Rideshare Accident Attorneys in Louisville, Kentucky
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are becoming an increasingly popular way to get around. Their growth puts more rideshare drivers on Kentucky roadways and makes it more likely that you will take advantage of this way of transportation if you haven’t already.
The rise in this industry also means a rise in the number of rideshare-related auto accidents, affecting drivers, their passengers, and others. If you have been injured in one, you may wonder who is liable for your damages. You probably know there is some controversy surrounding the difference between independent contractors and company employees. This dynamic can make it difficult to determine whose auto liability insurance policy comes into play in a rideshare accident.
Slechter Law Firm, PLLC, represents clients injured in Uber accidents and Lyft accidents in Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky, and throughout the Bluegrass State. The liability lines may be blurry to most people, but to Mr. Slechter and Mrs. Slechter, there is no debate about an injury victim’s right to compensation.
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Who’s Liable in a Rideshare Accident?
Liability in a rideshare accident depends on the circumstances of the crash. Here are some common scenarios and information about liability.
If you are injured while a passenger in a rideshare vehicle and your driver is at fault, the rideshare company is liable for your damages. This is because the driver was operating the vehicle during their duties as a rideshare contractor. When any passenger is injured as a result of the driver’s negligence, the passenger can file a claim against the liability coverage of their driver’s insurance. The difference is going to be coverage. Uber and Lyft both carry major liability coverage of up to $1 million per accident.
If you are injured while a rideshare passenger and the driver of another vehicle is at fault, that other driver’s liability insurance should compensate you. However, if that driver does not have auto insurance or has policy limits below the value of your damages, you may be able to file a claim for uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits under the rideshare company’s policy. You can also file for medical payment or personal injury protection (PIP) benefits under the company’s policy, regardless of who is to blame for the crash.
If you are injured while driving your car by a negligent Lyft or Uber driver, whose liability insurance you file a claim against depends on the driver’s status at the time. If the driver was on the way to pick up a passenger at the time and was therefore logged into the Uber or Lyft system, the rideshare company would be liable.
If the driver was not logged into the system, not taking passengers or conveying one, you would need to file a claim against the driver’s own liability coverage.
If the driver was logged into the system but had neither a passenger on board nor was on the way to pick one up, the status is somewhere between. The driver’s personal auto insurance would specifically exclude liability coverage in this situation, so you could not file a claim against the driver’s policy. However, you could file a basic liability claim against the rideshare company’s coverage. Uber and Lyft carry basic liability coverage of $50,000 per person or $100,000 per accident involving more than one injured victim.
Can I Sue Lyft or Uber Directly?
If the driver was logged into the rideshare app at the time they caused an accident, they were operating under the agency of Uber or Lyft. As such, you can sue Uber or Lyft directly.
The limits of the company’s liability coverage, whether major or basic, will depend on those factors noted previously. There is a tremendous difference between $1 million in limits and $50,000. Make sure you work with an experienced car accident attorney who will fully investigate the circumstances of the crash, so you know which limits apply.
What Do I Do If I Was in a Rideshare Accident?
What you should do if you are in a rideshare accident is the same as if you were involved in any motor vehicle accident, beginning with seeking medical attention right away. It is vital to seek medical attention even if you don’t think or are not sure you are injured. Some injuries are not apparent immediately, and delaying treatment can hamper your recovery and give the insurance company a reason to undervalue your claim.
Make sure the accident is reported. The 911 operator will dispatch the proper law enforcement and emergency responders to the scene.
Get the names, contact, and insurance information from all drivers involved. If there are witnesses to the crash or other passengers in the vehicles involved, get their names and contact information as well. Take photos of the crash scene and the damage to the vehicles if you are able to do so.
You will also need copies of all relevant documentation to pursue a personal injury claim. This includes a copy of the crash report, your ambulance and emergency room patient record, and copies of your medical bills.
As soon as you receive emergency treatment, turn the details of your claim for compensation over to someone who knows what to do. Contact a personal injury attorney. Your lawyer will know how to investigate the crash, gather evidence and documentation, and research all potential liability coverage of those involved. Your attorney will provide a layer of communication between you and all insurance companies, will negotiate with insurers, and if necessary, file a lawsuit against defendants.
Rideshare Accident Attorneys Serving Louisville, Kentucky
It’s a challenge to pursue a personal injury claim because insurance companies want to save as much money as possible. Put the experience and tenacity of Mr. Slechter and Mrs. Slechter to work for you. If you have been injured in a rideshare-involved accident in Louisville, Lexington, or anywhere in Kentucky, call Slechter Law Firm, PLLC, now to schedule a free case consultation.