Over the last decade, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have gradually replaced taxis as the way most folks hail a car ride from one place to another. These companies are based on smartphone apps which allow users to request for a ride from drivers in the local area with just a few clicks. These drivers use their own cars, rather than cars issued by the company. As this technology has become the new normal, questions have arisen about how liability works after a car accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver.
At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, our Prince George’s County, Maryland Uber and Lyft accident attorneys have experiencing fighting for our clients to be justly compensated after accidents caused by rideshare drivers. We can help you deal with the complexities of filing these types of claims and assure that fault is properly assigned. For a free consultation, call our office today at (410) 694-7291.
What to Do at the Scene of an Uber or Lyft Accident in Prince George’s County, MD
The first thing you should do after any sort of accident is to make sure that you and all your passengers are safe and unharmed. If anyone is seriously injured, you should call emergency services immediately. Even if your injuries are minor, you should seek medical attention so that there are records later to show damages from the accident.
If you have not done so already, you should next contact the police. While waiting for the police to arrive, you should begin to document the scene by taking photographs and videos of the damage. You should also exchange information with the Uber driver, whether you are another driver or a passenger. When the police arrive, be sure to give them a thorough, detailed accounting of what happened so that their police report will reflect your experiences.
How to Make a Claim After Uber and Lyft Accidents in Prince George’s County, MD
Unfortunately, because of the extra bureaucratic layers involved, filing a claim after a rideshare accident can be much more complex than filing a typical post-accident claim. You will probably have to report what happened to multiple different insurance agencies. If you were the driver of the other vehicle, this includes making a detailed report to your own insurance.
Even if you report the accident to your own insurance company, you will still need to independently report the incident to Uber or Lyft. You may also be required to report it to the driver’s personal insurance company. An experienced Uber and Lyft accident attorney like those at Rice, Murtha & Psoras can work on your behalf to navigate your claim through this multi-level process.
Most of the time, when someone gets into an accident while working, their company can be held liable for their actions in court as well as the individual driver. This vicarious liability applies to any actions taken by an employee within the scope of their employment. It can make a big difference in cases where the employer has a lot of money to pay damages but the individual driver does not. However, Uber and Lyft classify their drivers as independent contractors, not employees. As such, it is difficult to impossible to get a court to hold them liable in a personal injury case under a theory of vicarious liability.
There are still ways to collect damages, however. First, each Uber and Lyft driver is required to carry personal insurance on their vehicle. You can make a claim through this insurance, and if this is not enough to satisfy your damages, you can hire a skilled attorney like those at Rice, Murtha & Psoras to file a personal injury suit against the driver personally. In fact, if the driver is off duty with his app turned off when the accident occurs, this will be your only recourse.
Uber and Lyft do have liability insurance for any accident that occurs when a driver is logged onto the app. If they are logged onto the app but have yet to accept a ride, they pay up to $50,000 for any one person’s injuries, up to $100,000 for total injuries, and up to $25,000 for property damage such as damage to your vehicle. If the driver has picked up a ride or has a customer in the car during the accident, the companies offer liability insurance for injuries and other damages up to $1 million.
Uber and Lyft also both have uninsured motorist coverage up to $1 million. This means that if an accident occurs where the other driver is at fault and you are a passenger in the rideshare vehicle, and the other driver is uninsured and underinsured, you may be able to collect from Uber or Lyft.
Proving Fault in Prince George’s County. MD Uber and Lyft Accidents
Unless you are claiming under the uninsured motorist coverage, you will have to show that the Uber driver was at fault for the accident in order to be compensated for your damages. This is where it is most important to have an experienced Prince George’s County Uber and Lyft accident attorney like those at Rice, Murtha & Psoras working for you. Uber and Lyft will do everything they can to prove the accident was caused by something other than their driver so they do not have to pay as much. Our lawyers will make sure your story of the accident is told and that you are fully compensated for your pain and suffering.
Call Our Skilled Prince George’s County, MD Uber and Lyft Accident Attorneys Today
Cases related to Uber and Lyft can be difficult for an inexperienced individual to navigate due to the multiple levels of bureaucracy involved. At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, our Prince George’s County Uber and Lyft accident attorneys have years of experience guiding our clients through this process and fighting to ensure that they receive what they are owed. We will use the evidence you collected from the scene as well as evidence from our own investigations to show that fault lies with the rideshare driver. For a free consultation, call our office today at (410) 694-7291.