The invention of rideshare companies is one of the best things to happen in the last ten years. People who don’t have a way to get around now have a convenient and inexpensive option. When people go out to drink, they don’t have to worry about drinking and driving. But Uber and Lyft aren’t perfect. The people who drive for these companies aren’t professional drivers. Most of them do it part-time to earn some extra cash. They’re not experts. They’re just like you and me. Unfortunately, at some point, you may find yourself needing an Indianapolis Uber accident attorney.
If you’re the passenger in an Uber and they get into an accident, you’re going to need an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer. They can help you file your claims against the driver. They can even file a lawsuit on your behalf if need be.
Depending on how bad your injuries are, you may be entitled to a significant amount in damages. Call Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers at (317)593-3014 today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can get the justice you deserve.
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An Overview of Uber and Lyft and What Accident Victims Should Know
Uber and Lyft have some of the deepest pockets out there. The last thing they need to do is let their passengers get hurt and leave them holding the bag. The right thing to do would be to pay for all their passengers’ injuries. However, it doesn’t always happen that way.
Uber drivers have to carry at least $1 million in coverage. This is because they are taking the lives of so many passengers into their hands. They aren’t professional drivers. Uber understands there is a chance that they can get into a car crash. This is why they have to carry such high insurance thresholds.
This higher insurance coverage means that, if you get injured in an Uber accident, your injuries should be covered. So should your lost income and pain and suffering. But you don’t want to handle this on your own, you’ll want an experienced Uber accident attorney by your side.
Contact the Indianapolis, Indiana, Uber Accident Attorneys at Stewart|Phelps|Wood to make sure you have a trusted lawyer there to guide you throughout the entire process. If you fall into any of these categories, you may benefit from an experienced Uber accident lawyer:
- You are a passenger or motorist who’s injured in an accident in which the Uber driver was at fault
- Another driver was at fault and injured you in an accident while you worked as a rideshare driver
- You were the passenger in an Uber that got into a crash, regardless of whether they were at fault or not
Because rideshare companies are a relatively new phenomenon, the law continues to change when it comes to liability. You want someone by your side who got in on the ground floor when it comes to Uber accidents. The lawyers at Stewart|Phelps|Wood have that experience.
What Happens After an Uber Accident?
Most Uber accident victims have no idea what to do after an accident. The steps aren’t all that different from when you get into any other type of accident. The difference really lies in how your insurance claim will be handled. Since rideshare insurance is a lot different from regular car insurance, you’ll want to rely on an attorney who knows what they’re doing.
The biggest mistake you can make is assuming that Uber will do the right thing and cover your injuries. That won’t happen. Uber drivers aren’t employees of Uber. They are independent contractors. This means they’re responsible for carrying their own accident insurance.
The company does carry additional insurance in case the driver’s policy doesn’t carry your injuries. However, they aren’t going to be quick to offer that coverage. They are a business, after all. This is why you need an experienced lawyer in Indianapolis who knows how to deal with rideshare accidents.
We understand that, over time, there will be more and more Uber accident victims. Our lawyers also understand that the law is fluid when it comes to rideshare accidents. This means there’s never a guarantee of whether your injuries will be covered or not.
Should I Talk to the Insurance Company After an Uber Accident?
You really shouldn’t talk to an insurance adjuster, no matter whose fault the accident was. An experienced Uber accident attorney can advise you during these interactions with insurance companies. If you say one wrong thing and they’ll determine that you were at fault.
The insurance company may also try to settle your case directly with you. They may try to offer you a low-ball settlement. They’ll ask you to sign a release, agreeing not to pursue them later for additional monies.
Don’t ever sign a release without having us review it first. You may be agreeing to much less than what you deserve.
What Happens as an Uber Accident Passenger Victim?
When you get a ride with an Uber driver, you’re putting your life into their hands. You trust that they know what they’re doing and that they’ll be careful. So, if they get into an accident and you get hurt, it’s not that hard to prove they are liable.
That hardest part of your case will be proving how bad your injuries were. We will also have to determine whose insurance company should cover your injuries. If the Uber driver was at fault, his policy should cover your damages. If, however, another driver was at fault, you’ll need to file a claim against his policy.
You do have the peace of mind knowing that Uber carries their own insurance as well. If for some reason the driver’s policy isn’t valid or doesn’t cover your damages, Uber’s policy will kick in. You won’t have to worry about being stuck with medical bills or lost wages when the accident clearly wasn’t your fault.
Keep in mind – the insurance companies will do their best to hold on to their money. They may not approve your claim at first. We may have to file an appeal on your behalf. If this doesn’t work, you’ll have no choice but to file suit.
If you do have to file suit, understand that there’s a good chance Uber won’t be held responsible. Since Uber drivers aren’t technically employees, Uber may not be liable for your injuries. You’ll want an experienced injury lawyer there to fight on your behalf.
What If I’m a Pedestrian Hit by an Uber Driver?
Case law on Uber accidents is limited. In most cases, Uber is going to deny liability. If an Uber driver isn’t technically working at the time of the crash, Uber isn’t going to pay for your injuries.
Back in 2013, there was a pivotal case decided in California. An Uber driver, named Syed Muzzafar, was looking at his Uber app when he hit a six-year-old girl crossing the street. She died from her injuries.
Uber at first refused to pay any damages. They said that, since he didn’t have a passenger in the car, he wasn’t working. It was only after a lot of pressure that they decided to settle the lawsuit with the girl’s family.
This just goes to show you, Uber won’t be quick to pay out any lawsuits. They’re going to want to keep their money in their pockets for as long as possible. Even if they plan on settling down the road, they’re going to play hardball at first.
We will work hard to try to prove who was at fault. It may come down to proving that the Uber driver was on the clock at the time of the accident. If he was doing any of the following, we can argue that he was responsible:
- The driver was on his way to pick up a rider
- The driver was using the Uber app on his phone to arrange for a ride
- There was a passenger in the Uber rider’s car
- You were the passenger in their car
If any of these criteria apply, you may have a claim against both the Uber driver and Uber. It depends on how bad your injuries were. If the driver’s insurance doesn’t cover them, you can pursue the policy held by Uber.
The only time Uber may be found liable for the accident is if they were negligent in hiring the driver. If we can show that they hired an unsafe driver, you may have a viable claim against the company.
Call and Indianapolis Uber Accident Lawyer
If you get into an accident while riding in Uber, you may have a claim for damages. You need to contact an experienced Indianapolis Uber accident attorney to help you pursue your claim. We will review your case and let you know what it is worth. We can also reach out to the insurance adjustors.
Call Stewart|Phelps|Wood Personal Injury Lawyers today at (317)593-3014 and schedule your initial consultation. The consultation is absolutely free and you pay nothing until you settle your case.