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Rideshare services have grown dramatically in popularity over the last two decades. The largest rideshare provider, Uber, reports that it provides an average of 28 million trips per day across the globe. While rideshare services offer a viable alternative to vehicle ownership, the proliferation of rideshare vehicles on the road increases the likelihood of being in an auto accident with a rideshare vehicle.

If you were hurt in an accident involving Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare service, reach out to a Huntsville rideshare accident lawyer from Siniard Law, LLC. We can investigate the accident, identify at-fault parties, and pursue fair compensation for your injuries. Contact us for a free case review. 

Common Types of Rideshare Accident Claims 

There are many potential personal injury claims involving rideshare drivers, including accidents involving:

  • Rideshare passengers who are hurt while riding in a rideshare vehicle
  • Other motorists who are harmed by a negligent rideshare driver
  • Pedestrians, bicyclists, or other road users injured by a rideshare driver

In any of these situations, the accident victim has the right to seek financial compensation from the party responsible for their injuries. 

Common Causes of Rideshare Accidents 

To understand how rideshare accidents can commonly occur, it is essential to first understand the business model. Rideshare companies connect people who want a ride somewhere with drivers willing to provide it. Rideshare users request a ride on an app, and a nearby rideshare driver accepts the request and begins traveling to pick up the passenger. The more passengers the driver can pick up, the more money they stand to make. 

The way the business is set up can lead to rideshare accidents caused by:

  • Speeding – Rideshare drivers may speed as a way of getting more passengers and more money. 
  • Unsafe pickups and drop-offs – Rideshare services are a relatively new concept. They operate out of many markets that do not have taxi services, so there may not be safe locations near the passenger’s destination for drop-offs or pickups. Passengers must get in the vehicle within a short time after the driver’s arrival or they risk forfeiting their fare. 
  • Driver error – Rideshare drivers are not professional drivers. They do not have a special license. In fact, they do not need to be able to prove any meaningful driving history in most states as long as they have a driver’s license. This may mean that inexperienced drivers are behind the wheel, who may be more likely to make a critical driving error that leads to an accident. 
  • Driver impairment – Some of these motor vehicle crashes are caused by drunk driving, drugged driving, or other forms of impairment. 
  • Drowsy driving – Many rideshare drivers work for multiple apps or employers, so they may be fatigued, increasing the likelihood they will cause an accident.
  • Distracted driving – Rideshare drivers must use their phones and apps to connect with would-be passengers. They may be accepting a new ride while on a current one. A distracted driver is more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident than one who is paying attention to the road around them. 

An Uber car accident attorney can review your case and investigate the factors that contributed to it. 

Who Is Responsible for My Rideshare Accident?

Just because a rideshare driver was involved in an accident does not necessarily mean the rideshare driver is responsible for the accident. All motorists must drive safely and avoid crashing into others. Parties named in rideshare accident claims often include:

The Rideshare Driver

The rideshare driver could have been driving negligently and might be the at-fault driver. In this case, you would make a claim against the rideshare driver through their insurance. While Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services provide insurance for this purpose, you don’t usually sue the transportation network company. Instead, you make an insurance claim for compensation. 

Another Driver

Another driver may be the at-fault party you file a claim against if their negligence caused the accident. You would make a claim with their liability insurance policy. 

Another Road User

Bicyclists, pedestrians, or other road users might interfere with traffic and cause an Uber accident. 

The Owner of the vehicle 

If the owner of the vehicle did not properly maintain the vehicle or entrusted it to an unsafe driver, they may be responsible for the resulting auto accident injuries. 

The Rideshare Company

Often, if a person is working when they cause an accident, their employer is responsible for the resulting injuries through a legal principle called respondeat superior, which means an employer is responsible for the actions of their employees. However, rideshare drivers are not employees. They are classified as independent contractors, a distinction that has historically shielded rideshare services from liability. 

However, there are situations in which the rideshare company may be responsible for accidents, such as if the rideshare accident was due to their failure to properly vet or supervise a driver.

Insurance Coverage Available at Different Points in the Rideshare Transaction

Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies offer insurance at different points during the rideshare transaction, as follows:

Not Logged into the App

If a driver is not logged into the app, their status as a rideshare driver is irrelevant. If they are involved in an accident in which they are found at fault, the injured victim would file an insurance claim with the driver’s personal liability insurance provider. 

Waiting for a Passenger Request

Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services provide limited liability insurance if the driver’s personal auto insurance policy does not apply. Lyft’s and Uber’s liability insurance provides the following coverage at this interval:

  • $50,000 per person bodily injury
  • $100,000 per accident bodily injury
  • $25,000 property damage

Accepted a Request or During a Ride

The rideshare company’s $1 million liability insurance policy applies from the time that the rideshare driver accepts a request until they drop off the passenger. 

Damages Available in Rideshare Accidents

If a negligent driver caused you to suffer injuries, you have a right to seek compensation. Whether you file an insurance claim against the Uber driver or another party, you can seek compensation for your economic and non-economic damages, which may provide money for:

  • Medical expenses, future medical care costs, rehabilitation, therapy, and medicine
  • Lost income while you are out of work and recovering from your injuries
  • Payment for vehicle repairs, if applicable
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress

Our experienced team can review your claim for damages and fight for the maximum compensation available for your case. 

How Our Experienced Lawyers Can Help with Your Rideshare Accident Claim 

At Siniard Law, LLC, our legal team works tirelessly to protect the rights of accident victims. We help with all aspects of the legal process, including:

  • Investigating the accident to determine all liable parties
  • Gathering evidence to support your insurance claim
  • Reviewing all applicable insurance policies to determine primary and secondary coverage
  • Managing communication with insurance adjusters, rideshare companies, and other relevant parties
  • Developing effective legal strategies based on the particular circumstances of our case
  • Accounting for all of your damages
  • Filing insurance claims
  • Preparing an effective demand letter
  • Handling settlement negotiations

Learn more about the legal counsel and representation we can provide when you call for a free case review. 

What Is the Deadline to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Rideshare Accident?

Each state establishes different time limits by which a party must take certain legal action. In Alabama, the deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident. While many personal injury claims can be resolved through negotiations with the insurance company, you must meet this deadline if it becomes necessary to sue the at-fault driver. 

If you need to file a wrongful death claim, such as if the accident caused the death of your loved one, the deadline is two years from the date of death. If you miss the deadline that applies to your case, you forfeit the right to recover compensation from the responsible party. Safeguard your legal rights by contacting an experienced Huntsville rideshare accident attorney today for a free case review. 

How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?

Our Huntsville injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means there are no upfront costs to hiring our experienced lawyers. Instead, we receive a percentage of the compensation we recover on your behalf. You only pay for our legal services if we successfully recover compensation on your behalf, so there is no risk to you. 

Contact Our Experienced Rideshare Accident Lawyers for a Free Case Review 

If a negligent rideshare driver injured you, our experienced Huntsville car accident attorneys can help. We can review your options during a free case review. We understand the complexities of these types of cases and can work tirelessly to protect your rights and fight for a fair settlement. Contact us today for a free consultation.