect compensation from the at-fault party if the statute of limitations passes before you file.

Photograph by Pixabay.

Talk to the rideshare lawyers at Wallace Miller

Our legal team understands how devastating and disruptive it can be to suffer injury in an accident caused by the negligence of someone else. We are ready to fight for the best possible rideshare settlement or verdict so that you can focus on healing.

If you or a loved one has sustained injuries as a result of a rideshare crash, reach out to Wallace Miller at (312) 261-6193 or fill out our online questionnaire for a free consultation.

Left to right: Nicholas P. Kelly, Edward A. Wallace, Molly Condon Wells, Mark R. Miller, Jessica Wieczorkiewicz, Timothy E. Jackson.

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