Middle River residents take advantage of rideshares provided by both Uber and Lyft. Because of the ease of use, including scheduling and payment, the popularity of these services has increased. However, as more people are utilizing these services and more Uber and Lyfts are on Middle River roads, the number of accidents involving rideshares has increased.
If you or a loved one suffered harm in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft, contact our Middle River, MD Uber + Lyft accident lawyer today. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free appointment.
How Lyft and Uber Drivers Cause Car Accidents in Middle River, MD
Every driver in Middle River has the same obligation to operate their vehicle safely and each motorist faces similar risks when traveling in a car. Passengers in an Uber or Lyft share these same risks. Uber and Lyft drivers make the same mistakes and poor decisions other drivers do, such as driving while intoxicated, speeding, or ignoring traffic rules and regulations. However, because of the business practices unique to Uber and Lyft drivers, they present additional risks to Middle River motorists, passengers, and pedestrians.
A key element in the rideshare business is fast and prompt service. Both Lyft and Uber do not want potential riders to wait long before being picked up for a ride. Drivers for both companies are permitted to accept new assignments while transporting their current passengers to facilitate an efficient system. To shorten the time between dropping off an existing client and picking up a new fare, a rideshare driver might engage in reckless behaviors that place other motorists and pedestrians at unreasonable risk.
Distracted driving is an issue with many drivers other than those who work for Uber and Lyft. However, a rideshare driver relies on a smartphone app to manage assignments, accept new passengers, and communicate with people waiting for a ride. Furthermore, many Uber and Lyft drivers depend on their mapping systems to get where they are going – often unfamiliar areas of Middle River and the surrounding counties. Constant interaction with their smartphone app and GPS will distract drivers, leading to accidents.
People drive for Uber and Lyft to earn money. The longer they drive, the more money they will potentially make. When a driver has been on the road for hours, especially late at night and on weekends, when there are more fares available, their mental and physical capabilities are impaired. A tired driver is dangerous.
Every time you get in a car, you take certain risks. However, you should not be subjected to unreasonable or negligent behavior from other motorists. Our Middle River Uber and Lyft car accident attorneys are dedicated to holding rideshare drivers accountable when their reckless conduct injures others.
What to Do if You Were in an Uber or Lyft Accident in Middle River, MD
In many ways, a car accident involving an Uber or Lyft is not vastly different from any other car accident. The things you do immediately following an accident could impact your chances of a successful personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, if possible, there are some steps you should consider taking after a crash.
Seek medical attention if required. The most important thing is your health and welfare. If you need immediate medical treatment, it should be your priority. Even in accidents where you do not appear injured, you should see your doctor within 24 or 48 hours after the accident.
Call the local Middle River police. The police will ensure that the accident site is safely protected from other traffic, get medical attention for those who need it, and prepare an accident report that could help a personal injury claim. They will also take down the names of any witnesses.
You should take tons of photographs of the accident site. Your photos should include the vehicles, their relative positions to each other, debris, skid marks, and road defects or traffic signs. Do not forget to take pictures of your injuries. Additionally, be sure to take a screenshot of your Lyft or Uber app as evidence of your trip. This image should include the driver, the route, the time, and any other relevant information.
Is My Lyft or Uber Driver Liable for My Car Accident in Middle River?
Holding an Uber or Lyft driver liable for your injuries requires the same steps as proving fault in any other accident. Our Middle River car accident attorney will gather evidence, including photographs of the crash site, medical records, police reports, eyewitness testimony, and expert opinions to try to establish that the Uber or Lyft driver’s conduct was negligent. More specifically, our office will have to prove four elements.
- The Uber or Lyft driver had a duty of care
- Their conduct was a breach of that duty
- Their conduct caused your injury
- You suffered actual damages
Additionally, the State of Maryland follows the “contributory negligence” doctrine in personal injury cases. Under this legal doctrine, you are not permitted to recover monetary damages through a personal injury lawsuit if you are found to have contributed to the accident at all. Our Middle River attorneys are familiar with this doctrine and the arguments made by defense attorneys and insurance companies. We will use the available evidence and work to establish that your actions played no role in the accident.
Uber and Lyft Insurance Coverage for Middle River Car Accidents
In most personal injury lawsuits arising from a car accident, you would sue the driver who caused the accident and their insurance provider. However, things get more complicated when the crash involves a Lyft or Uber.
Both Uber and Lyft categorize their drivers as independent contractors. This distinction allows each company to limit its liability for the conduct of its drivers. However, Uber and Lyft carry third-party insurance policies that cover passengers up to $1 million for medical costs. It is important to note that this is secondary insurance and only goes into effect if the driver is underinsured or uninsured. It also is only in effect when a driver is in the middle of transporting a client. When an Uber or Lyft driver is operating between assignments, the coverage is only $50,000, plus whatever the driver’s individual policy covers.
Call Our Middle River, MD Uber + Lyft Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one was hurt in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft, contact the Law Office of Randolph Rice to review your legal options. Our Middle River, MD Uber + Lyft accident lawyers are committed to holding negligent drivers accountable for their conduct. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation with our Maryland personal injury lawyers.