A woman calling for legal help after a rideshare vehicle crashed into the side of her car.An Uber or Lyft driver is readily available whenever you need to get from one place to another. But even with the best intentions in giving you a safe ride, a car accident can happen, and you can get hurt.

In Connecticut, car accidents happen all the time. But when you are a passenger in a rideshare — or someone hit by a rideshare driver while operating your own vehicle — knowing how to file and handle a settlement claim might be more challenging than you initially thought.

Ridesharing companies are enormous and have the resources to hire aggressive attorney. They aim to ensure that they deflect as much responsibility as possible onto anyone else, including you.

Don’t let large rideshare companies and their ruthless lawyers pressure you too little to nothing for your losses. Contact Bert McDowell Injury Law today to schedule your initial consultation.

At Bert McDowell Injury Law, we will gladly sit with you to discuss your losses and help you know your options to recover compensation. Schedule a free case review today when you call (203) 590-9169, or submit an online form when you visit us online.

How Do Most Rideshare Car Accidents Happen?

Rideshare crashes happen when one least expects it. All it takes for your driver to get in a wreck is a moment to look at their phone, get lost in conversation, or commit some other act of negligence.

Rideshare drivers experience more distractions than your usual drivers, as they tend to engage with their passengers in conversation, use their phones to navigate to their destination, and have more noise and overall distractions while operating a car.

These distractions contribute to collisions, similar to crashes caused by negligence, like T-bone, rear end, sideswipe, and head-on collisions.

In addition to distractions, your driver may be:

  • Speeding
  • Making aggressive maneuvers
  • Making mistakes related to their unfamiliarity with the area, such as going the wrong way down a one-way street
  • Committing dangerous traffic violations in their haste to get to the next fare
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Are Uber and Lyft Drivers Insured?

With the rise of both Uber and Lyft companies, local legislation has been passed in Connecticut to ensure passenger safety.

Drivers must carry their own personal auto insurance and add rideshare coverage to their existing policies. To further protect passengers, ridesharing companies are also required to carry an additional insurance policy covering its drivers.

All these efforts are intended to protect parties if they are ever in an accident, often bridging coverage gaps between existing policies.

If you were hurt while using a rideshare, you will need to request compensation from the rideshare company providing the service platform your driver was using. The company’s insurance always applies when the driver is actively providing a ride or on their way to pick up someone.

If you were hurt by a rideshare driver while driving, walking, or biking, then the company’s insurance is still available as long as the driver was actively carrying a passenger or on their way to pick one up. If the driver was using the app but not currently engaged in a fare, you will likely need to file a claim on their policy, but the company’s coverage may also be available.

Refer to an attorney for guidance on how to file a claim and whose insurance could be most applicable to your situation.

Know How to Handle the Aftermath of an Accident to Help Build a Strong Claim

Knowing what to do after an accident is key to ensuring you have the information needed to build a claim with a high chance of succeeding.

Firstly, you should never accept any compensation from your driver after an accident, and you must call 911 to ensure that the proper authorities arrive at the scene to produce a police report.

It is important that passengers do whatever possible to answer only the questions they are asked, as any misinformation or misinterpretation of their statements can pin the blame on them.

Passengers should then file a report to the ridesharing company. However, do not admit to any fault.

State the facts of what happened and keep it short and simple. Any admission to possible fault may be grounds for dismissal of your claim or a deduction from your total compensation amount.

Do You Need an Attorney to Request Compensation From a Rideshare Insurance Company?

Rideshare companies have the resources to protect themselves from liability.

Although you can file a claim independently, working with an attorney throughout the process is often essential to providing the proper evidence to convince large rideshare companies of their liability. In addition, your attorney can help you with accurately calculating the full costs of your damages (losses) while meeting claim filing deadlines.

Experienced attorneys also know how to handle pressuring tactics from insurers and rideshare companies when they want you to settle for less.

What Kind of Compensation Is Available in a Rideshare Car Accident?

Requesting compensation as a ridesharing passenger depends on the severity of the crash.

Claims filed against rideshare drivers can include:

  • Medical bills — Ambulance rides, hospital stays, physical therapy sessions, hospital bills, etc., will create medical bills that may reach up into the thousands or tens of thousands quickly.
  • Future medical expenses — These can be compensation for anything like future surgeries and therapy for broken bones, follow-up care, rehabilitation, and ongoing medication.
  • All out-of-pocket expenses — These expenses apply to any costs associated with the accident to receive medical care. This claim covers anything from over-the-counter medication, to the ambulance ride, to any copays, and all out-of-pocket doctor’s appointments needed after the crash. Any expense that is applied to your claim is itemized and supported with documentation.
  • Lost wages and reduced income — Car accidents can be so catastrophic that they cause injuries that take weeks, if not many months to fully recover from. In the worst cases, the passenger may become disabled permanently. As a result, the injured passenger will be unable to work, causing significant financial strife for them and their dependents. They may use up all of their sick and vacation time at work, leaving them without an option of paid leave. These financial losses have value and should be part of your claim.
  • Property damage — Passengers in car accidents can suffer property loss and damage. From the screen on their cell phone cracking, to ripping of their clothes, these items have value and should be counted in their claim.
  • Pain and suffering — Car accidents cause serious mental tolls to their victims. Victims may experience episodes of anxiety, depression, and PTSD, all of which take a long time to recover from. These inflicted mental health conditions have value in a claim.
  • Punitive damages — Rarely will claims receive this kind of damage. Usually, these cases must prove some kind of gross negligence and recklessness. Any punitive damage amounts can only be awarded if your case goes to court.

Each collision may include different losses. Speaking to your attorney to review your claim will confirm which losses apply to your case.

How Much Insurance Coverage Do Uber and Lyft Drivers Have?

Ridesharing companies now require their drivers to carry their own personal insurance, apart from having separate coverage. These policies must meet these minimum types of coverage:

  • Comprehensive and collision coverage
  • Liability coverage

In addition to carrying personal auto insurance, ridesharing companies carry additional insurance policies that are meant to provide additional compensation and coverage to their drivers. The terms of these policies may differ per company:

  • UberAt least $1,000,000 for property damage and injuries to rides and third parties if the driver is at fault while en route to a destination.
  • LyftAt least $1,000,000 for third-party auto liability when the driver has the app on and is en route to a destination.

What If the Driver Asks Me to Accept a Payoff?

If you are asked to accept payment after a car accident while on a rideshare, even if your injuries are minor, do not accept the payment.

Drivers may elect to offer payment to prevent a claim from being made against them or to avoid involving the ridesharing companies’ legal team. Accepting their money may cause you to lose out on your ability to claim further compensation for your losses.

Should I File a Claim if Multiple Parties Are Affected by a Car Accident?

If multiple parties were affected by a ridesharing car accident caused by the driver, the other affected parties would also seek compensation.

Each driver has a limited amount of liability coverage, and when it runs out, there will be no more compensation available for you to request. Victims of a ridesharing car accident must, therefore, request compensation for their losses as soon as possible.

Working with an experienced attorney in ridesharing car accidents is vital to learn what kind of compensation you can request and how to best pursue it. They can assist you with building a claim, documenting evidence of fault, calculating damages, and submitting your claim in a timely manner so as to reduce the risk of missing out on available coverage.

Can You Sue a Driver after a Rideshare Car Accident?

Filing a compensation claim typically ends in a settlement, but sometimes, both parties cannot reach an agreement. In these instances, the case will go to court to be presented before a judge.

Having a ridesharing attorney by your side is all-but essential if your case is going to court. They will be vital to providing representation and preparing your case for presentation in front of a judge or jury.

They can also help you manage the case process from start to finish, often with a sense of familiarity regarding the specific court or judge involved.

Work With a Connecticut Rideshare Car Accident Law Firm After You Have Been Hurt

Realizing that you were in a car accident while on a rideshare is a painful and confusing situation. Claims in a rideshare are handled differently than a standard case, mostly because they involve large companies looking to pay little to nothing.

Choosing to work with a Connecticut Uber & Lyft Accident lawyer who understands and will fight for your rights as a passenger in a rideshare is key to increasing your chances of success when seeking compensation.

Ready to learn more about your options after a rideshare car accident? Reach out to Bert McDowell Injury Law today and schedule your initial consultation.

Call us today at (203) 590-9169 or online when you complete our form to schedule your free case review today.