Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft offer alternative services to taxicabs in Chicago and other metropolitan areas. By using technological communication devices to match drivers of their own private vehicles with those looking for local transportation, one can request rides via smartphones using GPS and social media apps. Drivers are then connected with users through an algorithm. Ridership and awareness of rideshare programs have significantly increased in recent years, responding to the ease and cost benefits over traditional taxis and other forms of public transportation. The popularity of these companies has caused a shift in the legal implications and processes for regulation and liability issues. If someone is injured or killed in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle, an experienced and knowledgeable rideshare accident lawyer can fight for the rights of victims and their families.
Recovering compensation for damages suffered in an accident involving a rideshare driver and vehicle can be complicated and confusing. Accident cases involving rideshare service companies like Uber and Lyft typically come with a paperwork quagmire and conflicting claims of liability between the corporation’s insurer, the driver’s private insurer, and the insurance provider of any other drivers involved in the incident.
Obtaining the proper legal counsel is crucial to recovering fair compensation for damages incurred in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle. If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, call the personal injury attorneys at Cooney & Conway toll free at 800-322-5573 today and speak with a qualified legal representative. You can also reach us by filling out the Free Case Evaluation contact information form located on this page and a knowledgeable associate will promptly respond to your inquiry.
Common Causes of Rideshare Accidents
With the rise in the use of rideshare services as a primary urban transportation option has come a rise in accidents involving those vehicles, and the results can be devastating. Rideshare accidents are like any other crash or collision involving a motor vehicle, though the nature and circumstances of the ridesharing experience elevates some added elements of danger. Common causes of rideshare accidents include:
- Driver inattention: The constant access to technological communication devices has led to a significant increase in motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving. The dynamics of the rideshare experience leads to additional hazards which can cause accidents that result in serious personal injury or wrongful death.
- While most people always seem to be buried in their smartphones, it is becoming a rising cause of car and pedestrian accidents. It is part of the job of the Uber or Lyft driver to check their devices for the location of their fare and their destination. Even a momentary distraction can lead to a devastating accident with catastrophic consequences.
- A distraction which draws attention away from the road that is unique to rideshare and taxi drivers is their passengers. Drivers can easily be distracted by passengers talking with the driver or among themselves, or by the music they may be playing.
- Drivers who put in excessive hours or work multiple jobs could have their reaction times and decision-making faculties diminished by fatigue.
- Speeding: Driving faster than the posted speed limit has long been a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents that result in injury or death. The faster a car is going, the less time there is for the driver and those around them to react and avoid a crash. Rideshare drivers get paid based on volume. The more trips they make in the shortest amount of time, the more money they make, which may cause them to drive at unsafe speeds.
- Road conditions: The city streets of Chicago and other bustling urban communities are crowded thoroughfares which change often due to the weather, construction and repair crews, and traffic patterns and flow. Drivers need to be constantly aware of their surroundings and any obstacles or dangers which may come their way.
- Driving under the influence: Operating a motor vehicle while on the influence of alcohol or drugs is a dangerous and irresponsible act which causes catastrophic injuries and death. Rideshare services have been justifiably credited with reducing the number of drunk drivers on the road, giving intoxicated individuals an affordable and easy alternative to endangering everyone on the road by driving themselves. When a rideshare driver is performing a transportation service while intoxicated, they put their customers and anyone around them in danger.
- Inexperienced or unqualified drivers: The rapid upsurge in ridesharing programs has resulted in an influx of relatively inexperienced drivers using their own personal vehicles to perform a commercial service in congested urban situations. Riders should report any unprofessional or unsafe driving practices.
What to Do After a Rideshare Accident
Car accidents destroy lives and families. Those involved in motor vehicle accidents can be left with serious personal injuries which result in long-term consequences or trauma. The confusing and ever-changing landscape of rideshare laws and regulations necessitate victims and their loved ones to secure proper professional legal representation to ensure fair compensation is received.
The moments after a crash can be chaotic and disorienting. In order to give victims the best chance of recovering damages related to injuries or death associated with the accident, there are steps to be taken in the aftermath of a rideshare accident, including:
- Health and safety first: No matter how minor or insignificant an injury may seem, victims of car accidents should always seek emergency medical care or assistance. Accident injuries sometimes come with delayed reactions or consequences and injuries may be worse than they initially appear.
- Document and collect detailed information: As soon as all injured parties have tended to and the area is deemed safe, it is crucial to document the accident site by collecting insurance information, license plate numbers, especially the rideshare driver. Take photos of the vehicles, the road, any remaining debris, or anything which may have contributed to the accident.
- Police report: A rideshare driver involved in or witness to an accident is obligated to stop and report the incident. Passengers involved in rideshare accidents should verify the accident has been reported to the proper authorities. A police report could be used as evidence in the legal claims process.
- Rideshare company accident report: Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft can be difficult to work with and may look for ways to avoid liability or deflect responsibility to the driver, who technically works as an independent contractor. Therefore, it is crucial that any accidents be reported to the rideshare company, so any incidents and details are properly documented as soon as possible.
- Contact qualified accident attorney: Those injured or the family of those killed in an accident involving a rideshare driver should not try to receive fair compensation without a trusted personal injury attorney. There are specialized rules and regulations regarding rideshare accidents and the ridesharing companies typically have complex and confusing insurance policies and react aggressively to defend legal claims.
Compensation for Damages in Rideshare Accident
When a for-hire driver such as a rideshare contractor for companies like Uber and Lyft is responsible for an accident which causes injuries or death, the company the driver works for is liable for compensation that the victims and their families are owed. There may be circumstances in which claims may be filed against both the rideshare company and a separate motorist.
Whoever the claim is filed against, victims and their families may seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages and expenses including:
- Economic damages
- Current and future medical bills
- Property damage;
- Lost income and earning capacity
- Non-economic damages
- Emotional distress
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
Contact Personal Injury Lawyers at Cooney & Conway Today
If you or a loved one has suffered serious personal injury or wrongful death in an accident involving a rideshare driver, it is crucial to assess your legal options immediately after seeking proper medical care and treatment. Relying on the support of a professional Chicago personal injury rideshare accident lawyer who is compassionate, knowledgeable, and experienced in helping injury victims and their families can make all the difference in the quality of life for everyone affected.
Contact the experienced and trusted Chicago personal injury attorneys at Cooney & Conway today to schedule a free consultation about your case. Call toll free at 800-322-5573 to speak with a friendly and knowledgeable associate. You can also CLICK HERE or fill out the free case evaluation contact form on this page and a representative will respond shortly.