Ride share apps like Uber and Lyft have completely revolutionized transportation around the world.
With the touch of your phone screen, you can have a peer-reviewed driver at your doorstep in minutes.
The driver will take you to your required destination with no need to physically exchange money or explain complicated directions to an unknown location.
Ride share apps are an effective solution to the problem of how to get from here to there as quickly, easily, and inexpensively as possible. But convenience doesn’t always equal safety.
What is a Ride Share Accident?
It is a well known fact that getting into a vehicle, whether or not you are behind the wheel, comes with certain risks. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), approximately 40,000 people were killed and about 4.5 million were seriously injured in car accidents in 2018. As the rate of Uber and Lyft drivers grows, so do accidents involving ride share app drivers and their passengers.
Ride share drivers are at risk of being involved in a wreck just like all other drivers. In fact, a 2018 report from a team at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business estimated a two to three percent increase in overall car accident fatalities due to ride sharing services. At DeHoyos Law, our experienced ride share accident attorneys will help you determine next steps if you have been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident.
The reported uptick in accidents may be because there are more vehicles on the road with the increase in ride share popularity. But distracted driving is another likely factor. Uber and Lyft drivers spend an average of 60 percent of their behind-the-wheel time “deadheading,” which means searching for customers. While deadheading, they are actively using the app, navigating, and engaged in other distracting activities. Additionally, ride share drivers are on the road more than the average driver and are at the mercy of other reckless drivers.
How a Houston Ride Share Accident Attorney Can Help
Seeking legal counsel is prudent following any type of motor vehicle accident, but cases involving ride share services can be particularly complex. In an ordinary car accident, the claim is generally against the at-fault driver. In Uber and Lyft accidents, however, the fact that the driver is working at the time of the accident results in myriad complications, including insurance exclusions and the question of employer liability. If the driver does not have a commercial policy, his/her personal policy is unlikely to cover a ride share accident because it doesn’t fall under the category of personal use.
In response to this problem, both Uber and Lyft provide liability insurance to their drivers. As such, in most cases involving ride share services, the claim will be against Uber or Lyft, not the at-fault driver. This may sound straightforward, but keep in mind that these large corporate entities are excellent at holding onto their money. They will do everything possible to avoid paying claims. Having an injury attorney with extensive experience in ride share wrecks is essential.
At DeHoyos Law, we understand the complexities inherent in accidents involving ride share apps. Our experienced, knowledgeable attorneys will analyze the details of your case to determine the best legal strategy, and we’ll be by your side throughout the entire process. Contact us today at 832-745-4878 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
A ride share wreck lawyer can investigate your case, find expert witnesses, determine liability, negotiate with insurers, and gather important evidence to substantiate your case.
Uber and Lyft Insurance Policies
The liability policies provided to drivers by Uber and Lyft are quite similar, and they are equally full of exclusions and coverage limits.
- No coverage is provided if the driver is not logged into the ride share app.
- Limited coverage ($50,000 per injured person, $100,000 total liability) is provided if the driver is logged into the app but hasn’t accepted a ride request.
- Up to $1 million in liability coverage is provided when the driver is en route to a pick-up or the rider is in the vehicle.
If you have been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, a Houston ride share accident lawyer can help you protect your rights and recover the compensation you deserve. Dealing with insurance companies following a ride share accident can be an absolute nightmare. Let the legal team at DeHoyos Law handle this overwhelming process on your behalf. You’ve been through enough, let us do the rest.
What to Do After a Ride Share Accident?
The initial steps to take immediately after a ride share accident are similar to those involved in any motor vehicle accident.
- Call 911. In addition to protecting your safety and well-being, calling police to the scene results in an official police report which can be invaluable to your personal injury claim.
- Get contact and insurance information of anyone involved, including witnesses. If you decide to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties, being able to track down eye witnesses may be of immense benefit to your case.
- Take pictures of the accident scene and any resulting injuries or property damage, if you are able to do so. Use your smartphone to photograph the scene from as many angles as possible, being sure to include anything that may have contributed to the accident. For example, if a stop sign was blocked by a tree, or an icy patch caused the driver to slide, snap a few shots of these hazards. Also take pictures of any obvious injuries, including cuts, scrapes, bruises, and more serious injuries.
The Process for Filing a Claim After a Ride Share Accident in Houston
If you suffer damages in a ride share accident, the first step in the claims process is to determine liability. Was your ride share driver at fault? Was another driver at fault? Can you sue Uber or Lyft? As with all accidents, the question of liability is dependent on multiple factors. A Houston ride share accident attorney can help you determine the next steps if you’ve been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident.
After an accident, the only thing you should be focused on is healing. Your attorney will report the accident to Uber or Lyft and contact all insurance companies on your behalf. In ride share accidents, it is common for three or more insurers to be involved. Depending on the particulars of the accident, your attorney may need to contact the driver’s insurer, the Uber or Lyft insurer, and the insurer of other drivers involved. If the ride share driver or other at-fault drivers are uninsured or underinsured, you may be able to file a claim under the million dollar insurance policy provided by Uber or Lyft.
Damages You Can Receive in a Houston Ride Share Wreck
If you have been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, you may be able to seek compensation for any damages suffered. The most common damages in these cases include:
- Medical expenses, including ambulance and emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, doctor visits, prescription medications, physical therapy, and durable medical equipment
- Future medical expenses
- Current and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Property damage
- Wrongful death
Following a ride share accident, a Houston personal injury attorney can help you determine liability, deal with the insurance companies, and gather evidence to substantiate your claim. The amount and type of damages you can obtain is largely dependent on the particulars of your case. Having the right attorney by your side can be the difference between a denied claim and a substantial out-of-court settlement.
Contact DeHoyos Law Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a ride share wreck, the skilled legal team at DeHoyos Law can help. Our attorneys understand the complexities of motor vehicle accidents involving Uber or Lyft, and we will position you for the most favorable outcome possible. Do not attempt to go through this complicated process alone. We can help you obtain the compensation you deserve so that you can get on with your life. Contact DeHoyos Law today at 832-745-4878 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.