There are many myths about rideshare accidents that must be debunked. If you get into an Uber or Lyft accident, knowing the difference between fact and fiction can ensure your rights are protected.
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are growing in popularity, but there are still a lot of misconceptions about how what causes Uber and Lyft crashes, and what to expect when rideshare accidents happen.
Myths About the Risk of Rideshare Accidents
It is a common misconception that ridesharing has reduced the number of car accidents on Nevada’s roadways because Uber and Lyft drivers are taking the place of so many drunk drivers. Drivers for rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are at a higher risk of getting into accidents, however. There are some common themes when it comes to what causes rideshare accidents.
Taking your eyes off the road for even a second increases crash risk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 3142 deaths from distracted driving in 2020. Rideshare drivers who are constantly checking their rideshare app, GPS, texting, or talking on their phones are more likely to be involved in a car accident.
Uber and Lyft drivers get paid for each ride they complete. To free themselves up for the next rideshare customer, thereby increasing their earnings, drivers frequently speed. Drivers may also speed when they have demanding passengers who are in a rush to get from point A to point B. Speeding often causes crashes that result in severe injuries and even death.
Violations of Traffic Laws
Rideshare drivers may be tempted to disobey traffic signals and stop signs, or cut through traffic to get to their next ride. This is especially true if they’re behind schedule. Nevada traffic law violations such as speeding, running red lights, and distracted driving can lead to crashes.
Unfortunately, rideshare companies may not offer their drivers special training. Also, the drivers may be less experienced and need to develop the skills to deal with all the possible situations they will encounter on the road. This inexperience can lead to accidents.
To increase their earning potential, many drivers offer rides through multiple rideshare apps. As a result, they may spend large portions of their days driving, increasing fatigue and, subsequently, rideshare accidents. Studies show that lack of sleep causes slower reaction times and impaired judgment, which leads to crashes.
When a rideshare driver is driving under the influence of drugs, medications, or alcohol, his or her skills, such as reaction time, judgment, and ability to measure distances, are greatly reduced. The driver could speed, engage in reckless driving, or move between lanes, resulting in Uber accidents.
Common Myths About Rideshare Accidents
There seems to be a lot of misinformation floating around about Lyft and Uber accidents, and what people should expect if they suffer injuries in a rideshare crash. Identifying rideshare accident myths, and getting the facts about Uber and Lyft accident claims, help ensure you know what to expect if you or your loved ones suffer injuries.
Myth: The Rideshare Company Is Always Liable
Rideshare companies are usually liable for any injuries you sustain in an accident that is caused by one of their on-duty drivers. However, this does not mean they will automatically pay your medical bills or other damages.
The ridesharing company may try to blame the other party, or both parties may be partially at fault. If a ride request was accepted, and the rideshare driver is at fault, the rideshare company’s insurance will cover injuries up to $1 million per victim and up to $2 million per accident.
Rideshare companies are not liable for every accident that occurs, however. They’re only responsible for accidents that happen under the terms of their contingent policies or during the period between when a ride has been accepted and when the passenger has been dropped off.
Myth: You Can’t File a Lawsuit If You Get Injured in an Uber Accident
If you are injured in an Uber accident, and your injuries are covered by the company’s insurance policy, but the insurer doesn’t pay for your losses, you can sue Uber’s insurance company to recover damages.
Additionally, if the company as negligent in hiring or retaining an Uber driver, and that negligence caused you to become injured, you can sue Uber directly.
A rideshare accident attorney can evaluate your case to determine whether you can file a lawsuit, and help you decide who to sue.
Myth: Rideshare Drivers Are Uninsured
All rideshare companies require drivers to carry insurance coverage that meets or exceeds state law requirements for personal automobile insurance policies. The coverage includes bodily injury liability, damage liability, medical payment coverage for injuries sustained by passengers, uninsured motorist coverage, and collision coverage if your car is damaged.
Myth: Uber’s $1 million Insurance Will Always Get You a Huge Settlement
While Uber offers $1 million in liability coverage, other factors determine how much you will get for your claim.
These factors include, but are not limited to, whether the driver was logged into the Uber app, whether the ride had been accepted, who was at-fault for the accident, and the severity of your injuries.
Myth: The Company Is Always Liable If an Uber Hits You
The ridesharing company is only liable if damages occurred while the driver was logged into the rideshare app. If the driver was logged in and awaiting a ride request, his or her personal auto insurance is primary, and then Uber’s contingency policy takes over. If a ride request had been accepted when the crash happened, Uber’s insurance is primary if the Uber driver was at fault.
Myth: Company Insurance Does Not Cover Uber Drivers
Uber drivers are covered under company insurance even if they are independent contractors and are not considered fully employed.
Depending on the situation, Uber covers the following damages:
- If the driver’s app is active, Uber provides $50,000 per individual for bodily injury when waiting for a ride request, but only after the driver’s personal insurance is exhausted.
- $1 million in coverage is available if the driver accepted a ride request, or was transporting passengers when the accident occurred.
Myth: You Can Negotiate on Your Own
Victims often attempt to negotiate with their insurance company independently, but this is almost always a mistake. Insurance companies have teams of lawyers who are experienced with defending these cases, Their representatives and attorneys will try to reduce your claim as much as possible to protect the insurer’s bottom line. Hiring a rideshare accident lawyer who is familiar with the complicated insurance policies and insurance companies’ tactics significantly improves your chances of recovering full and fair compensation.
Myth: You Will Always Get Fair Compensation
Insurance companies rarely offer compensation that is fair when a personal injury claim is initially filed. In fact, it usually requires negotiation by an accident lawyer to get insurers to budge on their settlement offers. Although 90% of injury cases settle outside of court, personal injury lawsuits are often filed before insurers take victims seriously. Sometimes, accident lawyers must bring cases to court to help their clients recover fair compensation.
Myth: The Greater the Damage, The Higher the Settlement
While a settlement is based on the severity of the damages a claimant suffers, it is not the only thing considered. Other factors include:
- The at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits
- The cost of medical treatment
- Whether there was an at-fault driver with bodily injury coverage
- How much time you missed from work due to your injuries
- How much pain and suffering you endured
- Whether multiple parties were liable for the accident
Steps to Take After a Rideshare Accident
There are steps victims can take after a rideshare accident to help secure their claim. Here is what to do if you are in an Uber accident:
Check for Injuries and Call 911
Check for injuries and call 911 immediately if anyone is injured or if there is any risk of injury. If no one is hurt and there are no serious injuries, it’s still important to call the police. It will ensure there is proper documentation of the incident.
Seek Medical Assistance
If you are injured in an Uber accident, seek medical assistance as soon as possible. You may not feel any pain at the scene, but your body can suffer internal injuries that only become apparent after a few hours or days. You should also ask your doctor for a copy of your medical records, which you will use when dealing with legal issues or the insurance company.
Take Photos and Videos of the Accident Scene
Document the accident scene by taking photos, including any skid marks, debris, and other damage. It’s also important to document your injuries. It proves that you were injured, and it can help you prove how severe those injuries are when you file a personal injury claim against the company.
Obtain Contact and Insurance Information From Your Uber Driver
It’s important to obtain as much information as possible from your driver. This includes the driver’s name, contact information, license plate number, and insurance information. If other drivers were involved in the accident, be sure to get their information as well.
Collect Witness Details and Statements
You should get witnesses’ names, phone numbers, addresses, and other contact information for anyone who may have seen your accident. Ask them if they vividly recall what happened and if they can give accurate statements. You should take notes or record their statements (with permission), so there are no misunderstandings later.
File a Police Report
The police officer who arrives at the scene will record witness statements and include information about any injuries sustained. He or she will also take photos or videos of the accident scene, which can help investigators determine the cause of your crash.
Notify the Company of the Accident
Report the accident to Uber as soon as possible. Call them from your mobile phone or use the app to send them a message. Take a screenshot of your trip history, which may help establish fault in the accident. You should also let them know if there are any injuries and if anyone needs medical attention.
Contact a Rideshare Accident Lawyer
Contact a rideshare accident lawyer as soon as your condition is stable. You don’t need to wait until you have been released from the hospital or until your injuries heal. In many cases, accident attorneys will even come to your hospital room to discuss an injury case. The sooner you contact your attorney, the sooner he or she can begin investigating your case, making sure evidence is preserved, and protecting your right to recover financial compensation for your losses.