Rideshare Accident Lawyer
Ridesharing has become a popular alternative to traditional taxi services, with many relying on Uber and Lyft as a main form of transportation. These car rides are often cheaper, quicker, and more accessible, but when an accident occurs it isn’t as cut and dry as traditional owner-driven car accidents.
Baltimore Rideshare accident lawyer and car accident lawyer John Leppler understands the rapidly evolving laws surrounding rideshare services and can help if you or a loved one suffered injuries during an Uber or Lyft rideshare accident.
What to Do After a Rideshare Accident
Mistakes you make immediately following your rideshare accident could rob you of the opportunity to recoup compensation. Avoid those mistakes by following the steps detailed below.
- Check if You Are Injured: Always prioritize your safety in the aftermath of any accident. Check yourself for injuries and do the same for your companions.
- Dial 911: After checking everyone for injuries, you can now place a call to 911. Ask the dispatcher to send an ambulance if anyone inside the vehicle is hurt. You should still request police assistance from the dispatcher even if no one received injuries.
- Obtain Available Evidence at the Scene: Try collecting evidence if you are physically capable of doing so. Snap pictures of anything you think is relevant and record videos of the accident site as well. Do not forget to collect statements from witnesses who saw the accident unfold.
- Get Information from the Drivers Involved: Next, you need to get the name, contact details, and insurance information of the drivers involved. Obtain information from everyone involved, so you contact the responsible party no matter who it turns out to be.
- Speak to the Police: Talk to the police as soon as they arrive on the scene. Share the pieces of evidence you have collected. You should also use this opportunity to discuss the accident from your point of view. Ask the police officers for their names and contact details before you end your conversation.
- Report the Accident to Your Chosen Rideshare Service: Reporting the accident to Lyft or Uber demonstrates that you took what happened seriously. That will be a key point when you try to seek compensation down the line. Both Lyft and Uber have reporting features in their respective apps to use. Mention only the facts in your report. If the ridesharing service tries to contact you, redirect them to your rideshare accident lawyer.
- Consult with a Doctor: Following your accident, you may have injuries that are not immediately obvious. Head to the doctor so you can confirm one way or another if you have sustained any injuries.
- Secure the Services of a Rideshare Accident Attorney: Obtaining compensation in a rideshare accident case will not be easy. Make sure you have a Lyft accident lawyer or Uber accident lawyer assisting you throughout this process. Their assistance will be critical to landing the compensation you deserve.
What Are Some of the Causes of Rideshare Accidents?
As a rideshare passenger, you expect your trip to be smooth and uneventful. Sadly, rideshare drivers can still make costly mistakes behind the wheel. In this section of the article, we will highlight some of the main factors that cause rideshare accidents.
Previous reports have indicated that the vetting process for rideshare drivers is not especially thorough. As a result, drivers with questionable records can slip through the cracks. Unfortunately, rideshare passengers are the ones who pay the price whenever that happens. Your driver getting into an accident is not the only thing you need to worry about if they do not get vetted properly.
Over the years, reports have also come out about those drivers assaulting their passengers. Hire a personal injury lawyer immediately if something like that occurs during your trip.
Rideshare companies set incentives for their drivers to rake in more revenue. Unfortunately, while drivers do get perks for hitting those incentives, they also put themselves at greater risk. Instead of resting, some drivers may stay out longer to hit an incentive within reach. The stress of trying to hit those incentives could also have adverse effects on a driver’s skills. It is not difficult to see how that incentive structure can cause problems.
Like other motorists, rideshare drivers are still susceptible to distracted driving. They may be even more susceptible to it since they need to check their phone frequently for directions.
Ridesharing Apps and Laws in Maryland
Baltimore County residents should know about the relevant laws before they book a ride on their preferred ridesharing app. That way, they will know what could happen should their driver end up in an accident. There are two specific aspects of Maryland’s law related to rideshare drivers that we want to highlight here.
The Designation of Rideshare Drivers
In some parts of the country, you will find that drivers are considered employees of rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber. However, many states also continue to designate rideshare drivers as independent contractors.
That distinction matters because it affects liability if an accident occurs. You may not receive compensation from the rideshare company directly unless the driver meets certain conditions if they are an independent contractor. Notably, Maryland has not determined thus far that rideshare drivers are employees. Contact a Rideshare accident attorney or an Uber accident lawyer to determine how that impacts your case.
Limitations on Who Can Be Rideshare Drivers
Baltimore, Towson, and other Maryland city residents should also know that the state limits who can work as rideshare drivers. Drivers guilty of driving under the influence cannot serve as rideshare drivers within the state. Similar restrictions are on drivers who caused a major traffic offense that led to someone dying. The state may also prohibit you from driving for either Lyft or Uber if you have several traffic violations within five years.
The courts can also bar you from becoming a rideshare driver if you have a history of violent crime. Drug-related offenses and burglary charges may also be why you cannot work that specific job.
Do Rideshare Companies Like Uber and Lyft Have Insurance?
Insurers are typically on the hook for making payments if private motorists are involved in car accidents. But what happens if the driver is a rideshare driver for a company like Lyft or Uber? Does insurance still play a role, then?
Frequent rideshare passengers should know that both Lyft and Uber possess insurance policies that cover their drivers in specific situations. In fact, you will find that Lyft’s insurance policies are similar to Uber’s plans.
When the Lyft or Uber driver becomes booked, they have a $1,000,000 third-party auto liability policy. Coverage is lighter when a rideshare driver is waiting for a booking. In that situation, their coverage is $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 to cover property damage per accident.
If the rideshare app is off, the driver’s personal insurance policy is the one that takes effect.
Rideshare Insurance Policy Limitations
Uber and Lyft drivers are regular people with no specific training beyond a fairly simple approval process. Baltimore riders have their own car insurance, along with the coverage that the ridesharing company provides. However, the insurance coverage for Uber and Lyft accidents only applies in certain situations during your portion of your ride:
- Rideshare insurance will not apply when the driver is in their vehicle but not using the app; in other words, are “offline.” Any accidents that happen during this offline period are not covered by the ridesharing company’s insurance.
- When a driver is in their vehicle and using the app while they are waiting for a customer, they are considered “available.” For available Uber drivers the company maintains a maximum of $50,000 for bodily injuries or death of one person ($100,000 limit per accident) and $25,000 for loss of or damage to property.
- For Uber, once a driver has accepted a ride and is actively engaging in the route, the company maintains the following insurance policies: $1 million for third-party liability, and uninsured/underinsured motorist injury.
Every accident is different and the specific scenario surrounding your case should be reviewed by an experienced lawyer.
How Can a Baltimore Rideshare Lawyer Help You if You’ve Been Involved in a Rideshare Accident?
Many complicated legal issues arise when you have been involved in a rideshare accident. An experienced Baltimore rideshare lawyer like John Leppler can help you:
- Navigate the rideshare company’s insurance policies
- Deal with the rideshare company’s legal team
- Help you recover your medical bills, lost wages, and any other damages you may not be aware of or don’t fully realize the value of
- Manage all details of your accident claim, giving you time to recover without the added stress of navigating a claim by yourself
How Much Are Rideshare Accident Settlements?
They determine your compensation after your rideshare accident by the economic and non-economic damages identified in your case. Let’s talk about those damages a bit more so you can better understand how much your compensation may be worth.
Economic Damages: The economic damages in personal injury cases cover the plaintiff’s monetary losses. These would include any medical expenses you have incurred while treating the injuries you sustained. You will also receive compensation for your damaged possessions. Lost wages may also factor into the economic damages in your rideshare accident lawsuit.
Non-Economic Damages: While economic damages cover your monetary losses, the non-economic damages will compensate you for your unquantifiable losses. Mental anguish, lost opportunities, and loss of enjoyment of life are among the most common examples of those types of losses.
Your rideshare accident lawyer can calculate the non-economic damages in your case using the method prescribed by the relevant court.
What Should I Know if I Am an Uber or Lyft Driver?
Before you decide to drive for either Lyft or Uber, you must take a second look at your auto insurance plan. Go through it carefully and see if it has any lines stating you are not allowed to become a rideshare driver. You can also call your insurer to confirm the terms of your policy.
Working as a rideshare driver when your policy prohibits you from doing so is unwise. You are putting yourself at risk and may pay for all your expenses out of pocket if an accident occurs. Do not worry if your current policy stops you from working as a rideshare driver. There are still companies that will offer you coverage if you want that job.
In Maryland, people can go to AAA, Allstate, Erie, Farmer’s, Geico, State Farm, and USAA if they want an auto insurance policy that allows them to drive for a rideshare service. Look over their plans carefully until you see one that suits you.
A Baltimore Rideshare Lawyer Can Help You With Your Claim
Experienced Baltimore Ridesharing, Uber and Lyft accident lawyer John J. Leppler will handle all aspects of your claim, allowing you to focus on your recovery if you’ve been injured or a loved one has died in a wrongful death. Mr. Leppler will analyze your case during your free consultation, provide you with options, help you decide your best course of action, gather and organize the evidence necessary to establish your claim, assign liability, and handle your claims during settlement negotiations or at trial.
Mr. Leppler has a great deal of experience handling rideshare accident claims. He’ll aggressively fight for your rights and won’t back down by accepting an undervalued settlement. Mr. Leppler will personally handle your case from beginning to end with an unwavering commitment to win.
Contact an Accident Lawyer if You’ve Been Injured in a Ridesharing Accident
At the Leppler Injury Law, we have the experience and understanding of the law necessary to help you with your ridesharing accident. We also offer important services that you can’t find at the mega-firms, such as 24/7 accessibility, free consultations, same-day responses to messages, proactive tactics toward insurance companies and opposing Rideshare attorneys, an experienced track record, and personalized and customized attention to the details of your unique case.
Some of the locations we serve are Baltimore City, as well as locations in Baltimore County including: Towson, Rosedale, Dundalk, Cockeysville, Lutherville-Timonium, Lochearn, Overlea, Parkville, Essex, Glen Burnie, Ferndale, Pikesville, Carney, Catonsville, Randallstown, Reisterstown, Perry Hall, Hampton, White Marsh, and more.