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We rely on rideshare services—like Uber and Lyft—to safely get us where we need to be. But what happens when rideshare drivers end up causing accidents? What options do accident victims have when it comes to recovering compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other damages?
At Luxenberg Garbett Kelly & George, we understand how confusing and stressful it is to be involved in any car accident. When a rideshare vehicle was involved, the aftermath is likely to be even more complicated—but our New Castle Uber and Lyft accident attorneys can help.
We have extensive experience handling highly complex rideshare accident claims on behalf of clients throughout Western Pennsylvania. What’s more, we genuinely care about the individuals and families we serve. Our attorneys take the time to really get to know their clients, working directly with them throughout the legal process. We invite you to reach out to us today to share your story and learn how we can help you fight for the fair compensation you deserve.
Rideshare Apps Correlated with an Increase in Traffic Fatalities
An often-cited 2018 study from researchers at the University of Chicago and Rice University found a correlation between the advent of rideshare apps, like Uber and Lyft, and overall traffic accident-related fatalities in the United States. According to the study, which evaluated traffic accident data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compared to accident rates relative to vehicle miles traveled in specific cities following the launch of different rideshare apps, there has been about a two- to three-percent increase in traffic fatalities since rideshare apps launched in 2011.
One possible reason for the association between rideshare apps and fatalities is an increase in traffic congestion caused by “deadheading.” Deadheading is the term used to describe the time during which rideshare vehicle drivers are looking for passengers. The study found that, on average, rideshare drivers spend anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of their time deadheading.
It should be noted that the study did not conclude that the introduction of rideshare services caused the increase in traffic fatalities, just that there was a correlation between the two. According to the study’s researchers, “it may be too soon to tell whether the effect… is a short-term adjustment or a longer-term pattern.”
What to Do If You Are Involved in an Uber or Lyft Accident
If you were involved in an accident with a rideshare driver, whether you were the passenger of the rideshare vehicle or an occupant of another vehicle, there are several things you should do to protect your safety, your health, and your rights.
After an Uber or Lyft accident, try to do the following (if possible):
- Call 911 if anyone appears severely injured. Wait until paramedics arrive, and make sure the police come out to the scene of the accident.
- Tell the police officer at the scene what happened. Be honest, but avoid admitting fault or assigning blame. Request a copy of the official police report, if possible.
- Write down the names, contact information, and insurance information of the other parties involved, including the rideshare driver.
- If you can, take pictures of the scene of the accident, as well as any injuries you have sustained and/or any damage to your personal property.
- Seek medical attention if you were not treated at the scene or transported to a hospital. You should always see a doctor after a motor vehicle accident.
- Report the accident to your insurance company within a reasonable timeframe, but avoid providing a statement, signing anything, or accepting a settlement without talking to a lawyer.
- Contact a personal injury attorney with experience handling car accident claims, specifically those involving Ubers, Lyfts, and other rideshare vehicles.
Recovering compensation after an Uber or Lyft accident tends to almost always be more complicated than filing a standard car accident claim. We strongly recommend that you reach out to an experienced attorney, like ours at Luxenberg Garbett Kelly & George, for help navigating this process.
Who Is Liable for Damages After a Rideshare Accident?
Liability after a rideshare accident depends on numerous factors specific to the case. Most often, Uber and Lyft accident victims can seek compensation for covered losses through their own auto insurance providers by filing a no-fault, or personal injury protection (PIP), claim. However, PIP coverage may be insufficient, especially when you have suffered severe, life-altering injuries.
In some cases, you may be entitled to compensation from the rideshare company. Although Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services generally classify their drivers as “independent contractors” (rather than “employees”), thereby shielding themselves from liability in many cases, they also offer insurance coverage during certain “driving periods.”
These driving periods are defined as:
- Period 1: The rideshare driver has the app turned on and is waiting or actively looking for a ride request but has not yet accepted one.
- Period 2: The rideshare driver has the app turned on and has accepted a ride request but has not yet picked up the passenger/the passenger is not in the rideshare vehicle.
- Period 3: The rideshare driver has the app turned on, has accepted a ride request, and is actively transporting the passenger/the passenger is in the rideshare vehicle.
During period 1, Uber and Lyft both offer varying degrees of coverage for those involved in accidents caused by the rideshare driver. When a rideshare driver causes a collision during periods 2 and 3, both Uber and Lyft offer up to $1 million in insurance coverage.
Why You Need an Experienced Rideshare Accident Attorney
The complexities involved in Uber and Lyft accident cases make them unlike typical car accident claims. It is extremely important that you work with someone who understands the law and knows how to properly investigate and litigate your claim.
At Luxenberg Garbett Kelly & George, our New Castle rideshare accident attorneys have decades of experience and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation. Multiple attorneys at our firm are Board-Certified Civil Trial Specialists by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a distinction achieved by only about 2,000 practicing attorneys in the nation. We have earned a reputation for aggressive client advocacy; insurance companies know that we will go to trial, which often helps us obtain favorable settlements for our clients without ever having to step foot in the courtroom. Even if your case does proceed to trial, you can rely on our team to fight tirelessly for you and the maximum recovery you are owed.
When it comes to helping our clients navigate the legal system, we don’t just say that we care—we prove it through our actions and our dedication to every individual we serve. We invite you to get in touch with us today to learn how LGKG can help you with your Uber or Lyft accident case.
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