Lyft and Uber Car Accident Lawyers
Ride-sharing or ride-hailing companies have become very popular in and around Louisville and across the state and nation. Thousands of Lyft and Uber drivers riding the roads and highways of Kentucky looking for passengers to ferry around town. Although there are several other ride-sharing companies that are slowly gaining steam in major metropolitan areas, Lyft and Uber have the lion’s share of the ride-sharing market, with Uber being the largest by far.
According to a study from the University of Chicago and Rice University, ridesharing has increased accident rates.
These companies have become so popular due to the convenience of using their smartphone apps in order to easily hail an Uber or Lyft ride. Although it is a little more expensive than using a taxi, the convenience and technology makes an Uber/Lyft ride more popular. By using the app, a passenger can see in how long a driver will get to them and they can pick which driver they want based upon customer ratings, done all through the Uber/Lyft apps.
Hold negligent drivers accountable
According to the most recent estimate there are approximately 3.5 million ride-hailing drivers on the roads in the United States. Given this huge increase in Uber/Lyft drivers, there is bound to be a huge increase in Uber and Lyft vehicles getting into car crashes. Automobile crashes involving these types of vehicles are different than a regular car accident. There are other issues that have to be considered which makes these types of accidents more complicated.
Given the complexity of these crashes and the different insurance involved, hiring an Uber accident lawyer who has handled many of these Uber and Lyft accident cases is essential in order to protect your rights and get fair compensation for your injuries that you deserve.
If you were injured in a crash caused by the negligence of an Uber or Lyft driver, the Uber and Lyft attorneys at Hessig & Pohl can answer your questions and fight for your rights.
Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft were created to make a profit for the companies’ owners. This means that for Uber and Lyft to make a profit, drivers have to continually increase the number of rides that their drivers take. This is how they make money. Therefore, the longer Uber and Lyft drivers are on the roads available for passengers, the more money they will make.
Given this business model, Uber and Lyft create incentives for their drivers to push themselves to keep driving, even if they probably shouldn’t be.
Having hundreds of thousands of overly tired drivers on the roads ferrying passengers is a dangerous thing and can cause many car crashes. Also, for many of these Uber and Lyft drivers, this is a part-time job where they will work a full-time job during the day and then drive for Uber and Lyft well into the night. Again, this can create a dangerous situation on the roads and highways of Kentucky.
Bonuses for ride numbers: Another dangerous incentive that Uber and Lyft offer their drivers are bonuses for a certain number of rides in a given shift. Similar to reaching certain levels in video games and being awarded a certain type of status, Uber and Lyft awards drivers receive badges of honor the more rides the driver completes.
Encouragement: Uber and Lyft also send drivers texts encouraging them to drive more and for longer periods of time. This can encourage drivers to binge-drive and not take breaks. This entire incentive structure can create dangerous situations and cause accidents. Uber passengers should keep a keen eye on their drivers for any signs that they are overtired or dozing off, particularly if the ride is late at night. If you see any signs of drowsiness you should end the ride immediately.
Given the significant increase in the use of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, Kentucky has passed laws that seek to regulate the industry and place some standards on the companies when it comes to driver qualifications, vehicle requirements and insurance policies. The driver requirements are as follows:
- The driver must be 21 years of age or older.
- The driver must have 3 years driving experience.
- The driver needs to have in-state car insurance.
- The driver must have in-state car registration.
- The driver must have an in-state driver’s license.
- The driver must have a Social Security Number for a background check.
- No DUI or drug-related offenses.
- No incidents of driving without insurance or a driver’s license.
- No fatal accidents.
- No history of reckless driving.
- No criminal history.
When Kentucky began regulating the ride-share industry, it required that the drivers for Uber and Lyft, as well as the companies themselves, purchase insurance policies that cover the vehicles and passengers. Most Uber and Lyft drivers use their personal vehicles, and much of the time, these vehicles only have a personal vehicle insurance policy covering them.
Insurance coverages mandated by Kentucky law for Uber and Lyft
When drivers are working for Uber and Lyft by accepting rides from paying passengers, these vehicles are being used for commercial purposes. Most personal vehicle insurance policies do not cover commercial work; therefore, in the early stages of the industry, a lot of these vehicles were effectively uninsured when they caused a crash. The new laws fixed this problem. There are three phases that dictate the status of the driver, the insurance and how much insurance is available for anyone injured in an Uber or Lyft car accident.
Phase One: This phase covers the scenario where the driver is not logged into an Uber or Lyft app and is using his or her vehicle primarily for personal use. If during this stage the driver causes an accident then the vehicle’s personal insurance policy, whatever that is, will be responsible for any damage and injuries.
Phase Two: This phase covers the scenario where the driver is and is logged into an app and looking for passengers, but has not yet accepted a ride request. If the driver then is negligent and causes an accident, Uber and Lyft are required to have that vehicle covered by a commercial policy that provides liability coverage of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident. This policy will also have coverage for $25,000 of property damage.
Phase Three: Upon accepting a passenger’s ride request and while driving to pick up the passenger, phase three coverage begins. Under this scenario, Uber or Lyft is required by Kentucky law to purchase a commercial insurance policy that provides $1 million worth of coverage for bodily injury liability and uninsured and underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage. This coverage is in effect from the time that the Uber or Lyft driver accepts a customer’s ride request until the customer exits the vehicle.
How do you determine how much my Uber or Lyft case is worth?
An experienced Uber and Lyft accident lawyer will be able to fairly asses the worth of your accident claim. There are many issues that must be considered when putting a dollar amount on any case. Regardless, the first thing you should do is contact an experienced Uber or Lyft accident attorney to have all of your questions answered.
The initial consultation is free so there is no downside to calling an Uber accident lawyer to discuss your accident and injuries.
Issues that will affect the value of your case
Common injuries seen in motorcycle crashes include
We will support you through all aspects of your case
Here are just a few of the things that the staff and attorneys at Hessig & Pohl will do to make an Uber or Lyft crash case a success:
Document: Take detailed photographs and measurements at the scene of the crash, noting the lengths of any skid marks and locations of the vehicles. This information is useful in determining and proving who was at fault. If necessary, we will hire an accident reconstruction expert who will use all of this evidence to place blame where blame is due.
Collect evidence: Collect and maintain any evidence at the scene of the accident that might be relevant and make sure to ensure the chain of custody of the evidence is secure so that it can be used in court without claims of evidence tampering. Some types of physical evidence could be pieces of the various vehicles involved as well as dash camera footage.
Talk to witnesses: Immediately track down all witnesses and parties to the crash and get their recorded statements. This is extremely important because over time people’s memories fade and become less useful and less reliable. Sometimes, trials in ride-share accident cases take place years after the date of the crash. So, these recorded and transcribed statements are useful to refresh witnesses’ memories.
Investigate: Acquire the police accident investigation report and any documentation, photos or measurements taken by the police while investigating the crash. Again, this information can be used by the accident reconstruction expert.
Obtain records on any other accidents that the Uber or Lyft driver has caused. Further, we would obtain information and documentation from Uber or Lyft itself about anything relevant in the driver’s file.
The lawyers & staff at Hessig & Pohl are here for you
Contact us at (502) 777-1111 for a free consultation.
Uber and Lyft automobile crashes can be complicated litigation. Many questions and issues can arise as to who is at fault and what types of insurance will be available to compensate you for your injuries. The smartest thing to do is to contact an experienced Uber and Lyft accident lawyer who can provide answers to all of your questions and to help you through this difficult time.