Lyft & Uber Accidents
If you were injured in a Lyft or Uber accident, contact Deering Hedrick immediately to learn about your legal options. You might be entitled to financial compensation from the liable parties.
Rideshare services are popular in cities such as Virginia Beach, where residents and tourists use them as an alternative to driving themselves. However, rideshare drivers are no more qualified or experienced than other motorists, putting passengers, commuters, and other road users at risk.
At Deering Hedrick, we understand the importance of financial recovery after a car wreck. Our attorneys Mike Deering and Chris Todd Hedrick are dedicated to helping people injured by the negligence of others. Contact us online or at (757) 383-6848 for a consultation. Let us help you hold the negligent party liable for your injury.
How You Might Be Involved in an Uber or Lyft Accident
There are three principal ways you can be involved in a rideshare accident:
- As a passenger– You might be entitled to compensation from the Lyft or Uber driver if they are at fault for the collision. For example, you can pursue a case against them if they exceeded the speed limit, ran a stop sign, or contributed to your injury somehow.
- As an occupant of another vehicle– People in other vehicles can also be hurt in a collision with a rideshare driver. When that happens, the negligent motorist might be financially responsible for your medical bills and other expenses, whether that’s the rideshare driver or someone else.
- As a non-motorist– Rideshare drivers sometimes hit bicyclists or pedestrians. You can file a claim with the relevant insurer even though you weren’t in a motor vehicle when the accident happened.
Common Causes of Lyft and Uber Accidents
A rideshare driver’s actions can endanger others’ safety and lead to a catastrophic collision. Accidents are often the result of negligence, a legal term meaning someone’s failure to exercise reasonable care to avoid harming others. Common negligent actions that can lead to a car wreck include:
- Fatigued driving– According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving-related accidents caused over 600 fatalities in a single recent year. Rideshare drivers often work long hours or late at night to make money. Fatigue can set in, impairing their driving abilities.
- Unsafe lane changes– Merging onto a highway or changing lanes requires checking blind spots and carefully maneuvering the vehicle. A driver might sideswipe a car if they merge without looking for someone traveling next to them.
- Failure to yield– Slowing down or stopping to allow other drivers to proceed is often required by the rules of the road. A Lyft or Uber driver rushing to pick up a passenger might violate these rules in their haste, resulting in a collision.
- Driving under the influence– Rideshare drivers are subject to the same laws as other motorists. However, some might get behind the wheel after consuming drugs or alcohol. Driving under the influence impairs normal faculties, making it difficult to operate a car safely.
- Distracted driving– According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine people die in collisions involving a distracted driver every day in the United States. Uber and Lyft drivers are often distracted by their cell phones, checking texts or looking at a GPS while driving a passenger to their destination.
- Speeding – Driving above the posted speed limit is risky as it compromises a driver’s ability to control their car. Braking to avoid stopped traffic or a road hazard is also challenging while traveling at high speeds.
- Tailgating – Following other vehicles too closely leaves a driver without the reaction time they need to react to a change in speed. Reacting to a situation requiring braking and applying the brakes takes time. A driver likely won’t have enough distance to come to a complete stop when necessary.
Common Injuries in Lyft and Uber Accidents
Drivers, vehicle occupants, and non-motorists like pedestrians can sustain injuries in Lyft and Uber collisions, ranging from minor cuts and bruises to debilitating head trauma. Those who suffer particularly severe injuries are at risk of developing long-term impairments or disabilities.
The most common injuries in rideshare accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Loss of limb or surgical amputation
- Traumatic brain injury
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Spinal cord injuries
- Psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Compensation for a Lyft or Uber Accident
If the driver is available and able to receive ride requests, they should have the following liability insurance limits:
- $50,000 for bodily injury per person
- $100,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage
If the driver is transporting a passenger or on their way to pick one up, these limits apply:
- $1,000,000 in third-party liability insurance
- Certain additional coverages, such as uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance
If the rideshare driver’s app is off when they cause an accident, Uber and Lyft won’t cover it. Instead, the driver’s personal auto insurance applies.
You can file a liability insurance claim or lawsuit to recover compensation after an accident. The money you receive might compensate for your:
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Emergency room visits, diagnostic testing, rehabilitation, and other medical costs
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment or quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
In Virginia, liability insurance isn’t required for motor vehicles if the driver pays a $500 Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee. After paying the fee, motorists can legally operate their vehicles without insurance coverage.
Anyone who doesn’t pay the fee must carry liability insurance with these minimum coverage limits:
- $30,000 in bodily injury for injury or death to one person
- $60,000 in bodily injury for injury or death to two or more people
- $20,000 for property damage per accident
Statute of Limitations for Lyft and Uber Accidents
In Virginia, the statute of limitations for car accidents allows a two-year timeframe to file a lawsuit. That means you must initiate your lawsuit against the rideshare driver within two years of the crash date.
Steps to Take After an Accident Caused by a Rideshare Driver
If the Uber or Lyft driver’s negligence causes your injuries in a crash, seeking immediate action against them is critical. Not only is this important for your health, but it also helps establish the extent of your injuries and compensable losses.
A doctor should examine you to diagnose your injury. They might recommend follow-up care or specialty treatment. Follow their instructions.
Remember that the insurance adjuster is not your friend and does not care whether you receive the compensation you deserve. Typically, insurance companies want to avoid paying significant amounts on claims. They will investigate any collision involving their policyholder and determine whether that person is liable. If they find any evidence to dispute your version of events or the severity of your injury, they can and will deny your claim or offer a settlement much lower than the value of your case.
You should also consider hiring an experienced attorney from Deering Hedrick soon after the accident. Our legal team can investigate the crash to determine fault and create a strategy for pursuing a case against any liable parties, including the rideshare drivers or even Uber or Lyft. We will look for evidence to submit to the insurance company and negotiate for a settlement that compensates you fairly. We can file a lawsuit and fight for you in court if the insurer won’t cooperate.
Maintaining records related to the rideshare accident is crucial to establishing the losses for which you deserve compensation. Billing statements, physical therapy notes, hospital records, and other documentation can all be helpful. We can review everything you have to determine whether the documents we receive from your medical providers are accurate and complete.
Avoiding social media after a car crash is essential. You might assume that discussing what happened or posting pictures of yourself with your friends is harmless. However, you should know that insurance companies and defense attorneys scour the internet for incriminating evidence. They might use your posts against you to disprove the extent of your injury or establish a pattern of online activity that shows you’re not taking your recovery seriously. The safest decision is to stay away from your social media accounts and avoid forms of digital communication about the accident until your case is over.
Contact a Skilled and Trusted Lyft and Uber Accident Lawyer
Were you hurt in a Lyft Uber accident? Deering Hedrick can help you pursue compensation from the liable parties. You can depend on us to aggressively pursue action against the rideshare driver or company to hold them accountable for their actions.
You should not be left to pay the price of an accident that was not your fault. Contact our firm today for a consultation with a Lyft and Uber accident lawyer in Virginia Beach.