Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft are very popular in the fast-growing Dallas-Fort Worth area. But as more people are relying on them to get around, often when they have been out drinking, more of them are getting hurt in Uber and Lyft accidents when bad drivers cause crashes. Or they may be in the back seat when the vehicle is crashed into by another person who may not have any liability insurance or not enough coverage.
For example, early on Sunday morning a Lyft driver hit an Arlington bicycle officer near AT&T Stadium. The officer was on a marked bike with lights on a well lit street but the Lyft driver hit-and-ran.
And earlier this year, a woman received a multi-million dollar verdict in Dallas due to a defective seat belt design, but her permanent-paralysis-causing crash happened when her Uber driver ran a red light.
Your Uber and Lyft accident can cause you extensive damages
Just like with other auto accident injuries, the injuries you suffer due to a negligent Uber or Lyft driver have the potential to be very serious and even permanent. They can lead to surgeries that are caused by
- Spinal cord damage,
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Neck and back injuries, and
- Broken bones
In addition to pain and disability, you may experience a financial crisis as a result of a mountain of medical bills and a lack of vehicle and income.
If you have been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, it is imperative that you contact a good injury lawyer promptly. We understand what you are going through.
Berenson Injury Law has handled many of these ride share collision cases. Your legal options, and your ability to obtain compensation, may be more complicated than if the at-fault driver were a private individual.
Dealing with the ride share company’s attempts to avoid liability for the accident
Uber or Lyft sometimes contends that the driver was on his or her own time and it cannot be held responsible. The ride share company can use the driver’s contract which states that he or she is an independent contractor and has a personal automobile policy that must be filed on in the event of a car crash so that Uber can avoid payment. This argument is being challenged in courts across the country.
Dealing with the ride share company’s commercial liability insurance
As a passenger, if the Uber or Lyft driver is clearly at fault for causing the collision, both Uber and Lyft have a maximum coverage limit of $1 million. They also have $1 million in underinsured/uninsured driver coverage. Of course, the average claim or lawsuit is not worth anywhere this amount. And of course, both companies fight to avoid paying you for your damages.
If the Uber driver crashes into your car or truck, is 100% at fault, and does not have any passengers, he is on his own time and you have to file on his personal policy. However if the driver is on his way to pick up a passenger, he is covered under the ride share’s insurance policy. This can be a disputed area. It is not clear whether the individual policy excludes coverage and if “the vehicle is being used to carry persons for a fee.”
The driver may have his Uber app on the “available” mode but has not yet responded to a pick up request, another gray area.
Uber also provides an additional $50,000 per injury/$100,000 for all people injured/$25,000 for vehicle damage under certain circumstances.
Dallas may land a major new Uber headquarters and you can be sure that we will have even more Uber drivers and other Uber vehicles – including flying cars? – on our roads and in the air.
We can help you
If you are hurt in an Uber or Lyft accident, you should seek medical attention ASAP. You also need to take prompt action necessary to protect your legal rights and your family’s financial future.
Mr. Berenson has been a board-certified personal injury attorney for over 25 years. He can explain the options you have for obtaining compensation for your damages.
For your free case review, contact us today at 1-888-801-8585 or email us online.