Find Help for Complex Accident Cases
If you were in an accident involving a rideshare company, such as Lyft or Uber, our law firm can help you figure out the next best steps. Whether you were the driver, rider, or in a vehicle hit by a rideshare driver, don’t take this type of case on alone. Regardless of your involvement, you need an attorney with experience in these types of cases. Rideshare companies are giants in the transportation industry. In fact, research shows that the industry will be worth $11.94 billion by 2025. At Huber Thomas & Marcelle, our attorneys who deal with Lyft and Uber accidents know that time is of the essence after rideshare accidents. A quick response is vital to protect yourself physically and financially.
Here's what you need to know to safeguard yourself from the start.
Are Rideshare Accidents Common?
Rideshare companies are now a part of everyday life. They are easily the preferred method in comparison to taxis, buses, and other forms of public transportation. While these rideshare options have added convenience by giving us new ways to get around, they still present new challenges.
Unfortunately, there are few statistics that examine the exact safety rates of rideshare drivers compared to normal drivers or taxis. What we do know is that rideshare programs lead to more miles on the road. Inevitably, this can lead to more car accidents. University of Chicago researchers found that new ridesharing services in a city were associated "with an increase of approximately 3% in the number of motor vehicle fatalities and fatal accidents." This increase is not only for vehicle occupants but also for pedestrians.
Beyond Uber and Lyft accidents, the rise of third-party food delivery companies is leading to even more issues. From GrubHub to DoorDash to Instacart, the COVID-19 pandemic put these services in high demand. Data reveals that in October of 2020, sales for meal delivery services grew 135%. Unfortunately, related laws are even more complex because they don’t involve passengers. With little case precedent, it is often difficult to determine the outcome of a lawsuit with these companies.
What Are Accident Policies for Popular Rideshare Companies?
In general, rideshare drivers must obtain their own insurance. However, companies like Lyft and Uber often provide additional insurance to cover claims when a driver is working. Unfortunately, these situations are never easy and frequently result in disputes.
Lyft and Uber will both try to argue that these drivers are not their employees, but rather contractors. Thus, they are not separately liable for their driver’s negligence beyond the available automobile insurance. This is why you should hire an attorney immediately to fight for you in these types of cases.
Further complicating things, insurance policies determine claim amounts based on what step of the process the driver was in. For example, the driver may have been:
- Waiting for a fare and not in "driver mode"
- Matched with a fare and driving to meet them
- Actively driving a passenger in their car
- Making a delivery with no active passengers
For those who are simply passengers in a rideshare vehicle, policies become less clear and even more complicated. In March of 2018, a Philadelphia woman was injured after her Uber driver ran a red light. She suffered a fracture to her spine, along with a concussion and traumatic brain injury. Uber continues to argue that by approving their “terms and conditions” when you sign up, you agree to resolve legal disputes only through binding arbitration. In short, this forces you to waive your rights to sue. However, a Philadelphia judge ruled that Uber can’t prove someone has actually read through the terms and conditions. Today, the woman in this case continues to fight as she awaits a jury trial.
When it comes to delivery services, policies differ across companies drastically. For example, DoorDash has a commercial auto insurance policy that may cover up to $1,000,000 in bodily injury and/or property damage to third parties arising out of accidents while on an active delivery. To qualify as “on an active delivery,” you must be in possession of the goods to be delivered. It’s important to note that drivers must still maintain their own insurance. On the other hand, companies like Instacart and Grubhub do not provide any supplemental insurance. The driver’s personal insurance is the only factor if accidents arise with these companies.
What Should I Do If I’m In A Rideshare Accident?
Rideshare accidents are a new and complex area of the law. Fortunately, our Louisiana car accident lawyers have worked on these cases from the beginning. We bring our advanced knowledge of personal injury law to these matters to help our clients heal emotionally, physically, and financially.
A Lyft or Uber accident can occur when you are:
- A rideshare passenger
- A driver for a rideshare company
- Another driver, passenger, pedestrian, or cyclist who gets hit by a rideshare driver
No matter how you're involved, if an accident occurs, try to stay calm. Follow these steps carefully and immediately.
1. Call the police
Do this first. They'll file a police report that fully details the accident. This will be a vital document if you do make a claim for damages later on.
2. Look for an official Lyft or Uber sticker on the vehicles involved
Even if the driver did not have a passenger with Lyft or Uber in their car at the time, the driver still may have been on the app. This is important information to discover.
Take photos of any stickers, as well as vehicle damage and the overall scene for evidence.
3. Get medical help
You may feel fine, but shock can disguise some injuries. Also, symptoms of conditions like whiplash may take up to 48 hours to appear.
It’s important to be seen for an extensive medical exam as soon as possible. For severe injuries, call for an ambulance. Keep all of your records from any medical appointment or screening.
4. Report the accident to the rideshare company
Your driver may ask you not to, but this is critical when filing for insurance claims.
5. Contact our Lyft and Uber accident attorneys
By working with an attorney who is skilled at these types of cases, you can take the necessary steps from the beginning to protect yourself and receive a fair settlement.
At Huber Thomas & Marcelle, our Lyft and Uber accident attorneys are standing by to help you strengthen your case. We'll carefully review your matter and can provide information during a free consultation.
What Can I Expect For A Lyft Or Uber Accident Settlement?
While any car accident is frightening, rideshare accidents can be especially tough to navigate. Even though Uber and Lyft do carry insurance, the blame still falls primarily on drivers. To make matters more difficult, data surrounding the prevalence of rideshare accidents is hard to come by. While Uber does release safety reports, they typically leave out accidents that are non-fatal. According to representatives from the company, these numbers are simply too difficult to track.
This lack of transparency makes it difficult to determine what to expect from a settlement. There will likely be a long and extensive investigation into who was responsible for the accident. For example, rideshare companies are more likely to accept responsibility if your driver is to blame. Further, your settlement will depend on the extent of your injuries. Did you have surgery? Will you need additional medical treatment in the future? Perhaps you have even lost wages due to your recovery. A thorough recording of all of this information will be necessary to build a strong case.
At Huber Thomas & Marcelle, we know that car accidents can have life-changing effects for you and your family. We work hard to obtain the fairest settlement based on all factors. Remember, we are your advocates when it comes to dealing with rideshare companies and any associated insurance companies. We help you navigate insurance claims, hospital bills, and more. At every step, we clearly explain what's going on, so you always have the information you need about your case.
Our Approach at Huber, Thomas & Marcelle
When you’re dealing with the aftermath of rideshare accidents, you need a law team you can trust. Our approach will give you an edge that is necessary when you’re taking on rideshare companies.
At Huber Thomas & Marcelle, we pride ourselves on being tireless advocates for our clients. With our firm on your side, you will have access to an entire team of Louisiana car accident lawyers with a proven track record of success. This collaborative approach allows you to benefit from multiple viewpoints and areas of expertise. While 95% of cases settle outside of court, we still prepare for every single case as if it's going to trial. This involves extensive research, expert witnesses, and cutting-edge technology to recreate accident conditions.
We believe this approach gives us more knowledge and power at the negotiating table. If the insurance company knows that your legal team is willing and ready to take a case to court, they'll be more likely to propose a fair agreement. Plus, if the case does go to court, you're working with an attorney who already has the confidence that is necessary during a trial.
Finally, we make it our mission to clearly explain everything you need to know. We understand that insurance documents are full of legal jargon. For the average person, it’s difficult to make sense of it all. We're dedicated to providing legal assistance that makes complex topics understandable for every person and every matter. We know that a single word can make or break your case when complicated matters arise. This is why we will explain everything in plain terms and we’re always available to answer questions.
If you’re dealing with mounting medical bills or lost wages after a rideshare accident, it’s important to find help. Whether you were the passenger, rideshare driver, or even someone else on the road, rideshare accidents can be devastating. Our experienced team at Huber Thomas & Marcelle can walk you through the process of getting the compensation you deserve. We have helped bring numerous cases to trial, with millions awarded to our clients.
Put simply, issues with these rideshare companies are complicated, contentious, and difficult to manage. For any potential rideshare or Uber lawsuit, you need the best legal team on your side. In addition to Louisiana, members of our team are licensed to practice in Mississippi, Texas, Washington D.C., and New York. If you’d like to discuss the details of your case, please contact us for a free and confidential consultation.