Calling or flagging down a taxi used to be your only option if you needed a ride in Salt Lake City. In recent years, ridesharing apps such as Uber and Lyft have become convenient and affordable means of transportation. With just a few clicks on your smartphone you’re able to order and pay for a ride.
On any given day in Utah there are likely dozens if not hundreds of Uber and Lyft drivers on the road. While the number of ridesharing vehicles on the road increases, so does the number of accidents involving the drivers of these services. Since ridesharing companies are a relatively new concept, determining fault and holding the correct party liable when an accident occurs can be confusing.
Have you been injured in a Salt Lake City car accident involving a ridesharing company such as Lyft or Uber? We at Fielding Law in Salt Lake City are here to help. We’re experienced at handling cases involving ridesharing companies, and we will work hard to seek justice for you. Call (877) 880-4090 today to setup your free consultation.
Ridesharing companies differ from traditional taxi services. Unlike taxi drivers, who are usually employed through a company, ridesharing drivers are independent contractors who use their own vehicles. The person needing a ride uses a ridesharing application on their smartphone to send a trip request, which is then forwarded to a driver. Once the ride is confirmed the rider will be able to see which driver is picking them up, as well as the driver’s rating and the make and model of the vehicle. The driver picks the person up and transports them to their destination. After the client is dropped off the driver will log the trip into the application.
There is a screening process that applicants have to pass before they can drive for Uber in Utah. You must pass a background check and have a clean driving record. The background check will reveal whether the driver has been convicted of reckless driving or a DUI. It will also reveal whether they have ever been convicted of violence or sexual assault. This is done for the protection and safety of passengers. Sadly, despite the precautions that are taken by ridesharing companies, some Lyft and Uber drivers are not safe drivers and cause accidents that injure their passengers.
Uber and Lyft both require their drivers to have their own insurance policy. However, they do also provide supplemental insurance coverage. Uber and Lyft have similar insurance coverage. The following is a breakdown of Uber’s insurance policy:
Offline or the Uber app is set to off: In this case, it is only the driver’s personal insurance policy that is covering damages. Uber won’t be held accountable for any accidents a driver has when they aren’t on the job.
Available or waiting for a drive request: The driver’s personal insurance as well as Uber’s contingent liability insurance are active. This includes $50,000-$100,000 for injuries and $25,000 for property damage.
During trips and en route to pick up passengers: You’re covered under Uber’s commercial insurance policy. This includes up to $1 million in third party liability and $1 million in uninsured/ underinsured motorist liability.
It is stressful to be involved in any sort of accident. After the accident you’re possibly coping with medical complications, facing emotional trauma, and on top of that spending endless hours talking with insurance companies trying to get fair compensation for damages sustained in the accident. When your accident involves a ride sharing company such as Uber or Lyft, the stress of dealing with insurance companies is often intensified because there are so many parties involved. The number of parties involved in the accident makes determining who is to blame and liable complicated and confusing.
When deciding who is liable for the accident the following factors need to be considered:
All of these elements may impact who should be held liable for compensation for damages.
Before seeking compensation you first need to identify in what way you were connected to the accident. There are several different ways in which you could be involved in a ride sharing accident.
You were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft accident: Uber and Lyft drivers have a responsibility to ensure that their passengers safely reach their destinations. If the accident was a result of negligence on their part you will likely seek compensation through Uber and Lyft’s insurance companies.
However, if the accident was caused by the driver of another vehicle, then you will likely file a claim with their insurance company. Another level of complexity is added If the outside driver doesn’t have insurance. In this case, you would go after Uber or Lyft’s insurance companies to receive compensation.
An Uber or Lyft driver hit you: You fit into this category if you were in an accident involving a ridesharing driver while in your own vehicle, you were a passenger in a vehicle, or if you were a pedestrian. If the driver was on a trip you will likely file a claim against the ridesharing companies insurance policy. However, if you were driving your own vehicle then your insurance company will be involved as well.
You are an Uber or Lyft driver: We understand that as an Uber or Lyft driver you’re constantly on the road, and as a result you’re at a higher risk of being involved in an accident. If you were working and another driver hits you, you’ll likely file a claim against the at fault driver’s policy. If the at fault driver is uninsured or underinsured you may be able to receive compensation through Uber or Lyft’s insurance policies.
As you can see from these different scenarios, accidents involving Uber or Lyft are not cut and dry cases. Each accident is different and complex in it’s own way. Without an experienced lawyer on your side, you could get taken advantage of by Uber or Lyft’s lawyers and insurance companies. The knowledgeable attorneys at Fielding Law will fight to make sure this doesn’t happen. They will work hard to ensure that you get you the compensation you are due.
We at Fielding Law know that the days and weeks after an accident can be overwhelming. We’re here to help. If you’ve been involved in an accident involving Uber or Lyft in the Salt Lake City area seek legal counsel as quickly as possible. The sooner you contact a lawyer after the accident, the more fresh the details of the event will be in your mind. These small details can make a huge difference in a case being approved or denied. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can get to work on your case.
Don’t delay in seeking justice and the compensation you deserve. To speak to a member of our personal injury team about your accident today, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (877) 880-4090.