Uber and Lyft Accident Attorney in Denver, CO
The popularity of ride-share services across the United States is exploding. As an example, Colorado’s Uber activity among business travel customers witnessed an astonishing growth of 337 percent in 2015 alone. The concept of offering consumers the freedom and ease to call for a driver and vehicle at a moment’s notice has gained a widespread following, even in the face of troubling questions about the business model itself and the ability to assign liability should an accident occur.
It is vital to understand that you face the same risk of experiencing a motor vehicle accident when riding in a rideshare driver’s vehicle as you would in any other vehicle. However, while the process of recovering from a rideshare accident may seem relatively similar to the process of recovering from any other vehicle accident, you’re likely to face more challenging insurance-related issues after a rideshare accident, some of which you may not be able to manage on your own.
Denver car accident attorney, Jeremy Rosenthal, understands the complexities that can plague Lyft and Uber accident scenarios and stands prepared to help victims secure the financial compensation and sense of accountability they deserve. Our team has years of experience resolving all types of vehicle injury claims in Denver, and we can put this experience to work against the unique challenges you will face in a rideshare accident claim.
Circumstances in Which a Lyft or Uber Accident Claim May Arise
It is important to note that it is not only those hiring ride-share vehicles who are vulnerable to serious injury and even worse. Pedestrians, bystanders, and other drivers on the roads are susceptible to accidents involving Lyft and Uber cars. Just as with all types of crashes, the possible list of causes underlying ride-share collisions is extremely lengthy, and may include:
- Negligent maintenance of vehicles. If negligent maintenance results in a rideshare accident, the party responsible for maintenance of the vehicle in question faces responsibility for all resulting damages.
- Driver fatigue. Drowsy or fatigued driving is statistically just as dangerous as intoxicated driving. If a drowsy driver caused your accident, you would need an experienced attorney to help you gather the evidence needed to prove their liability.
- Driver intoxication, whether by alcohol or drugs. It is against the law for any driver to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) typically leads to a heavy fine, jail time, and suspension of driving privileges. These penalties automatically increase when the at-fault driver hurts or kills someone due to driving under the influence.
- Disregard for traffic rules. Intentional reckless driving can not only cause a serious accident and expensive economic losses for those involved but also lead to criminal prosecution of the at-fault driver.
- Excessive speed. Across the United States, speeding is a top contributing factor to the number of fatal accidents reported each year. Speeding significantly increases the chance of an accident happening and the severity of resulting damages.
- Distracted driving/texting while driving. Inattentive driving is the leading cause of all motor vehicle accidents throughout the country each year. Even momentary distraction is enough to cause a devastating accident.
There can be no doubt that all of the precipitating factors outlined above have the ability to produce debilitating and sometimes permanent harm, and it is critical that those who suffer such losses pursue the monetary recovery to which they are entitled. However, because of the many questions that surround issues of liability in accidents involving ride-share cars, the aid of a knowledgeable auto accident attorney can make all the difference in determining the most effective course of action.
Insurance Coverage and Uber Cars
When it comes to assessing insurance coverage available in the aftermath of an Uber accident, it is necessary to note that in a general sense, Uber provides up to $1 million in liability coverage, in addition to $1 million of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. However, these amounts only come into play if a driver is logged into the Uber app at the time of the event, raising serious questions as to who is responsible for losses if a collision occurs before or after the driver is officially engaged in Uber-related endeavors.
How Uber Insurance Operates
The aforementioned insurance coverage amounts are only relevant for individuals who sustain harm while riding as passengers in Uber vehicles. Crashes that inflict injuries upon pedestrians, cyclists or occupants of other cars fall outside of this protection, raising the likelihood that such victims will experience significant losses that are not covered by Uber’s policy. Lyft has virtually identical insurance coverage in place, and therefore the same challenges and risks to third-party victims remain. Despite the fact that both Lyft, as well as Uber, have recommended to their drivers that additional coverage is obtained on an independent basis, they are not presently required to do so.
The victim of a rideshare accident will only have access to the highest tier of insurance coverage from the rideshare company if they were riding as a passenger in a rideshare driver’s vehicle or if a rideshare driver transporting another passenger hit their vehicle. When a driver is logged into the app but waiting for a ride request, the lower tier of insurance coverage applies, providing up to $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for a single victim, up to $100,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for all victims of a single accident, and up to $25,000 in property damage liability coverage.
If you are driving your own vehicle and a rideshare driver hits you while they are not logged into their Driver app and marked as available for a ride request, you would file an auto insurance claim against their personal policy as you would after any other vehicle accident. No matter how your insurance claim process plays out, you have the best chance of maximizing your total compensation if you have an experienced Denver personal injury attorney representing you.
Safety of Ride-Share Enterprises
A growing tally of Americans has become enamored with the convenience of ride-share services, especially those who live in big cities. While most customers of Lyft and Uber have uneventful journeys, recent years have seen an uptick in high-profile accidents that have produced serious injuries and sometimes even deaths. These incidents have put a spotlight on the liability concerns these entities present, calling into question who must pay when someone suffers profound loss due to their operation.
For instance, June of 2016 saw a Philadelphia woman die after being hit by the driver of an Uber vehicle. Litigation was commenced in 2015 on behalf of a pedestrian who died in Manhattan when a driver, himself distracted by the Uber app, caused a collision. In a much-publicized event in late 2013, a six-year-old girl sustained fatal injuries in San Francisco when an Uber driver hit her at an intersection. The company subsequently endeavored to disclaim any liability for what occurred, raising red flags to many observers and consumer advocates. Lyft vehicles have been involved in similar events, including crashes that have ultimately proved fatal, though it has also attempted to limit its exposure to injury claims.
Potential Targets of a Lyft/Uber Crash Lawsuit in Denver, CO
Because all auto accidents are extremely fact-intensive circumstances, whether they involve independently owned vehicles or those engaged in Uber and Lyft ride-share services, the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal is ready and willing to launch a thorough investigation of what occurred so that all viable targets of an injury claim may be pursued. In this way, every avenue of recovery will be examined and maximum compensation sought.
Throughout the years of our firm’s operation, we have assisted many Denver-area clients with a wide range of auto insurance claims and related personal injury cases. When you choose our firm to represent you, our goal is to streamline your recovery efforts as much as possible and maximize the total compensation you obtain.
FAQs About Denver, CO Uber & Lyft Accident Laws
How Long Do I Have to File an Auto Insurance Claim for a Rideshare Accident?
You typically have a very limited window of time in which to file an insurance claim after any accident. Usually, you must at least report an accident and notify the appropriate insurance carrier of your intent to file a claim within a day or two of the accident. It’s best to secure legal counsel before discussing a settlement with an insurance company representative, so let the carrier know you intend to file a claim within the reporting window, and then seek legal counsel immediately.
How Much Can I Recover in Compensation for My Damages?
Colorado law allows you to claim full repayment of all the economic losses you suffered along with pain and suffering compensation. The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal can provide an estimate of your claim’s total potential value. Once you hire our team to represent you we will review your accident and its effects on your life. Our goal in every case is maximum client recovery.
Will the At-Fault Driver Go to Jail for Causing My Rideshare Accident?
If your accident was the result of any illegal misconduct such as DUI, reckless driving, or excessive speeding, it is likely that the at-fault driver will face criminal charges for their actions. In the event the defendant in your case is charged with a crime, this could influence your recovery efforts in various ways. Your Denver rideshare accident attorney can advise you as to how any such variables could affect the final outcome of your case.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Personal Injury Case?
Most personal injury cases filed in the state end in private settlement negotiations. This requires both parties to be willing to compromise on a mutually acceptable solution to the case in question. Your Denver rideshare accident attorney is the best resource you have for streamlining your recovery efforts, and if your case cannot be settled and you must proceed with litigation their counsel will be invaluable during these proceedings.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Denver Rideshare Accident Attorney?
It’s understandable to have concerns about the potential cost of legal counsel when you are already struggling with the financial impact of your recent accident. The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal offers contingency fee billing to make our legal representation accessible to those who need it most. We only take a fee once we win your case, and there is no fee at all if we are unable to secure compensation for you. Additionally, our fee is just a percentage of your total case award, ensuring your legal expenses do not overtake your recovery.
Contact A Denver Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer Today
The continuing expansion of rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft shows no sign of abating, and the liability questions related to them remain extremely problematic. Due to the fact that ride-share customers and the drivers they utilize may not fully grasp what type of insurance coverage may be available when an accident occurs, victims owe it to themselves to consult with an auto accident attorney who is familiar with the issues presented and who can formulate persuasive arguments and effective legal strategies.
Accidents involving Uber, Lyft or any other ride-share operator can yield life-changing consequences that leave entire families on the edge of ruin. Medical bills, lost income, therapy costs and other unanticipated expenses can quickly become unmanageable, and in such cases, it is essential for victims to fight for the resources they need. To experience unrivaled client service and zealous advocacy in your ride-share accident matter, contact attorney Jeremy Rosenthal at 303.825.2223. You can also contact us online to schedule your consultation with our team.