As Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing companies expand their businesses, ridesharing is becoming a more popular means to get anywhere — from the airport, to your favorite happy hour bar, or to somewhere suddenly when the weather gets bad. With the increase in the number of rideshare options out there, accidents are bound to happen. When they do, it can often be difficult to determine who is liable for your injuries – including when those at fault have lawyers to fight your claim. With help from a Tennessee personal injury attorney, you can figure out who should be paying your hospital bills following an Uber or Lyft accident.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for an Uber or Lyft Accident?
When an accident occurs during an Uber or Lyft accident, liability will likely fall on one or both of the drivers involved (or more, if additional vehicles are involved). In some cases, your driver’s insurance policy may be insufficient to cover the extent of your injuries. This is when you might seek compensation from Uber or Lyft for the negligent or reckless behavior of the rideshare driver.
Rideshare companies have attempted to avoid responsibility for accidents by claiming that the drivers are not employees, but rather, independent contractors, and therefore, cannot be held liable. The courts do not agree, and a strong lawyer can help you with that issue. In Tennessee, Uber and Lyft companies are considered “common carriers”, and therefore can be held financially liable for injuries caused by their drivers when the driver’s insurance coverage is insufficient.
Recovering Damages Following a Rideshare Accident
Following any auto accident, your first step to recovering compensation for your injuries is to file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company – but be ready to be ignored, told your claim is not worth anything, or to be pushed to settle your claim for way too little money. It is not necessary to wait until you have finished treatment to start pursuing your claim, in fact, it is not advisable that you wait due to statute of limitations issues. The sooner you have the right help to pursue your claim – the better.
The insurance company will have a lot of questions for you in order to determine the extent of your injuries and their potential liability for damages. While they may say that they want to help you get through this process as quickly as possible so you can get on with your life, the truth of the matter is, these claims agents are trained in getting you the lowest compensation possible and to string you along as long as they can – often until you are unable to file a lawsuit. These people will record you saying things they hope will help them fight your claim, and they will offer little or no information to you in the midst of their questioning of you.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to hire an experienced rideshare accident attorney to handle the claims process. This way, you will have a trained professional on your side as early as possible, working to get you the most compensation possible. An attorney will also be able to determine whether the driver’s insurance will be enough to compensate you, or if you will need to file a claim with the rideshare company’s insurance company. And, they will do it before you lose your right to sue.
If you have been injured in a rideshare accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Cummings Law today. We’ll walk you through the next steps in your case and let you focus on getting better while we fight for you and your claim.