Uber and Lyft began service in Louisville in August 2014, just in time to accommodate thousands of visitors arriving for The Kentucky Derby and The Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. Since then, both companies have been providing Louisville residents with cost-effective options for traveling across the city.
However, services like Uber and Lyft are like any other transportation in that accidents can occur. In addition, a rideshare accident often adds an extra layer of complexity to determining who is at fault, what insurance is available and how you should proceed as an injured party.
If you’ve been hurt in a rideshare crash, you’re probably overwhelmed with questions. How do you file a personal injury claim? How do you find a Louisville car accident attorney who understands the unique laws that apply to Uber and Lyft accidents? At
The Schafer Law Office, we help rideshare accident victims get maximum compensation for their injuries. We know how to identify liable parties, collect the necessary evidence, and file a claim for the money you need to both cover your losses and maintain financial stability as you recover.
Uber Accident Attorney in Louisville
In December 2019, Uber released a safety report for 2017 and 2018. It confirmed that during that time, there were 97 fatal accidents resulting in a total of 107 deaths. While this may seem low considering that motor vehicle accidents kill thousands of people in the U.S. every year, it’s important to remember that the report excludes all of Uber’s non-fatal collisions, which must be significantly higher.
If you have been injured in an Uber accident in Louisville, you deserve legal advocates who can protect your rights. Uber accidents often involve complex liability issues, but a Louisville Uber accident lawyer at The Schafer Law Office can help you overcome any challenges or attempts to limit your compensation.
Lyft Accident Lawyer in Louisville
Lyft has over two million drivers in the U.S. and Canada. Many people who use the service don’t own a vehicle, and Lyft markets itself as an option that allows people to avoid vehicle ownership. If it were not available, these passengers would have taken public transportation, walked, or bicycled, which is one of the reasons why a Schiller Consulting report found that rideshare services like Lyft accounted for a 180% increase in traffic on city streets.
Like Uber, accidents involving Lyft vehicles lead to complex personal injury claims. By hiring a ridesharing accident lawyer, you stand the best chance of receiving the full compensation you are entitled to. A Louisville Lyft accident lawyer at The Schafer Law Office will work tirelessly for you and help ensure that your claim is taken seriously by insurers.
Requirements to Become an Uber or Lyft Driver in Louisville
There are certain requirements in place for those who want to drive for Uber or Lyft in Louisville. You must:
- Be 21 years of age or older (25 for Lyft)
- Hold a valid driver’s license
- Be able to provide proof of work eligibility and vehicle registration
- Complete a background check that covers your criminal history and driving record
Kentucky law also requires all rideshare drivers to take a two-hour defensive driving course online. Despite these precautions, Uber and Lyft drivers still get into serious accidents that lead to severe injury or death.
Common Causes of Rideshare Accidents
Many of them drive in higher-risk conditions: Uber and Lyft rides are often requested late at night, in bad weather, during heavy traffic, or in other adverse conditions. Drivers may also experience fatigue when they work late or for long hours without stopping to take a break. Other causes of rideshare accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Ignoring posted speed limits
- Driver inexperience
- Aggressive driving
- Driving while exhausted
- Poor road conditions
- Lack of proper vehicle maintenance
A Louisville Uber accident lawyer can identify all liable parties based on the cause of the accident. In some cases, there may be additional defendants, such as the municipality if the roads were poorly maintained, or the vehicle manufacturer if defective brakes made it impossible to prevent an accident.
Common Rideshare Accident Injuries
Rideshare accidents involve motor vehicles, which are heavy and especially dangerous when traveling at high speeds. When a collision occurs, it can leave the occupants of both vehicles seriously hurt. If a cyclist or pedestrian was involved, the injuries can be even more catastrophic because they have little to no impact protection. Common rideshare injuries include:
- Broken bones or fractures
- Torn or ruptured ligaments
- Burns and lacerations
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
If you’ve suffered injuries in an accident involving a negligent Uber or Lyft driver, you may be entitled to compensation like the following:
- Medical expenses
- Ongoing treatment costs
- Lost wages
- Decreased or lost earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death expenses such as funeral and burial costs)
Additionally, families of those wrongfully killed by negligent rideshare drivers often lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in lifetime financial support. A Louisville Lyft accident lawyer will come up with a claim value that accurately reflects all of your losses so that you’re not left in financial straits by someone else’s negligence.
What to Do If You Are in an Uber or Lyft Accident in Kentucky
If your Uber or Lyft ride ends in an accident, your first priority should be making sure that you and all passengers and drivers are okay. Call 911 to request the police and, if anyone appears to be injured, an ambulance. While you’re waiting for them to arrive, take the following steps:
- Exchange contact information with all parties. If there were any witnesses, get their information as well.
- Take pictures and record as much information about the accident as you can.
- Report the accident to the company on the Uber or Lyft app if you are a rideshare passenger.
- Get a thorough medical evaluation if you don’t need to go to the hospital in an ambulance. If an examination shows that you’ve been injured, hire a lawyer who has experience representing victims of Uber or Lyft accidents.
How Does Insurance Work With Ridesharing Accidents?
Uber and Lyft provide insurance to their ridesharing drivers. However, both companies have strict requirements for when the coverage is applicable, even if a driver is in an accident while transporting a passenger. Below is an overview of rideshare accident scenarios that clarify which party is responsible for covering your losses, depending on when the collision occurred.
- The driver’s personal insurance may cover your accident if it occurs while they are off-duty and not using the company app.
- If a driver has been active on the app but not accepted a ride, the rideshare company’s reduced contingent policy provides coverage of up to $50,000 per person, $100,000 per person if the driver is not insured, and $25,000 for property damage.
- If the rideshare driver accepts a ride and has passengers in their vehicle, Uber and Lyft have a $1 million insurance policy that will cover any damages if they are liable or underinsured/uninsured.
There may be extreme cases in which the damages to a rideshare passenger exceed $1 million, therefore surpassing the insurance coverage limit. If this happens to you, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the company, but there are challenges involved: technically, Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors, so the companies don’t assume responsibility for their actions. You’ll need to work with a Louisville personal injury lawyer who has the qualifications and experience to guide you through such a complex case.
Importance of Hiring a Rideshare Accident Lawyer in Louisville, KY
Rideshare accidents are not always the same as a regular motor vehicle crash. Both Uber and Lyft provide a ridesharing platform connecting drivers with riders. Their drivers are independent contractors who operate their own cars. Therefore, injured riders and third parties, such as drivers or pedestrians, may not be able to recover financial damages from Uber or Lyft unless documen ts are obtained and the case properly investigatd. This system is intentionally designed to limit corporate liability for injuries resulting from driver negligence. The Louisville rideshare accident attorneys at The Schafer Law know how to maximize compensation after Uber and Lyft accidents. This may involve investigating the circumstances of the collision as well as vehicle safety and drivers’ qualifications and their training. We may also request the police report and rideshare account data to verify the driver’s status when the accident took place. While you recover, we will be hard at work on your case, collecting the evidence needed to support your claim.
Questions? Speak to a Louisville Uber & Lyft Rideshare Accident Attorney
Using rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft is convenient, but it can be dangerous if the driver is distracted or inexperienced. If you have been injured in a rideshare accident, you may have difficulty recovering your damages. A Louisville car accident attorney can protect your interests during negotiations with insurers and even fight for you in court if necessary.
The Schafer Law Office provides legal representation to people who have been injured in a wide range of preventable accidents, including those involving rideshare vehicles. Initial consultations are free, and we never charge a fee unless we successfully recover money for you. To schedule a confidential case review and learn why so many clients have trusted us with their claims, contact our office today.