Some of the most complicated accident injury cases stem from collisions involving Uber and Lyft passengers. This is due to multiple issues, but the primary
problem is that both companies and their insurance providers work diligently in contesting claims against either company. They advertise that they have extensive liability insurance as a method of driving business to their operators, but collecting from the software companies after an accident injury is indeed a frustrating experience, one that generally always requires representation from an experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer, a lawyer who is familiar with the challenges faced when collecting damages from these two particular ridesharing companies.
Uber and Lyft Driver Negligence
The first responsible party in a ridesharing accident is the driver, and both Uber and Lyft make this known immediately following an accident. They have crafted their businesses as software developers that assist independent contractor drivers who are effectively in the home-based taxi business. However, they are not required to carry commercial insurance in North Carolina, so their personal auto policy may not cover injuries sustained by passengers when they are involved in a collision. And if the Lyft driver is found at fault in any way, according to North Carolina law, injured passengers may not be allowed to pursue damages from other involved motorists. This means the final option is suing the driver personally or filing against the applicable ridesharing app company.
When Accident Insurance Coverage Exists
There are accident cases where the opposing driver or multiple drivers are at fault totally for the accident. In addition, some morally responsible ridesharing professionals actually carry a commercial coverage rider on their auto policy or actually have separate commercial insurance. But, it is still not a financially sound decision to attempt to handle your own injury claim because they are typically much more valuable than the injured party realizes. Insurance company claims adjusters are trained professional negotiators, and they do not want any claimant retaining legal counsel if they can possibly avoid it. The argument is generally over the value of each element of the claim, and particularly over general damages for pain-and-suffering regarding long-term implications of the particular injuries. Injured victims should focus on recovery and rehabilitation while the legal professionals optimize the claim for maximum benefits. Therefore the sensible approach is to allow an Injury Law Firm experienced in motor vehicle accidents to handle your case.
Passengers rarely are assigned any level of negligence in a ridesharing accident injury case, so whole damages should be available when coverage is sufficient. And the ridesharing company can still be pursued after all other avenues of compensation are eliminated or exhausted. Common compensatory damage claims will typically include:
- Medical bill recovery
- Lost wages when the claimant cannot work due to the accident injury
- Associated expenses
- General damages for long-term impact
Potential Punitive Damages In A Ridesharing Accident
There are also certain cases where gross negligence may apply when a negligent driver is driving erratically or at an excessive speed at the time of the crash. This also includes if they are intoxicated at the time of the collision. Gross negligence can be grounds for punitive damages, but usually, this is only awarded in a trial when the jury finds for the injured claimant and assesses a punitive amount. However, the potential for a punitive damage trial can also impact the claim negotiation when the defendant is hoping to avoid a trial.
Our advice – Never attempt handling your own Uber or Lyft accident injury claim because there could potentially be significant financial compensation available when an experienced and aggressive North Carolina car accident lawyer represents the case.
You only have one opportunity for justice in most situations, and having professional legal counsel is the best method of being properly compensated for any accident injuries.