Rideshare has transformed the transportation industry, but at what price? The popular services Uber and Lyft have been in the news numerous times for tragic car accidents, sexual assaults by drivers, and other harmful events. Hundreds of app users have pursued compensation through the rideshare companies’ insurance plans and personal injury lawsuits around the country. If you become a victim in a rideshare accident, meet with our Kansas City rideshare accident lawyer at Wendt Law Firm P.C. We have vast experience handling Kansas City car accidents.
Obtaining compensation from Uber or Lyft requires going through the insurance system. Unfortunately, insurance companies share one common goal: to save money. Negotiating with an insurance company could be difficult without help from an attorney. Most insurance companies do not take clients seriously unless they hire lawyers. Once you retain an attorney, however, you will likely find that the insurance company offers you a higher settlement. That is because the insurer knows a lawyer has the power to take your case to court. Hire an attorney to represent you for peace of mind, stronger negotiation capabilities and better results.
While car accidents are extremely common, rideshare accidents have also begun to become more common. There are several factors that widely contribute to Uber and Lyft drivers getting into accidents with pedestrians, bicyclists and other motor vehicles. Reasons for rideshare accidents include:
If a negligent rideshare driver caused your Uber or Lyft accident in Kansas City, the driver or the company could owe you compensation. Rideshare companies have a unique way of dealing with accident and injury claims. Your claim may go to the individual driver’s insurance company first, then to the rideshare company’s insurer for supplemental insurance. The lawyers at Wendt Law Firm P.C. can help you navigate the complicated insurance process after a rideshare accident.
Car accidents are confusing enough without the unique elements that come with rideshare vehicles. Victims may not know what to do or who to call. The driver may refuse to acknowledge his or her fault for the incident or try to persuade you not to report the crash. After a rideshare crash, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from having to pay your damages out of pocket. Here’s what to do in Kansas City:
Uber and Lyft both carry $1 million in damage coverage in case of accidents. In most cases, this insurance will cover your personal injuries. However, it is possible that the company will deny the claim or offer less than your case is worth. If this happens to you, speak to an attorney right away. Our Kansas City accident attorneys has handled rideshare claims in Kansas and Missouri, and we can help you go up against Uber or Lyft when necessary.
Once you report your accident to the rideshare company, someone called an insurance claims adjuster will contact you for more information about the wreck. Be cautious in what you say to the insurance adjuster. Do not admit fault, for example, and do not say yes to giving a recorded statement. These are mistakes that could allow the insurance company to take advantage of you. If you do not feel confident talking to the insurance claims adjuster, a personal injury lawyer can do so for you.
Uber or Lyft may take responsibility for your accident if it or one of its drivers caused the crash. To be eligible for all or some of the $1 million coverage available, however, you will need to show that the ride was in one of three covered stages. Stage one is a rideshare driver logging into the app and actively searching for a rider. Stage two is the rideshare driver accepting a ride and driving to pick the passenger up. Stage three is the driver picking up the passenger and traveling to the destination.
Different insurance coverage amounts will apply to your rideshare accident case depending on the phase of the ride. If the Uber or Lyft driver was off-duty at the time of your collision, you will have to seek compensation from the individual driver’s insurance company rather than the rideshare company. Otherwise, Uber or Lyft may owe you full or partial compensation in addition to the driver’s personal policy. Our lawyers can help you navigate and prove your rideshare accident case in Kansas City.
While being in a car accident has injuries it’s usually associated with, being injured in a rideshare accident can cause different injuries or injuries in different parts of the body due to a difference in position. As a passenger riding in the backseat of a vehicle, you could suffer injuries such as whiplash, a head injury from contact with the back of someone’s seat, a seatback failure injury, and severe internal injuries from wearing only a lap belt in the rear middle seat.
Injuries can include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and can even lead to wrongful death. It is important to hire an attorney if you have serious or life-altering injuries from a rideshare accident in Kansas City. Your claim could be worth more than an insurance company is offering. The lawyers at Wendt Law Firm P.C. can review your case and let you know how much it is worth during a free consultation.
Rideshare drivers in Missouri and Kansas are independent contractors, not employees of Uber or Lyft. Legally speaking, vicarious liability rules would not come into play as they would with other companies and their employees. When a worker is an independent contractor, the employer is not liable for the worker’s on-the-job actions or behaviors. Yet this does not protect Uber and Lyft from liability entirely. You may be able to bring a personal injury claim against the company, the driver, or a third party for maximum compensation. To learn more about these complex cases, contact us for a free consultation.