Over the last few years, the popularity of rideshares has increased across the nation and in Carroll County, Maryland. Uber and Lyft have led the way in providing a service for people in need of a ride throughout the area. With the increase in use, there has been an unfortunate increase in accidents involving Lyft and Uber drivers.
A smartphone app pairs riders and drivers throughout Maryland and Carroll County. A person in need of a ride connects with the nearest Uber or Lyft driver through a few simple inputs in their smartphone. The app will provide the driver’s name, a photo, the make of the vehicle, and the estimated time of arrival and cost. The app also allows for payment without the need to exchange money or the direct use of a credit or debit card.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident caused by a rideshare driver, contact our Carroll County, MD Uber and Lyft accident attorney today. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.
How Uber and Lyft Drivers Cause Accidents in Carroll County, MD
There is no one cause for accidents on Carroll County roadways. All motorists face inherent risks when they get behind the wheel, and Uber and Lyft drivers are no different. Everything from tailgating, drunk driving, to poorly maintained highways all contribute to car crashes. However, certain business practices and behaviors related to driving for Uber and Lyft may increase the risk of accidents.
Speed and efficiency are the cornerstones of the Uber and Lyft business models. By providing fast, efficient, and economical rides, clients are kept satisfied. One method both companies employ to achieve this goal is a system referred to as “forward dispatch.” Drivers are assigned new fares while they are in the process of finishing their current ride. They are encouraged to reach their prospective passengers as fast as possible. To do so, a driver could drop their present passenger off in an unsafe manner and then drive aggressively to reach their new client. This behavior could present an unreasonable risk to their current passenger as well as other pedestrians and motorists encountered along the way.
The smartphone app is the heart and soul of the rideshare business. As much as potential passengers rely on the app to find Uber or Lyft rides, the drivers also depend on the app for a variety of reasons. Uber and Lyft drivers will use the app to find and confirm jobs, communicate with new clients, and utilize the GPS to navigate unknown streets and to provide directions to their next destination. This reliance requires attention. When an Uber or Lyft driver diverts their attention from the road to the app, they endanger themselves and those in their immediate vicinity. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in the nation and rideshare drivers are not immune from the risks associated with it.
Uber and Lyft drivers make more money the longer they are on the road. To get as many fares as possible, many drivers stay on the road longer than they should. A tired or fatigued driver is a dangerous driver. Often, accidents occur because a driver’s physical or mental capabilities were limited due to exhaustion.
What to Do if Involved in an Uber or Lyft Accident in Carroll County
When you are involved in a car accident, the first thing you should do is seek immediate medical attention if you sustain any serious injuries. However, if possible, there are some other actions you should take that could assist in preparing a personal injury claim.
- Call the Carroll County or local police. The police should prepare a report and collect the names and contact information of witnesses. While a police report does not prove fault, it could provide evidence of potentially negligent conduct.
- Take a screenshot of your Lyft or Uber app as evidence of your trip, including the route, the driver, and any other relevant information.
- A photo is worth a thousand words – be sure to take photographs of the accident site, the damage to the vehicles, their relative positions, skid marks, debris, and any road signs or road defects. Additionally, take photos of any injuries you sustained.
- Even if you believe your injuries were superficial, have them treated by a doctor. Often, the full extent of an injury is not readily apparent and any substantial time between the accident and medical care could threaten a successful personal injury claim.
- Do not sign or agree to any settlement with an insurance company before contacting our experienced Carroll County, MD Uber and Lyft accident attorney.
Holding Uber and Lyft Drivers Liable for Car Accidents in Carroll County, MD
Proving fault is the same in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver as in any other car crash. By compiling g evidence, including police reports, eyewitness testimony, photographs of the crash site, medical records, and expert opinions, our experienced Carroll Count attorneys will work to reconstruct the accident to demonstrate how the defendant’s negligent conduct caused the accident and your injuries.
The state of Maryland follows the legal doctrine known as “contributory negligence” in personal injury lawsuits. This means that if your conduct contributed to the accident in any way, then you will not be able to collect compensation from the defendant. It is critical, when preparing your case, to anticipate that the defendant’s attorney or insurance company will argue that you were partially to blame. We understand the tactics the defense will employ and will work to counter those arguments through the evidence we have gathered.
Insurance Coverage for Rideshare Accidents in Carroll County, MD
Typically, in a lawsuit arising out of a car accident, a plaintiff will sue the driver at fault, along with their insurance carrier. When the crash involves Uber or Lyft, things get more complicated. First of all, Uber and Lyft consider their drivers independent contracts, so holding the parent companies accountable is very difficult. However, both carry third-party insurance that covers up to $1 million for medical expenses and injuries. This secondary coverage only goes into effect if their driver is either uninsured or underinsured. Also, this insurance is available when the driver was engaged in transporting a passenger. In situations where the Uber or Lyft driver is between assignments, the coverage is limited to $50,000.
Call Our Carroll County Uber + Lyft Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in an accident involving a Lyft or Uber, contact the Law Office of Randolph Rice to allow our attorneys an opportunity to review your case. Our Carroll County Uber and Lyft accident lawyers have years of experience assisting people injured in auto crashes. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.