RIDESHARE ACCIDENT LAWYER
This content has been written by a team of legal writers and reviewed by Terry Crouppen
If you were injured in a rideshare accident such as Uber or Lyft in St. Louis or surrounding areas, contact an attorney at Brown & Crouppen Law Firm for a free case evaluation. Due to complex insurance of ridesharing companies, these kinds of claims can be complicated – the Brown & Crouppen Law Firm can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Since 1979, we’ve provided legal representation for those who have been injured in auto accidents, and have helped our clients recover over $1 Billion in compensation. Our firm operates on a contingency-basis, meaning that we don’t get paid unless you get paid. Request a free case evaluation by phone, chat, or complete our free online case evaluation form.
Ridesharing has seen a boom in popularity throughout the last decade. This convenient service, usually arranged through mobile apps like Uber or Lyft, offers one-time rides on short notice. Ridesharing is a cost-effective and less stressful way for travelers to get around, and a proven opportunity for drivers to earn extra money.
With more ridesharing than ever these days, though, there’s more collisions that occur while travelers use these services. When a passenger is injured while traveling in a ridesharing service, they may question whose insurance applies to cover their injuries and whether the ridesharing provider should cover some of the damages.
DETERMINING FAULT AFTER A RIDESHARING ACCIDENT
Determining which insurance policy applies to your injuries depends on who is at-fault for the accident. Unless the passenger somehow interferes with the driver’s ability to control their vehicle, they will not be considered an at-fault party during a ridesharing accident.
WHAT IF MY RIDESHARE DRIVER IS AT-FAULT FOR THE COLLISION?
Most rideshare companies require that their drivers carry personal auto insurance policies to conform with their state’s minimum personal financial responsibility law. These policies usually apply to collisions that occur while the policy holders are driving. However, if the driver’s personal auto insurance policy has a “business use exception”, then damages for injuries that take place while the driver is working won’t be covered by the policy.
Since most rideshare companies classify their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, it’s difficult to sue them directly. However, Uber and Lyft both carry third party liability insurance:
These policies pay up to $1 million per accident for injuries caused while the drivers are logged into the rideshare app. As a passenger, you may be covered through these policies.
If you are a non-rideshare driver who is in a collision with a rideshare driver, then the company’s insurance policy may only apply if the rideshare driver is picking up or dropping off a paying passenger on behalf of said company. Otherwise, if they are between rides, then their personal auto insurance policy would apply. If you’ve suffered injuries as a result of an Uber or Lyft accident and believe that the driver may be at-fault, you may be eligible to pursue compensation with a personal injury claim. Car accidents happen and Uber and Lyft drivers are no exception. A lawyer can help you determine who was at-fault for the accident and pursue compensation for damages.
WHAT IF ANOTHER DRIVER IS AT-FAULT WHILE I’M TRAVELING IN A RIDESHARE VEHICLE?
If the other driver is at fault in a collision while you are traveling with an Uber or Lyft driver, then the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage should apply to your injuries. If they are not insured or do not have sufficient insurance coverage to compensate you for your injuries, then your own auto insurance’s uninsured or underinsured policy may apply. Additionally, Uber and Lyft provide uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage for their passengers who may become injured while using their services.
WHEN CAN I SUE RIDESHARING COMPANIES LIKE UBER AND LYFT FOR INJURIES?
Uber and Lyft classify their rideshare drivers as independent contractors as opposed to employees. This designation insulates the corporations from claims that employers would typically face if their employees caused a car crash. Uber and Lyft may be subject to liability if they negligently hire or retain drivers who the company knows could cause accidents or injuries to passengers or other drivers.
UBER & LYFT STANDARDS FOR EMPLOYEES AND THEIR VEHICLES
Before a person can become a driver for Uber or Lyft, they must meet the below minimum requirements:
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Have at least one year of driving experience in the United States, and three years if you are under the age of 23.
- Have a valid US driver’s license.
- Drive an eligible 4-door vehicle.
Also, they must pass additional requirements to protect the corporation from any potential liability with the individual. The driver has to pass a background check to ensure that they are not on the National Sex Offenders Registry or committed other offenses such as sex crimes or murder. Unfortunately, there have been incidents where drivers have committed crimes against passengers, such as a stabbing incident in Washington D.C., convicted rape and robbery in central California, and even alleged kidnapping in St. Louis, MO. Other lesser offenses may still allow a potential driver to drive for a rideshare company. If a rideshare company knew or should have known that a driver had a propensity for these activities based on past convictions or other information but allowed the drivers to drive for the corporations, then the corporation may be liable for their acts.
The driver also needs to be clear of any history of DUI or DWI offenses within the past seven (7) years. If a driver has a history of driving while intoxicated and drives under the influence while logged into the rideshare app, then the company may be held liable for any damages caused by the driver.
Since the rideshare driver must provide their own vehicle, their vehicle must pass an inspection (as required by most states) before they can pick up passengers. This is typically known as a nineteen (19) point inspection, which is a procedure carried out by government or private organizations to check a car in 19 specific areas to ensure that it conforms to safety and operational requirements. Some services, like Rideshare Mechanics, may conduct a video vehicle inspection, eliminating the process of taking the vehicle in person for an evaluation.
Get started with a free consultation with one of our skilled Personal Injury Lawyers today.
REQUEST A FREE CASE EVALUATION FROM A RIDESHARE ACCIDENT LAWYER
If you or a loved one has been injured in a rideshare accident, let Brown & Crouppen help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Our rideshare accident lawyers provide legal representation for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits throughout the United States including Illinois, Missouri, Kansas with offices in St. Louis and Kansas City. Getting started is easy. You can call us at 888-803-1307 to request a free case evaluation or request a free evaluation online. And remember, there’s no upfront cost to you — if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid.
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At Brown & Crouppen Law Firm, our attorneys provide legal representation for all rideshare accident cases including those that occur as a result of Uber and Lyft drivers. Call our legal team to tell us about the accident, and find out if you have a case.
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