If you regularly use a ridesharing service, here are a few things you should know if you're involved in an accident using Uber or Lyft.
The high cost of transportation has led to many choosing ridesharing options for their daily commute. Services such as Uber and Lyft are increasing their territories, and many people now rely on them to get around. So it’s no surprise that the number of ridesharing accidents is rising as a result. These types of incidents come with their own set of problems, many of which will require rideshare accident attorneys to resolve. If you regularly use a ridesharing service, here are a few things you should know.
Fatigued Drivers: A Common Cause of Ridesharing Accidents
Uber, Lyft, and vanpooling services are often part of what is known as the “gig economy.” In other words, drivers are free agents who may work another job in addition to freelancing for ridesharing companies. Many accidents result from tired, overworked drivers who are merely trying to earn a few extra dollars.
Drivers may also feel pressure from the ridesharing companies themselves. That’s because the more their operators earn, the more money the company makes. You don’t need an experienced ridesharing accident lawyer to know that this can naturally increase the odds of an accident.
Problem with Free-Agent Drivers
With ridesharing services, there is naturally less oversight. Following an accident, there is no need to explain things to the boss or worry about being grounded. As such, drivers may take chances that they wouldn’t ordinarily choose if working for a traditional taxi company leading to accidents due to:
- Distracted driving
- Operating under the influence
- Making unsafe lane changes
- Pulling out in front of other vehicles
Accidents due to Mechanical Failures
Uber and Lyft both require applicants to have their vehicles inspected before they can download their apps and begin making money. Drivers must then submit to an annual inspection to continue working. In the interim, many fail to perform the required maintenance on their vehicles. Some do not have enough time between all of their other responsibilities, while others want to keep as much of their earnings as possible.
Knowing whether or not an accident was due to faulty maintenance can be tricky. Rideshare accident lawyers may ask for maintenance reports or hire an accident reconstruction specialist to help them make this determination.
Problems with Insurance Companies
As if sustaining an injury wasn’t bad enough, many victims are faced with the daunting task of determining who should pay. With ridesharing companies, there are typically several insurance companies in play. First is the driver’s automobile policy, which often provides insufficient coverage for medical payments.
Many operators are supposed to have an additional rider to cover them in the event of a ridesharing accident. This policy too may be insufficient-or in many cases, non-existent.
The ridesharing company itself also has its own insurance company for ridesharing accident attorneys to deal with separately. Of course, this company will often try to “pass the buck,” leaving people running in circles while trying to obtain relief.
Not all accidents are caused by ridesharing drivers. When the incident is someone else’s fault, that person’s insurance company may also try to defer payment. It’s often easier to point the finger at a hired driver than it is to pay up. Accordingly, a Lyft accident lawyer is commonly used not only to help passengers recover damages but to defend workers who are being railroaded by the system.
The goal behind any personal injury lawsuit is to restore the victim to the same state he or she was in before the accident. You could be entitled to compensation for medical bills as well as for pain and suffering. Courts will also take into account any loss of earnings or future earning potential.
Catastrophic accidents sometimes call for punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded above and beyond actual losses and serve as a type of “punishment” for wrongdoing. Their intended purpose is to deter others from performing the same kind of reckless acts in the future.
Possible Types of Injuries
As with any automobile accident, you could sustain many injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Loss of limbs
A ridesharing accident can cause severe disability, resulting in the need for an extensive hospital stay, surgery, or physical therapy. Many who visit an Uber accident lawyer do so because they have been seriously injured and have had to take time off from work. These individuals can face severe financial hardships and may find it difficult to recover damages on their own. Rideshare accident lawyers in some cases may be the only line of defense these people have when it comes to making themselves whole again.
When to Visit a Ridesharing Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a ridesharing accident, the first thing you should do is to seek medical attention. Following that, preserve as much evidence as possible including eyewitness information if available. Next, contact an Uber accident lawyer if any of the following things occur:
- More than one insurance company has denied your claim
- An Uber or Lyft driver suddenly becomes unavailable when it is time to take down an official statement
- You discover that your rideshare driver was uninsured or had an inadequate policy
- Any of the drivers involved was cited or placed under arrest as a result of the accident
There are times when you may not want to wait before contacting a ridesharing accident lawyer. If you feel in your gut that something isn’t right, go with your instincts. Reach out to us so that we can make an assessment of your case and let you know if there are further actions you should take.
Rideshare Accident Attorneys: How they Help
A Lyft accident lawyer knows the ins and outs of ridesharing better than anyone. You may find it difficult to navigate through the maze of laws, regulations, and insurance policy addendums, but a knowledgeable attorney will have no problem doing so. If you are suffering as a result of a ridesharing accident, please contact us.