Uber / Lyft Accident Attorney in Washington, DC
Serving Rideshare Accident Victims Across DC, Maryland & Virginia
Rideshare services have become a popular form of transportation across the U.S. With services like Uber and Lyft, users enjoy a convenient way to get where they need to go. While they may pay a fee in exchange for a ride, those rides do not always end at their final destination – some end in car accidents, injuries, or even death.
At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our Washington, DC uber accident attorneys represent victims who have suffered harm and losses in preventable accidents – including wrecks involving Uber and Lyft.
Because Uber and Lyft are unique services, they introduce issues different from other types of car accidents, especially in terms of liability and insurance coverage. To address these issues effectively and ensure that a thorough and compelling case is developed, it is important to work with proven lawyers.
Why Choose CSCS for Your Auto Accident Case?
- Over 100 Years of Combined Experience
- More than Half a Billion in Compensation Recovered
- Award-Winning, Nationally Recognized Lawyers
- Two Board Certified Civil Trial Law Specialists
Injured in an Uber or Lyft accident? Call (202) 659-8600 for a FREE consultation.
Determining Liability in an Uber or Lyft Accident
The unique structure of services like Uber and Lyft create legal issues that must be carefully addressed in civil claims seeking compensation. Because Uber and Lyft classify their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, they are able to dispute or deny liability for accidents and injuries caused by their drivers.
Some of the issues that often arise are whether a driver is driving on their own time when they are not using the Uber or Lyft application; whether Uber or Lyft is responsible when the driver is using the app but not transporting a fare; and whether Uber or Lyft is responsible when a driver is en route to pick up a fare.
As a result, the circumstances surrounding the accident and whether or not a driver is considered “on duty” must be closely evaluated in order to determine who is liable (whether it be the company and/or its driver, or another motorist).
Insurance Coverage for Uber & Lyft Accidents
Insurance coverage is important in any auto accident case, but in those involving Uber and Lyft, there are different factors involved. For example, rideshare services like Uber structure their insurance policies differently depending on what the driver was doing at the time and how you were injured.
You were a passenger:
- If you were injured as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, you are covered under the rideshare company’s commercial insurance, which is typically a $1 million policy. You are not only covered for accidents caused by the Uber or Lyft driver, but also accidents caused by other motorists, if they are negligent. Depending on the individual circumstances involved, injured passengers may recover from the rideshare company’s insurance, an at-fault motorist’s insurance, or both.
You were driving another vehicle:
- If you were driving your own vehicle and were injured in a crash caused by an Uber or Lyft driver, insurance coverage will vary depending on what the driver was doing (this is due to drivers being independent contractors). For example, if the rideshare driver was actively transporting a customer when they caused your wreck, you will be covered by the service’s commercial insurance policy. However, if the Lyft or Uber driver was using the app but did not have a customer in their vehicle, you may need to seek compensation through the rideshare’s contingent policy and/or the driver’s personal auto insurance. If the driver who caused your wreck drives for Uber and Lyft but was not using the app at the time of the crash, you must seek compensation through their personal insurance.
You were a pedestrian or bicyclist:
- If you were neither a rideshare passenger or the driver / occupant of another vehicle involved in a collision with a rideshare vehicle, your options for compensation will depend on the factors discussed above. However, because pedestrians, bicyclists, and even motorcycle riders are more likely to suffer serious injuries in crashes involving passenger vehicles, the greater need for full and fair compensation means you should be focused on working with legal representation that has experience handling the types of injuries you suffered, and the unique challenges posed by Uber / Lyft.
You were a rideshare driver:
- If you were working as a driver for Lyft or Uber when your crash occurred, you’re entitled to not only no-fault PIP / Med Pay benefits, if you have such coverage, but also potentially to compensation through your own insurance (i.e UM / UIM coverage), the other party’s insurance, or Uber and Lyft’s auto insurance policies (including their uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage).
These issues create many moving parts and special concerns when it comes to filing personal injury or wrongful death claims, and when it comes to taking the right steps after an Uber or Lyft accident. That’s why they demand the attention of lawyers who have experience in auto accident cases and accidents involving rideshare apps.
Our Uber accident lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have this experience, as we focus exclusively on personal injury law, and can provide the support and representation you need.
The Basics: What You Should be Doing After an Accident
As we have discussed on many of our blogs, and in our own accident e-books, taking the right steps after an auto collision is important to your health and the safety of others around you – and to ensuring you have what’s needed to bolster any personal injury claim you may choose to file at a later date. Some of these basic steps include:
- Seek medical treatment – This includes immediate medical care (even if you think you can “tough it out”), evaluations when new symptoms arise, and follow-up treatment as recommended by your doctor.
- Report your accident – Reporting your accident can ensure the right first responders and emergency personnel are notified, and can help ensure a law enforcement officer arrives on scene to help you sort through the chaos and gather information for their accident report, which could prove useful in your case. If an officer does come to the scene, make sure you get their information, badge number, and contact information as well.
- Gather your own information – In addition to having a police officer compile an accident report, you can protect yourself by gathering as much information as possible, if you’re able to do so. That includes contact and driver’s license information from all those involved (including witnesses), photos of the accident scene, vehicles involved, and any visible injuries from multiple angles, and even detailed notes you record while the details of the crash are still fresh in your mind. This can ensure you capture the scene of the crash and the circumstances surroundings before anything is cleaned up, altered, or simply forgotten with time.
- Stay organized – Do your best to stay organized when it comes to information about your accident, both for any insurance issues you may face and for any personal injury claim you may decide to file. Obtain a copy of your accident report, safely store any information you’ve gathered or notes you’ve taken, and add any new developments (such as doctor’s appointments, tests, requests from insurers, etc.) to your files. Staying organized can allow you to better equip your attorney with the information they need to help you.
- Watch what you say to insurance companies – You should do your due diligence in checking your auto insurance policy for any specific requirements regarding accident notifications, and promptly notify your insurance company. Though you want to report the matter, you also want to be careful of talking to insurance carriers, especially when they’re representing the other motorist and want nothing more than to pay you less. You don’t have to provide a statement or sign a release if you’re not comfortable, or if you don’t yet have a lawyer. An experienced attorney can handle communication with insurance companies on your behalf.
Steps to Take to Protect Your Rights
Knowing that Uber and Lyft accidents can make for more complexities during the personal injury claim process than other auto accidents involving two drivers, our firm also wanted to detail some important steps you can take to protect your rights with these unique issues in mind.
- Contact information – As mentioned, it’s important to get the contact information (and insurance / driver’s license information) of all parties involved in your accident. If the wreck involved an Uber or Lyft carrying passengers, you should also get the contact information of those passengers, as they may be parties or witnesses in your future claim.
- Make a copy of your ride receipt – If you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft at the time of a collision, make sure you print a hard copy of your trip receipt and the information about your driver as listed on the rideshare app. These will be vital for your records, and potentially any claim you choose to pursue.
- Don’t speak with Lyft or Uber – Uber and Lyft have become wise to the high payouts and reputational harm that can accompany accidents involving their rideshare drivers, and they may attempt to contact you to resolve claims or obtain your statement. Just as with insurance companies, you do not have to provide a statement, or make any claim through the Uber or Lyft app or your rideshare account if customer support or any rideshare representative contacts you. As with insurance companies, an experienced attorney can handle communication with Uber/Lyft on your behalf.
Insurance Companies Want to Pay You Less
Whether you seek compensation through Uber, Lyft, or a driver’s personal insurance, you must be aware that insurance companies do all they can to pay you less – if anything at all. As a firm that has been helping victims and families level the playing field with insurance companies and corporations that put their profits over the well-being of people, we know full and fair compensation is something that must be fought for and earned – not something that is automatically awarded.
Knowing our clients depend on financial recoveries to cover their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages, we work diligently to investigate, establish fault and liability, and build the strong and convincing claims needed to win. Over the years, we have proven our ability to help victims when they need it most, and have recovered over half a billion in compensation for our clients.
Call (202) 659-8600 For a FREE Consultation
Our Washington, DC rideshare accident lawyers are available to discuss your rights, potential case, and what we can do to help following an Uber or Lyft accident during a FREE consultation. We encourage you to contact us today to speak with a member of our team, and to place your trust in a firm that has the tools to help you secure the justice and compensation you deserve.