Bethesda residents rely on both Uber and Lyft to fulfill their transportation needs. The rideshare service seems to be replacing regular taxi services. As the popularity of these two companies grows, so does an increase in accidents involving Uber and Lyft drivers.
Because both Lyft and Uber use independent contractors for drivers instead of employees, the law surrounding personal injury claims gets complicated. If you sustained an injury in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft, either as a passenger, as a driver or passenger in another car, or as a pedestrian, contact our Bethesda Uber + Lyft accident lawyer immediately. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.
Causes of Uber and Lyft Accidents in Bethesda, MD
Uber and Lyft operate similarly. Both drivers and prospective passengers use a smartphone to connect. A Bethesda resident in need of a ride will simply input their location and destination into their app. Then, they will be paired with the nearest available driver. The app will provide the driver’s name, type of care, and customer rating. Uber and Lyft drivers will use the app to take new assignments, communicate with their clients, and navigate around the Bethesda area.
All motorists and passengers experience various risks on the streets and highways in Bethesda. Uber and Lyft drivers are no different. Accidents occur due to drunk, aggressive, and distracted driving to list a few. In addition to the typical risks involved with automobile travel, how Uber and Lyft conduct their business and encourage their drivers to act could elevate the risk to their passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians.
Both companies rely on a business model that limits the amount of time a potential client is required to wait for a ride. This is accomplished by a dispatch system that allows an Uber or Lyft driver to accept a new assignment before dropping off their current passenger. This could result in a driver anxious to get to his next job to leave a passenger in a dangerous situation or to drive recklessly to the location of their new client.
Additionally, Uber and Lyft drivers make more money the more rides they complete. This takes time, usually resulting in long shifts driving around the area. Tired or fatigued drivers have compromised mental and physical capabilities. If a driver is drowsy, they present an unreasonable risk to their passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians.
The smartphone app is the central hub between driver and client. An Uber or Lyft relies on the app for multiple functions. They locate and accept new assignments through the app, communicate with potential clients with it, and use the GPS to navigate around unfamiliar areas of Bethesda. All of these activities require the driver’s attention, potentially distracting them while driving. When not focusing on the road, a motorist increases their chances of being involved in an accident.
Drivers for Uber and Lyft are independent contractors. This means that they supply and are responsible for the vehicles they use. While there are some limited restrictions on the condition of the car before a driver is allowed to work for either service, the responsibility to maintain the roadworthiness of the vehicle rests with the driver. If a driver fails to properly care for their car, mechanical malfunctions could result in an accident.
Liability and Compensation in Bethesda Uber + Lyft Car Accidents
For an injured person to prevail in a personal injury lawsuit in Maryland, a plaintiff is required to demonstrate four elements.
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- The defendant breached that duty
- The plaintiff’s injuries were a direct result of defendant’s breach
- The plaintiff’s injuries resulted in actual damages
When a car accident occurs, the driver at fault could be held liable for any injures. Typically, a personal injury lawsuit would be filed against both the driver and their insurance company. If you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft that was struck by another vehicle, our experience Bethesda attorneys would prepare a case against the negligent driver. If an accident was caused by the Uber or Lyft driver, the lawsuit would be filed against your driver and their insurance.
However, Uber and Lyft have a third-party accident insurance policy in place. Up to $1 million in coverage is available to injured individuals for bodily harm and medical expenses. This coverage is secondary to any insurance carried by other drivers involved in the accident. This means that it only goes into effect if the primary insurance is insufficient to cover the costs. It is important to have our Bethesda Uber +Lyft attorney representing you in to ensure you receive your proper compensation.
Call Our Bethesda, MD Uber + Lyft Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft, contact the Law Office of Randolph Rice to discuss your options. Our Bethesda Uber + Lyft accident lawyers have years of experience representing injured Maryland residents. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.