No matter where you live, ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have been nothing short of a revolutionary mode of transport. They are easier to use, cheaper, and faster than the traditional taxi service, and have made getting around a breeze. Lyft and Uber are the fastest-growing ride-hailing services in the country. This growth is mainly driven by the level of convenience they provide their customers as well as their affordability compared to the other alternatives.
However, while ridesharing might be gaining momentum there have been numerous accidents involving these services. Anyone involved in such an accident could easily find themselves taking a costly and complicated trip. If you or a loved one has been injured by a rideshare driver get in touch with a Columbus Uber accident lawyer today. We are always ready to help victims get the justice and compensation they need and deserve. Call our car accident attorneys today to schedule your free consultation.
Uber and Lyft Accident Statistics
Since Uber was introduced in 2009, the company has amassed over five million drivers across more than 63 countries. Lyft has more than 2 million drivers in the U.S. and Canada. In 2019, Uber published a report that details the number of fatal accidents that it has contended with, though it omitted all of its other accidents. As of the time of writing, Lyft is yet to publish an official report highlighting accidents related to its platform.
Based on data obtained from a recent study conducted by researchers from Rice University and the University of Chicago revealed that since the onset of ridesharing services, there has been a 2% to 3% increase in the number of nationwide traffic fatalities. This is from the year 2011, which is when Uber was launched. The increase translates into an additional 1,100 deaths per year. According to the data, car accident fatalities had been decreasing steadily for a period of about 20 years before 2011. However, this downward trend was reversed after the introduction of ridesharing services.
What are the Most Common Types of Uber and Lyft Accidents?
The majority of accidents involving ridesharing vehicles are caused by one of the following:
- Injured passenger due to the negligence of another Uber driver.
- Injured passenger(s) due to the negligence of the Uber and Lyft driver.
- Injury caused to a third-party due to the liability of an Uber and Lyft driver.
- Damage caused to property due to the negligence of an Uber and Lyft driver.
- Injured Uber and Lyft drivers due to their own personal negligence.
- Injured Uber and Lyft driver due to the negligence of another driver.
- Injury to the passenger and/or driver caused by a defective or malfunctioning vehicle part.
Who Can Be Found Liable in an Uber Accident?
The following parties can be held liable for an Uber accident:
The Lyft or Uber Driver
In case evidence points at the ridesharing driver being negligent when transporting their passengers, they can be held liable for the accident. For such cases, the best course of action is to file a claim with the personal insurance company of the driver, ideally under the guidance of an experienced Uber accident attorney. Your attorney will help you navigate the application process and ensure you have the best chances of having your claim approved by the driver’s insurance company.
The Ridesharing Company
There are cases where the evidence points at the ridesharing company being responsible for the accident, and not the driver. This means that the respective company will be held liable for all of the damages incurred in the accident. Keep in mind that with Lyft and Uber, the drivers work as independent contractors, meaning the companies could deny having any responsibility for the accident. This is why it’s important to work with a professional Lyft/Uber accident attorney who is well familiar with the recent rulings in such cases, as they could be helpful in pursuing a favorable outcome.
Any Related Third Parties
For other cases, the liability could be placed on a third party. This typically means having to file your claim with the third party’s insurance company, with the help of an experienced lawyer. When filing the lawsuit, you name the third party as the lawsuit’s subject. A great example of a third party who could be held liable for an Uber accident is a local government agency or a construction company that failed to put warnings or signs of a hazard where the accident occurred.
In all of these scenarios, working with a lawyer who specializes in Lyft and Uber accident cases will give you the best chance of getting a favorable outcome. Don’t forget that taking prompt action will be critical when dealing with these cases, especially ones that involved third parties.
How do Uber Accident Lawsuits Differ From Other Auto Accident Cases?
Uber or Lyft accident claims are quite different from regular car accident claims as they are handled based on which period the driver of the rideshare platform was when the accident happened. For example, in case someone hits you while not driving for Lyft or Uber, everything will go through their personal car insurance.
For a case where the driver was online on the app but without an ongoing ride, they would be covered under Uber and Lyft liability insurance. This is about $50,000 per person for bodily injury, $100, 000 per accident for any bodily injury, as well as $30,000 and $25,0000 for property damage on Lyft and Uber respectively.
In case the ridesharing driver was on the way to pick up or drop off a passenger, then the liability limit becomes $1 million, with an additional $1 million for the underinsured or uninsured motorist. The coverage is not just for any passengers as it covers even the driver as well.
Does Uber Have a $1 Million Insurance Policy For Accidents?
Technically speaking, you could say so. However, it’s always important to read the fine print. As mentioned, this insurance is meant to cover a driver who was carrying an Uber passenger on a trip that they had actually paid for, and the damages the driver incurs exceed the upper limit of the driver’s insurance coverage. Any accidents that occur when the driver is not on their way to pick a passenger, waiting for a passenger, or is just driving the vehicle on their own time are not covered by this policy.
What Type of Compensation Can I Seek in an Uber Accident?
The following are the kinds of damages you can pursue in case you were injured in an Uber accident, with the help of an Uber accident lawyer:
These encompass damages you incurred that are quantifiable in terms of cost. They typically include property damage, medical bills, lost earnings, and any other expenses you may face in the future as a result of the accident.
These are damages that you incurred but whose costs are difficult to quantify. They include mental anguish, emotional distress, and loss of companionship.
These are meant to serve as an extra punishment to the defendant in case they behaved in a way that was too malicious or negligent leading to the accident. For this reason, they don’t usually apply to most accidents and are mainly meant to discourage the defendant and the public from engaging in similar acts.
Should I Just Accept a Settlement Offer?
One of the key things you will need to discuss with your lawyer is whether you want to settle or take the case to trial. In most cases, the right answer here will depend on how much the defendant is willing to reach a fair settlement amount. Fortunately, your lawyer will be responsible for handling negotiations and meetings with the defendant’s representatives to try to reach an amicable settlement amount. In case they do agree to pay the amount, the case won’t have to go to trial.
If the case the defendant won’t agree to reach the settlement amount you’re requesting, your lawyer will discuss with you your options before taking any action. They will help you determine whether going to trial or settling is the best move for your case, based on the unique circumstances of your case.
Is there a Time Limit To File an Uber Accident Claim?
In Georgia, lawsuits arising from personal injury have to be filed within a given timeframe, otherwise, you forfeit the right to sue the defendant forever. This timeframe is referred to as the statute of limitations. In Georgia, the statute of limitation for any car accident claim is two years.
Contact a Columbus Uber Accident Lawyer Today
Without an experienced Uber/Lyft accident lawyer by your side to handle the case for you, you will basically be at the mercy of a large corporation that just doesn’t care about whether you’re taken care of. These companies tend to use tactics like offering small payments or delaying payments altogether. Most victims will end up being desperate and settle for a quick settlement out of frustration. However, when you work with a professional lawyer, the companies and their insurers look at the case very differently, which will raise your chances of getting full and fair compensation for your damages.
Let the experienced Uber accident lawyers at Joe Durham Law work on your behalf to get you the compensation you need and deserve. Call our personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation with our lawyers.