Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have become a popular way to get around. These companies have also raised complicated liability and compensation questions when one of their drivers causes an accident. Who pays your damages, and how much is really available? Where do you begin to make a claim?
The experienced Las Vegas Uber and Lyft accident lawyers at Sam & Ash, LLP can help make your recovery easier. After an accident, you deserve clear and reliable answers. You deserve What’s Right. Call us for a free consultation 24/7.
The Driver’s Complicated Relationship to the Rideshare Company
Driving for Uber or Lyft is one of the original ways people have been making money in the “gig economy.” The gig economy enables people to use their own skills and property to make money using exclusive applications developed by technology companies like Uber and Lyft. The gig economy also allows people to work on their own time.
All this makes Uber and Lyft drivers very different from taxicab drivers. Taxicab companies own their fleet and schedule their drivers. Consequently, taxicab companies are considered “employers” and have a legal obligation to pay damages when their drivers cause accidents. Because Uber and Lyft don’t similarly control their drivers, they initially denied any legal liability for accidents.
Both Uber and Lyft require their drivers to sign acknowledgments stating they are “independent contractors.” Unlike employees, independent contractors are personally liable for damages they cause. Unfortunately, many accident victims did not receive sufficient compensation because the rideshare driver was underinsured. In fact, many claims were denied because rideshare driving is a commercial use of the vehicle, and most drivers only carry a personal use policy.
This resulted in a public relations disaster for Uber and Lyft. Now both rideshare companies offer their own commercial policies in case you are injured in a Lyft or Uber accident.
Am I Eligible To Receive Compensation from Uber or Lyft?
Uber and Lyft will not pay for losses in every accident. As a general rule, they compensate for accidents caused by the rideshare driver.
Your claim can be covered by Uber or Lyft if you are any of the following:
- A driver in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver
- A passenger inside the Uber or Lyft in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver
- A passenger in the other car in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver
- A pedestrian or bicyclist injured by an Uber or Lyft driver
- An Uber or Lyft driver in an accident caused by another driver
- A passenger inside the Uber or Lyft in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver
How Does Uber or Lyft Pay for My Accident?
Whether Uber or Lyft will pay for your accident — and how much they pay — depends on which phase of the trip the driver is engaged in.
Both Uber and Lyft maintain the same structure for covering an accident as follows:
- The driver app is off – Uber and Lyft will fight payment for your accident. The driver’s personal insurance coverage applies when the driver is at fault. But if the driver did not opt in to rideshare coverage, the insurer may deny your claim.
- The driver is available or waiting for a ride request – First, the driver’s personal insurance coverage applies. If the driver’s insurer denies your claim, or if it exceeds the limits of the driver’s policy, the rideshare company has a policy that compensates to the following amounts:
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
- The driver is on the way to pick up passengers or is transporting a passenger – Uber and Lyft maintain a more substantial insurance policy that covers an accident in this phase:
- $1 million third-party liability for bodily injury and property damage for passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage when the other driver is at fault and does not have sufficient insurance. This will also cover hit-and-run accidents.
What Should I Do After an Accident with an Uber or Lyft?
Uber and Lyft won’t easily accept liability. They want to preserve their image of providing safe transportation. Furthermore, their insurance companies will guard their substantial liability policies.
In the days and weeks following an Uber or Lyft accident, follow these tips to help protect your accident claim:
- Hold on to any evidence you have about the Lyft or Uber crash and how you were harmed. From accident photos and witness statements to medical records and communications from your employer, keep any information that helps explain the accident and your losses. That evidence could prove to be vital when you are seeking Uber or Lyft accident compensation.
- Details matter, so keep a pain journal detailing your treatment and the steps of your recovery. Many rideshare accident attorneys agree that these records can help with your claim.
- Stay off social media. If you need to pursue an Uber or Lyft accident case, social media is your enemy. It is easy for your posts to be used against you.
- Contact an Uber and Lyft accident lawyer in Las Vegas. A lawyer from Sam & Ash, LLP can help you handle all aspects of your Uber or Lyft accident claim. We understand the law and know how to fight for the compensation you deserve.
How Long Do I Have To File an Uber or Lyft Accident Claim?
If you’re injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, you likely have two years from the accident’s date to file a claim. The exact deadline depends on the specific facts of your Lyft or Uber accident case. Speak with a Lyft and Uber car accident attorney in Nevada as soon as possible. A lawyer from Sam & Ash, LLP can help you understand exactly how much time you have.
When To Contact a Las Vegas Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer
If you were hurt in a rideshare accident, talk to a car accident attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner an attorney can start protecting critical evidence and building your case. At Sam & Ash, LLP, we’re here 24/7 to answer your questions and do What’s Right for you.
For a free case review, call us today or contact us online. We’ll take the time to understand your circumstances and make sure you understand your legal options.