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Albany Rideshare Accident Lawyer
Thousands of Americans suffer injuries and deaths in car accidents every single year. Because ridesharing services are so popular in this day and age, it’s only logical to assume that rideshare drivers are involved in many of these annual car accidents. But what do you do when you’re riding in an Uber or Lyft and the driver crashes into someone else? Or what do you do if an Uber or Lyft driver crashes into you, causing you a personal injury so severe that you need immediate medical treatment? Could you possibly receive coverage from the ridesharing service’s liability insurance? An Albany rideshare accident lawyer from Bailey, Johnson & Peck answers all these questions and more below.
Bailey, Johnson & Peck is a personal injury law firm in Albany, NY. Our legal team has more than 40 years of experience in litigating motor vehicle accidents of all kinds. No matter the circumstances of your car accident, we can help. Call us today at 518-456-0082 for a free consultation.
What is a Ridesharing Company?
Ridesharing companies are basically the modern day taxi services. However, the two still have their differences, and we’ll explain that below. Uber and Lyft are the most popular ridesharing services in the U.S. All passengers have to do to get a ride is download an Uber or Lyft app on their phone, make a ride request on the app, and wait for the nearest rideshare driver to show up. Then, the rideshare driver takes them wherever they need to go, for a fee of course.
Almost anyone in the U.S. can become a rideshare driver with Uber or Lyft. The rideshare companies generally require drivers to be of a minimum driving age, have a reliable car of their own, and have a driver’s license. Additionally, rideshare drivers must pass background checks.
How Many People Use Ridesharing Services?
Ridesharing has become incredibly popular over the last decade, with Uber being the leading rideshare company in the world market according to data from Statista. Uber has a worldwide market size of nearly $86 billion, to be exact. Economists project that this number will grow to more than $185 billion in 2026.
Statista also claims that at least 25% of Americans use a ridesharing company once a month. However, both Uber and Lyft have suffered a major hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 65% of regular rideshare vehicle passengers claim to have stopped using the services since the pandemic began in 2020.
Ridesharing vs. Taxi Service
You may be wondering: what’s the difference between a taxi service and a rideshare service? Firstly, taxi passengers don’t need an app to get a ride. Instead, many passengers just hail a taxi from the street, especially in a big city.
The other biggest difference between the two forms of transportation is the cars used. A taxi driver uses a car that’s generally owned by a cab company. Meanwhile, Uber or Lyft drivers use their own cars. This makes the insurance coverage between the two transportation services very different.
Lastly, Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors. In other words, these drivers don’t work directly for the ridesharing service. Meanwhile, taxi companies typically employ taxi drivers.
How Many Rideshare Accidents Happen Every Year?
The rise in popularity for rideshare services over the last decade means that there are more annual car accident cases involving Uber or Lyft. A 2019 study from the Becker Friedman Institute claims that rideshare services account for an approximate 3% increase in annual car accident deaths since 2011. In other words, Uber and Lyft drivers account for nearly 1,000 motor vehicle accident deaths per year.
Possible Liable Parties in a Ridesharing Accident
Just like in most car accidents, multiple parties can be involved in a rideshare accident. The at-fault party could be:
- The ridesharing driver
- A bicyclist, motorcycle rider, or pedestrian
- Another regular car driver
- A semi-truck driver
- The car manufacturer
If you got into a car accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, you need an Albany personal injury lawyer whether or not you’re the at-fault driver. Oftentimes, motor vehicle accidents like this can become incredibly complex due to the involvement of multiple insurance companies. Not only can our experienced team of personal injury lawyers help you recover compensation for your bodily injury, but we can handle communications and settlements between the insurance carriers. Don’t try to handle this alone. Let us help.
How Uber and Lyft’s Car Insurance Policies Work
The most complicated part about rideshare accidents is the liability insurance. Uber and Lyft insurance coverage limits vary greatly depending on when the rideshare driver got into an accident.
- If the accident happened when the driver’s app was off, then you won’t receive any coverage from the rideshare company’s insurance.
- If the accident happened when the driver’s app was on and they were waiting for a ride request from a passenger, then injured victims can receive insurance coverage. If the rideshare driver is at-fault, then Uber or Lyft insurance coverage will provide $25,000 for property damage liability, $50,000 per injured accident victim, and $100,000 for body injury in each accident. Coverage applies only if the driver’s personal insurance company doesn’t cover the damages.
- If an Uber or Lyft driver gets into a car accident en route to pick up a passenger or while they’re driving a passenger to their destination, insurance coverage goes up to $1 million. In this scenario, Lyft and Uber insurance also includes some coverage for uninsured motorist’s insurance (UMI) and car damage.
Will an Uber or Lyft Driver’s Personal Auto Insurance Policy Cover a Rideshare Accident?
No, an Uber or Lyft driver’s personal insurance policy won’t cover a rideshare accident. This is because an insurance company expects their insured drivers to use their cars for personal use only, not commercial use. Ridesharing certainly falls into the commercial use category. So even if the ridesharing driver isn’t at fault in an accident, their insurance company still won’t pay for the damages. The only exception to this rule is if the driver buys a ridesharing endorsement for their vehicle. This type of endorsement is only available in a few states, so many rideshare drivers don’t have it.
What Should I Do if an Uber Driver or Lyft Driver Hits Me?
If an Uber or Lyft driver hits you, you should act the same as you would in any car accident that’s not your fault.
- First, call 911 even if you’re not hurt. Both the police and the paramedics will show up to check on all parties involved in the accident.
- Next, document the car accident. Take plenty of pictures and videos of your injuries, your car damage, and the accident scene.
- Exchange information with the other driver. Get the driver’s insurance information, name, and phone number. Additionally, you should find out the driver’s status on their ridesharing app if you can. As previously stated, Uber and Lyft insurance coverage heavily depends on if the driver’s app was on or off. So this will be a very important factor in recovering damages.
- Gather crucial evidence to prove that you’re not at-fault for the accident. Obtain the police report about the accident as well as your medical records.
- Report the accident to Uber or Lyft. You can report an accident to Uber here and to Lyft here. Within a few days of reporting the accident, you will likely hear back from a team member associated with the ridesharing service. The team member should report the crash to the insurance company. In most cases, Lyft or Uber passengers injured in an accident don’t have to file a claim with their personal insurance company.
- Lastly, call an Albany rideshare accident attorney at Bailey, Johnson & Peck. We will protect your legal rights, help you determine the best course of action following your rideshare accident, and deal with all communications between you and the insurance adjusters. Additionally, if you reported your accident to the rideshare service and haven’t received any help, notify your Uber accident lawyers immediately. We will help you recover the compensation you deserve for your damages
Can I Sue Uber or Lyft if I’m Injured in an Accident?
If you were in an accident involving a rideshare driver and it wasn’t your fault, it’s only natural to want to sue Uber or Lyft. You may especially be ready to sue if you reported your accident to the rideshare service and they’re dragging their feet on compensating you or they offered you an insultingly low settlement.
However, your lawsuit may not be successful because every rideshare company’s main defense against issues like this is that every single driver is an independent contractor. This means that the drivers aren’t direct employees under the rideshare service, so the rideshare service technically isn’t responsible for their negligence. That’s why it’s so important to hire an Albany rideshare accident attorney at Bailey, Johnson & Peck. We know how hesitant these rideshare companies are to properly compensate victims of car accidents. That’s why we will do everything we can to help you receive compensation, whether that’s through a lawsuit or some other legal remedy.
Damages for Rideshare Accidents
Injured victims could receive maximum compensation for the following damages after a rideshare accident:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future rehabilitative bills
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial expenses if the rideshare accident results in wrongful death
Injured in an Accident? Call an Albany Rideshare Accident Lawyer TodayIf you suffered a variety of damages in an Uber or Lyft accident, it’s crucial to hire an Albany rideshare accident lawyer from Bailey, Johnson & Peck. Our law firm can help you recover appropriate compensation through a lawsuit or an insurance claim, both of which are incredibly difficult to navigate alone. Rideshare companies will do everything they can to evade liability, even if your injuries are so severe that you need extensive medical treatments. An experienced attorney won’t allow them to do this. Call our law firm today at 518-456-0082 to schedule a free consultation.
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Our attorneys have extensive experience in personal injury law, including car accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. If you have questions about insurance coverage and how to get the financial compensation you need, contact us today to see how we can help.
We have represented many clients on both sides of personal injury and insurance disputes. Let us use our depth of knowledge and experience to help you and your family get the medical care and financial compensation you need and deserve.