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Kentucky Lyft and Uber 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.

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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 a 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 attorneys at Hessig & Pohl can answer your questions and fight for your rights.

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Are Uber and Lyft drivers inherently unsafe?

This question is not one that is easily answered. However, it can be argued that the incentives that Uber and Lyft give to their drivers make at least a small percentage of them unsafe to be picking up passengers.

First, most Uber and Lyft drivers are careful drivers, following the rules of the road, and not getting into accidents. But if the incentives that are given to the drivers push even a small percentage of the 3.5 million of them to drive beyond their limits then that is still a huge amount of unsafe drivers on the road. Further, there are no laws that regulate how long ride-share drivers can be on the roads, similar to the laws and regulations that dictate how long semi-truck drivers can drive in one 24-hour period.

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.

Driver requirements

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.

Call 911

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Things to do at the scene of an Uber or Lyft crash

Because accidents involving Uber or Lyft drivers are complicated, there are many things that can be done at the scene of a crash that will help your attorney recover the compensation you deserve. Uber’s or Lyft’s insurance companies will have a team of lawyers, adjusters and investigators fighting to deny you fair compensation. It is only right that you have a team on your side that is experienced in handling Uber accident cases.

Try to focus on doing these five things after an accident involving an Uber or Lyfy driver:

Call 911!

Call 911 as soon as possible and report the accident. The faster EMTs get to the scene to treat the injured, the better. Also, the sooner police get there, the sooner they can direct traffic to ensure there are no secondary crashes. Further, the police can begin an investigation into the cause of the accident.

Be observant

5

Things to do at the scene of an Uber or Lyft crash

Because accidents involving Uber or Lyft drivers are complicated, there are many things that can be done at the scene of a crash that will help your attorney recover the compensation you deserve. Uber’s or Lyft’s insurance companies will have a team of lawyers, adjusters and investigators fighting to deny you fair compensation. It is only right that you have a team on your side that is experienced in handling Uber accident cases.

Try to focus on doing these five things after an accident involving an Uber or Lyfy driver:

Be observant

Note whether the at-fault driver is acting in any way intoxicated, such as exhibiting slurred speech or stumbling and falling over. Also note whether the at-fault driver is attempting to destroy evidence of being intoxicated by throwing away bottles or cans of alcohol from the vehicle.

Talk to witnesses

5

Things to do at the scene of an Uber or Lyft crash

Because accidents involving Uber or Lyft drivers are complicated, there are many things that can be done at the scene of a crash that will help your attorney recover the compensation you deserve. Uber’s or Lyft’s insurance companies will have a team of lawyers, adjusters and investigators fighting to deny you fair compensation. It is only right that you have a team on your side that is experienced in handling Uber accident cases.

Try to focus on doing these five things after an accident involving an Uber or Lyfy driver:

Talk to witnesses

Get the names, addresses and contact information of all witnesses who can help officials recreate what happened at the scene. If they are willing, have them write out a statement that you can give to your attorney documenting their recollection of the accident.

Document the scene

5

Things to do at the scene of an Uber or Lyft crash

Because accidents involving Uber or Lyft drivers are complicated, there are many things that can be done at the scene of a crash that will help your attorney recover the compensation you deserve. Uber’s or Lyft’s insurance companies will have a team of lawyers, adjusters and investigators fighting to deny you fair compensation. It is only right that you have a team on your side that is experienced in handling Uber accident cases.

Try to focus on doing these five things after an accident involving an Uber or Lyfy driver:

Document the accident

Use your smartphone to take pictures so that you can record the scene of the crash. Take photos of the entire area so that, if necessary, your lawyer can get a good sense of how the crash happened. Get detailed pictures of the damage to the vehicles and pictures of skid marks, which an expert can use to determine rate of speed and direction of vehicles.

Be honest

5

Things to do at the scene of an Uber or Lyft crash

Because accidents involving Uber or Lyft drivers are complicated, there are many things that can be done at the scene of a crash that will help your attorney recover the compensation you deserve. Uber’s or Lyft’s insurance companies will have a team of lawyers, adjusters and investigators fighting to deny you fair compensation. It is only right that you have a team on your side that is experienced in handling Uber accident cases.

Try to focus on doing these five things after an accident involving an Uber or Lyfy driver:

Be honest

Be cooperative and honest with the investigating police officer when he or she asks you to provide a statement of what happened. Do not exaggerate anything, but also do not leave any facts out, even if you think at the time they might not be relevant.

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How do you determine how much my Uber or Lyft case is worth?

An experienced 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 a lawyer to discuss your accident and injuries.

Issues that will affect the value of your case

Common injuries seen in motorcycle crashes include

How badly were you injured?

Did the injury heal completely in 6 weeks or will you suffer from the injury for years or maybe even forever? Was surgery required to fix your injuries? Were there permanent aspects to the injury such as scarring or the need for implants to repair bones, thus possibly causing arthritis later in life?

Do you have any lost wages?

This number counts both past lost wages as well as future lost wages due a lower earning power caused by an ongoing disability. A good attorney will hire an expert called an economist who will determine the amount of future lost wages, along with interest, due to permanent disability caused by the accident.

How much insurance can you access?

What are the policy limits of the at-fault driver? Do you have underinsured or uninsured (UM/UIM) coverage? You may have suffered injuries that an average person would agree should be worth millions of dollars. However, you will only receive the policy limits of the various insurance policies in play.

How much are your medical bills?

Usually, the amount of medical bills can demonstrate the severity of an injury. This number includes past medical bills but also future medical bills for any ongoing treatment. A good Uber or Lyft accident attorney can hire an expert to determine future.

Have you endured pain and suffering?

This category of damages is called non-economic damages and can be difficult to put a number on it because there is established formula. The only way to determine this number is to hire an experienced lawyer who has handled many Uber or Lyft crash cases and can fairly calculate damages.

How can an Uber and Lyft accident lawyer help me?

The lawyers at Hessig & Pohl have successfully handled many accidents that have involved Uber and Lyft vehicles. We will immediately begin to do whatever is necessary to bring your case to a successful conclusion and to get you the fair compensation that you deserve. There are many things that we will do to fight against Uber/Lyft and its insurance company.

Contact us through this website, or call our office at (502) 583-5782.

Louisville personal injury and car accident lawyers

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.

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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.

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