YOU HAVE RIGHTS
According to a study by the University of Chicago and Rice University, ride-sharing services have increased traffic deaths by 2% to 3% in the U.S. since 2011. In 2010, there were 32,885 fatal car accidents nationwide, the lowest number since 1949. This trend reversed after the launch of Uber in 2011. Each and every day, thousands of people get hurt by a ride-share vehicle, in a ride-share vehicle, or driving a ride-share vehicle.
Uber and Lyft have undeniably done something great for our society. Rideshare apps have allowed vast numbers of people to become their own boss and make their own hours. They have also allowed many people to get a ride when it probably otherwise would have been very inconvenient or dangerous.
When you are driving an Uber and someone crashes into you, it disrupts your whole life. First, because your car is your primary tool for earning a living. Rideshare companies will not let cars with accident-related damage into their fleet. So you will be unable to work at least until you have your car repaired, or if your car is totaled, a new car. Second, your life is disrupted by the physical injuries incurred. Normally it will be uncomfortable to be in a car for weeks or months after the accident depending on the severity. This will limit the number of hours you are able to work, thereby limiting your income.
Occupants have a little bit of a better situation. If you are riding in an Uber or Lyft, you are riding with a $1 million policy for: liability (if the accident is the driver’s fault); uninsured motorist (if the accident is the fault of an uninsured motorist); and underinsured motorist (if accident is the fault of someone with a small liability insurance policy). If you are hurt in a rideshare company vehicle, there will usually be enough insurance money to make you whole. This also goes for drivers, so long as they did not cause the accident.
It’s not easy to get money from the insurers of rideshare companies. Many times they will play hardball for months and months. However, some of the biggest settlements we’ve seen have come from rideshare companies’ insurers. Non-disclosure agreements in such settlements are commonplace.
It is important to hire an attorney to guide you through the confusing process of being made whole after an incident involving a rideshare vehicle.