Rideshare Accident Lawyers
Anne flew in from out of town to go to her best friend’s wedding. After four hours on the flight with a two-hour layover, she only wants to get to her hotel, shower, and rest before the bachelorette party.
She hires an Uber driver during the layover so the car is there when she arrives to take her to the hotel. Not being familiar with Salt Lake City, she’s reluctant to rent a vehicle or risk getting lost. She climbs in after confirming she found the right car and texts her friend from the back seat of the car, letting the bride know she’d arrived. The driver pulls away from the airport passenger loading area into a passing car as she’s putting on her seatbelt.
Logic dictates that, as a passenger, there’s no chance this accident was Anne’s fault. The driver of the other car was speeding in a passenger loading area. The Uber driver didn’t look before pulling into traffic, nor had he started the meter. And Anne was sitting on the side that got hit. Her injuries are relatively minor considering how close she sat to the point of impact, though she’ll have to wear a sling and cast with her bridesmaid’s dress.
The drivers are blaming each other while the paramedic examines her. She thinks about the cost of the ambulance ride, which isn’t covered by her high deductible insurance plan. Not to mention the ER visit, x-ray, a possible surgery to fix her arm, and follow up visits. Who will pay her medical bills?
What Are Rideshare Apps?
Rideshare apps like Lyft and Uber have recently emerged as popular public transportation options. Drivers use their private vehicles to pick up passengers and deliver them to their destinations. Passengers can call for a ride using an app on their phone. After some initial controversy over the safety of such an app, drivers now submit to criminal background checks and must provide their motor vehicle reports.
Fans of the app say they have better luck getting rides late in the night than they did with taxis. The door-to-door service is convenient for passengers, who save money compared to traditional cab fares. Rideshare companies also allow struggling drivers looking for a flexible side gig (such as single parents, students, etc.) to earn good money.
However, some gray areas make prosecuting accident claims difficult. Technically, the driver only works for the rideshare company when the meter is running. The rest of the time, the vehicle is privately owned and covered by the driver’s personal insurance company.
In this situation, the private insurance company will insist that since Anne is an Uber customer, Uber’s insurance company should cover the damages. Uber’s insurance will claim she was sitting in a private vehicle during the accident because the driver hadn’t started the Uber meter app on his phone. And poor Anne is stuck in the middle.
After going the rounds between the two companies, both denying the claim, Anne hired an Uber Accident Lawyer to help her recoup her losses.
Should you find yourself in a similar situation, here are some tips on handling the claim so that you receive the best possible care.
Make A Police Report
An official police report will document the accident details, eliminating much of the he-said/she-said confusion.
Police have to prioritize their resources to meet life-threatening needs first, however, so there might not be one readily available to come and take a report. In that case, the information gathering becomes your responsibility. That way, you can position yourself for the greatest possible outcome.
Documentation Is Everything
You can build the best case from the beginning if you call a rideshare accident lawyer right away. They can help you collect all information, regardless of which driver was at fault: your rideshare driver or the other driver. More is better when it comes to evidence. Our lawyers can help you know exactly what information to collect given the circumstances of your case.
Here’s a basic list of what you should collect:
- Driver and Passenger Information: It is essential to get information from all drivers, passengers, and witnesses willing to give a statement. (A picture of a driver’s license would shorten this step.)
- Full name of all parties involved or that witnessed the accident.
- Driver’s license number of all drivers
- Date of birth of drivers and passengers
- Mailing addresses and phone numbers of drivers, passengers, and witnesses
- Personal insurance information of both drivers, whether or not they work for a rideshare company (like Uber or Lyft)
- Company insurance information if they work for Uber/Lyft or are driving a company vehicle
- Car Information For Both Vehicles: Some or all of this information will be on their insurance card. Again, a picture will save time.
- Year, Make and Model of all involved vehicles.
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of all vehicles. (You can find it on a metal plate on the dashboard or the sticker on the driver’s side door, registration, or insurance card.)
- License Plate. Get both the state and number. (This is especially important if it’s a hit-and-run. The license plate will help the police track the responsible party.)
- Accident Scene Photos: Pictures of the cars will help determine what damage was caused by the accident. This is especially important if one or more of the vehicles is older or has damage from previous incidents. It can help determine who was at fault and how the surrounding terrain, traffic signage, weather, and other factors led to the accident.
- An Account Of Events: It is much easier to take down information at the scene of an accident than to try and recall details later. As soon as you can, write down all events in order with as much detail as possible. If the case goes to trial months down the road, you can just review your notes.
You might feel like you are hardly injured when your system is flooded with adrenaline, but those injuries can get more painful when things calm down. Head injuries can even worsen over time without treatment. The best course of action is a thorough examination after an accident to officially document your injuries and verify there is nothing you should worry about later.
Follow doctor instructions on treating your injuries and preventing them from worsening, both for your physical well-being and to prove due diligence should the case ever go to trial. Otherwise, opposing counsel can claim your injuries are worse because you didn’t follow the doctor’s orders, which may lessen your settlement.
Whether you are attending to details of the lawsuit or dealing with your injuries, keep all your receipts for prescriptions, copays, mileage, lost wages, transportation costs, and any specialized equipment used during your recovery, like a cane or walker.
Contact Utah Uber Accident Lawyers
If your driver is at fault in the accident, there are two options for you to receive payment. You can get money from their personal insurance or their employer’s policy.
In Anne’s situation, as her driver invited her into his vehicle with the intent to make money, technically, Uber insurance should pay for the damage. Both insurance companies will probably emphasize the interpretation of the law that allows them to deny liability.
Insurance companies employ top-notch lawyers to help them wiggle out of paying what they owe. Your rideshare accident lawyer can keep them honest.
Lifelaw’s Uber accident attorneys understand rideshare laws and how they apply to you and your case. They can navigate the complicated mess these cases can become.
Don’t Sign Anything
Have our office review all documents before you sign anything. The insurance company will pay out as little as they can legally manage. They’re a business. As such, their duty is to the company and not to you or your family.
If you have medical bills rolling in, it can be tempting to accept a hasty offer. A quick settlement may also mean you sign away your rights before you know the actual final cost of your medical care, lost wages, and other associated costs.
Your Uber accident attorney protects your rights now and secures funds for your future accident-related medical expenses. After reviewing your medical reports, we will guide you through settlement decisions to ensure your financial security.
Why Choose LifeLaw?
LifeLaw is your Rideshare Accident law firm in Salt Lake City, Utah. We pride ourselves on our advocacy for our neighbors in the State of Utah.
Big insurance knows most people won’t fight for more after receiving a lowball offer. We fight for your right to the best medical care available to ensure optimal recovery. With almost a century of experience, our firm fights to protect your way of life, not just pay a few current bills.
We recognize the pain and confusion that comes with a severe accident. We also know your need to concentrate on recovery. We do the legal legwork for your case so you can focus on your loved ones.
We also advocate for you if your insurance company drags its feet in paying your claims, knowing that sometimes the at-fault party is driving without insurance.
What You Can Expect From Our Office
Attention: We listen to your story to understand your circumstances and provide the best possible strategy. You’re not just a case or a statistic.
Timeliness: Fruitless errands are costly when you miss work or school or have to pay a babysitter. We call you in only when we need you and deal with the rest so you can live your life while we work.
Professional And Knowledgeable Staff: Our seasoned Uber accident lawyers have great support from top-notch staff members. They build a case backed by accurate documentation and keep you informed of important dates and times, ensuring access to proper diagnostic tests and care.
Strength: We back you with the full power of our office and will go the distance, fighting for your financial future
You’re a statistic to the insurance company, nothing more than a number to adjust their actuary tables. Their sole responsibility is to collect more money than they pay in claims.
You will most likely never meet the adjusters deciding what your injuries are worth. They won’t watch you struggle to pay bills while they fight to pay your claim. Nor will they remember your name a month from now while you’re still going to doctor’s appointments. They focus on the bottom line, even if it means you and your family go without.
The victims of accidents shouldn’t face long-term financial and physical consequences due to the negligence of the Uber driver or the driver of another vehicle.
Every day you expect your loved ones to come home in one piece. You leave for work or school with faith that the other car will stay in their lane and stop when the light turns red. No matter how carefully you drive and follow traffic laws or how much space you give the other cars, you can’t control everything. Accidents happen, but you don’t have to let the negligent act of another destroy your quality of life.
At LifeLaw, we believe people are more valuable than profit. We work to protect the rights of Utah residents like you. Let us help you fight back. The law is on your side.
While most rideshare drivers are responsible, Uber and Lyft drivers spend a disproportionate percentage of time on our streets. It’s little wonder they have the occasional accident. However, when you hire a company to get you safely to your destination, that contract should come with some protection. The at-fault party must correct any damage and return you as closely as possible to your pre-accident state. That’s the purpose of insurance and why we’re all required to have it before we get behind the wheel.
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