Lexington, SC Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyers
Accidents involving an Uber or Lyft driver can happen in a few different ways. For one, you might be a passenger in the rideshare car, and the crash could be caused by your Uber/Lyft driver or another driver. Alternatively, you could be driving in or riding in another car when you get hit by a rideshare driver. In any case, our lawyers can help you get compensation.
When you are involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, you often cannot sue these companies like you might hope to. However, claims against the driver directly and against various insurance policies that should cover your injuries could lead to substantial compensation.
For help getting compensated after a crash, call the Uber and Lyft accident lawyers at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers at (803) 451-4000.
How Fault is Determined in an Uber or Lyft Crash in Lexington, SC
South Carolina law uses a fault-based system for car accidents. In this system, each driver carries insurance to cover the injuries they cause someone else during a crash, and the at-fault driver’s insurance pays damages. While things are a bit more complicated when it comes to the various insurance policies at play in an Uber or Lyft case, fault is still an important factor that needs to be addressed in your case.
Generally, “fault” in a car accident case means the driver is “negligent.” Negligence as a legal term has four elements that must be met to show that the driver 1) owed the victim a legal duty, 2) breached that duty, 3) the breach caused the crash, and 4) resulted in damages.
A driver’s breach of duty is usually a traffic violation, such as speeding, driving under the influence, running a red light, or changing lanes without a turn signal. If this is what caused your crash, that driver is at fault. Sometimes, no specific violation is involved, but rather, the driver did something unreasonable given the circumstances at hand. That can also be the breach of duty at the core of a negligence claim.
Looking at these rules, you might be able to easily identify the at-fault driver. However, fault sometimes rests with multiple drivers; even the victim could share fault. Ultimately, our Uber and Lyft accident lawyers can help you analyze who was at fault, what share of fault they are responsible for, and what damages that party should pay.
Holding Uber and Lyft Responsible vs. Suing Rideshare Drivers in Lexington, SC
As mentioned, South Carolina’s rules make the at-fault driver responsible for a crash. That would normally mean that you file an insurance claim against their insurance policy or sue them for the crash. However, rules are often a bit different when a driver is working when they cause the crash. Uber and Lyft are treated differently than other employers in many situations but they still have insurance that can cover an auto accident.
Suing Professional Drivers
Normally, when a driver is on the road as part of their job duties, their employer can be held liable for a collision the driver caused. This is part of a legal principle called “respondeat superior,” and it often allows injured victims to sue trucking companies, bus companies, and other transportation companies. However, these rules do not allow you to reach a driver’s employer in a lawsuit if the driver was an independent contractor like with Uber drivers and Lyft drivers.
Insurance Coverage in Uber/Lyft Accidents
Uber and Lyft drivers, legally speaking, are not “employed” by the companies. This insulates these rideshare giants from lawsuits, but they still provide supplemental insurance to cover cases.
All rideshare drivers are required to carry normal driver’s insurance like any other driver would. This insurance covers crashes when they are off duty. However, as they drive for work, their insurance probably requires them to have additional commercial insurance or a “rideshare” policy to cover added damages. These policies can be used to pay for crashes if no other insurance will cover the accident.
In addition, Uber and Lyft each provide a supplemental policy that covers crashes while the driver is on duty with no rider in their car. This pays additional money on top of whatever the driver’s personal insurance covers. They also have an even higher-dollar insurance policy that covers when there is a rider in the car, providing up to $1 million per accident. It should also cover if the driver already selected a rider and was on the way to pick them up.
What this means in practice is that if you were injured as a passenger in a rideshare car, you should always be covered by the high-dollar insurance policy. If a driver for Uber or Lyft hit you while they were on duty, then they should have normal basic insurance plus the supplemental coverage to pay for the injuries you suffered.
All in all, the fact that you cannot sue Uber or Lyft directly might not hurt your case at all. On top of that, there are some limited situations where you can indeed sue these companies, such as cases where their negligent hiring practices directly contributed to your injuries.
Insurance Claims vs. Lawsuits
In many cases, an insurance claim will cover some damages, but companies might refuse to cover everything you are owed. In these cases, our lawyers can negotiate and try to get your case covered in full. If that is unsuccessful, then we can still take your case to court, where a judge and jury can force the driver and their insurance companies to pay you full damages after we prove the case against them.
Call Our Uber/Lyft Accident Lawyers in Lexington, SC Today
For your free injury case review, reach out to our Uber and Lyft accident attorneys at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers by calling (803) 451-4000.