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Rideshare services, including Uber and Lyft, provide convenient and cost-efficient transportation. Due to the rapid growth in popularity of these rideshare apps, the number of Uber and Lyft drivers has increased dramatically in recent years. Unfortunately, this growth has also led to an increase in vehicle collisions involving these drivers.

If you are hurt in a collision with a rideshare driver, a seasoned car accident attorney at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon can help you pursue compensation. If successful, your claim can provide you with recovery for your physical, emotional, and financial losses. Let a Miramar Beach Uber and Lyft accident lawyer advise you of your options. 

How Ridesharing Works

Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft allow drivers to decide when and how much they work. Passengers request a driver using an app, and Uber or Lyft will offer drivers in the vicinity the opportunity to transport them. The TNC collects fares from passengers and pays drivers their percentage.

Common Rideshare Accident Injuries

Any accident with a rideshare vehicle can potentially lead to serious injuries—sometimes more severe than an average vehicle collision due to the risk of distraction. Rideshare operators must not only drive their vehicle but also navigate their mobile app, often while traveling in unfamiliar parts of town. This combination can increase the likelihood of collisions, causing injuries such as:

A committed Miramar Beach rideshare crash lawyer can discuss your options for financial recovery in response to any of these injuries.

Can You Sue Uber or Lyft?

Following a vehicle accident, it is common to consider legal recourse. However, when the other driver is an Uber or Lyft operator, the right to sue the company is not always clear because they treat their drivers as independent contractors. This is an important distinction, given that pursuing legal action against the company becomes more complex compared to if the driver were an employee. 

That said, there may be other grounds to build a case against the rideshare companies. For instance, you could sue the corporation for negligent hiring practices if they allow a dangerous person to drive on their behalf. Regardless of whether you can pursue legal action against the rideshare company, you have the right to sue the negligent driver who caused the accident. These motorists are required to maintain liability insurance like any other driver ensuring there’s coverage available for compensation. 

A Miramar Beach Uber and Lyft accident attorney can provide insight into your case to help you determine the best course of action.

Understanding Rideshare Insurance Coverage

While legal action against these corporations may prove challenging, filing a claim on their insurance policies can be a different story. Uber and Lyft are obligated to provide coverage to their drivers when they are operating on behalf of the company. 

Limited liability coverage is available if the driver who struck you was seeking a passenger for a ride, but had not yet connected with one. However, the policy limits increase dramatically if a crash occurs after a ride has been accepted. Lyft and Uber provide at least $1 million in third-party liability as well as some additional coverage with restrictions, including collision with a $2,500 deductible up to the appraised value of the driver’s car. A Miramar Beach Uber/Lyft wreck lawyer can discuss the merits of an insurance settlement versus a personal injury lawsuit.

Weighing an Insurance Settlement Against an Injury Lawsuit

Insurance companies often stall and offer less than fair settlements, hoping injured parties will be desperate enough to accept their offers. An attorney who is a skilled negotiator and is familiar with insurers’ tricks could build a credible negligence case and use the facts to show a claim’s true value.

If a settlement cannot be reached, it may be best to head to court against the rideshare company to plead the case to a jury. Uber and Lyft may try to skirt any blame by claiming the driver is an independent contractor. If the accident involves a rideshare driver transporting passengers or hitting another motorist on the way to pick up a passenger, however, a Miramar Beach rideshare accident attorney could put liability on the company itself since it provides some insurance.

As of March 24, 2023, claims involving injuries caused by someone’s negligent, careless, reckless, or intentional behavior must be filed within two years of the accident, rather than the four-year window that existed previously.

Contact an Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer in Miramar Beach Today

After an accident, rideshare companies will shift blame away from themselves by claiming the drivers are not their employees and, therefore, the company is not responsible for the accident. Insurers often make low settlement offers. 

You should never be forced to deal with the fallout of a dangerous crash on your own. Whether you are filing a lawsuit or looking into insurance claims, you deserve a strong advocate to help you hold the negligent party responsible. Call a Miramar Beach Uber and Lyft accident lawyer at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon today for a private consultation.