Involved in Accident While Using Uber or Lyft? Know Your Rights!
Posted By Meyerkord & Meyerkord, LLC
Uber and Lyft are rideshare services that have grown significantly in popularity
throughout the country. By allowing smart phone users to access and use
an app that connects them with available drivers, these services offer
a convenient and affordable mode of transportation. Although customers
pay fees in exchange for the rides they take through Uber and Lyft, there
is no guarantee that those rides will be safe, especially if the negligence
of drivers or others lead to preventable car accidents and injuries.
If you or someone you love were involved in an accident while using
Uber or Lyft, or while driving your own vehicle, riding a bike, or walking near public
roadways, it is important to understand your right to pursue a personal
injury claim and recover the financial compensation you need to cover
any medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering you incurred.
To help you gain a better understanding of your rights, our St. Louis
car accident lawyers at Meyerkord & Meyerkord, LLC have put together
a list of some important facts and information you should know.
Uber and Lyft drivers are not employees – Uber and Lyft classify drivers who use their apps as independent
contractors, not employees. This allows them to skirt responsibility for
wrecks and damages caused by drivers in certain situations, particularly
when they are not transporting a fare or when they are not using an app.
As such, there are unique insurance coverage concerns to address in these
cases. For example, victims may be covered by the rideshare company’s
commercial insurance policy if they were harmed while traveling as passengers,
but not when they were harmed in wrecks caused by Lyft or Uber drivers
who weren’t using the app at the time.
Common accidents / injuries – Uber and Lyft don’t have the same types of qualifying criteria
or regulations that other commercial drivers are subject to. This means
drivers may pose unreasonable dangers to passengers, either because they
have a history of poor driving or have criminal backgrounds that would
otherwise preclude them from driving in other industries. In fact, there
have been many cases where rideshare companies were held accountable for
injuries and damages suffered by passengers at the hands of unfit drivers,
including cases involving sexual assault and accidents caused by driver
distraction, drugged or drunk driving, aggressive driving and traffic
infractions, driver fatigue, and other acts of negligence.
You were injured as a passenger – If you were injured in an auto accident that took place while
you were a passenger in a Lyft of Uber, determining the underlying cause
is an important first step. If an Uber or Lyft driver’s negligence
caused your accident (such as if they violated a traffic accident), you
can likely pursue a personal injury claim directly against Uber or Lyft,
whose commercial insurance policy would cover your damages. If another
motorist caused your accident while you were a passenger, Uber and Lyft’s
insurance policy also covers your damages because you were a customer.
This can be helpful in cases where other at-fault motorists are uninsured
or even underinsured. Our legal team assists clients injured as rideshare
passengers in pursuing the compensation they deserve from Uber or Lyft
and / or the at-fault motorist.
You shouldn’t trust the insurance company – After an auto accident, it is common for insurance companies or
corporations involved in the wreck to reach out to victims. Be warned
that these insurance providers and companies are not on your side; they
are corporations that prioritize profits, and they often do everything
they can to pay you as little as possible. Remember, you don’t have
to provide a recorded statement or accept an initial lowball settlement
offers – these are typical tactics used to get you to say something
that can be used against you, or pay you less.
You can work with a lawyer – It is your legal right to work with legal representation when
initiating any civil personal injury lawsuit, and it is a right that when
exercised, can make the difference in your case. By having experienced
attorenys like those at Meyerkord & Meyerkord, LLC on your side, you
can level the playing field with insurers, have someone who can help you
obtain medical treatment and handle insurance company communications on
your behalf, and benefit from the insight and experience of legal professionals
who fight to maximize your financial compensation.
Uber and Lyft accidents can introduce unique legal issues during the
personal injury claim process, which is why it is so important for victims and families
to side with proven lawyers who can help protect their rights. If you
wish to discuss a recent accident in which you were injured as a passenger
in an Uber or Lyft, or in any other type of
car accident involving a rideshare company, our award-winning legal team at Meyerkord
& Meyerkord, LLC is available 24/7 to review your case, explain your
rights, and discuss what we can do to help you through the process ahead.
Contact us for a FREE consultation!