New Orleans Uber or Lyft Accident Lawyer
Rideshare companies such as Uber & Lyft transform the transportation industry in each city they are permitted to operate in, and New Orleans is no exception. Both companies report millions of rides given to passengers each year and those rides come with risks. Uber reported that there were 36,000 auto-related deaths in 2018 and 20,000 homicides in 2017. The fact that rideshare drivers are not employees of Uber or Lyft makes the question of liability in rideshare accidents murky and confusing. There are many causes of rideshare accidents, everything from the driver being under the influence (DUI), distracted driving or speeding. If you have been hurt in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, you don’t have to fight your case alone. Cueria Law Firm is experienced in handling rideshare accident cases. Let our experienced team at Cueria Law Firm fight for you.
What Steps Should I Take After an Accident with an Uber or Lyft in New Orleans?
Uber & Lyft accidents can be confusing due to the complicated and changing laws regarding liability and insurance. As a driver for one of these services, you should take the time to review the insurance policies of each company to be sure that you understand how and when you are covered if an incident occurs. If you have been involved in an accident while driving for or riding in a rideshare service vehicle, follow the steps below to ensure that you protect yourself as well as the others involved.
Contact the Appropriate Authorities
Like with any auto accident, the first step is to contact the local authorities. Call the local police right away if an accident occurs. If there is an injury, let the police know so they can call the appropriate medical response team. The police officers on the scene will be able to prepare a report that may be useful in your claim.
Contact the Rideshare Company Through the App
After contacting the police, notify the rideshare companies of the incident through their apps. A member of their team will contact you as soon as possible to gather additional information if needed.
It is imperative that drivers gather information from the other parties involved as well as any witnesses that may have pertinent information about the accident. Be sure to collect the contact information for all witnesses and involved parties.Your personal injury attorney may need to review their statements or ask additional questions in order to help your claim.
Take Photos of the Accident Scene
Drivers and passengers are encouraged to take many photos of the accident scene using their smartphones. Photos can be very useful in proving negligence or liability in an accident. Do not forget to timestamp each photo. Recommended photos include:
- Close-ups of damage to the vehicles or other property
- Wide-angles of the accident scene
- Positioning of the vehicles involved
- Any injuries sustained
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
After following the above steps, contact a personal injury attorney who has experience in auto accident cases involving ridesharing services. The Louisiana attorneys at Cueria Law Firm have worked on behalf of Lyft and Uber drivers in New Orleans to understand their rights after an accident and seek compensation for injuries.
The Most Common Causes of Rideshare Accidents Include:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to properly maintain the vehicle
- Excessive speed
- Intoxication from drugs or alcohol
Frequently Asked Questions
For many people, ridesharing services such as Lyft and Uber have radically changed the way they travel. These services have become popular means of transportation and employment for many people across the world. With their popularity also comes a certain amount of risk for passengers in a rideshare vehicle.
If you have been seriously injured in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle, you may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries. Contact the experienced New Orleans personal injury attorneys at the Cueria Law Firm immediately to find out how they can assist you in getting the just compensation you deserve.
What Happens After an Uber or Lyft Accident?
The most complicated part of being involved in an Uber or Lyft accident is understanding the insurance coverage available to the drivers, passengers, and other motorists or pedestrians involved. Uber’s insurance includes a $1 million liability policy as well as uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage. The availability of this coverage depends on the “period” in which the event took place. Uber/Lyft considers three “periods” when deciding the eligible coverage.
Period 1: The Uber or Lyft app is on, and the driver is waiting to receive a rider. During this period, the driver is covered by Uber/Lyft’s limited liability policy of $50,000 injury per person, $100,000 total, and $25,000 property damage. The driver must have their own personal insurance policy to provide their primary coverage. Drivers can utilize Uber/Lyft’s limited liability policy in the event that their personal insurance carrier does not offer coverage.
Period 2: The Uber or Lyft driver has been matched with a rider and is traveling to the pickup location. Uber and Lyft generally provide up to $1 million of total liability coverage, $1 million of UM/UIM, and full coverage of vehicle damages with a $1,000 deductible during this period. If you were involved in an accident during period two, it is recommended that you contact an attorney who is experienced in handling Lyft or Uber accident claims.
Period 3: A passenger is in the car and en route to the destination. The same coverage applies as period two. In the unfortunate event of a collision during this period, it is often easiest to prove that the driver was, in fact, driving in period three. This can be very useful to support a driver or passenger’s claim.
What If I am a Driver for Lyft or Uber and am in a wreck?
With the popularity of driving for a rideshare service like Lyft, there are many questions about automobile insurance and which party would be liable in the event of an accident. When does Lyft’s insurance cover the driver? What additional insurance should drivers carry to protect themselves in an accident while driving for Lyft?
A complete understanding of the insurance protection provided by Lyft is critical for new and experienced drivers alike. The coverage can be summarized as follows:
The driver is not in “driver mode.”
Not being is “driver mode,” means that the driver does not have the Lyft app turned on and is unable to accept any rides. In this case, Lyft does not provide any coverage. The driver is only protected by his or her automobile insurance.
The driver is in “driver mode” but has not been matched with a rider.
In “driver mode,” drivers are available to pick up passengers. Drivers who are in “driver mode” and have not yet been matched to a rider, are covered under Lyft’s contingent liability coverage if the driver’s automobile insurance will not provide coverage.
According to Lyft’s Insurance Policy, the contingent liability insurance policy has a $50,000 maximum for bodily injury per person, $100,000 maximum limit per accident and a $25,000 maximum limit for property damage with no deductible.
The driver has accepted a ride.
As soon as a driver accepts a ride, Lyft’s liability coverage begins. It provides a $1 million per accident limit. This coverage lasts from the time a driver picks up the rider until the time the driver ends the ride in the Lyft app.
What if Uber & Lyft try to Deny Liability?
Companies like Uber have tried to deny liability for drivers of their business as they claim the individuals are considered an independent contractor and they are responsible for any accidents. The company will essentially deny all responsibility if the driver is found to be negligent and the plaintiff will have to hold the driver liable for the accident.
For now, this is how ridesharing cases in Louisiana are being handled. However, that might change in the future. Uber currently has a case pending where the classification of ridesharing services could change. Drivers would be considered employees instead of independent contractors which would change the way litigation would take place when accidents occur in the future.
What is UM/UIM coverage?
Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverages help protect you if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover the costs of any damages.
With the prevalence of uninsured drivers on the road, it is more important than ever to have UM/ UIM coverage on your insurance policy. Many states, including Louisiana, require all policies to include uninsured motorist coverage now. It is automatically added unless you opt-out in writing.
Have you been involved in an auto accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle? Was the other driver uninsured or underinsured? The professional personal injury attorneys at Cueria Law Firm can help you determine the best course of action so you can recover any damages owed to you.