Hurt By an Uber or Lyft in Seattle? Call Emerald City Law Group
Seattle is home to two of the most popular ridesharing services in the U.S.: Uber and Lyft and residents and visitors alike commonly use Uber and Lyft to get around town. However, Uber and Lyft are far from the only ridesharing services.
Moovn is an alternative rideshare app that launched in Seattle, and ReachNow provides more than just easily available rental cars. It also offers rides within a central area of Seattle. Flywheel is a similar service to traditional ridesharing apps, though it allows you to hail the closest taxi in the city. Other rideshare options are the Metro Vanpool and Vanshare, which allow commuters to share large vans to get to and from work in King County. With these rideshares, the county provides vehicle maintenance, fuel, and insurance.
If you are ever involved in an accident while riding in an Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare, or if your vehicle was struck by a rideshare vehicle, call a Seattle Uber and rideshare accident lawyer right away. At Emerald City Law Group, our Seattle personal injury attorneys are here to make sure you receive the representation you deserve, regardless of who was driving. We routinely handle cases for typical car accident victims as well as Uber and Lyft drivers, injured in accidents caused by other vehicles. We will thoroughly review your situation and guide you through the insurance claim process. Our goal will always be to obtain the maximum financial recovery possible.
Rideshare Drivers Are at Risk for Distracted Driving Accidents
A common cause of rideshare accidents is distraction. Many rideshare drivers rely on GPS directions to their destinations. This process should be entirely hands-free. However, many Uber and Lyft drivers use their hand to interact with the app and see upcoming directions. These drivers also rely on the app to pick up their next client. While driving, Lyft and Uber drivers may be on the app accepting or declining a ride request.
Additionally, rideshare drivers are like everyone else. They may use their phone to text, read or send email, play on an app, or listen to music while they drive. All of this cell phone use increases the risk of a distraction-related accident.
Phones may not be the driver’s only distraction. Passengers can easily distract a driver in any vehicle. An Uber or Lyft driver may get distracted during an active conversation with one or more passengers. They may get distracted if the passengers behave inappropriately, are intoxicated, or get sick in the vehicle.
When you believe the driver’s distraction caused a rideshare accident, whether you were the passenger or in another car, call our Uber and Lyft accident lawyers to discuss your options.
Common Causes of Rideshare Accidents
While distraction is a significant risk for rideshare drivers, it is not the sole cause of Uber and Lyft accidents. Similar to personal and commercial vehicle crashes, rideshare accidents occur due to:
- Excessive speeding
- Failure to obey traffic signals and devices
- Following too closely
- Failure to yield to the right of way
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Aggressive and reckless driving
- Intoxicated driving
- Fatigued driving
- Speeding or carelessness in work zones
- Failure to maintain the vehicle
Our Uber and Lyft accident lawyers are here to help after you were hurt in a rideshare accident in King County. We are prepared to investigate the accident and determine what happened. We will analyze who is at fault and whose insurance is liable for compensating you for your injuries.
When a rideshare driver is at fault, you may be able to file a claim against their personal auto insurance policy. However, in many situations, you have the right to pursue compensation through Uber or Lyft’s insurance policy, which is likely to have a higher policy limit.
Are You an Injured Rideshare Passenger?
If you were a paying passenger in an Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare service when it was in an accident, you should speak with an attorney. If you suffered injuries, one of our Seattle Uber and rideshare accident lawyers can guide you through pursuing compensation through a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy or the rideshare company’s insurance policy.
Uber and Lyft have considerable insurance policies to cover passenger injuries. However, that does not mean a settlement is easily accessible. The rideshare business’s insurer may deny your claim or push for you to accept a low settlement. Whenever you deal with an auto insurer, you should have an experienced attorney by your side to defend your rights and negotiate a fair settlement.
Even if you were not hurt, you might still benefit from legal representation. An experienced attorney can prepare you for providing a statement concerning the accident.
Were You Struck by a Rideshare Vehicle?
At Emerald City Law Group, we have handled many rideshare accidents cases in which an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare driver crashed into another person’s vehicle or a pedestrian. We are here to help you figure out what happened and whose insurance covers your property damage and bodily injuries.
Your insurance claims process will differ if the rideshare driver was working at the time or not. You cannot assume the driver was on duty just because you see an Uber or Lyft sticker in the window. If the driver was not working at the time, which means they were not signed into the app and ready to accept rides, then you must seek a settlement from the driver’s auto insurance policy. However, if the driver was working, then Uber and Lyft have appropriate insurance.
Uber’s Insurance Policies
The insurance policy and limit applicable to your case depends on whether the Uber driver was working at the time and whether or not the driver was waiting for a request or had a passenger.
When a driver is signed in to work and waiting for a ride request, that driver is covered by an insurance policy limited to $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident for bodily injuries and $25,000 for property damage. The policy limit may be higher if required by state law. If the driver caused an accident during this time and you suffered injuries, this policy would cover your property damage and physical injuries.
When an Uber driver is on the way to pick you up, and during your ride in the Uber, there is third-party liability coverage up to $1 million. If the Uber driver causes a crash and you are hurt as the passenger, you can seek compensation under this $1 million policy. During this time, there also is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. You are covered if another driver without insurance or too little insurance causes a crash and your injuries.
Uber also offers drivers contingent and comprehensive coverage. If you are a rideshare driver and you cause an accident, this may cover your property damage up to your vehicle’s value. However, this policy requires that you also have a personal auto insurance policy that includes collision coverage, and you must pay a $1,000 deductible.
Lyft’s Insurance Policies
Similar to Uber, Lyft also has extensive auto insurance coverage for drivers and passengers. Lyft offers contingent liability insurance for the driver while they are working and waiting for a ride request. This contingent liability policy has a limit of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident for bodily injuries and $25,000 for property damage. The policy limit could differ based on state or local laws.
Once a driver accepts a ride request, and while you are in the car, the driver is covered by primary automobile liability, contingent comprehensive and collision coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. The primary coverage has a policy limit of $1 million.
Lyft also offers its drivers contingent collision and comprehensive coverage. The company also requires you to have collision coverage or comprehensive coverage through your personal auto insurance policy. For either type of claim, the limit is the value of your vehicle or the cost of repairs, and there is a $2,500 deductive.
Let Our Seattle Uber and Rideshare Lawyers Help
Lyft and Uber boast about having $1 million insurance policies. Unfortunately, that does not mean your insurance claim will quickly result in a large settlement. Many rideshare accidents are followed by struggles for compensation. To begin with, you need to determine the insurance coverage related to your accident. You may need to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s personal insurance policy as well. Uber and Lyft want to pay out in excess of what the driver’s insurance will not cover. This means you may have to deal with two claims and two insurers at once. You also may run into trouble with Uber or Lyft’s insurer wrongly denying your claim or not fairly negotiating a settlement.
All of these issues can be handled by an experienced Uber and Lyft accident lawyer more efficiently than trying to do it all yourself. At Emerald City Law Group, we want you to focus on healing and getting back to normal. Let us handle the insurance claim process and fight hard for you to receive fair compensation.