While rideshare services like Uber and Lyft provide convenient modes of transportation, especially compared to a cramped city bus or an expensive taxi, the services don’t come without unique issues. Drivers aren’t always screened properly, and vehicles may be unmaintained. In the event you’re involved in an accident or incident with an Uber or Lyft driver, you may have grounds to take legal action to seek compensation for your losses. If that’s the case, our Washington rideshare accident lawyers are prepared to help.
Stages of a Rideshare Trip
While rideshare drivers often complete as many trips as possible during their shifts, there isn’t always a passenger in their vehicle. Because of that, the available insurance coverage changes depending on the phase a driver is in when they get into an accident. For those affected by the crash, it can make it confusing to determine where to seek compensation from. In general, there are three phases a rideshare driver could be in at the time of a wreck, and each phase involves a different type of coverage.
The first phase, referred to as the sign-in phase, is the period where a driver is listed as available but has not yet accepted a passenger. In this phase, Uber provides $50,000/$10,000 total for injuries and $25,000 for property damage. Beyond those amounts, the driver’s personal auto insurance policy would kick in. While there is property damage coverage, it does not apply to the driver’s vehicle. If you were involved in an accident during the first phase, it’s likely you would either be a pedestrian or driving your own vehicle.
The second phase, which is considered acceptance, is when the driver has accepted a pickup and is en route to the passenger. At this phase, rideshare insurance coverage is often higher, but gaps in coverage can still exist. The victim in an accident at this stage would also likely be a pedestrian or driver.
In third phase begins when the Uber or Lyft driver picks up their passenger. During this stage, Uber provides $1 million combined for liability, $1 million for injuries caused by uninsured or underinsured motorists, and $1,000 deductible for damage to the driver’s vehicle.
Once a driver has signed out of the app, only their personal auto policy applies in the event of an accident. As an accident victim, it’s important to understand what stage the driver’s trip was in, as that will play a role in how you go about seeking compensation.
Tips for Uber or Lyft Accident Victims
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a rideshare driver, the actions you take following the accident will affect your eligibility for compensation. It’s important to know what to do and when to get in touch with a Washington attorney.
Immediately following a crash, evaluate the situation and call 911. If you can’t, it’s more than likely someone else who witnessed the crash will call the proper authorities. Once first responders arrive, speak with the police, and receive medical attention. Even if you feel okay, it’s crucial to be looked over. Not only will seeking medical care ensure a record is started on your injuries, but not all injuries are visible or immediately noticeable.
Collect the Uber or Lyft driver’s vehicle and insurance information, as well as vehicle and insurance information from any other driver involved. Take photos of the accident scene, as well as your injuries. The more detail you capture, the better. Take photos of the vehicles, the road surface, surrounding traffic signals or signs, and any damage to your personal items.
Once the initial chaos has settled, it’s time to get in touch with a rideshare accident attorney. Doing so will put you on the path to recovery and maximize your monetary award.
Determining the Value of a Rideshare Accidents
As with any injury-related case, determining the value of your injury after a rideshare accident starts by understanding the scope of your damages. Damages is a legal term that refers to compensation for the losses you suffered. The amount is paid by the defendant, which would most likely be either the rideshare driver or the company.
To determine what full and fair compensation looks like for your case, your lawyer will take a number of factors and losses into consideration. Common categories of damages include the following:
- Medical Care. As an accident victim, you have the right to compensation for any medical treatment you received as a result of the incident, as well as any medical care you’ll need in the future. If the full nature and extent of your injuries aren’t clear, it may not be in your best interest to accept an injury settlement offer. Your attorney will likely want you to wait until you have a clearer picture of the effects of the accident.
- Lost Income or Earning Capacity. If your injuries hindered your ability to work, you can seek recovery for your lost wages. In the event your injuries have permanently impacted your ability to return to your previous position, you can seek compensation for lost earning capacity.
- Pain and Suffering. While pain and suffering aren’t as easily calculated as medical care and lost wages, it does play a big part in determining what you owe. Pain and suffering could refer to physical or mental distress.
While those are not the only losses your Washington lawyer will take into consideration, that’s likely where they will start.
Contact the Rideshare Law Group
At Thomas Law Offices, our Washington rideshare accident lawyers firmly believe accident victims deserve the right to full and fair compensation. Pursuing a claim against an Uber or Lyft driver or the company they work for can be challenging without proper legal representation. That’s where our law firm comes in.
Our attorneys have extensive experience representing rideshare crash victims, and we’re prepared to take your case on next. To learn more about the claims process or to get started with your, schedule a free case evaluation. We’ll review what you’ve been through and explain your legal rights and options, so you can get your life back in order as quickly as possible.