Knowledgeable Maryland Uber and Lyft Car Accident Attorneys
Experienced representation for passengers injured in rideshare accidents
Rideshare services like Lyft and Uber are becoming the new norm. As competition for public transportation or taxicabs, these private car services give customers more choices in how they can get from place to place. Hailing a ride with a few taps of your smartphone is convenient, allows you to price compare, and travel in a private car on your own timeframe. If you need to grab a last-minute ride to BWI airport for a business trip, it’s much easier—and sometimes cheaper—to call an Uber than book a limo.
Services like Uber and Lyft haven’t been around all that long, and some issues are still in question. The companies may take advantage of legal loopholes and make it difficult to get payouts on insurance claims. They may deny responsibility for your injuries or property damage. The personal injury lawyers at Plaxen & Adler, P.A. are skilled at holding negligent parties liable for your injuries and damages. If you were hurt in an Uber or Lyft accident in Maryland, we want to help.
How insurance coverage for Uber and Lyft works
The major transportation network companies (TNCs) make it mandatory for their drivers to have their own auto insurance coverage. Lyft and Uber in particular have insurance policies on top of that, which protect both the driver and the passenger in the event of a car accident.
Uber and Lyft both have similar insurance policies, with three tiers of coverage. (This doesn’t include the driver’s own personal insurance policy.) The tier of coverage that applies to you as a passenger depends on what part of the ride the driver was in at the time of the accident. Most of the time, you would be in number three:
- When a driver has his or her app turned off and wasn’t on duty at the time of the crash, he or she is only covered by his or her personal car insurance policy.
- When the driver has his or her app turned on and in driver mode, but hasn’t actively accepted your ride in the app, he or she is covered by the company’s liability insurance up to:
- $50,000 per person for bodily injury
- $100,000 per accident total for bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
- When the driver accepts your ride request until the time he or she drops you off at your destination, he or she is covered by the company’s auto liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage up to $1 million per accident for injuries. For property damage, drivers are covered by contingent collision and comprehensive coverage up to the cash value of the vehicle or the repair cost, whichever is less.
After an accident, can I sue Lyft or Uber directly?
This is a question we hear often about TNCs. There is a misconception out there that Uber and Lyft drivers are employees of those companies, so the company itself is responsible for their conduct. This isn’t exactly true. TNCs see themselves as middlemen, where their technology (the app) simply connects the user with a freelance driver-for-hire. They usually classify their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, which generally frees them from any negligent actions on the part of their drivers. So, it’s difficult to sue these companies directly.
However, as we outlined earlier, these ridesharing companies do carry insurance policies, so you should have options for compensation. If you are injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, it’s important to talk to an attorney about your options before you sign any paperwork.
If I am in a car accident as an Uber passenger, how do I file a lawsuit?
The process of filing a claim after an Uber crash is much like any other auto accident claim, but it’s always useful to seek the help of an experienced car accident attorney. There is a great amount of paperwork and frustration involved, and you should spend this valuable time recovering from your injuries.
When dealing with insurance companies after an accident, you should always keep detailed records of your medical expenses and anything related to the crash. Typically, insurance companies (even your own) try to minimize your claim in an attempt to pay you as little as possible. And, the more complicated your case—perhaps a multi-vehicle accident or multiple injured parties—the more difficult the paperwork and legal hoops you may have to jump through.
The legal team at Plaxen & Adler, P.A. is here to help you through the process while you focus on healing from your injuries.
Protecting the rights of Maryland car accident victims for more than 30 years
If you were in an accident in an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare vehicle, we can help. We’ll fully investigate the accident and pursue all avenues of compensation for your injuries and damages. The Maryland car crash lawyers at Plaxen & Adler, P.A. fight tenaciously for our clients. To learn more, or to schedule a free consultation, please call 410-730-7737 or fill out our contact form.