Your Rights and Responsibilities After a Rideshare Accident
The multibillion-dollar rideshare industry changed the way many people travel, but it also created a unique legal situation in the event of an accident. What happens when you are involved in an Uber or Lyft accident? Is the company liable since drivers are contractors and which insurance policies apply?
At Slater & Zurz, we have over a century of combined experience helping those who have been injured in car accidents throughout Ohio. Our dedicated legal team knows the complex nature of rideshare accidents, having represented Uber and Lyft drivers, passengers, and other motorists injured in collisions.
Steps to Take If You Are Involved in an Uber or Lyft Accident
If you are injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, you should contact an attorney for accidents immediately. An attorney can help determine your legal options.
Steps to take after an Uber or Lyft accident:
- Contact 9-1-1 from the scene. Check for injuries and move your vehicle to safety if you are able. If you or another person is injured, notify law enforcement. They will dispatch emergency medical personnel.
- Seek medical treatment. Even if you are not taken to the hospital, you still need to seek medical treatment immediately after the accident. Some injuries may not be readily apparent. Delaying treatment could directly affect your right to compensation.
- Collect evidence. Take photos at the scene of the collision. Collect names and contact information for any witnesses and take a screenshot of your rideshare information.
- Contact an Ohio Uber or Lyft accident lawyer. You have the right to legal representation if you were injured in a rideshare accident. A lawyer can help submit a report with the rideshare company, negotiate with the insurance company, and file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.
Whether you were a driver, passenger, or pedestrian hit by an Uber or Lyft driver, you might be entitled to compensation. It is important to act quickly after an accident to ensure that you receive the financial recovery you deserve.
Understanding Your Rights After an Uber or Lyft Accident
The increase in popularity of ride-hailing services brings an increased risk that you could be involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver. By understanding your rights and responsibilities after a collision, you can protect yourself and help to ensure that you receive the largest recovery possible.
Your rights after an Uber or Lyft accident:
- You have the right to legal representation.
- You have the right to file a claim for damages if another person was responsible for your injuries.
- You have the right to full and fair compensation for your injuries if your case is successful.
One of the complexities of an Uber or Lyft accident is determining whether the company itself is legally responsible. By retaining an attorney early in the process, they can help hold all responsible parties liable for their wrongdoing, including the actual rideshare company.
Ohio Law and Insurance Requirements
Under most circumstances, an employer may be held legally responsible for the actions of their employee while they are working. Rideshare companies (referred to as “transportation network companies”) had attempted to avoid accident liability by classifying their drivers as “independent drivers.”
In an effort to hold rideshare companies accountable, Ohio passed a law requiring “transportation network companies” to maintain third-party liability insurance on behalf of its drivers. The amount of coverage depends on whether the driver was logged in and whether they were engaged in services.
In addition to the transportation network company insurance policy, Uber and Lyft drivers are required to carry personal auto insurance that covers them while they are not working. Which insurance policy applies depends on several factors, including whether they were logged into the app, on their way to a job, or had passengers in their vehicle.
Which Insurance Policy Applies
One of the challenging aspects of an Uber or Lyft accident is determining which insurance policy applies. Filing a claim against the wrong provider or the wrong policy could waste time and money.
An Uber or Lyft accident can involve:
- An Uber or Lyft accident can involve:
- An Uber or Lyft driver who is not logged in to the ride-hailing app – the driver’s personal auto insurance may apply.
- An Uber or Lyft driver who is logged in and waiting for a ride request – the rideshare company’s third-party liability insurance may apply. Under Ohio law, this may be the minimum commercial coverage amount.
- An Uber or Lyft driver who is actively engaged in services for the transportation network services (has a passenger or is picking up passengers) – the rideshare
- company’s $1 million policy may be triggered.
As with any personal injury case, you only have a limited amount of time to file a claim for damages. Failure to file within the statute of limitations could result in a bar to your recovery (your claim being denied). An Ohio Uber or Lyft accident lawyer can help determine which insurance policy applies and how to move forward with your case.
Causes of Uber and Lyft Accidents Resulting in Liability
There may be one or more factors that cause an Uber or Lyft accident. Injured parties should never make statements to an insurance adjuster or potentially liable party before speaking with an attorney. Admitting fault may directly impact your right to compensation.
Causes of Uber and Lyft accidents that may result in liability:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving or inattention
- Driving under the influence
- Reckless driving
- Following too closely
While it is not your job to determine who was at fault for the accident, it is essential to note that you might still be entitled to compensation if you were partially at fault. Ohio’s contributory fault (comparative negligence) doctrine allows an injured party to still recover damages as long as they were not more than 50% at fault for the accident.
Common Injuries in Rideshare Accidents
Injuries in rideshare accidents can range in severity from relatively minor to life-threatening. However, in the immediate aftermath of an accident, it may be difficult to determine the true extent of your injuries. It is vital to seek medical treatment immediately, even if you are unsure whether you sustained serious harm.
Common injuries after an Uber or Lyft accident include:
- Fractures or broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Neck and back pain
- Spinal cord injuries
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Facial lacerations and burns
- Severe chest injuries and internal bleeding
Seeking and continuing treatment will help ensure that you make a full physical recovery. Depending on the case, you might be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, future medical treatment, loss of earning capacity, pain, and suffering, and more.
Avoiding Uber and Lyft Accident Pitfalls
One of the biggest mistakes most injured parties make after an Uber or Lyft accident is making a statement to an insurance adjuster. What you say can and will be used against you. Before making any statements or signing anything regarding your accident, you should always consult an attorney.
An insurance company may try to downplay your injuries or even deny your claim, twisting your words to place you at fault for the accident. Consulting with an Uber or Lyft accident lawyer prior to making any statements can help to avoid this problem.
Why You Need an Attorney
An accident with an Uber or Lyft driver may not be as cut and dry as a normal car crash. There are several elements that come into play, including the rideshare company’s liability and which insurance policy applies.
An Ohio Uber or Lyft accident attorney can fight to make sure that you receive the money you need to fully recover. They can help maximize your damages and ensure that you receive the highest level of medical care throughout your recovery. Unrepresented injured parties routinely settle their claims for significantly less than those that retain an attorney.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Attorney
There is no out-of-pocket cost to retaining an Ohio Uber or Lyft accident attorney. Injured parties pay nothing unless their case is won and money is recovered on their behalf.
Why Hire Our Firm?
In addition to our no-fee guarantee, we have over four decades of experience representing clients throughout Ohio. Our legal team has recovered over $500 million in verdicts and settlements for injured parties, working tirelessly to ensure they get the compensation they deserve.
All consultations are free and without obligation to retain our services, and we have a proven track record of success. We are dedicated advocates who fight for our clients and their families.
Injured in an Uber or Lyft Accident? Contact Our Office for a Free Consultation.
Were you or a loved one injured in an Ohio Uber or Lyft accident? Contact our office at 888.534.4850 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to discuss your case. Get the legal help you need now. Call today to get started.