Spokane Uber and Lyft Accident Attorney
The ride-sharing industry has grown exponentially in Spokane in recent years. They’re replacing the taxi. Why? Because they’re cheaper and faster. The downside is you’re more than likely being driven around by a non-professional driver. Many of the people that drive for Uber and Lyft do it part-time to make some extra money. So you never know the driving skills of your driver, thus leaving you at higher risk of an accident.
Unlike taxis, Uber and Lyft drivers use their own vehicles to pick up passengers. Rideshare drivers do not generally carry a commercial driver’s license, and their cars are not typically insured or registered as commercial vehicles. The unique employment relationship between rideshare services and drivers also introduces issues when it comes to insurance coverage and can cause victims to face challenges during the personal injury claim process.
Uber and Lyft offer $1 million in liability insurance that protects the passenger against the negligence of the Uber driver. This insurance would act as a possible source of recovery based on the circumstances of the accident.
Understanding Rideshare Accidents
A rideshare accident is going to be very similar to a typical auto accident, except you may have additional sources of insurances to recover from—which is good for the injured parties. That means you have a higher likelihood of getting compensated, especially if you are in a case with substantial damages.
Who’s Responsible for The Accident?
The issue of who’s responsible would need to be analyzed on a case by case basis. However, the law governing the issue would remain the same. The person who is legally responsible for causing the accident will be the one responsible for paying the damages. If they don’t have enough insurance coverage, there may be uninsured or underinsured coverage available through Uber or Lyft. In some circumstances, this coverage can provide special protections. Uninsured or underinsured coverage might also be available through the injured parties insurance company if they’ve purchased it.
To learn more about insurance coverage read our article 7 Types of Insurance Coverage Explained.
Steps You Should Take if You’re Involved in a Rideshare Accident
If you’ve been involved in a Car accident it’s important to follow some basic steps in the minutes and days following the incident. To learn more about the steps below read 10 Steps You Should Take After an Automobile Accident.
- Stop Your Vehicle
- Check yourself for Injuries
- Check on the wellbeing of others
- Determine if you need to call the police
- Do not Implicate Yourself
- Exchange insurance and contact information
- Document your experience and gather evidence
- Track Expenses
- Notify your insurer and start the claims process
- Contact a personal injury attorney
Preserve all Electronic Data
An essential piece of evidence in an Uber or Lyft accident is likely in electronic format. This should be protected or preserved in case it would prove useful in litigation. Uber and Lyft maintain large databases with voluminous GPS and electronic data regarding their drivers. In the event of an accident, an Uber or Lyft injury attorney needs to make sure that the company saves the data because it could prove useful at a later date.
Insurance Companies Are Not on Your Side
Do NOT give any statements to any insurance company or investigator retained by another party and/or insurance carrier. Insurance companies and corporations like Uber and Lyft are in business to make money, not pay out claims to victims. This means they often work diligently to deny, despite, and underpay personal injury claims.
Be careful what you say when filing an insurance claim, even if you’re speaking to your insurance company. Insurance companies are not on your side and will look for any opportunity to devalue or deny your claim. The very people who are insuring you and who agree to pay you in the event of an accident are also the people who review your claim to see if you have grounds to recover compensation. It’s always best to have very limited conversations with the insurance company and let your attorney discuss any issues with them for you—that way you will be protected.
To learn more read our articles on the 8 Things You Should Know About Insurance Companies and Notifying Your Insurance Company of An Automobile Accident.
We Can Help
Whether you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, a motorist, or a pedestrian struck by an Uber or Lyft driver, Spokane’s Personal Injury Attorney Robert Hahn can investigate the unique facts and circumstances of your accident to determine your rights and the available options. We’ve been representing injury victims for over 20 years and are available to sit down and discuss the facts of your case so that you can make an informed decision on how to move forward towards recovery. Call us at (509)921-9500 or submit our no-obligation free consultation form.