Injured in a Ridesharing Accident? Start Here
Rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber have changed the way that many of us get from place to place, and they are certainly active in Nashville and the surrounding areas. While being able to order a personal driver with the touch of an app on your phone is certainly convenient, the rise of ridesharing also exposes people to a risk of injury in accidents with ridesharing drivers.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a Lyft or Uber driver, you probably have a lot of questions. You may be wondering whether you need to file a claim against the driver, the company, or perhaps another motorist that was involved in an accident. Fortunately, we have these answers and can help ensure that you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled under Tennessee law. To schedule a free consultation with a rideshare accident attorney in Nashville, call our office today.
Liability in Ridesharing Accidents
At first glance, ridesharing accidents may seem complicated and confusing compared to accidents in which two non-commercial vehicles are involved. In reality, however, the same general principles apply to accidents involving rideshare vehicles that apply to any other accident.
Under Tennessee law, if a driver causes an accident through his or her negligence, that driver will be liable for the losses victims sustain. These losses could include medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering, just to name a few. If you are involved in an accident involving a ridesharing vehicle, you will likely be able to recover from the at-fault party. Examples of people against whom you could assert a claim include:
- The rideshare driver
- Another motorist
- The agency responsible for the condition of the roadway
- The owner of the property on which the accident took place
- The manufacturer of a defective vehicle or vehicle part
There may be more than one party that could be potentially liable for your losses following an accident. The best way to identify all parties from whom you might be able to recover is to discuss your case with an experienced Nashville rideshare lawyer as soon as you can.
The Rideshare Company's Insurance May Cover Your Losses
Fortunately for victims, Uber, Lyft, and presumably other rideshare companies have decided to insure their drivers under certain circumstances. As a result, in some cases, when the rideshare driver is at fault, you may be able to make a claim on the rideshare company's insurance policy. Whether you can depends on what he or she was doing at the time the accident happened.
For example, Uber's insurance policy kicks in when their drivers are performing functions related to their work as an Uber driver. Specifically:
- When a driver is offline or the app is off, Uber provides no coverage. If the driver causes an accident, his or her own personal insurance policy will likely cover your losses.
- When a driver is available or waiting for a ride request, Uber provides $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident
- When a driver is en route to pick up a rider or actively providing a ride, Uber provides $1,000,000 in third-party liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury, and contingent comprehensive and collision coverage
If you can seek compensation from the rideshare company's insurance policy, it's a good idea to do so, and most commercial policies have higher limits than drivers' personal policies.
Protecting Your Rights after an Accident Involving a Rideshare Vehicle
If you have been in a rideshare vehicle, there are certain things you should do to protect your rights and make sure that you can recover compensation for your losses.
Seek Medical Attention
You should always see a doctor after an accident with a ridesharing vehicle, even if you do not think you were seriously injured. In addition, you should be sure to attend all follow-up appointments and actively participate in your treatment plan. Failing to seek medical attention or continue treatment can significantly hurt your case.
Do Not Accept a Settlement Offer
You should never accept a settlement offer from anyone until you have had a chance to speak with an attorney. Insurance companies regularly try to settle cases for less than they are worth, and once you sign paperwork releasing them from liability, it's very difficult to obtain additional compensation. When you talk to an attorney, you will get a better idea of how much your case is worth, ensuring that you do not settle for an inadequate amount.
Avoid Using Social Media
Insurance companies often investigate claimants in an effort to minimize settlement or deny claims. These investigations often include monitoring victims' social media accounts for anything they can use to justify a lower settlement or an outright denial. For this reason, it's a good idea to stay off social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok while your case is pending.
Retain a Lawyer as Soon as You Can
You should retain an experienced attorney as soon as possible after you're involved in a rideshare accident. Insurance companies know how to get victims to settle for less, and a lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected from the start. Additionally, when you are represented by an attorney, he or she will take care of talking to and negotiating with the insurance company for you, allowing you to focus on what's really important; your physical, mental, and emotional recovery.
Call Us Today to Speak with a Nashville Rideshare Accident Lawyer
If you have suffered injuries in an accident involving an Uber, Lyft, or another ridesharing vehicle, you should contact an attorney as soon as you can. At Labrum Law, we will review the facts of your case at no cost to you and let you know whether we believe you have a claim. To schedule your free case evaluation with an attorney, call our office today at (615) 338-9500 or contact us online.