Since 2009, ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft have grown in popularity with millions of users worldwide. These popular rideshare apps are a great way for locals and tourists to get around a city without having to hail a taxi or rent a car. Uber and Lyft are making it easier for people throughout Louisiana and across the country to get from Point A to Point B. The rise of rideshares, however, also comes with an increased risk of a car accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, which can raise some complicated legal questions about who is responsible in the event of a crash.
The Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Mansfield Melancon help people injured in automobile collisions and a wide range of other accidents get the full compensation available to them under the law. We have significant experience in the courtroom and at the negotiating table, whether that involves a negligent driver and his or her employer or a big insurance company.
Our lawyers understand the pain and stress that can come with being injured in an Uber & Lyft car accident, especially when it is caused through no fault of your own. That is why we take the time to understand each client’s unique individual circumstances and work aggressively to build the strongest possible case.
What is Uber, What is Lyft?
Uber and Lyft are two of the most popular ridesharing apps in the industry. To ride with one of these companies, all you need to do is open the app and follow the on-screen instructions to request a driver. Each app will show your location and the drivers closest to you. Once you confirm your location and request a ride, a nearby driver will accept the request and head your way to pick youup. You will be able to see the name of the driver, make/model of the vehicle, and the driver's rating. You can also pay for your Uber or Lyft through the app.
What if I am Involved in an Uber or Lyft Accident?
Being involved in any type of auto accident can be terrifying and confusing. An Uber and Lyft accident is no different. If you have been in an Uber or Lyft accident, here are some helpful tools to consider immediately following the accident:
- Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the main priority after an auto accident. If you are injured or hurt, you should call 911 immediately or go to an urgent care, emergency room, or hospital to seek further medical treatment.
- Call the Police: You should report your accident to the local police agency by calling 911. A police report is vital in dealing with the insurance company, and you should make sure you get one.
- Document the Accident: You should take detailed notes of the accident scene, damages to the vehicles, and gather information of all parties involved in the accident. If possible, you should also take pictures and/or videos of the accident scene, your injuries, and any other important information.
- Speak with a Lawyer and not the Insurance Company: Many times immediately after an accident, the insurance company of the at-fault driver will try and get a recorded statement from you. It is best to not speak with any insurance company prior to contacting an Uber or Lyft accident lawyer. Call Mansfield Melancon before you speak with the insurance company.
Uber & Lyft Insurance Policy
When you are involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, different insurance policies may come into play. It is important that you contact a lawyer at Mansfield Melancon so we can help you navigate how to receive compensation for your injuries from the correct party and/or insurance company.
For example, Uber’s breakdown of their insurance coverage:
- Offline or the Driver app is off. The driver’s insurance policy applies and not Uber’s commercial policy.
- Available or waiting for a ride request. The driver’s insurance policy is primary. If the driver’s insurance policy does not apply, then Uber may provide coverage in the form of $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident.
- En route to pick up riders and during trips. Uber’s commercial insurance policy is primary, including up to $1 million in third party liability as well as a separate Uninsured/Underinsured motorist bodily injury policy (which is different in every state).
Monetary Compensation for Car Accident Injuries
State law gives people injured in car accidents the right to seek compensation from those responsible for the crash.
The money damages typically available in these cases include compensation for medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering and lost wages while recuperating. In the event that a person is killed in a crash, his or her family may be able to seek similar compensation in a wrongful death action.
Uber and Lyft drivers, like anyone else operating a motor vehicle in Louisiana, owe their passengers and everyone else on the road a “duty of care” to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. That means maintaining safe speeds, complying with traffic laws and remaining alert at all times. It also means refraining from dangerous activities like drinking and driving, texting behind the wheel or driving aggressively.
An Uber or Lyft driver who does not live up to this duty is likely to be considered negligent and liable for any accidents that happen as a result. There are also open questions about whether Uber and Lyft may also be legally responsible under a legal theory called respondeat superior that makes businesses liable for accidents involving workers acting in the course of their normal job activities. However, this is unsettled legal territory because Uber and Lyft treat drivers as contractors instead of employees.
Speak with a Louisiana Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, the personal injury attorneys at Mansfield Melancon can help. We are committed to guiding the people whom we represent through the legal process with experience and personal attention.
Our firm also has a strong track record of getting optimal results for our clients.
Our offices are conveniently located in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette. Call us or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a Louisiana Uber and Lyft accident lawyer. You can reach us at our New Orleans location at 504-500-1108, our Baton Rouge location at 225-612-0800, or our Lafayette location at 337-409-0003.