The Definitive Guide to Hiring a Rideshare Accident Attorney
Looking for the best rideshare accident attorney? Start Here.
Uber and Lyft use is common in the United States. It is a particularly popular option for those who travel for business; others use rideshare services for the convenience, or to avoid drinking and driving in larger cities like Denver, Aurora or Colorado Springs.
If you have been injured in a rideshare accident, you need a Colorado Lyft crash lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Accidents involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle often require a more complicated accident claims process than a normal car crash. People injured in accidents involving drivers for Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Colorado-specific delivery services like SupperBell, The Spicy Radish, Five Egg Meals, and Peak Fitness Meals, may also be in for a long battle.
If you have been injured in an Uber of Lyft crash, contact the rideshare accident attorneys at Fuller Law for a free, no-obligation claim review.
Ways Rideshare Accidents are Different
1. Complex Insurance Recovery
Much of the complexity with rideshare cases arises from insurance coverage. The best Colorado Uber crash lawyer or Lyft crash lawyer must consider gaps in insurance coverage between the driver’s personal auto insurance and the liability insurance for Uber and Lyft, what “phase” the driver is in when the crash occurs, and the ever changing insurers used by the two companies.
There can also be a difference in insurance coverage depending upon whether the other driver was at fault or rideshare driver is at fault. When another driver is at fault, we draw from their liability insurance as well as Uber or Lyft’s Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) insurance. When the rideshare driver is at fault, the rideshare company’s own insurance and possibly the driver’s personal insurance, will come into play.
When an accident occurs during a rideshare, liability coverage is usually substantial. Both Uber and Lyft carry a $1 million Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist policy in Colorado. Lyft does not require their drivers to carry commercial insurance on their car.
The Lyft corporate insurers change from state to state. In the event of an Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist claim in Colorado (and some other states), the rideshare’s UM/UIM policy stacks on top of the policy of the at fault driver, and other policies may also be available including multiple insurance policies carried by Uber or Lyft during a specific time period, UM/UIM insurance of the driver, and the client’s own UM/UIM insurance. Drivers and passengers may have different insurance coverage, depending on the policy.
It’s not enough to simply find and list the insurance policies involved, however; many insurance coverages become active only in a specific order, depending upon the state where the crash took place. You may require a claim closeout or permission from one line of insurance before you can access another insurance policy.
2. Misrepresentation Claims
Even in the best of circumstances, rideshare users can be confused about whether a car is intended for them. We’ve also heard of cases where riders have been tricked by a driver into believing that the vehicle is the one intended for them, and then the driver turns the app off.
What happens in less than optimal conditions when a person has been drinking at night and is attempting to act responsibly by taking a rideshare vehicle rather than drinking and driving? In the dark, surrounded by a crowd of people also waiting for a rideshare vehicle, it becomes considerably easier for a driver to mislead someone when they pick up a passenger.
This type of case can require a law firm to file a lawsuit to discuss whether the driver is really an independent contractor or an employee. You need an rideshare accident attorney who understands not only car accidents and court procedures, but also how the uber app and lyft app work for both the customer and the driver.
In addition to understanding insurance law, personal injury claims, and ridesharing apps, the best rideshare crash attorneys also understand the outcomes of national lawsuits against Uber and Lyft by their own drivers to understand whether Uber and Lyft drivers can form a contract with the customer on behalf of the rideshare company. (really a run-on sentence)
3. Assault, Sexual Trauma and Murder Lawsuits
Tragically, sexual assault is also a danger of riding in Uber and Lyft. This can result from one of the rideshare companies negligently hiring or retaining a dangerous driver. In December 2019, Uber issued its first public safety report, disclosing that 3045 sexual assaults were reported in 2018, and that nine people were murdered by their Uber drivers.
Lyft noted increasing sexual assaults in its more recent report. In fact, multiple lawsuits have been filed against Lyft for the physical and sexual assault of their passengers. The New York Times reports:
Many ride-hailing companies initially thrived by flouting regulations and allowing almost anyone with a car to become a driver without the screening and licenses required in the taxi industry. Reports of sexual assault and murders have since become a regular occurrence as ride-hailing has become a mainstay of urban transportation. Many of the companies face a growing number of lawsuits over safety incidents. (is this a quote? Colon before seems to indicate that. If so, italicize or quotation marks, please)
Rideshare Injury? You need a Lyft Accident Attorney!
If you or someone you love has been injured in a rideshare, you will need an experienced rideshare accident attorney to help you navigate the complicated insurance policies that will come into play. Even in seemingly minor “fender benders”, retaining a rideshare accident attorney will make a huge difference in how fast your claim is processed—and how much you recover in financial compensation. Call the personal injury attorneys at Fuller Law today.
Why choose Fuller Law as my rideshare accident attorney?
Fuller Law is known for handling catastrophic injury cases where insurance coverage can become very important to getting a fair settlement or trial verdict for our client. The business structure of rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft creates an incredibly complex matrix to navigate when a passenger or driver is injured.
Being involved in an accident can already be devastating—and when a rideshare service makes things even more complex, this adds even more stress. If this sounds like your situation, do not hesitate to contact a qualified rideshare accident attorney for support in your case. Our team is experienced in many different kinds of personal injury cases, including rideshare accidents.
A lawyer who is looking for a quick payout in a big injury claim may not take the time or invest in a thorough investigation to find all of the insurance coverage the client deserves. Clients who are not properly informed that more insurance coverage may exist, may settle for much less money than is appropriate for their serious injuries.
If you or a family member are the victims of an accident while using a ride-share service like Uber or Lyft in Colorado, get the Fuller Law team on your side today. We offer free, no-obligation consultations on the phone, in person, via video conference, or even through hospital visits if necessary. Contact us today and experience the Fuller Law advantage for your Denver, Colorado case.
For a free consultation, contact our law firm. Our office is located in Denver, but we can be reached both online and over the phone.
Frequently Asked Questions for Rideshare Accident Attorneys
How to Hire a Rideshare Accident Attorney
John Fuller is more than just a car accident attorney; he is an Uber accident lawyer who handles serious personal injury cases including amputation cases, traumatic brain injury cases, catastrophic injuries and wrongful death claims arising from trucking crash cases, rideshare cases, motor vehicle claims, as well as cases against insurance companies for intentionally underpaying claims. While settlement can be a good option in some cases, we handle large losses where having an experienced trial lawyer can make a huge difference between a quick and cheap settlement, and the best outcome for a serious permanent loss.
What are ridesharing services?
Commuting is always a hassle, especially if it involves taxis and other hired ride services. While taxis used to be the primary means for commuting without your vehicle, rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have made it possible to commute without the stress of locating and hailing a taxi. With a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft, one simply has to open the associated app, choose their destination, then choose a nearby rideshare driver that is willing to accept the job. Fares are transparent and available before and rideshare driver selection and the rideshare drivers will come to you rather than you having to find them. These services offer a great way to make money with your vehicle but present a unique set of challenges if you’re ever involved in an accident.
How does a driver qualify to work for a rideshare service?
In Colorado, drivers for Uber and Lyft are governed by the Transportation Network Company Act (TNCA); this law applies to rideshare companies that operate over an app and not to taxis. According to the TNCA, rideshare drivers may only qualify for employment to be aUber or Lyft driver if they are in compliance with the following:
In addition to the TNCA, various companies have their own requirements. Lyft, for example, requires all of its rideshare drivers to be 21. Each company may have individual requirements regarding the types of vehicles that may be used and more. For many of these services, the legal blood alcohol content for a rideshare driver is 0.00. If you are interested in working for a rideshare service, always check the terms of employment closely.
Do rideshare services perform background checks on their employees?
According to the TNCA, rideshare service employees must pass a criminal background check. You may be disqualified from working for Uber or Lyft if you have any of the following on your record:
If you have questions about these qualifications and how you may or may not qualify, our practicing attorneys familiar with the TNCA laws, and the personal injury law experience fighting for victims of Uber and Lyft accidents to help clients get maximum compensation.
I have been involved in a car accident while using Uber or Lyft. What should I do now?
We know it is easier said than done, but in the event of any accident, try to assess your situation calmly. Depending on the severity of the accident, the injuries of those involved, and the number of people involved, many things may begin to happen at once. Your health and safety should always be your first priority.
Learn the consequences of what would happen if a driver left the scene of the accident by going to this post explaining the laws of leaving the scene of an accident in Colorado.
I have been injured as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft. Who is liable for my claim?
This can be a complex situation. If the other driver is at fault, then you would hold them liable just as you would in a regular accident case. If you are not taken away by emergency medical services, collect information from witnesses and the other driver so that you may contact them, as well as information for your driver. Photograph your injuries and any damages to property that is relevant to you. Remember, Colorado is an At-Fault state, so you will need to initiate the claim against the responsible party.
If you are a passenger in an Uber or Lyft accident and the driver of your Rideshare is responsible for the accident, or if the Rideshare service is refusing to provide fair compensation as promised, then you may need to bring a lawsuit against Uber or Lyft companies themselves to seek compensation. Here is a post detailing the types of damages that may be recovered after a motor vehicle accident.
John Fuller of Fuller Law is experienced with both insurance-dispute cases and rideshare accident cases. Contact us today for a free consultation.
I am a rideshare driver, and Uber or Lyft is trying to deny my insurance claim following an accident. Can I file a claim?
If you have suffered injuries or property damage while working as a rideshare driver, the rideshare company and the insurance you receive from them should provide you with fair compensation. For example, if you are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured or under-insured driver, the insurance coverage required by Uber or Lyft should provide you with uninsured / under-insured motorist coverage. Remember, Colorado law states that rideshare companies like Uber or Lyft are required to provide insurance coverage to the driver when the app they use is active and turned on. However, like all insurance companies, Uber and Lyft are also for-profit businesses that sometimes choose to follow the course of action that leads to the least cost, regardless of who may be impacted along the way.
If you are a driver involved in a rideshare accident and you believe your insurance company is denying your claim in bad faith, you may be able to file a claim against the rideshare company. If this sounds like your situation, an experienced rideshare accident attorney can help. Contact the office of Fuller Law for more information on insurance disputes or to set up a free consultation.