If you were injured in a car accident involving an Uber, Lyft, or another ridesharing service, you could be feeling overwhelmed about what has happened. More importantly, you may be unsure about how to cover your medical expenses and other related losses stemming from the accident. Fortunately, you may be entitled to substantial compensation if the rideshare driver or another party is at fault.
Unfortunately, there’s a complex legal dynamic between rideshare companies and the drivers who work for them. Because liability in these cases is rarely straightforward, many rideshare crash victims struggle to identify all potential sources of compensation. As a result, many people who have been severely injured in a Uber or Lyft-related accident accept woefully inadequate settlements.
If you have questions or feel uncertain about your rights after an Uber or Lyft crash, an experienced rideshare accident lawyer can answer them – and, more importantly, help you pursue the compensation you could be owed.
At Jainchill & Beckert, LLC, our Connecticut personal injury attorneys have decades of experience representing people like you. We can answer your questions and review your legal options at no cost or obligation. Contact us today for a free initial consultation with an Uber and Lyft accident lawyer in Plainville.
What Happens When My Uber or Lyft Is in an Accident?
Many rideshare passengers think of services like Uber and Lyft as convenient and affordable alternatives to personal vehicles, taxis, or public transportation. These services can seem especially practical for people who are tired, have been out on the town, or are otherwise unable to drive safely.
But in an unfortunate stroke of irony, recent studies have suggested that the presence of rideshare drivers may actually contribute to an increase in local traffic accidents.
Although rideshare companies may contribute to a decrease in alcohol-related crashes, research indicates that a significant rise in injury accidents occurs for every additional 100 rideshare trips in any given region. The majority of these crashes occur near transportation nodes, where rideshare drivers pick up and drop off passengers.
So, what happens if you are injured in an Uber or Lyft accident as a rideshare passenger in Plainville? Fortunately, rideshare drivers are fully covered by the company’s liability insurance policies anytime they are actively picking up or transporting passengers.
How Do I Obtain Compensation for Injuries I Sustained in an Uber or Lyft Accident in Plainville?
If you were injured in an Uber or Lyft accident but were not a rideshare passenger at the time, your options for seeking compensation may look different depending on certain factors. One of the most important factors involves the status of the Uber or Lyft driver at the time of the accident.
Drivers who work for Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies are typically classified as independent contractors. This means they are not direct employees of the rideshare companies, and this distinction puts liability on the driver, not the rideshare company.
However, any time a driver accepts a fare or carries a passenger, they are effectively operating for the benefit of the company. As a result, Uber and Lyft may carry vicarious liability for accidents involving rideshare drivers in these circumstances.
Let’s examine who is liable and whose insurance pays when occupants of non-rideshare vehicles and other road users are involved in the following Uber and Lyft crash scenarios:
- When the rideshare driver is carrying a passenger – If you were injured in an accident involving an at-fault rideshare driver who was actively transporting a rideshare passenger, the driver should be covered by Uber or Lyft’s full liability insurance policy. Under Connecticut law, rideshare companies operating in the state must provide at least $1 million per accident in third-party liability coverage. This coverage is available for as long as the rideshare trip remains active on the Uber or Lyft app. (Note that the $1 million per incident coverage limit would cover both you and the rideshare passenger.)
- When the rideshare driver is on the way to pick up a passenger – If you were injured in an accident involving an at-fault rideshare driver who was on their way to pick up an app-confirmed passenger, the driver should still be covered by the full $1 million Uber or Lyft liability policy. This coverage is available from the moment the rideshare driver accepts the trip request through the app.
- When the rideshare driver is on duty and waiting for passengers – If you were injured in an accident caused by a rideshare driver who was “on duty” but not carrying or on their way to pick up a passenger, the full $1 million in liability coverage will not be available. However, Uber and Lyft are still required to provide at least $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage and at least $25,000 for property damage liability.
- When the rideshare driver is not on duty or not logged onto the app – If you were injured in an accident caused by a rideshare driver who was not on duty at the time, the driver is not considered a rideshare driver in the context of the crash. As a result, the only coverage available would come from the rideshare driver’s personal liability insurance. Minimum auto insurance requirements in Connecticut include $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage and $25,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage.
What Could I Recover Through an Uber or Lyft Accident Lawsuit?
Most injury cases are resolved through out-of-court settlements, which allow everyone involved to avoid the time and expense of going to trial. However, some rideshare accident victims are left with no choice but to have their attorney go to court to recover full and fair compensation.
In many cases, injury victims who are denied fair compensation will file subsequent lawsuits against the driver whose insurance company denied or undervalued their claim. Yet, in certain rare circumstances, you could have grounds to sue the rideshare company directly. For instance, a rideshare company like Uber or Lyft could be directly liable if it:
- Allowed a driver with a known history of reckless driving, driving under the influence, or other traffic violations to participate on its rideshare app.
- Allowed a driver who is a registered sex offender or has a known history of sexually violent offenses to participate on its rideshare app, and that driver then attacked you.
- Failed to conduct an appropriate background check or follow up with red flags on background check results for drivers allowed on the rideshare app.
- Retained a rideshare driver despite repeated crash reports or negative reviews.
With a successful personal injury lawsuit, you could secure compensation for Uber or Lyft rideshare accident-related losses, including:
- The costs of reasonable and necessary medical care for your injuries
- Lost wages from any time you missed at work due to your injuries
- Projected losses in your lifetime earning capacity, if your injuries are permanent
- The estimated costs of any medical or custodial care you will need in the future
- The intangible costs of accident-related pain, suffering, and lost quality of life
- Incidental costs, such as mileage costs for travel to medical appointments
- The costs of repairing or replacing any property that was damaged in the wreck
How Long Do I Have to File an Accident Claim in Connecticut?
Car accident victims in Connecticut generally have just two years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit. If you attempt to sue after the statutory two-year deadline has passed, the court will most likely dismiss your Uber or Lyft accident case, and you will lose your right to seek compensation in civil court.
How Can a Plainville Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer Help Me?
If you were injured in an Uber or Lyft crash, your best option is to contact a knowledgeable and reputable Plainville car accident attorney. A lawyer can help you by:
- Answering your questions and evaluating your case in an initial consultation.
- Conducting an independent investigation into the accident.
- Identifying who is liable and obtaining valuable evidence for your Uber or Lyft accident claim.
- Interviewing eyewitnesses and reliable experts for helpful testimony.
- Managing important case documents and deadlines.
- Communicating with insurance companies and others on your behalf.
- Negotiating aggressively to maximize your settlement every step of the way.
Talk to a Lyft and Uber Accident Lawyer Near Me Now
If you need a Plainville Uber and Lyft accident lawyer, get in touch with the respected legal team at Jainchill & Beckert, LLC. Our experienced attorneys can explain your legal options following a rideshare-related crash and build a solid case to hold the at-fault parties accountable.
With more than 55 years of combined trial experience, we are prepared to negotiate aggressively with insurance companies on your behalf. If it becomes necessary, we will fight for you in court to recover the maximum compensation. Contact us today for a free initial case review to learn more about how we can help.