Uber and Lyft are “rideshare companies” which provide the services of a taxi by employing rideshare drivers as independent contractors. These companies operate throughout the United States and in other countries around the world and may be more common than you think: from 2017 to 2018 alone, Uber was used for more than 4 billion trips in the United States.
And yet, when an accident on the road involves an Uber or Lyft driver, you may wonder who will be legally liable: the driver, or the company? While fault is often clear in car accident cases, those which involve a rideshare driver may seem confusing for those who aren’t familiar with how these companies operate and how they employ drivers as “independent contractors” rather than official employees. If you’ve been involved in an auto accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, speak with our attorneys today to ensure that your rights are protected and you can be compensated for your injuries and losses.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident involving an Uber vehicle, it’s recommended to complete a “Third Party Incident Notice” on Uber’s Safety page. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a Lyft vehicle, report it on Lyft’s Help page to be contacted by Lyft’s “Accident Reporting Teams.” Then, contact our attorneys for a free consultation.
As with other car accidents, those involving Uber/Lyft drivers typically result from a driver’s negligence on the road, and these drivers should be held legally accountable for the victim’s injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. The most common forms of driver negligence are:
Disregard for other vehicles – Many car accidents result from a driver’s failure to check his/her blind spot or identify vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians who have the right-of-way in a given situation; these are particularly common at night and in poor weather conditions.
Distracted driving – Distractions to drivers have always existed, but not to the extent that smartphones and similar devices have taken it today. Distraction by electronic devices while driving now results in serious and even fatal car accidents on a daily basis and is a contributing factor in more auto accidents than ever before, and we strongly encourage all drivers to put their phones and other devices away when behind the wheel.
Intoxicated driving – Intoxicated driving remains a problem, and drunk driving now results in as much as one-third of all auto-related deaths. These are very serious and preventable accidents and intoxicated drivers must be held accountable for the damages that result from their negligence.
Speeding – Speeding and reckless driving correlate strongly to serious injuries sustained in car accidents, and it remains a common factor in accidents overall. It’s important for drivers to understand that speeding is ultimately ineffective for getting them to their destinations quicker, as violating speed limits may only result in one or two minutes saved at most and is not worth the increased risk of an accident.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident as a passenger of an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you may assume that the rideshare company would be the defendant in a personal injury claim. However, because Uber and Lyft employ their drivers as “independent contractors” rather than official employees, this protects the companies, to certain extents, from liability for auto accidents involving their drivers and can complicate an insurance claim. Uber and Lyft may also force drivers and riders to use arbitration for legal disputes.
As such, similar rules for other auto accidents may apply to accidents involving Uber or Lyft: if you’re involved in a car accident with a rideshare driver who was responsible for the accident, that driver – not the company – will be legally liable. If you’re a rideshare passenger and you’re involved in an accident, either your rideshare driver or the other driver may be held legally liable, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
If your auto accident resulted from another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses, including:
Medical expenses – This includes all medical care incurred directly due to the accident (including ongoing/long-term care) such as ambulance trips, assistive medical devices, emergency room treatment, medications, nursing care, and rehabilitative/surgical expenses. Be sure to keep copies of all medical records.
Lost wages – This includes income you would have earned if you had not missed work to recover from the accident, and may also include future lost wages if you cannot return to the same job you held before the accident due to serious injury.
Pain and suffering – You may be entitled to compensation for physical and/or psychological pain and suffering which resulted directly from the accident.
Wrongful death – When an accident caused by negligence results in a death, Illinois law permits the victim’s family to file a wrongful death lawsuit on his/her behalf under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act.
We at Agruss Law Firm are proud to serve our fellow citizens in personal injury cases, especially when you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, and we are fully committed to protecting your rights and ensuring that the other party is held legally accountable when negligence occurs. We will fight until the very end to ensure that you are fully compensated for all injuries and losses resulting from the accident, and you won’t owe us a dime for our services.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, contact Agruss Law Firm today for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based personal injury law firm, and helping our clients is about counseling, advocating, and ultimately solving problems. With years of experience successfully representing the people and not the powerful, we will file your claim and take care of the insurance company, the bills, and the lost income. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, our personal injury lawyers are not paid attorney fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.