Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are very popular throughout the United States. Many people rely on these services as easily accessible alternatives to public transportation and taxis, while others drive for rideshare companies to supplement their income. If you use rideshare services like Uber or Lyft in Aurora, it is vital to understand that you face the same risks as you would in any other vehicle, but the legal issues you are likely to encounter after an accident will be more complex and tedious.
Legal Counsel for Victims of Rideshare Accidents in Aurora, CO
The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal has a team of experienced Aurora personal injury attorneys who can provide the guidance you need after a rideshare accident. Both Uber and Lyft are required to have auto insurance that applies in different ways depending on when a rideshare accident occurs, but filing a claim against these policies can be very difficult. Additionally, you may need to explore further legal recourse outside the insurance claim process if you want to fully recover from your accident.
What to Expect From Rideshare Company Auto Insurance Claims in Aurora
Both Uber and Lyft have equivalent insurance policies, but the coverage they provide fluctuates based on when an accident happens. Prior to the laws enacted forcing rideshare companies to have insurance, they required their drivers to have personal auto insurance policies that would apply if they caused accidents. Rideshare drivers are still required to have their own auto insurance, but their personal coverage only comes into play if they cause an accident while they are driving for personal reasons and are not logged into their rideshare driver apps.
Once a driver has logged into their driver app, and they are marked as available for a ride request, the first level of the rideshare company’s insurance applies. This level of coverage will provide up to $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for a single person, up to $100,000 in total accident liability coverage, and up to $25,000 in property damage liability coverage. If the rideshare driver caused the accident, their personal auto insurance will be consumed first to pay for the injured party’s damages, and the rideshare company’s insurance will come into play next.
After a driver has picked up a passenger, the second level of the rideshare company’s insurance applies. This level provides up to $1 million in compensation as third-party liability coverage. Liability will first fall to whichever driver caused the accident, and their insurance will pay for the injured party’s damages before any other insurance comes into play.
Filing Your Auto Insurance Claim for a Rideshare Accident in Aurora
Having an experienced Aurora rideshare accident attorney on your side will make filing your insurance claim much easier. Insurance companies lose money when they pay out settlements, so they train their claim adjusters and other representatives to look for any and all reasons they can find to justify lowball settlement offers or deny claims outright. Some insurance companies, unfortunately, engage in bad faith tactics when handling claims, but when a claimant has legal counsel, the insurance company is less likely to attempt any unethical handling of the claim.
Before you file your claim, you must identify the party responsible for the accident. Under Colorado’s fault rule, the driver responsible for an accident is liable for the damages. If the rideshare driver caused your accident, you could typically file a claim against their auto insurance policy before claiming against the rideshare company’s policy to recover your losses. This applies if you were driving your own vehicle or riding as a passenger in the rideshare vehicle.
An Aurora rideshare accident attorney will assist you with filing your claim, and they will also verify that the insurance company handles your claim in good faith. In the event your damages exceed the insurance coverage available to you, you have the right to start a personal injury claim. Liability for your injuries and economic losses falls to whoever caused your accident, so they will be the defendant in your personal injury suit.
Claimable Damages in a Personal Injury Action
The purpose of a personal injury suit is for the plaintiff to recover the compensation they need to be “whole” again after their injury. Once your attorney has assisted you in proving exactly how the accident happened and you have identified the party or parties liable for your damages, you can proceed with your personal injury action. If you were able to start an insurance claim, any damages you could not recover through insurance are claimable in the personal injury case:
- The defendant is liable for any medical care you require to heal completely from your injuries. This includes both immediate and future damages resulting from their negligence or illegal misconduct. For example, you can hold the defendant responsible for hospital bills and other immediate medical costs from the accident, but they are also liable for future treatment costs if you suffered any serious injuries that demand ongoing care.
- Lost income can also be recovered from your personal injury suit. If the defendant’s actions force you to miss work as you recover from your injuries, they are liable for the income you cannot earn during your recovery. If you cannot return to work because of a permanent disability from the accident, they face responsibility for your lost future earnings as well.
- You can recover your vehicle repair costs through insurance, but any property losses not recoverable through insurance can be added as economic damages to your personal injury suit.
- State law allows a personal injury plaintiff to seek pain and suffering compensation from the defendant who caused their injury, but state law limits how much they can claim. Your Aurora rideshare accident attorney will help you maximize compensation for your non-economic damages.
The sooner you connect with trustworthy legal counsel after a rideshare accident, the better your chances are of maximizing your recovery to the fullest extent possible under state law. An Aurora rideshare accident attorney is the ideal asset to have on your side in this challenging situation. The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal has helped many clients recover from damaging rideshare accidents, and we can apply our experience to your case.
Lyft and Uber Accident FAQs
Q: Who Pays for Damages After a Rideshare Accident Occurs?
A: If a rideshare driver causes an accident, the rideshare company’s insurance can apply depending on when the accident happened and whether they were carrying a passenger who suffered injuries. If you were riding in a rideshare vehicle and a third party caused an accident, the rideshare company’s insurance may provide compensation after you secure as much repayment as possible from the at-fault driver’s insurance.
Q: What Are the Time Limits for Filing an Uber or Lyft Accident Claim in Aurora?
A: If you have experienced a car accident in Aurora or anywhere else in the state due to the actions of another driver, you have a very limited time in which to start an auto insurance claim, usually only a few days. However, if you intend to start a personal injury claim in Aurora, you have two years from the date your injury occurred to file your case.
Q: Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer After an Uber or Lyft Accident?
A: Technically, no, there is no legal requirement for you to hire legal counsel after an Uber or Lyft accident. However, the insurance claim you face can be very challenging without an attorney advising you, and insurance alone may not fully cover your damages. Therefore, it is ideal to have trustworthy legal counsel as you navigate the aftermath of an Uber or Lyft accident in Aurora.
Q: How Much Compensation Can I Claim for an Uber or Lyft Accident in Aurora?
A: Colorado law allows the victim of a motor vehicle accident or any other personal injury to hold the at-fault party accountable for the full scope of their damages. You have the right to claim compensation for property damage, medical costs, and lost income resulting from the incident. Additionally, you can claim compensation for immediate damages, but also your anticipated future damages as well as your pain and suffering.
Q: What if I Can’t Afford to Hire an Aurora Rideshare Accident Attorney?
A: The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal offers contingency fee billing to personal injury clients in Aurora. With a contingency fee arrangement, the client is only required to pay a fee to their attorney once their attorney wins their case. The fee paid is a portion of the total award, and the client keeps the rest. However, if the attorney is unsuccessful in securing compensation for the client for any reason, the client does not pay anything.
The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal has experience helping Aurora clients recover from all types of vehicle accidents, including those involving rideshare drivers. We know the legal challenges you are likely to encounter as you seek compensation for your damages, and our goal is to help you approach your case with confidence and recover as fully as the law allows. If you want to discuss your legal options with an experienced Aurora rideshare accident attorney, contact our team today and schedule a consultation to learn more about the legal services we offer.