Know Your Rights After A Seattle Rideshare Accident
If you were injured in a collision involving a Lyft or Uber driver, contact a car accident lawyer in Seattle who has experience with crashes involving rideshare vehicles.
Matt Menzer and the rest of our team have handled auto accident insurance claims and litigation for decades. At Menzer Law Firm, PLLC, we have paid close attention to the legal issues surrounding Lyft and Uber accidents since the beginning to ensure that we handle these cases efficiently and effectively.
Who Is At Fault In A Seattle Lyft Or Uber Accident?
When an Uber or Lyft vehicle is involved in an auto accident in Seattle, the fault is determined the same way as any other collision. The at-fault driver is the motorist whose negligence directly and approximately led to the accident and other people’s injuries.
However, who is at fault affects how you can recover compensation after a Lyft or Uber crash. We highly recommend retaining an experienced lawyer to determine who caused the crash. If the Uber or Lyft driver was signed into the app at the time and was at fault, then the rideshare company’s insurance policy may kick in.
Common Causes Of Seattle Uber And Lyft Accidents
Lyft and Uber accidents occur because of many of the same reasons other crashes happen, including:
- Speeding above the speed limit or what is appropriate for traffic and weather
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving, including using a GPS or rideshare app on a cellphone
- Failure to obey traffic signs and signals
- Improper merging and lane changes
- Reckless driving
- Aggressive driving and road rage
- Intoxicated driving
- Work zones and road hazards
When An Uber Or Lyft Driver Hits Your Car
If you were in a collision with a vehicle that had an Uber and/or Lyft logo in the windshield, it’s important to determine whether the other driver was working at the time of the crash.
You need to know the answers to the following questions:
- Was the driver signed into the Lyft or Uber app at the time of the accident?
- Had the driver accepted a ride request at the time of the accident?
The answers to these questions determine whether you can file a valid claim against Uber or Lyft’s insurance policy and which policy applies to the crash.
If the driver wasn’t working at the time, then you can only recover compensation from their personal auto insurance policy. If they were working, then you may be able to recover from Uber or Lyft’s policy as well as the driver’s personal insurance.
When A Lyft Or Uber Driver Causes A Crash While You’re A Passenger
Your Uber or Lyft driver might cause a crash while you’re in the car. When this happens, you should work with a Seattle Lyft and Uber accident lawyer to pursue compensation from the driver’s personal auto insurance and/or the ridesharing company’s policy.
It’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after being involved in a ridesharing crash. Your insurance may not be able to offer the compensation you deserve for your injuries or lost wages.
Uber And Lyft’s Insurance Coverage
Uber and Lyft’s insurance coverage depends on whether the driver was signed into the app and whether the driver was waiting for or had accepted a ride request.
When a driver isn’t signed into the Uber or Lyft app, the companies’ insurance policies don’t apply. You can only recover compensation from that driver’s personal auto insurance.
If the driver has signed into the Uber or Lyft app and is waiting on a ride request, then both Uber and Lyft offer third-party liability coverage of:
- $50,000 per person for bodily injuries
- $100,000 per accident for bodily injuries
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
You still have to recover from the at-fault driver’s policy first. Uber and Lyft’s third-party policies kick in when the driver’s insurance doesn’t apply or doesn’t cover all your damages.
Once the driver accepts a ride request and until the driver drops off the passenger, Uber and Lyft both offer a $1 million liability insurance policy. They also offer uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage and contingent comprehensive and collision coverage.
About Rideshare Services
Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft enable individuals to share transportation. Individuals with vehicles can offer their services to riders who may not own vehicles or who choose not to use their vehicles for certain trips.
Uber and Lyft enable customers to hail rides through phone apps. Once a driver accepts a ride request, the customer receives the driver’s name, photo, vehicle type, license plate and estimated time of arrival. The driver receives the passenger’s name and location. Payment is made entirely through the app as well.
Though Uber and Lyft seem similar to taxis, they’re very different business models. Taxi companies hire employees to drive their vehicles. Some taxi companies are one-person operations, where the driver owns the vehicle and is the business’s only employee.
Uber and Lyft, however, hire drivers as independent contractors – not employees. This alters when and how Uber or Lyft are liable for their drivers’ actions. Typically, businesses are responsible for their employees’ conduct while the employees are on duty. But businesses have limited or no liability for the actions of independent contractors.
After you’re injured in a crash caused by an Uber or Lyft driver, you can’t automatically sue the rideshare company. That being said, Uber and Lyft have insurance policies to help when passengers are hurt in motor vehicle accidents.
Get Help From An Experienced Injury Attorney Today
Whether you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft accident or a ridesharing vehicle hit you, contact Menzer Law. We handle Lyft and Uber accidents in Seattle, King County and elsewhere in Washington. We will guide you through the insurance claim process against the at-fault driver’s insurance and, when appropriate, against Uber or Lyft’s policy. Call our office at 206-970-2685 or send us an email.