And because ridesharing is a relatively new invention, a case brought forward because of an Uber or Lyft accident is often more complex than most car accident cases.
If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident, you might be wondering how an attorney can help you or if you should even take on this fight at all. In this article, we’ll explain how Carrollton car accident lawyers can help you successfully win a claim against these tech giants and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Gather Necessary Evidence of Damages and Liability
In every car accident lawsuit— whether it involves an Uber or not— the person filing the claim must be able to prove two things: liability (who was at fault) and damages (how badly you were injured).
An experienced car accident attorney will gather all of the necessary evidence that you need to prove liability in a car accident.
Although you might have collected the rideshare driver’s name and taken photos of any damages, a good attorney will leave no stone unturned to prove the other party is at fault. A lawyer will obtain police reports, may speak with investigating officers and witnesses, and might even consult with forensic experts to analyze the accident scene.
In addition to collecting evidence of liability, you’ll also need proof of your injuries.
However, getting your hands on bills and records from medical providers is sometimes easier said than done. Also, sometimes doctors don’t fully elaborate on the causation and extent of the injuries in their medical records.
This is where a car accident lawyer can be essential to your case.
A good legal team will endlessly follow up with the medical provider’s office to ensure that you receive all the necessary medical records you need to prove damages. They might even write the doctor and ask for a special letter in which the doctor gives their opinion on whether the accident caused your injuries and for how long those injuries might affect you.
Guiding You Through the Insurance Claims Process
Navigating the insurance claim process after any car accident can be complicated, especially if multiple parties are involved. And when the driver is driving for money, it gets even more complex. If you suffered an injury due to a rideshare accident, you might get compensation, but from whom will depend on the specifics of the case.
Financial responsibility will come from the insurance company of the at-fault party, which could include:
- The ridesharing driver
- Uber or Lyft’s own car insurance coverage
- Or, a third party driver who caused the crash
In any car accident case, your lawyer will open up a line of communication with the insurance adjuster for the other party (or parties) involved.
If the Uber or Lyft Driver is at Fault
Uber and Lyft require their drivers to purchase and maintain their own auto insurance policy before signing up with the company. But here’s the kicker: these companies don’t require their drivers to purchase a commercial auto policy or a ride-sharing endorsement. In fact, a recent study shows that 77% of rideshare drivers haven’t purchased extra coverage.
Unless the driver has purchased extra rideshare insurance coverage, the driver’s personal insurance policy will not cover your injuries or damages. That’s because most personal car insurance contracts have a “business use exception” clause that won’t cover accidents while the insured is acting as a for-profit driver.
Unfortunately, the insurance company will likely deny this claim outright if the accident occurred while the driver was transporting a passenger.
If the Uber or Lyft Driver Doesn't Have Enough Coverage
So, what if the rideshare driver didn’t purchase the appropriate insurance coverage? Luckily, Uber and Lyft carry “contingent liability” insurance that will pay up to $1 million in injuries and damages per accident. However, these policies are contingent upon a claim being filed with the driver’s insurance first and will only kick in if their insurance company denies the claim (which happens in a majority of cases).
If Another Driver is at Fault
If a third-party driver is at fault, you could file a claim against their insurance carrier or take them to court. But, what if they don’t have car insurance, or they don’t have enough coverage to pay for your injuries?
In this instance, you have another avenue of recovery: Uber and Lyft’s uninsured/underinsured insurance coverage. This coverage will also pay for $1 million per accident, but it will only apply if the non-rideshare driver is unknown, doesn’t have car insurance, or lacks sufficient coverage to pay for your injuries.
If you’re filing a claim against Uber or Lyft, a representative might contact you to get more information about the accident and your injuries. You do not have to provide a statement to these representatives, nor is it recommended that you do so. If you’ve suffered any injuries, it’s best to tell them that you don’t plan on making any statements until you talk with an attorney.
File Your Claim and Negotiate With the Insurance Company
Never try to file a claim on your own, especially when massive corporations are involved. While rideshare companies possess $1 million in insurance coverage for injuries, that doesn’t mean you’ll receive the maximum compensation you deserve if you directly negotiate with their insurance company.
Remember, these corporations (and their insurers) care first and foremost about their bottom lines.
Like we mentioned earlier, a rideshare representative or insurance adjuster will reach out to you after the accident to gather more information. Their goal during these conversations is to poke holes in your story and find information that can reduce your settlement offer.
A car accident attorney is always going to be far better at negotiating claims than a regular person. Attorneys are well-versed in these insurance company tactics, can handle all communications with adjusters on your behalf, and will know how to present evidence to maximize your claim.
Calculate How Much Your Claim is Worth
Many people assume that calculating the value of a car accident claim involves adding up their current medical or auto repair bills then asking the insurance company for reimbursement. However, the value of your losses can include so much more than this, and if you calculate it using the present damages, you could be short-changing yourself in the future.
he value of any car accident claim is calculated using the extent of the victim’s injuries and any other losses (“damages”). As a rideshare injury victim, you may receive compensation from measurable damages, like doctor and surgery fees, or damages that are harder to put a price tag on, like mental anguish or trauma. Your best course of action is to hire an attorney who will work with experts to ensure you receive adequate compensation for:
- Tlost income
- past and future medical expenses, and
- any pain and suffering you suffered as a result of the accident.
Finding a Carrollton Car Accident Lawyer For Your Uber/Lyft Personal Injury Case
If you’re involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, you might want to discuss your options with a car accident lawyer. An attorney’s help is crucial if you want to ensure the rideshare companies and their insurers are coming to the table with a fair settlement offer.
At The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare, our car accident attorneys have extensive experience in this particular area of the law and will relentlessly fight the rideshare giants to get the compensation you deserve. Call our office for a free case evaluation today.