Uber/Lyft Accidents


Tulsa Uber/Lyft Accidents

Understanding who is at fault in a rideshare accident can be challenging. The laws surrounding rideshare companies are continuously evolving. People injured in Uber or Lyft car accidents frequently find insurance companies challenging when filing an injury claim. Additionally, delving through the different “phases” involved in rideshare insurance is a struggle.

At Graves McLain, we have years of experience handling rideshare accident claims. Our Uber and Lyft accident attorneys will protect your rights and work tirelessly to recover the compensation you deserve.

Understanding Rideshare Accidents

Accidents involving rideshare vehicles like Uber and Lyft present unique complexities compared to traditional car crashes. In typical auto accidents, liability often falls squarely on one driver or the other. In rideshare scenarios, multiple parties could bear responsibility, such as the individual driver, rideshare company, or even third-party contractors. Additionally, insurance claims can become a convoluted process, with rideshare companies often possessing large insurance policies to protect not just their corporate interests but also their drivers. Navigating these additional layers of responsibility and insurance requires specialized legal expertise to ensure fair compensation for injuries sustained.
The success of a car accident claim depends on how well liability can be established. Suing an Uber driver or Lyft driver for a car accident has obstacles unique to a rideshare accident.

Rideshare Drivers Are Independent Contractors

Uber and Lyft drivers are classified as independent contractors. Depending on the circumstances, the rideshare driver or the rideshare company may be liable for damages for your injury claim.
A car accident claim may be filed against Uber or Lyft:

  • If the rideshare driver does not meet the licensing requirements set by the company
  • If the Lyft or Uber driver fails to maintain a safe driving record and is facing serious traffic violations (i.e., DUI, reckless driving charges)

In addition, whether the Lyft or Uber drivers were logged in at the time of the accident will significantly affect liability in an injury claim. A rideshare company may deny any car accident claims on the basis that the drivers were not technically working at the time of the car crash.

Identifying Fault in Uber and Lyft Accidents

Hurt and injured passengers may see their injury claim denied by both the rideshare service and the driver’s insurance agencies. An insurance adjuster is trained to examine every claim and look for reasons to deny or minimize payouts.
When liability for a car accident can be challenged, insurance adjusters on both sides are likely to take advantage of the legal ambiguity and deny legitimate claims.

Insurance companies are also changing their policies to address the liability “gray area” for rideshare accidents:

  • Some insurance policies have added clauses that expressly state they will not cover a rideshare car accident.
  • Companies that have not adopted this policy may still deny coverage, arguing that the policyholder is only covered for the personal use of the vehicle.
  • Dealing with Rideshare Insurance Dynamics

Uber and Lyft are large corporations:

  • They may have a team of lawyers and insurance agents
  • If a rideshare driver declines extra insurance coverage provided by Uber or Lyft, the company may deny an injury claim
  • If the rideshare driver is logged in to the app but forgets to click “accept a ride,” the company may deny liability

Accident lawyers experienced in Uber and Lyft accident claims have the know-how to navigate the complicated and ambiguous nature of rideshare liability.

Comparing Uber and Lyft’s Operations and Insurance Practices

Uber and Lyft are the two most popular ridesharing services in America.

Both have many similarities, including:

  • They are app-based companies that act as a third party between drivers and passengers
  • Uber drivers and Lyft drivers are classified as independent contractors
  • Passengers send ride requests through the app and wait for a driver to “accept” their request

The difference between Uber and Lyft primarily rests in how they insure their drivers. Each company has a disclaimer that protects them from car accident liability. However, some states have denied the legitimacy of such a clause and have moved to hold the ridesharing service companies accountable for negligent car accidents.

In response, Uber and Lyft have begun to provide insurance coverage to drivers under certain conditions.

Do Rideshare Companies Provide Insurance Coverage for Rideshare Drivers?

Uber and Lyft provide liability coverage to rideshare vehicles under specific circumstances. Due to the nature of the rideshare service, driving periods are used to distinguish when a driver is covered by the company’s liability insurance and not.

For example, Uber car accidents are covered by third-party liability coverage:

  • If a driver is waiting for a ride request and the app in on
  • The driver’s personal insurance does not apply
  • If a driver is actively picking up or driving a passenger

Lyft liability insurance applies when:

  • A driver is logged into the app and waiting for a request
  • A driver accepts a ride request until the ride ends

If you are a passenger in a Lyft and have arrived at your destination only to be injured in a rear-end car accident, Lyft may argue that the ride had ended and deny your injury claim. However, a car wreck accident attorney can protect your rights and recover the compensation you are entitled to for your injuries.

The Role of Rideshare Accident Lawyers in Tulsa

An Uber Lyft car accident attorney in Tulsa can skillfully handle the most challenging aspects of rideshare claims. Generally, personal injury car accident claims only involve the drivers of the vehicle and their respective insurance companies. Rideshare accident claims are far more complex and have continued to evolve in US courts.

Our personal injury firm, Graves McLain, can employ a multitude of strategies to overcome liability issues. Our car accident lawyers will:

  • Investigate the Uber driver or Lyft driver to see if they elected or declined additional insurance coverage
  • Check the app data to see if the rideshare driver was logged on during the accident and had checked “accept ride”
  • Note the time and driving period (e.g., waiting for a ride request, accept ride)
  • Compare the insurance coverage from the rideshare company and the driver’s insurance policy information

A Lyft or Uber injury attorney can assess the details of your case and provide the best course of action to recover damages for your injuries.

Consequences of Ridesharing Accidents

The consequences of an Uber accident or Lyft accident can be significant. Passengers often suffer serious injuries due to a rideshare driver’s negligent actions.

Some common injuries rideshare accidents cause include:

  • Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, concussions
  • Broken, dislocated, or fractured bones
  • Back and neck damage, sprains, whiplash
  • Spinal cord damage which may result in partial paralysis or paraplegia
  • internal injuries like damaged organs or internal bleeding
  • Soft tissue damage

Suffering a bodily injury as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft is devastating. In addition, the mental anguish from the car wreck may make it difficult to trust another rideshare service again.
Beyond physical injuries, rideshare accidents can exert a lasting emotional and psychological impact on victims. Anxiety, stress, or even post-traumatic stress disorder are not uncommon after such unsettling experiences. Fear of riding in cars, let alone rideshare vehicles, can disrupt daily life and work routines. Emotional distress could potentially extend to loved ones who must adapt to new caregiving roles or financial challenges. Due to these non-visible injuries, individuals may find themselves facing an uphill battle when pursuing just compensation. Legal experts specializing in rideshare accidents can offer invaluable assistance in accounting for these less tangible, yet deeply consequential, impacts on well-being.

Decoding Compensation in Rideshare Accidents

Uber and Lyft accidents can be devastating. When passengers use rideshare services, they trust that their safety is important to the company and the Lyft or Uber drivers.
Unfortunately, negligent accidents happen every day. If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries in a rideshare accident, you may be entitled to recover the damages.

Medical Bills

After a serious accident, people suffer a wide range of devastating and debilitating injuries. Accident victims may require:

  • Lengthy stays at the hospital and intensive care
  • Medical treatment, including multiple surgeries to set severely broken bones
  • Multiple follow up doctor visits to remove pins and sutures
  • Therapy, including physical or occupational therapy
  • Home healthcare, including wound care or the continuation of therapies
  • Medical equipment, including crutches or wheelchair
  • Home modifications for

If injuries are severe enough, they can result in permanent damage. In cases of paralysis or other life-altering injuries, an individual may require medical care for the rest of their life. When faced with an ongoing financial burden, a claimant may be entitled to the estimated future costs of their medical care.

Pain and Suffering Damages

Pain and suffering damages are non-economic and cannot be easily estimated. Most claims calculate pain and suffering based on the following elements:

  • The pain initially felt during the accident
  • Pain experienced during medical treatment
  • Physical pain during recovery
  • Psychological pain from anxiety or sleeplessness

The psychological pain under pain and suffering damages differs from emotional distress damages.

Emotional Distress

Emotional distress damages refer to a clinical diagnosis of a mental disorder brought on by the car accident. For a claimant to be awarded emotional distress, a diagnosis of clinical depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or similar mental ailment must be shown.

Lost Income

Lost income refers to the wages the injured party would have earned if they were able to work. In severe cases, an accident victim may miss months of work while in recovery.

Loss of Future Earning Potential

If a claimant’s injuries prevent them from ever returning to the workforce, or if the permanent bodily damage limits their opportunities, they may be entitled to loss of future earning potential. The salary or earnings they would have earned and missed career opportunities had they never been injured are estimated.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Many people have hobbies that they enjoy. If the injuries they sustain in a car accident prevent them from participating in activities they love, the claimant may be able to recover loss of enjoyment of life damages.

Wrongful Death

When accidents turn tragic, surviving family members may file a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim can allow the family to recover monetary compensation to help offset the costs of the sudden loss of a loved one, including:

  • Funeral or burial expenses
  • loss of the deceased’s expected income
  • Loss of care

Every car accident is unique and may qualify for different damages. Speaking to a Tulsa personal injury lawyer can help you determine what your case is worth.

FAQs | Uber & Lyft Accidents in Tulsa

Frequently asked questions about Uber & Lyft accidents in Tulsa often center around three main issues: liability, insurance, and navigating the legal landscape. Questions of liability can be complex, involving the rideshare driver, the rideshare company, and sometimes even other passengers or third-party drivers. Insurance claims can also be a labyrinth, given that both the individual driver and rideshare company may have separate policies that apply under different conditions. When it comes to legal processes, specialized attorneys can provide invaluable guidance on how to proceed with a case or a claim. One tip for a smoother claims process: act promptly. Delaying the gathering of evidence or waiting to seek medical or legal help can hamper your chances of a favorable outcome.

Graves McLain boasts a strong track record in successfully resolving rideshare accident cases. With a team of dedicated, experienced attorneys, Graves McLain specializes in navigating the complexities that come with Uber and Lyft incidents. Commitment to each client’s well-being and a deep understanding of rideshare laws make Graves McLain a preferred choice for representation in such matters.

Our Tulsa car accident attorneys at Graves McLain will fight to recover the compensation you deserve. Call (918) 359-6600 to schedule a free evaluation of your case.

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