Can I file a lawsuit against Uber or Lyft for my accident?
By GNGF on January 19th, 2023 in
Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors. Therefore, it is much more difficult to sue Uber or Lyft in an accident involving one of its drivers. Generally, any lawsuit will be against the Uber or Lyft driver if they negligently cause your injuries and not against Uber or Lyft directly. However, Uber and Lyft drivers are covered by liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection purchased by Uber and Lyft that protects the motoring public and riders when drivers are using the app. That insurance generally provides much greater insurance coverage than the driver’s own insurance and will cover your injuries incurred in an accident. The type and amount of insurance vary depending on whether the driver was carrying a passenger or using the app.
For you to be able to sue Uber or Lyft, several things have to happen first. If the accident was caused by another driver, you will first file a claim against that driver’s insurance. If the accident was the fault of the Uber or Lyft driver, you will file a claim against his or her insurance. If your injuries are extensive, or if a driver has no insurance or is underinsured, you may file against your own insurance—provided you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Only after all these avenues have been explored and exhausted would you file against Uber or Lyft—and then only if the Uber or Lyft driver either had passengers at the time of the accident or their app was open and they were on their way to pick up a passenger. In other words, while you can sue Uber or Lyft, it is a rarity, since the injuries would have to be severe enough to exceed all other insurance limits. Your personal injury attorney is the best one to answer the question of whether you can sue Uber or Lyft after carefully evaluating all the facts of your case.
What can I potentially receive as compensation for a rideshare accident?
These are the elements of damages that someone involved in an Uber or Lyft accident can recover: all reasonable medical bills (past and future), lost wages and the lost ability to earn wages in the future, loss of household services, pain and suffering, mental anguish, permanent impairment, and disfigurement. A reasonable settlement offer should include all of your medical bills, lost wages, and a significant sum for pain and suffering and your other harms and losses.
It’s difficult—if not impossible—to say what your claim is worth until your attorney has thoroughly evaluated the facts as they related to the accident, along with the evidence. Liability must be proven, then a claim filed against the liable party or party’s insurer. Many things go into determining what your claim is worth. Your attorney will look at your injuries and talk to your physician to determine how long you will require treatment for your injuries and when you can expect to be back to “normal.” In some cases, that may be never, and you may require medical and rehabilitative treatments for years to come.
Lost wages are the other half of economic damages. If you were unable to return to work for a few weeks or months, then you are entitled to receive lost wages for that time period. If your injuries are so severe that you may never be able to return to work, then lost future wages will be calculated, based on your age, your specific job, and the likelihood of advancement in your career. Non-economic damages are pain and suffering—both actual physical pain as well as mental and emotional pain and trauma. If you suffered a disfiguring injury, you may have significant emotional pain, embarrassment when going out in public, and even PTSD. Your attorney may ask you to keep a careful record of all the things you are unable to do that you once did—including your daily tasks, your recreational activities, and your work.
How the Harmonson Law Firm with Offices in El Paso, TX, and Las Cruces, NM Can Help
If you’ve been involved in a rideshare accident you may be unsure of how to file an insurance claim and what damages you may be able to recover. While there are many choices for you when choosing a personal injury attorney, we believe if you speak to Harmonson Law Firm attorneys Clark Harmonson and Hadley Huchton, your choice will be clear. We offer highly personalized attention and strategy throughout the duration of your case.
We truly care about your health, your finances, and your future, and you will quickly see that once you’ve spoken with us. Not only will we work tirelessly to ensure you get the medical treatments you need, but we will also zealously represent your claim to ensure you receive a full settlement that completely covers your injuries and damages. Following a rideshare accident in El Paso or Las Cruces, contact Harmonson Law Firm. Please note that nothing herein is meant as legal advice specifically related to your case.