Many people prefer to use Uber or Lyft, or rideshares over traditional taxis when they need to get around. Like other modes of transportation, Ubers are also prone to accidents. So what next when one is injured in an Uber or Lyft accident?
A professional Athens Uber accident lawyer at the Rafi Law Firm can help you with the process of seeking compensation. We work with victims to ensure they get what they deserve and guarantee no hidden expenses.
Here’s valuable information about Uber accidents, including the common types of Uber and Lyft accidents, people who can be found liable in an Uber accident, the types of compensation available, and more.
How Common Are Uber and Lyft Accidents?
While Uber and Lyft accidents aren’t very common, they still occur from time to time. The frequency of these accidents varies depending on factors like population density and location.
The following are key things to note about Uber and Lyft accidents.
- Urban Areas: The potential of Uber and Lyft accidents is naturally high in urban areas as they’re often densely populated. The high volume of cars in these areas makes accidents more common.
- Rideshare Usage: Because of the increase in popularity of Uber and Lyft, there are now more rideshare vehicles on the roads. Accidents are more likely to occur with the increase in rideshare trips.
- Unfamiliar Roads: Some rideshare drivers navigate unfamiliar areas, which may increase the chances of accidents.
- Driver Inexperience: Various rideshare drivers lack professional driving experience, which makes it difficult for them to navigate complex traffic patterns, which, in turn, leads to accidents.
Other factors contributing to Uber and Lyft accidents include drunk and distracted driving. And although regulatory authorities and rideshare companies are working hard to reduce the risk of accidents, it’s still difficult to eliminate them.
What Are the Most Common Types of Uber and Lyft Accidents?
There are various kinds of Uber and Lyft accidents, and the common ones are:
- Drunk Driving: Some drivers may cause accidents when they operate rides after consuming alcohol. Driving under the influence can lead to some of the most fatal accidents.
- Rear-End Collisions: Sometimes, the rideshare vehicle may get struck from behind by another car, causing an accident. Such accidents mainly occur at stop signs and traffic lights.
- Weather-Related Accidents: Adverse weather conditions like snow and rain can hinder visibility, which increases the risk of accidents.
- Intersection Collisions: Road accidents at intersections are common. An example is when a rideshare vehicle fails to yield the right way.
- Parking Lot Accidents: Uber and Lyft accidents occur when the driver enters or exits the parking lot. These accidents may not be fatal but can still cause damage.
- Distracted Driving Accidents: Rideshare drivers can be distracted by their phones as well as other things leading to accidents. For instance, a driver can ram the vehicle into the back of another one, resulting in an accident.
Other typical Uber and Lyft accidents include fatigue-related accidents, mechanical failures, and multi-vehicle pileups.
Who Can Be Found Liable in an Uber Accident?
Liability in an Uber accident can be challenging to determine, and it depends on factors like the actions of involved parties and the circumstances of the accidents. The following parties may share liability in an Uber accident.
- Uber or Lyft Driver: An Uber driver can be held liable if their recklessness, negligence, or intentional behavior directly caused the accident. Actions like speeding and driving under the influence could mean the driver is responsible for the accident.
- Rideshare Companies: Uber can also be held liable under various circumstances. The extent of the company’s liability depends on whether the driver had a passenger in the car and accepted a ride request, among others.
- Manufacturers: If the vehicle has defects like faulty brakes, leading to an accident, the manufacturer may be liable through a product liability claim.
- Passengers: Although rare, passengers may contribute to an Uber or Lyft accident. An example is when the passenger distracts the driver. In such cases, they also share liability.
- Third Parties: Liability may extend to other third parties. If a mechanic is negligent, and their actions cause a mechanical failure that leads to an accident, the mechanic or their employer can be held liable.
Entities responsible for road maintenance and construction may also assume liability if an accident occurs because of poor road conditions.
How Are Uber Accident Cases Different from Regular Car Accident Cases?
Rideshare services are unique, making Uber accident cases different from regular car accident cases. The involvement of a rideshare company, for example, Uber, also creates the difference. Here are some major differences.
- Involvement of Multiple Parties: There are often multiple parties involved in Uber accidents. They include the Uber driver, the rideshare company, which is Uber, and perhaps other drivers. The involvement of many parties can complicate insurance issues and liability.
- Difficulty in Determining Liability: Determining liability in an Uber accident can be difficult because several factors, like Uber policies and the driver’s actions, must be considered.
- Commercial Insurance: Uber drivers get commercial insurance coverage from the company, provided they actively engage in rideshare activities. This additional layer of coverage can affect the compensation available to accident victims.
- Uber Policy Limits: Uber’s insurance policy has unique coverage limits that vary based on the driver’s status at the time of the accident. An Athens Uber accident lawyer at Rafi Law firm can help you understand these limits before seeking compensation.
- The Driver’s Status: The driver’s status when the accident occurs is crucial. An Uber driver can be considered waiting for a ride request, off-duty, transporting, or en route to pick up a passenger. The insurance coverage can differ depending on the status.
Given the difference, affected individuals should always consult an experienced attorney to help them navigate the complexities of a rideshare accident case. We educate victims about their rights and work towards maximizing compensation for the damage.
Does Uber Have a $1 Million Insurance Policy for Accidents?
Uber offers a commercial insurance policy with coverage of up to $1 million for any accident that occurs when a driver is actively providing rideshare services. The coverage aims to protect Uber drivers and passengers if an accident occurs.
The insurance coverage works as follows for Uber drivers:
Period 1: Covers the period when a driver awaits a ride request. The driver’s auto insurance is usually in effect at this time. If the driver’s personal insurance fails to cover the accident, Uber provides contingent liability coverage. It includes up to $25,000 for property damage, $50,000 per individual for injury, and $100,000 per accident for injury.
Period 2: This period covers when a driver accepts a ride and is headed to pick up the passenger. This period covers liability for third-party injuries, underinsured/uninsured motorists, and property damage.
Period 3: This covers the period the passenger is in the vehicle. The $1 million coverage still applies in this period, covering accidents when the passenger is in the car.
Uber’s insurance coverage is contingent on the specific circumstances of the accident and the driver’s personal insurance policy. The company’s coverage may step in if the driver’s insurance denies a claim.
What Types of Compensation Can I Seek in an Uber Accident?
Individuals affected by an Uber accident may be eligible to seek different kinds of compensation, including economic, non-economic, and, in some instances, punitive damages. Below is more information about each of them:
These are tangible losses with clear financial value. They can be easily quantified, and they include:
- Medical Expenses: Economic damages cover medical-related costs, for instance, doctor visits, hospital bills, and prescription medications. They also include future medical expenses if a victim requires ongoing medical attention.
- Loss of Earning Capacity: If injuries affect the individual’s ability to continue working and earn a living, they can seek compensation. It often applies when injuries lead to a disability that prevents one from working as usual.
- Lost Wages: Injuries can force people to miss work. One can seek compensation for the income lost during the period they’re unable to work.
- Property Damage: The cost of repairing and replacing vehicle and personal property damages in an accident also falls under economic damages.
A person can also be compensated for other expenses related to the accident. An example is the cost of transportation to medical appointments.
Non-economic damages cover intangible losses without any specific financial value. Some common non-economic damages in Uber accidents are:
- Emotional Distress: These damages account for the accident’s psychological impact on the victim., for instance, depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.
- Pain and Suffering: Individuals are compensated for the physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional distress resulting from the accident and injuries.
Another kind of non-economic damage is compensation for reduced quality of life and loss of enjoyment.
These damages are an exception and are awarded if the actions of the party responsible for the accident are considered extremely malicious or egregious. The primary purpose of punitive damages is to punish the responsible individual and prevent similar behavior from occurring again.
Should I Just Accept a Settlement Offer?
Whether or not to accept a settlement offer is a decision that must be made carefully. While settlement offers are tempting, people should consider some factors before accepting them.
- The extent of Injury: One needs to assess the extent of injuries as well as the medical expenses. Accepting a settlement too early where injuries are extensive and require long-term treatment can lead to inadequate compensation.
- Lost Income: Victims must also evaluate the extent of lost income. If one has to miss work and expects to miss wages in the future because of injuries, then these factors must be considered while thinking about fair compensation.
- Insurance Coverage: Cases are different, and people should always understand the insurance coverage that applies to them. If the insurance policy is insufficient to cover the losses, the victim should consider different sources of compensation.
Considering one’s financial situation before accepting any settlement is essential. Financially stable individuals may not worry much about the settlement offer.
Individuals are advised to consult with lawyers experienced in Uber accidents to ensure they receive the right guidance on whether a settlement is fair.
Are There Time Limits for Filing an Uber Accident Claim in Georgia?
The state of Georgia has time limits, referred to as statutes of limitations, for filing Uber accident claims. The statutes of limitations set unique deadlines within which an individual must file a claim. Speak with an Athens Uber accident lawyer to avoid missing the deadlines and hinder one’s ability to pursue a claim.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
One should not underestimate the need to hire a lawyer in an Uber accident case. An Athens Uber accident lawyer at Rafi Law can help protect the victim’s rights, ensure they’re not taken advantage of by other parties, including insurance companies, and work to secure the compensation one deserves.
Contact an Athens Uber Accident Lawyer at Rafi Firm for a Free Consultation!
If you’re an Uber accident victim, contact Rafi Law Firm, and we will help with your case. Our experienced attorneys can handle issues of any complexity, so call us now.