The popularity of rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft continues to grow in Richmond and across Virginia, and it’s no mystery why: they offer an attractive combination of convenience and affordability. Additionally, the rideshare market is hot. More startups are putting wheels on the road and giving the two biggest names some competition. But while common usage of rideshare services increases, so too have accidents involving them.
The unfortunate prevalence of car accidents makes them the leading source of personal injury lawsuits handily. Litigating personal injury cases involving car accidents is not a straightforward undertaking to begin with. When a rideshare service is involved, things become even more complicated.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a rideshare accident, you may have the right to seek financial compensation. The law firm of Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci has decades of experience and an esteemed track record of obtaining multi-million dollar settlements and jury verdicts for our injured clients. Contact us today for a free consultation of your case.
If You’re in a Richmond Rideshare Car Accident
Every day, thousands of people are involved in motor vehicle accidents. In the state of Virginia, over 105,000 crashes occurred in 2020, half of which resulted in injuries to the parties involved. Sadly, car accidents were the cause of 847 fatalities the same year. If you’re in a rideshare accident, there are a few crucial steps you must take.
Steps to Take After An Uber/Lyft Accident in Richmond
- Move to safety and call emergency services, if necessary. This is clearly the most important thing to do, if anyone has been seriously injured. If emergency services are not required, law enforcement should be contacted using their non-emergency number.
- Call the police. Virginia law requires any vehicles involved in a collision to stop. While the law does not require you to call police if there have not been any injuries or property damage over $500, it is still a good idea to do so. The law does require you to call law enforcement if there have been any injuries or deaths.
- Do not tell your rideshare driver it’s not their fault/do not take blame for the accident. If you are a passenger of the rideshare driver, taking blame for the accident would not be a concern in a rideshare accident, since you are not the driver. However, if you happen to be a driver in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle, do not admit to fault for it, as that can be used against your later. Similarly, do not say the Uber or Lyft driver is not at fault. You do not know for sure, and the driver and their rideshare company may use your statement to try to get off the hook. It is best not to talk to the other driver involved except to ask if they are injured, and to exchange insurance information.
- Take pictures of the accident scene and document evidence. Only do this if is is possible to do so safely.
- Seek medical attention, then seek legal advice from an experienced car accident attorney. Sometimes people initially feel relatively okay after an accident, and they do not seek medical attention. Do not make this mistake; here’s why.
The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention
Car accident injuries can range from mild to catastrophic. If you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is extremely important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you “feel fine.” This is because many car accident injuries are not immediately obvious or detectible. Neck and spinal injuries as well as traumatic brain injuries, in particular, can go unnoticed in the immediate aftermath of an accident. However, they can turn out to be very serious in the following days or further down the road, and in some cases they may be fatal.
Another reason it’s imperative to get medical care is to have a record of of the injuries you’ve sustained. Often times with car accidents, insurance companies will try to avoid paying your medical expenses by saying your injuries were pre-existing, or resulted from something else. Having proof that your injuries were the direct result of your Uber or Lyft accident is essential should you choose to pursue a personal injury case against a negligent party.
The Importance of Contacting a Richmond VA Rideshare Accident Attorney
It is wise to contact a qualified personal injury lawyer if you’re injured as the result of any motor vehicle accident. If you’ve been the victim of an accident involving a rideshare company, it is particularly important.
Virginia law outlines strict rules and regulations for rideshare companies and their drivers. Virginia law requires all drivers to maintain bodily injury auto insurance in the amount of at least $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident, though an individual driver’s insurance limits may be higher. Uber and Lyft provide bodily injury coverage of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident. Uber and Lyft also carry primary liability insurance coverage for up to $1 million, depending on the circumstances. Accessing these higher contingent liability coverage limits is dependent upon establishing liability, and the tier or phase the driver was in at the time of the accident.
Neither ridesharing services nor the driver’s own insurance company are going to simply hand you over a money for your physical injuries. Insurance companies will try to limit or deny your personal injury liability claim, and you risk not getting the fair compensation you deserve if you try to negotiate with them on your own. The experienced lawyers at Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci can help ensure you don’t get taken advantage of. If you were injured in a rideshare accident as a passenger, pedestrian, or while driving or riding in another vehicle, contact us at the Virginia Trial Firm today for a free case evaluation.
Uber or Lyft Driver Liability Insurance Coverage
A tiered system applies to Uber and Lyft’s liability insurance depending on the driver’s status, meaning their activity on the app or phase of the ride at the time of an accident.
- Status tier 1 – Offline: The driver’s app is turned off and they are not actively looking for or providing rides for customers, thus they are not specifically engaged in rideshare company business. Therefore, the driver’s own personal auto insurance would apply.
- Status tier 2 – Available: The driver’s app is turned on, and the driver is actively seeking customers. In this situation, the rideshare company’s contingent liability coverage of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident maximum bodily injury, and $25,000 property damage applies.
- Status tier 3 – En route: The driver’s app is turned on and they have accepted a customer. The driver is en route to pick up said customer, or the customer is in the rideshare driver’s vehicle. In this situation, the rideshare company’s $1,000,000 primary liability insurance applies to the driver, and anyone injured in an accident caused by the driver. If another driver is at fault and has insufficient insurance coverage, the rideshare company may provide uninsured/underinsured bodily injury coverage.
If you’ve been the victim of an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft vehicle and your injuries amount to significantly more than the available insurance coverage, it’s crucial to consult with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. You deserve to be justly compensated for your losses, and your focus should be on recovery, not financial hardship. The attorneys of Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci are experienced in the complexities of Uber and Lyft accidents and are prepared to advocate your ridesharing service claim immediately.
How a Richmond Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Rideshare accidents can result in life-changing injuries and financial burden that can be devastating for victims and their families. When your physical wellbeing and family’s security is at stake, you need tough, knowledgable lawyers who will go to bat for you and make sure the responsible parties are held accountable.
The capable personal injury attorneys at Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci are very knowledgable about this complex type of litigation. We possess the skilled and tireless legal team that knows how to establish liability, build a strong case, and negotiate a fair settlement for injured clients when Lyft and Uber drivers are responsible for an accident. With us in your corner, you’ll never need to speak to insurance companies or other lawyers. We handle all the filing of paperwork, communication, and negotiation, so you can focus on healing.
Liable Parties in Richmond Rideshare Accidents
In order to file a personal injury claim for your Uber or Lyft accident, liability must first be established. It is not uncommon for car accidents to involve more than one negligent party. Some of the possible liable parties include:
- The Uber or Lyft driver. Uber and Lyft drivers may be distracted by talking or texting on their phones, rideshare app notifications, or using GPS. If they are speeding, intoxicated, drowsy, or fail to observe traffic rules, they can be deemed negligent. If the driver is not on the clock (offline) with their rideshare service at the time of the accident, their personal insurance policy would be responsible for paying recompense to the injured victim.
- The Uber or Lyft corporation. If the the driver is on the clock at the time of the accident and at fault, the rideshare company may be at partially liable. Rideshare drivers may lack sufficient experience, be unfamiliar with the area, have an imperfect driving record, or may be driving on little sleep.
- Another driver. The driver of another motor vehicle who is distracted, intoxicated, drowsy, speeding, reckless, or is not licensed to drive may be deemed negligent. His or her insurance company would be responsible for paying compensation to the victim.
- Other parties. In accidents involving a commercial vehicle such as a truck, the trucking company, broker, loading company, truck manufacturer, or maintenance company could potentially be liable for the accident.
Determining and proving liability for a rideshare accident can be a very complicated matter, especially when numerous parties are involved and more than one is responsible. Insurance companies and lawyers for corporate and commercial interests will employ dubious tactics to try to avoid blame and paying compensation to injured victims. A qualified personal injury attorney can make sure you don’t fall prey to these tactics and that you receive the full compensation you deserve.
Common Uber and Lyft Accident Injuries
Rideshare accident injuries are the same as any other type of motor vehicle accident. They can range from mild soreness and a few scratches to catastrophic, life-changing injuries. Some of these injuries can cause permanent disability, paralysis, and possibly death. Common Uber and Lyft accident injuries include:
- Broken bones, fractures, strains, and sprains
- Cuts, lacerations, bruising, and burns
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Neck and back injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
Damages You Can Claim for Your Rideshare Accident
Injured victims of rideshare accidents are entitled to claim economical and non-economic damages. Economic damages include:
- Medical expenses related to the accident, including medical bills, ambulance services, therapy and rehabilitation costs, and future medical expenses
- Lost wages from time out of work due to injuries, as well as diminished future earning capacity
- Property damage, if you lost valuables as a result of the accident
Non-economic damages you may claim include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Decreased quality of life
Richmond Rideshare Accident Attorneys Fighting For You
If you were badly injured in a Richmond ridesharing accident, contact the skilled and seasoned personal injury attorneys at Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci today. You have a limited amount of time to pursue a claim against the negligent parties, after which you may no longer be eligible to secure compensation.
We are compassionate attorneys who genuinely care about our clients. We will listen carefully to your account and offer our honest legal opinion. If you choose to pursue a personal injury claim with us, we will get to work investigating and building your case immediately. We don’t back down from insurance companies or intimidation tactics from other lawyers, and we’re not afraid to take your Uber or Lyft accident claim to court if a fair settlement isn’t reached. Contact us today for a free consultation.