Accidents involving rideshares can quickly get complicated. Whether you were injured as a rideshare passenger or driver or hit by someone driving for a rideshare company, your path to compensation may not be as straightforward as other motor vehicle collisions.
Our attorneys know what it takes to recover compensation in these unique situations. Contact us at 303-237-7373 to schedule a free case evaluation and learn about your potential next steps. The Frickey Law Firm proudly serves Lakewood, Denver, Boulder, and nearby areas of Colorado.
What Exactly Is a Rideshare?
Rideshare services connect drivers with passengers who need transportation. Generally, the drivers are independent contractors who use their personal vehicles to take people around. That is the case with companies like Uber and Lyft, which have millions of drivers across America.
Uber and Lyft are good examples of standard rideshare apps. However, there are other options that people can use to get from point A to point B. These alternatives include taxis and cars for hire.
Do Uber and Lyft Drivers Have Special Insurance?
Uber and Lyft drivers using their own cars are required to have a personal auto insurance policy. That policy must meet minimum state coverage requirements. However, if an accident occurs while they are actively using the app, then their personal policy is unlikely to provide coverage. That is because it probably does not extend to incidents that occur when driving for money.
Lyft and Uber provide additional insurance coverage for their drivers. Typically, it kicks in when drivers are waiting for a ride request, picking up passengers, or giving rides. Some Uber and Lyft drivers purchase a commercial policy or a ridesharing endorsement for more protection.
What Happens if an Accident Occurs During My Rideshare?
In the event of a crash, there are protections in place for rideshare drivers and passengers. These protections vary depending on the details of the accident, including who caused it.
If the rideshare driver is at fault for the accident, coverage will typically be provided by Uber or Lyft. That means you will need to submit a claim to the rideshare company for damages. In some cases, coverage is provided through the driver’s rideshare insurance policy or rideshare endorsement.
Meanwhile, if the non-rideshare driver is at fault, you will file a claim with their insurance. Sometimes, the non-rideshare driver does not have car insurance or lacks sufficient coverage. In those situations, the rideshare driver and their passengers can usually seek compensation through the rideshare company’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Keep in mind that insurance companies do not always come to the table with a fair offer. It may be necessary to respond with a counteroffer or proceed with a personal injury lawsuit.
What Insurance Covers Uber or Lyft Drivers Who are In Accidents?
Rideshare drivers are required to have insurance that is subject to the Transportation Network Company Act guidelines. That said, insurance requirements vary based on the driver's status. This is particularly relevant if an accident occurs. Various statuses may include:
- No App status, for which the driver's personal auto insurance applies.
- On-Duty But Waiting for a Ride status, for which additional liability insurance may apply.
- Prearranged Ride status occurs after the driver has accepted a requested ride through their company app. It ends when the rider exits the vehicle and would be covered by the company's $1 million per occurrence plan.
What is Reckless Driving?
Colorado law Section 42-4-1401 defines reckless driving as “A person who drives a motor vehicle, bicycle, electrical assisted bicycle, or low-power scooter in such a manner as to indicate either a wanton or a willful disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.”
Is Distracted Driving the Same as Reckless Driving?
This can be an important question, particularly if you are involved in a rideshare accident, because your claim may be influenced by the conditions on the road as well as the driver's attention at the time of the accident. Reckless driving may be more like driving over the speed limit or running stop signs or red lights. Distracted driving may be categorized as a type of careless driving. It may be advantageous to recognize the signs of distracted driving. Seeing them, you might decide to cut your ride short to stay as safe as possible.
Distracted driving may look like:
- Glancing at the rideshare app
- Entering information on an app or phone
- Looking at a map app
- Adjusting the driver's seat or wheel while driving
- Eating or drinking while driving
- Talking on the phone
- Adjusting the radio
- Looking for music or other entertainment on a phone
- Looking at social media while driving
- Plugging in a phone
- Rubbernecking or looking at passengers
What Should I do if My Rideshare was Driving Wrecklessly?
If you do not feel safe when using any rideshare company, do what you can to end the ride. If you are in an accident and believe that your rideshare driver was driving recklessly or was distracted, contact us. We understand how to deal with the companies that employ rideshare drivers as well as the companies that insure them.
How Much Can a Rideshare Claim in Colorado Be Worth?
The value of a rideshare claim in Colorado depends on several factors. For example, if you were seriously injured in an accident caused by your rideshare driver, Lyft and Uber may provide up to $1,000,000 in auto liability coverage. However, the insurance policies may be modified to meet Colorado insurance requirements, and the amount that you can collect will vary. Keep in mind that you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover maximum compensation for your damages.
Determining the value of a rideshare claim is a complex process. Rely on our Lakewood rideshare attorneys to evaluate your situation and let you know what outcome you might expect.
What Should I Do After a Rideshare Accident?
What you do after a rideshare accident can affect your health and your potential injury claim. Make sure to complete all of the appropriate steps needed to protect yourself, including:
- Getting medical treatment: Your wellbeing is the priority. After a rideshare accident, it is crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This step may be obvious if you suffered a serious injury such as a broken bone. Even if you feel fine, your doctor may find injuries that were not immediately apparent to you due to adrenaline or other factors.
- Reporting the accident: The drivers involved in the crash are responsible for alerting law enforcement. If you were a passenger in the accident, you will want to report the accident to the ridesharing company. Uber and Lyft have accident reporting processes in place, and a representative may contact you for details. It may make sense to tell them that you want to speak to a rideshare attorney before you make a statement.
- Gathering information and evidence: Get the names and contact information of everyone involved in the crash and anyone who witnessed what happened. Take pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, and your injuries, if possible.
- Contacting our rideshare attorneys: Responding to a rideshare accident can be a complex process. Our experienced attorneys are here to guide you through it. It is in your best interest to speak with us before accepting an insurance settlement offer. Often, that offer will be far lower than what you are actually entitled to receive.
Accidents can also occur between pedestrians and rideshare drivers. If you were hit by a rideshare driver while walking or riding your bicycle, you will likely want to follow the same steps listed above.
Can I Sue My Rideshare Driver or the Company?
Going after the rideshare driver or company may not be necessary when sufficient insurance coverage is available to you. However, a lawsuit may be a smart move if you have not received a fair injury settlement offer. Settlement offers can be lower than what your claim is really worth.
Taking legal action may lead to settlement negotiations and help you receive a reasonable offer. Often, personal injury lawsuits involving rideshare accidents are settled long before they ever make it to trial. Our attorneys will help you determine the most logical path for your claim.
What Kind of Settlement Should I Expect?
Your settlement will vary depending on the details of your rideshare accident. A fair settlement should cover your economic and non-economic losses related to the crash, including:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Vehicle property damage (if applicable)
- Lost earnings
- Future lost income
- Pain and suffering
There are many factors that go into determining a settlement amount for these cases. Talk to our rideshare attorneys about the specifics of your case before accepting a settlement or making any settlement demands. This is the best way to make sure you get what you deserve.
What Should I Do if I Am Involved in a Rideshare Accident?
If you happen to be involved in a rideshare accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, stay calm. Ensure everyone that was involved in the accident is safe and that authorities have been reached. Call 911 to secure medical attention for those who need it. During this time, if possible, document as much information as possible regarding the scene of the accident by writing down information and taking photos. Consider photos of the vehicle license plate numbers and the damage, and connect with any witnesses that may have been present to obtain contact information. If you need medical attention, seek it as soon as possible. Then, connect with a qualified legal professional with personal injury experience to determine if you are in a position to sue in court for negligence against the driver, the rideshare company, or their insurance companies. At The Frickey Law Firm of Lakewood, CO, our team can also assist in obtaining documents for your claim, including police reports, medical bills, and correspondence.
Do I Need a Lawyer To Help Me With My Rideshare Accident Claim?
While anyone can go to court for a negligence and personal injury claim, it is best to have an experienced and skilled team of professionals to guide you through the process and provide you with the proper advice you need to ensure you have a solid case against the defendant for what you are entitled to from your rideshare accident experience.
How Much Can I Expect To Receive in Compensation for My Rideshare Accident Injuries?
There are a number of factors that need to be considered when it comes to determining the maximum amount of compensation you could receive for the injuries and coexisting concerns that surround your accident. This includes the cost of medical care, the replacement for lost wages, and pain and suffering as monetary reimbursement. Our skilled attorneys can give you more accurate information regarding what you sue the rideshare driver for based on other similar cases they have managed and won in the past.
Does the Driver’s Insurance Apply if the Driver Was at Fault for the Crash?
This depends heavily on when the accident occurs. There are certain times when an accident may be covered under the driver's insurance, such as times when they are not using the app, waiting for a ride, or actively transporting an individual in the rideshare vehicle. Our lawyers can educate you on who to file the claim against after gathering information such as this from you, witnesses, and the police reports.
Should I File a Police Report After My Rideshare Accident?
If you were riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle or were hit by one during the time of your accident, it is always best to involve law enforcement. Not only can they take notes about the scene of the accident and talk to witnesses, but they can also help you by filing an initial police report. This is essential documentation that needs to be obtained and provided to the attorney to provide a foundation for your case, alongside medical bills and other expenses you incurred from the injuries and damages surrounding this incident.
Talk to Our Lakewood Rideshare Attorneys for Free
Our lawyers are familiar with the unique nature of rideshare cases and the challenges that come with them. We will put our 120+ years of combined legal experience to work for you. Please call 303-237-7373 for a complimentary evaluation of your case. The Frickey Law Firm proudly serves Lakewood, Denver, Boulder, and nearby areas of Colorado.