Using ridesharing apps like Lyft or Uber can be very convenient, but they are not without risks. In the event of an accident, your legal options might be complicated because a ridesharing vehicle is involved.
After a collision involving a Lyft or Uber vehicle, you can file a lawsuit for damages, much like in a typical car accident case. While you can file a lawsuit against the driver directly involved in the accident, you typically cannot sue the companies Lyft or Uber. Drivers are legally considered independent contractors rather than employees, so ridesharing companies are not usually liable as employers. Damages available include the financial costs of things like medical bills and property damage and the value of non-economic injuries such as pain and suffering. Many damages might overlap, such as how your injuries are connected to medical bills and pain and suffering. An attorney can help you evaluate your damages to maximize your potential compensation.
To schedule a review of your claims at no cost to you, call our Uber and Lyft accident attorneys at Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
Filing Lawsuits for Accidents with Uber or Lyft Vehicles in Tuscaloosa
When you file a lawsuit after a crash with an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you need to know which parties you want to name in the case. If we do not include liable parties, they will not be included in the case and will not be held accountable for their negligence, and you might lose compensation. Many accident cases are filed against Uber or Lyft drivers in addition to other drivers involved in the collision. The companies Uber and Lyft, however, are rarely subject to liability.
Suing the Driver
It is often the case that Uber and Lyft drivers are directly responsible for accidents. Remember, these people are driving to earn money. The more passengers they can pick up and drop off, the more money they earn. This is a huge incentive for Lyft and Uber drivers to speed and drive recklessly so they can squeeze in as many rides as possible. Unfortunately, such reckless driving causes bad accidents, and other drivers or even passengers in the ridesharing vehicles are hurt.
Our Uber and Lyft accident lawyers will assess the rideshare driver in your case for responsibility, but we should not overlook other drivers involved in the crash. It is possible that the driver was not at fault or at least only partially to blame. Other drivers might have contributed to the accident. Perhaps your Uber driver recklessly entered an intersection at a red light when another driver was dangerously speeding through an intersection and T-boned you. In such a scenario, both the Uber driver and the second driver might be liable for the accident.
Suing Uber and Lyft
For the most part, accident victims usually cannot sue the ridesharing companies for their injuries. Normally, when an employee injures someone because of their negligence, and that negligence occurs in furtherance of their professional duties, the employee’s boss might be held vicariously liable. For example, if you were injured in a crash with a taxi driver, the taxi company might be liable for your injuries in addition to the driver.
The problem is that Lyft and Uber drivers are legally not classified as employees. Instead, they are classified as independent contractors. Part of what makes driving for Uber or Lyft attractive to potential drivers is the ability to work when and where you want for however long you want. These are also the reasons that drivers are considered independent contractors and not employees. Since drivers are not employees, Uber and Lyft are often shielded from liability.
Types of Damages Available in Lawsuits for Uber and Lyft Crashes in Tuscaloosa
Damages are perhaps one of the most important aspects of a civil lawsuit, but it is also one of the most misunderstood. Plaintiffs often focus on the more obvious losses, like medical bills or totaled vehicles, while overlooking the less obvious ones, thus missing out on compensation. An attorney can work with you to identify all possible damages so you get the most compensation possible.
Some of the more obvious damages, or those that plaintiffs tend to pay the most attention to, are medical bills and property damage. Medical bills can be staggering even with health insurance to help ease the financial blow. If your injuries are severe, you might need long-term treatment, and you should factor future medical care into your claims for damages. The cost of replacing a damaged vehicle if you were struck by an Uber or Lyft driver can also be huge, and injured plaintiffs are often left financially debilitated.
Some less obvious damages that are often overlooked include lost income, personal belongings, and emotional trauma. People often take time away from their job when recovering from a car accident, and many people have to take unpaid leave or even quit their jobs altogether. The income you would have earned if not for the accident may be claimed among your damages.
People also tend to overlook the value of smaller, personal items. Phones, laptops, jewelry, and other personal belongings might be destroyed or lost in an Uber or Lyft crash. The value of these items might add up to a significant sum, and you should go over everything you lost with your attorney.
For various reasons, people overlook the emotional trauma and anguish of an accident when assessing damages. Some people might not realize just how deeply they are psychologically wounded after the crash, while others avoid talking about it out of embarrassment. Although things like pain and suffering do not have predetermined values or prices, they might be worth a lot of compensation, and you should talk about them with your attorney.
Call Our Tuscaloosa Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyers Today
Arrange for a free evaluation of your injuries and claims with our Uber and Lyft accident lawyers by calling Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.