Accident claims involving Uber and Lyft vehicles can be much more complex than simple crashes between two individual people. You may be dealing with different levels of insurance through the rideshare company, as well as the driver’s own personal insurance, depending on the rideshare driver’s status at the time of the crash. Many people don’t even know where to start after a rideshare accident.
If you were hurt in a collision involving an Uber or other rideshare vehicle, reach out to Kreger Brodish LLP today for a free consultation with a knowledgeable Durham Uber accident lawyer. For more than a decade, we’ve helped clients in Durham and throughout North Carolina get the compensation they need for their medical bills, lost income, and other damages after devastating car accidents. We work on a contingency-fee basis, so there are no upfront costs to pursuing the money and the justice you deserve.
How Does an Insurance Claim Work in Rideshare Accidents?
Under North Carolina law, rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are required to purchase insurance coverage for the vehicles operated for the services, even if the vehicles are owned by the drivers themselves. This coverage can apply when the driver of a rideshare vehicle causes an accident, or when a paying passenger is injured in a rideshare vehicle. Rideshare insurance availability can vary depending on the circumstances at the time of the wreck.
If the rideshare driver has a passenger or is on the way to pick up a passenger
Rideshare companies are required to provide primary combined auto liability insurance that covers rideshare drivers who have a passenger in their vehicle or have accepted a ride request and are driving to pick up their passenger. This insurance must cover at least $1.5 million per accident (including death, bodily injury, and property damage), plus combined uninsured/underinsured motorist death/bodily injury liability coverage of at least $1 million per accident.
If the rideshare driver has the app on and is waiting for a ride request
When a rideshare driver is waiting on a passenger ride request while logged into the rideshare service’s mobile application, rideshare companies are only required to provide primary insurance coverages of:
- Death/bodily injury coverage of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage of $25,000 per accident
- Combined uninsured/underinsured death/bodily injury liability coverage that meets the minimums set by state law (as of 2021, these minimum limits are $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident)
If the driver does not have the app on
If a rideshare driver is not logged into the mobile application, they are not considered to be driving for the rideshare service. So their own personal or commercial auto insurance will apply if they cause an accident.
Pursuing Compensation After a Lyft or Uber Accident in Durham
If you were injured in an accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle in Durham, you might be entitled to recover compensation for expenses and losses such as:
- Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation of injuries you suffered in the accident
- Costs of long-term care for permanent disabilities
- Loss of income or earning capacity if injuries or disabilities render you unable to work or earn as much as you did before the accident
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
An experienced attorney can help you determine the full extent of the losses you have suffered and calculate the maximum compensation you are owed.
How Long Do You Have to File an Uber Accident Lawsuit?
When you have been hurt in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle, the statute of limitations in North Carolina normally gives you only three years from the date of the crash to file a personal injury lawsuit. If wait too long to take legal action, the court could dismiss your lawsuit and you could lose your ability to recover compensation.
Although the law gives you three years to file a lawsuit, you should not wait to talk to an Uber accident attorney about your case. Rideshare accident cases can be particularly complicated from a legal standpoint, as they can require a great deal of investigation to determine who should be held liable. Depending on the severity of your injuries, your attorney may need to put in a lot of work to determine the full extent of your past and future expenses and losses. You will want to give your Durham Uber and Lyft accident attorney as much time as possible to fully prepare your claim so that you have the best chance at maximum compensation.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt in an Uber or Lyft Accident
If you were hurt in an Uber or Lyft accident, you should take the following steps to safeguard your rights to pursue financial recovery for your losses:
- Use your cellphone to take photos or video of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, skid marks in the road, traffic controls, and lighting and weather conditions at the time of the accident.
- Report the accident to the rideshare company through the mobile application or the customer support email/hotline.
- Get the names and contact information for anyone involved as well as any witnesses.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible to have your injuries diagnosed and treated. Follow all treatment instructions that your doctor gives you.
- Keep copies of all bills, invoices, and receipts for expenses, as well as copies of your income statements if you miss work after the accident.
- Do not give a statement to an insurance adjuster without speaking to a lawyer.
Get a free consultation with a Durham Uber accident lawyer from Kreger Brodish LLP now to learn how we can protect your rights after a crash.
North Carolina Uber Laws
To drive for Uber in North Carolina, operators must meet certain requirements set by the state as well as the company. These include:
- Vehicles must be 15 years old or newer, have four passenger doors, have no commercial branding, and be well-maintained.
- Vehicles must be registered, although they do not need to be registered in the name of the rideshare driver.
- Drivers must be insured under their own auto policy that complies with the requirements of North Carolina law.
- A decal of the rideshare company logo must be displayed in the windshield if picking up or dropping off passengers at an airport.
- The vehicle’s license plate number should be displayed in a sign affixed to the front windshield.
Common Causes of Lyft and Uber Accidents in Durham
Some of the most common causes of Lyft and Uber accidents in Durham include:
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
- Reckless driving
- Aggressive driving/road rage
- Distracted driving, especially as Uber/Lyft drivers must frequently look at their cellphones to manage passenger ride requests and follow navigation directions
- Drowsy or fatigued driving, with many rideshare drivers choosing to work long and late hours to maximize their income
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Unsafe turning or lane changes, including failing to signal or check mirrors
- Disregarding traffic signs or signals, including running red lights and stop signs
- Inadequate vehicle maintenance
- Auto part defects
- Inexperienced drivers
Our law firm will conduct a thorough investigation into your accident to determine how it occurred and who should be held accountable.
How a Durham Uber and Lyft Accident Attorney Can Help You
A Durham Uber and Lyft accident attorney can help you demand the financial compensation you need by:
- Investigating the accident scene to recover important evidence, including crash scene photos, police accident reports, eyewitness statements, and video footage of the crash
- Working with accident reconstruction experts to determine what happened and identify the party or parties that can be held liable for your injuries
- Documenting all your financial expenses and losses, as well as the personal harm that you have suffered
- Managing all communication with the rideshare and insurance companies
- Negotiating for a settlement that pays you fair and full compensation
- Taking your case to trial if litigation becomes the best option for fully pursuing your rights
If you’ve been injured in a collision involving a rideshare vehicle, you should be focused on your health and your recovery. Let an experienced attorney handle the stress of pursuing the compensation you deserve. Contact Kreger Brodish LLP for a free consultation with a trusted Durham Uber accident attorney.