Lynchburg Rideshare Accident Lawyers

Rideshare companies have become even more popular in the last few years. By booking a rideshare, customers can use an affordable, convenient service to get where they need to go in Lynchburg and throughout the United States. Unfortunately, some of the independent contractors who drive for Uber and Lyft are not experienced and may engage in negligent or reckless behavior, putting passengers and others on the road at risk of serious injury. If you have been seriously injured in a Lynchburg rideshare accident, it is important that you understand your rights. 

Depending on when the accident occurred, you may be able to file a claim for compensation through Uber or Lyft’s insurance policy. Additionally, you may be able to file a lawsuit to hold the third-party driver who caused your accident accountable. The attorneys at Straw Law Firm can help you understand your legal options, including which party or parties are liable for your injuries. We can help you pursue the full and fair amount of compensation you deserve.

Identifying Liable Parties in Rideshare Accidents

The first step in pursuing compensation is determining which party or parties are liable for your injuries. Under Virginia law, victims can pursue compensation from the party whose negligence, recklessness, or intentional behavior causes the car accident that results in the victim’s injuries. You will need to prove that the negligent party failed to use reasonable care under the circumstances, causing the accident that resulted in your injuries. 

If you were a passenger in a rideshare vehicle and the driver caused the accident, the driver can be held liable. Depending on when the accident occurred, you may need to bring a claim against the driver’s personal auto insurance company. Additionally, you can submit a claim with the rideshare company’s insurance policy. 

Can I Sue Uber or Lyft Directly?

It is difficult, but not impossible, to bring a lawsuit against the rideshare company itself. Most drivers for Uber and Lyft are hired as independent contractors, not employees. The rideshare companies use the independent contractor designation to avoid liability when drivers cause accidents that injure passengers. You can sometimes bring a personal injury lawsuit against the rideshare company itself. 

For example, you may be able to recover compensation if drivers sexually assaulted you or if the rideshare company recklessly hired a driver with a history of driving under the influence of alcohol convictions or other types of reckless driving. Uber and Lyft have teams of attorneys,  and hiring your attorney can help you level the playing field if you do have a valid legal claim against them.

Rideshare Companies Insurance Coverage 

Understanding Uber and Lyft insurance policies can also be complicated. Uber and Lyft provide $1 million insurance policies that will cover their drivers and passengers injured in ride-sharing accidents. These insurance policies compensate victims for injuries, lost income, medical expenses, and loss of life. Their insurance plans protect all of the following groups of people:

  • Right rear passengers who become injured while riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle
  • Rideshare drivers who were hurt in an accident caused by another third-party driver
  • Other drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians, bystanders, or anyone else injured in accidents caused by the Uber or Lyft driver

Uber requires its drivers to carry state-mandated auto insurance minimums themselves that will cover injuries when the Uber or Lyft policy does not apply. 

Lyft’s Rideshare Insurance

Uber and Lyft insurance policies are slightly different, and they outline their policies on their websites. The amount of insurance coverage that will apply in your case depends on the point at which the accident occurred during the rideshare. If the rideshare driver had the app installed but was not using the app, any accident caused by the driver would be covered by the driver on the insurance policy.

If the driver has the app opened and is waiting to accept a new customer’s ride but has yet to accept it, the list will provide contingent liability coverage. This type of coverage comes with a $50,000 maximum limit per person and a $25,000 ceiling for property damage. If the accident occurs after the driver has accepted the ride but before the ride has been finished through the app, Lyft’s insurance policy of $1 million for the accident will cover any injuries. This coverage will be in addition to your insurance, even if you have a commercial ride-sharing policy.

Uber’s Rideshare Insurance

Uber’s insurance policy is broken up into three stages of coverage. When Uber drivers are not at fault for the accident, the driver’s personal insurance policy may cover injuries. As with Lyft, the highest amount of insurance coverage occurs when the accident happens while the driver is transporting the customer. Uber also provides uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage. If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, the other driver cannot be located, or the other driver does not have insurance covering your injuries, you can submit a claim through Lyft’s policy.

Damages Available in a Rideshare Claim

As with other types of auto accident claims, you only have a limited amount of time to bring a lawsuit for compensation. Under Virginia law, the statute of limitations is two years for most car accident claims, including those involving rideshare drivers. If you do not submit a lawsuit within two years of the accident occurring, you may be permanently barred from recovering compensation through a lawsuit. Two years may seem like a long time, but it will go by quickly. The sooner you speak to an attorney, the sooner your attorney can begin gathering evidence.

Contact a Skilled Lynchburg Rideshare Accident Attorney

If you or your loved one have been seriously injured in a Virginia rideshare accident, it is important that you understand your legal rights and options. The attorneys at Straw Law Firm have an in-depth understanding of Virginia rideshare accident laws and the experience needed to negotiate the best settlement possible in your case aggressively. Contact Straw Law Firm today to schedule your free case evaluation and learn more about your legal rights and options.