Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft have become part of the fabric of our society. Many people use rideshare vehicles for work or as a means of transportation to social activities. With the number of drivers participating in these types of rideshare companies, the number of accidents on the roadways has also increased. While the original prediction of experts that rideshare would reduce the number of collisions related to drunk driving proved to be correct, unfortunately, The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics also indicated that the number of car accidents on the roadways has continued to increase since the beginning of rideshare in 2011 in the United States. If you experienced any injuries or losses as a result of a rideshare accident, learn how the experienced personal injury attorneys at Labrum Law Firm at (615) 338-9500 can help you understand your legal rights.
Steps to Take Following a rideshare Accident
If you were a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, or a driver in another vehicle and experienced a collision with a rideshare vehicle, you may feel confused regarding your next steps. Some of the steps following a rideshare accident are the same, and some are much different.
- Contact the police or law enforcement immediately following the rideshare accident and request an official police report when it is completed.
- Make sure to obtain the contact information of all drivers, passengers, and witnesses.
- Seek a complete medical evaluation and treatment as soon as possible, even if you feel your injuries are minor
- Take photographs of the scene of the rideshare accident, if possible
- Make notes regarding the make and model of all vehicles involved in the rideshare accident
Some of the steps to take following a rideshare accident includes the following:
- Contact the rideshare emergency number (if one exists) through the app that you used to make the rideshare request
- Make sure to obtain the rideshare driver's Uber or Lyft number, as well as any identifying information regarding his or her employment at a rideshare company
- Request the telephone number and/or contact information of the rideshare company that employs the rideshare driver
- Make sure to keep any and all information on your cell phone or your app that included the rideshare information related to your rideshare accident if you were a rideshare passenger
Determining Liability in Rideshare Accidents
Unlike typical passenger vehicle accidents, victims of rideshare accidents may have the ability to file a claim against the driver of the rideshare vehicle, the rideshare company, or both.
Rideshare Driver Liability
If the driver of the rideshare vehicle caused the accident, you may have the legal right to pursue compensation against the driver. However, in some cases, the driver's insurance will not legally cover any injuries or losses related to an accident during the course of the driver operating the vehicle for rideshare purposes. It can prove difficult and challenging to understand what the insurance company will cover and if you have the right to pursue a claim to receive a settlement from his or her insurance company for your injuries and losses.
If you are in an Uber accident (an accident with a driver operating a motor vehicle on behalf of the rideshare company Uber), it is important to note that Uber has their own insurance policy that specifically covers its drivers. However, other rideshare companies require the driver to carry their own car insurance coverage. Some car insurance companies, such as those listed by the National Association of Insurance Commissions, provide car insurance coverage to rideshare drivers. Visiting with an experienced car accident attorney at Labrum Law Firm can help ensure you understand which insurance company has the responsibility to pay for your injuries and losses.
Rideshare Company Liability
Rideshare drivers are considered independent contractors and/or employees of rideshare companies. There may be certain circumstances under which a victim has the legal right to pursue a claim against the rideshare company directly. If the rideshare company failed to perform a legally required background check, allowed a driver to work for them that had a history of driving under the influence of alcohol with DUI convictions, or failed to ensure that a driver had a proper driver's license, a victim may have the ability to pursue a claim under the legal theory of “respondeat superior” against the rideshare company.
Compensation a Victim May Receive Following a Rideshare Accident
Every rideshare accident will have a different set of facts and circumstances, however, some of the common types of compensation a victim can receive following a rideshare accident include:
- Medical bills and costs associated with medical treatments
- Future medical costs (if the injuries suffered remain permanent or long-term)
- Lost income and wages resulting from an inability to physically return to work
- Loss of future income (if a victim does not have the ability to return to work in the future as a result of their injuries)
- Property damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages (in cases where the negligent driver acted with reckless disregard for human life)
Our Experienced Attorneys Can Help You Understand Your Legal Rights
If you experienced an accident with a rideshare vehicle, you may feel unsure which parties have the legal responsibility to compensate you for your out-of-pocket expenses related to your medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Additionally, calculating non-economic losses such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life can prove legally challenging and complex. However, it is important to act quickly because there are deadlines in the state of Tennessee (statute of limitations) that require a victim to file a claim in a court of law within a certain time or lose their legal ability to do so. Learn more about your legal rights and your options by visiting with an experienced personal injury attorney at Labrum Law Firm at (615) 338-9500. We look forward to answering your legal questions and helping ensure you receive the justice you deserve.