Uber and Lyft rideshare apps are popular ways of getting around without the expense of owning a car. But liability can get a little tricky when a rideshare company is involved. Who is liable for damages when you are in an accident while riding in a rideshare car? Do you collect compensation from the driver or the rideshare company?
Well, when you or a family member is injured during a rideshare trip, you may be eligible to seek compensation. A Birmingham Uber and Lyft rideshare accident attorney from the Morris Bart law firm can answer all your legal questions about your case and help you to build a claim if you’ve been injured. If you need to get started on your insurance claim or lawsuit today, we can help. Call us to start a free consultation about your case.
Accident Fatality Numbers Increase with Rideshare Programs
With the introduction of these rideshare services, trips to and from crowded areas like airports, Protective Stadium, the Birmingham Civil Rights District, Alabama Theatre, the Shopping District, and more no longer mean you have to fight traffic. Instead, you can relax while someone else does the driving.
However, there may be some downsides to rideshare apps. Since the advent of Uber and Lyft, ridesharing traffic fatalities have increased by 3% annually, according to research at the University of Chicago. If you or a family member was injured in a Lyft or Uber accident, you may be able to receive financial compensation from the rideshare company or another liable party.
The Morris Bart law firm can help if you were hurt while riding in a rideshare vehicle or an Uber or Lyft driver hit you while you were driving your car, crossing the road as a pedestrian, or riding a bicycle. Our Birmingham personal injury attorneys know how to develop these claims and navigate recovering compensation for our clients.
For a free legal consultation with a Uber and Lyft Rideshare Accident lawyer serving Birmingham, call 800-537-8185
Auto Insurance Coverage in Alabama
Alabama legally requires all drivers to carry auto insurance. The intention is to protect all parties from financial loss in a crash. According to the Alabama Department of Insurance, the state minimum coverage in Alabama includes:
- Bodily injury liability: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage liability: $25,000 per person
Commercial vehicle drivers typically carry more auto insurance coverage than other drivers. However, Uber and Lyft both employ their drivers as independent contractors who use their personal vehicles. The question of insurance can be complicated when determining whether a driver’s personal auto insurance or the rideshare company’s insurance is in effect.
How Lyft Insures Drivers
Like every car registered in Birmingham, Lyft drivers must have the state’s minimum insurance coverage. Lyft also protects its drivers and their passengers with the following insurance standards:
- When a Lyft driver is not logged into the app, their personal insurance protection applies to them and anyone in their car.
- When a Lyft driver is logged into the app but has not received a ride request yet, they might be entitled to Lyft’s contingent coverage if their policy does not respond to their requests.
- When a Lyft driver is logged into the app and is on their way to pick up a passenger or currently has a passenger in their car, Lyft’s liability collision coverage provides up to $1 million of insurance protection per accident.
How Uber Insures Drivers
Uber has similar insurance coverage to protect drivers and passengers if an accident occurs. Uber’s insurance policy provides the following types of insurance coverage:
- When an Uber driver is not logged into the app, their private insurance policy is in effect.
- When an Uber driver is logged into the app but is not yet matched with a passenger, Uber’s third-party liability coverage will provide coverage if the driver’s private insurance will not.
- When an Uber driver is logged into the app and on their way to pick up a passenger or has a passenger in their vehicle, Uber’s insurance coverage may provide up to $1 million of third-party liability coverage, plus coverage for uninsured or underinsured drivers.
If you were in an accident during an Uber or Lyft trip, an Uber and Lyft rideshare accident lawyer in Birmingham from the Morris Bart law office can explain rideshare insurance to you in more detail. In addition, we can determine which policy is primary and if any contingency coverages are available. This is one of the first steps we must take while pursuing compensation for our rideshare accident clients.
What to Do After a Rideshare Accident in Birmingham
The aftermath of a rideshare accident works the same way as an accident with a private vehicle. First, call for immediate medical attention if anyone is seriously injured in the wreck. Even if you do not believe you are injured, a doctor should examine you for internal injuries.
Call Birmingham’s police right away to ensure a complete police report is created and filed. Ask witnesses for their contact information and take as many pictures of the car and the accident scene as possible. If possible, take pictures of your injuries, including cuts, bruises, scrapes, marks left by seat belts and airbags, and any other injuries you sustained in the accident.
You can seek legal help as soon as possible. Share all these documents and photos with your Uber and Lyft rideshare accident lawyer in Birmingham. They can negotiate your insurance claim or file your personal injury lawsuit. They can also contact the rideshare company, insurer, and others on your behalf.
Avoid Acting as Your Own Negotiator After a Rideshare Accident
After a rideshare accident, you might be tempted to accept a settlement offer from the rideshare company’s insurer soon after the crash. It may seem like a lot of money, and you may just want to put the whole thing behind you and focus on your treatment and healing from your injuries.
However, these early offers are almost never as much as the victims’ cases are worth. Insurance companies may make these offers because they want to pay victims as little as possible. They know they have to make an offer before the victim realizes the value of their claim or enlists the help of a Birmingham car accident attorney who will tell them how much they may be able to recover.
Filing an insurance claim can be a long, complex procedure. It is only natural to want to avoid it. However, this is not a good idea. Between assigning a value to your claim and completing the necessary documentation, a lawyer’s guidance can help ensure your claim does not go underpaid.
You Could Recover Compensation for Your Injuries After a Birmingham Rideshare Crash
After a car crash, you may have difficulty paying your hospital bills without a financial recovery from the insurance company or another source. Even with good health insurance, you may accumulate medical debt. Our team at the Morris Bart law office in Birmingham can help you recover your financial losses after a collision involving an Uber or Lyft rideshare driver.
You may be eligible to seek reimbursement for:
- An ambulance ride
- Emergency room treatment
- Physical therapy
- Lost income and benefits
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
There may be other expenses related to your Birmingham Uber or Lyft crash that you can recover from an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. A car attorney from our law firm can consult with you to give you an idea of what your case may be worth.
We can identify your recoverable damages, gather documentation, work with medical professionals to learn about your potential future care expenses, and determine an estimated value for your claim.
Proving Negligence in an Uber and Lyft Accident in Birmingham, AL
As with other personal injury cases, Uber and Lyft accident victims must show how the opposing party acted negligently and caused their injuries and losses. After an injury attorney determines who should assume liability for a rideshare crash, establishing a negligence case is the next step.
Four elements must be present in a case before plaintiffs can make a case for negligence. When our rideshare attorneys review your Birmingham accident, they will look for the following:
- Duty of care: Everyone on Birmingham’s roads has a legal obligation to act responsibly and reasonably by following all traffic laws and rules. They also must act to keep other road users safe from dangers.
- Breach of duty: When motorists do not meet their duty of care, it is a violation of their obligation.
- Causation: When violations occur, they can lead to harm. In this case, a breach of duty directly caused the accident, and you were injured during an Uber or Lyft ride.
- Damages: As a result of the accident, you now have damages that are someone else’s responsibility to pay. Our Birmingham rideshare lawyers can help you recover your losses.
Can You Afford to Hire a Rideshare Accident Attorney in Birmingham, AL?
It’s perfectly understandable to be concerned about the expense of hiring a lawyer to help with your accident claim. After a collision, you may be left with severe injuries and unexpected medical bills. However, we believe it is important for crash victims to be able to afford the legal representation and services they need to help them navigate their insurance claims or civil lawsuit.
Our team of Birmingham Uber and Lyft rideshare accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis.
What this means for you is that:
- There are no upfront fees or costs.
- There are no hourly rates.
- You pay us nothing out of pocket.
- You pay nothing until your case is closed.
- We only get paid attorneys’ fees if and when we win your case.
We also offer free, no-obligation consultations to help you learn more about our services. This lets you benefit from legal advice with no risk to you. If you decide to work with our team, we can go to work on your case immediately, including protecting your rights and handling all communication about your case.
Legal Deadlines Apply to Your Birmingham Rideshare Accident Case
Your car crash is subject to Alabama’s statute of limitations deadline. If you wait too long to start your case, you may be unable to hold the liable party legally responsible for your losses. Our Uber and Lyft rideshare accident lawyers in Birmingham can ensure you file your lawsuit within the state’s two-year filing deadline under Ala. Code § 6-2-38.
If you miss this deadline, the court will likely bar you from a financial recovery in your case. In some situations, the timeline may be even less than two years. This is one of the reasons it’s important to contact our law firm as soon as possible after your accident. We can help you understand the statute of limitations that applies to your unique case.
An Uber or Lyft Rideshare Accident Is Not Your Financial Responsibility
When you get into a Birmingham-area Uber or Lyft rideshare vehicle, you put your trust and safety into the hands of the rideshare driver. In the event of a collision with a rideshare company involved, the law can be tricky. Our law firm handling Uber and Lyft ridesharing accidents can help you by handling your case so that you can focus on your recovery.
Let our car accident legal team explain your options and help you determine the right party to pursue for financial compensation. Connect with a Birmingham Uber and Lyft rideshare accident attorney today by contacting the Morris Bart law firm. Injury consultations are always complimentary.
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