Rideshares have become one of the most popular modes of transportation across the entire state of Illinois. Unfortunately, with the increase in the number of rideshare providers, there has also been an increase in the number of collisions. Fortunately, when you have an experienced Illinois Uber accident lawyer at Mike Agruss Law working for you, you can ensure the rideshare services provider, driver, and other liable parties are held accountable for their negligence and compelled to compensate you for your damages fairly.
Our personal injury lawyers in Illinois are here to help ease your burdens and guide you through the claims process so you can get the most out of your claim. Contact our team for a 100% free consultation and you learn more about how the Uber/Lyft accident claims process works, what you should expect from the insurance company, and how much compensation your claim could be worth.
Common Causes of Uber/Lyft Accidents in Illinois
Figuring out the cause of your Uber or Lyft car accidents is essential if you hope to recover compensation for your damages. This is because the rideshare company will only pay out claims in specific circumstances. Uber and Lyft car accident claims are dependent on proving someone else’s negligence. Your experienced lawyer will need to carefully review the cause of the collision to identify the liable party or parties.
Many Uber/Lyft car accident cases involve negligent driving of some kind. Negligent driving could involve the Uber and Lyft drivers or other motorists on the roadways. Some examples of negligent driving could include:
- Driving while fatigued
- Reckless driving
- Failure to yield
- Making illegal turns
- Failure to stop
- Failure to use a turn signal
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Road rage
If your rideshare driver or the driver of the vehicle that hit you was driving irresponsibly, they can be held accountable for your damages. You might be able to pursue a claim with Uber or Lyft’s insurance company as well if their driver’s negligence causes your injuries.
Uber and Lyft accidents are not only caused by negligent driving, however. They can also be caused by road hazards and defective parts as well. Road hazards can include any type of dangerous road conditions, including:
- Improperly secured road construction zones
- Lack of sufficient street lamps or lighting
- Failure to make road repairs, including filling potholes
- Failure to install traffic signs or lights
- Failure to make necessary safety repairs to traffic lights
The government agencies and municipalities that are responsible for road maintenance could be held accountable if your Uber or Lyft accident was caused by hazardous conditions on the roadways. This might include the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) or the municipalities if your collision occurred on city roads.
When malfunctioning auto parts cause your car accident, you may have the right to take legal action against the designers, distributors, suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers that sell or sold defective parts. You might also have grounds for a claim against maintenance workers, technicians, safety inspectors, and dealerships or dealership executives. In cases like these, the Uber or Lyft accident driver may not be fully responsible for your injuries. Our in-depth investigation into the cause of your Uber/Lyft accident will help us determine which parties should be held accountable for your damages.
How Uber/Lyft Accident Claims Work
One of the reasons car accident claims involving rideshares are so complex is that there are often multiple insurance or rideshare companies involved. Some injury victims may need to file a claim against Uber or Lyft’s $1,000,000 auto insurance policy while others may need to resort to filing a claim with their own auto insurance provider or that of the liable party.
When Rideshare Insurance Pays
Generally, whether you are filing a claim against Uber or Lyft’s auto insurance provider, you will only be able to file a claim if the accident occurred during specific times. Most rideshare accident companies only offer coverage during the following instances:
- The rideshare driver was logged into the app
- The rideshare driver was actively waiting for a passenger
- The rideshare driver was transporting a passenger
- The rideshare driver was dropping off a passenger
If the accident occurred outside of these times, you may not have the right to file a claim with the rideshare company’s insurance provider. This is often devastating, as Uber and Lyft both have $1 million auto insurance policies in place. However, you do not need to lose hope, as there are additional opportunities that may be available to you that will allow you to recover the compensation you are entitled to.
When the Rideshare App Driver’s Personal Insurance Pays
If the Uber or Lyft driver in your auto accident case was responsible for causing the accident, but the accident occurred outside of the previously mentioned times, you might instead have the right to file a claim with their personal auto insurance provider. Outside of the time frames listed above, the Uber or Lyft driver is simply another motorist on the roadways. This means their personal auto insurance coverage will apply. Under Illinois 625 ILCS 5/7-203, all drivers are required to carry a minimum of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage, and $15,000 per accident and property damage liability coverage.
Insurance companies require rideshare drivers to increase their auto insurance coverage. Since Illinois follows fault insurance laws, if the driver that hit you is responsible for causing the accident, you will file a claim with their insurance company.
Additionally, if you purchased no fault protection coverage or personal injury protection (PIP), you may have the right to file a claim with your own auto insurance carrier. Unfortunately, the insurance company will attempt to recoup these losses by increasing the total amount of your premiums. For this reason, it is always in your best interests to consider discussing your options with your rideshare accident attorney before filing a claim.
What to Do if the Insurance Company Won’t Settle Your Claim Fairly
It is not unusual for Uber, Lyft, or other insurance companies to deny claimants the compensation they are entitled to. Insurance companies often go to tremendous lengths to avoid paying out on rideshare accident victim’s claims. When the insurance company handles your claim in bad faith or is not legally required to compensate you for your damages in full, you may need to be prepared to file a lawsuit against those responsible for causing your injuries. Our Uber/Lyft accident attorneys will be by your side preparing to bring your case to trial. In court, you have your greatest opportunity to recover compensation for every loss, not only the damages covered by insurance.
Grounds for Uber Accidents Claim
Proving negligence and fault in an Uber/Lyft crash is essential if you hope to get the most out of your claim. Our attorneys must prove liability based on a preponderance of the evidence for the verdict to come down in your favor. Some examples of the evidence that may be most valuable include:
- Video of traffic conditions
- Surveillance of the collision on traffic cams
- Photos of your injuries
- Copies of your medical records
- Copies of the Uber/Lyft driver’s cell phone records and driving history
- Field sobriety test results
- Blood alcohol test results from all involved parties
- Reports from accident reconstructionists
- Expert witness testimony
- Testimony from accident bystanders
- Data retrieved from vehicle black boxes
- Safety inspection logs
- Maintenance records
These are only a few types of evidence that could be helpful in proving the value of your claim and liability for your damages. You can learn more about which evidence will be most useful in your case when you discuss the individual details of your Uber/Lyft accident collision with your attorney.
The Value of Your Uber/Lyft Accident Damages
If you are wondering how much you could be awarded if your Uber or Lyft accident claim was successful, you are not alone. You may not want to be accused of pursuing a frivolous lawsuit, but you need to know whether your efforts in pursuing your case are likely to pay off after the trauma you have been through.
The losses you are entitled to recover are commonly referred to as compensatory damages. This can be further broken down into categories of economic (special) damages or non-economic (general) damages. Economic damages are monetary whereas non-economic damages include the ways your life has been affected by your rideshare accident or resulting injuries.
Examples of economic damages could include:
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Loss of household services
- Property damages
- Medical bills
Examples of non-economic damages could include:
- Mental anguish
- Skin scars
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship and love
- Loss of society and support
- Loss of advice and protection
- Permanent disability
- Diminished quality of life
Exemplary damages are also commonly called punitive damages. They are only paid when the defendant’s actions are punishable beyond your compensatory damages. The court system must find it necessary for the defendant to be punished. Generally, this only happens when liable parties are intentionally harmful, reprehensible, or grossly negligent. Therefore, although punitive damages can dramatically increase the amount of compensation you recover, you should never plan on this award as part of your settlement.
Illinois Uber/Lyft Accident FAQ
The Uber/Lyft accident claims process can be especially complex. During this difficult time in your life, you likely have countless questions you need answers to. We hope to empower you to bring the liable party to justice. For this reason, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Uber and Lyft accident claims in Illinois below. Additional questions we do not cover here can be discussed in further detail when you schedule your free consultation.
How long do I have to file my lawsuit?
Time is limited to file your Uber or Lyft accident claim. The Illinois statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits under 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes section 5/13-202 states that your lawsuit must be filed within two years. However, you might also be filing a claim with Lyft or Uber’s insurance company, the liable driver’s insurance provider, or your own insurance company.
When filing a claim with the insurance company, you may have as few as several hours or days to report your accident. If your claim is not filed before time runs out, the insurance company can deny you the benefits you would have otherwise been entitled to. There are also extenuating circumstances that may apply that could temporarily pause the statute of limitations countdown. Our injury lawyers see this most often in cases where minor children suffer injuries or lyft accident victims are dealing with delayed symptoms or diagnoses.
How does shared fault affect rideshare accident claims?
When you are partially responsible for causing the Uber/Lyft accident, it could have a dramatic effect on the outcome of your case. Under 735 ILCS 5/2-1116, the state follows a modified comparative negligence code. Here, if you share blame for the collision, and your portion of the fault is greater than 50%, you will be barred from recovering the compensation you deserve. If your portion of liability is less than 50% you can still move forward with your case. However, you will still need to be held accountable for your portion of the blame.
The court system does this by deducting a percentage of your settlement. The amount deducted from your Uber/Lyft accident payout will be based on your percentage of blame. For example, if you were speeding when you were suddenly T-boned by a distracted Uber driver, the judge might determine you are 20% liable for the accident. If you were awarded $2,500,000, 20% would be deducted, leaving you with $2,000,000. While this settlement is still sizable, a half-a-million-dollar loss could have been avoided with help from an attorney. Your rideshare accident lawyer will fight back against unjust claims of shared fault, so you can ensure culpability is accurately determined in your personal injury claim.
What are the most common rideshare accident injuries?
Rideshare accidents have the potential to cause a multitude of devastating and critical injuries. These injuries are often long-lasting or cause permanent disability. Some of the most common injuries our Uber/Lyft accident lawyers see include:
- Spinal cord damage
- Herniated discs
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Compound fractures
- Full-thickness burns
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Road rash
- Organ failure
If you were diagnosed with other injuries we did not include in the list above do not panic. The type of injury you sustained has no bearing on your right to pursue compensation for your damages. As long as your injuries have significantly impacted your life you may be entitled to total financial recovery.
Connect With an Illinois Uber/Lyft Accident Attorney Today
The trauma of your accident claim may have a lasting impact on your life. Between dealing with the trauma of your physical injuries and the emotional distress from the accident, your substantial financial losses may be too much to bear. Do not get stuck covering the costs.
Recover total compensation for your damages when you have an experienced Uber accident lawyer at Mike Agruss Law fighting for your rights. fill out our online contact form or call our office when you are ready to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation and learn more about what is next for your rideshare accident insurance and civil claims.