Active in 72 countries and boasting an impressive 130 million riders per month, Uber has, since 2009, managed to revolutionize the transportation services industry. Meanwhile, Uber’s adversarial counterpart, Lyft, provided its services to over 21 million people in the fourth quarter of 2022 alone. With such success and popularity, these companies have, collectively, attracted millions of drivers who rely upon the funds they generate to supplement or sustain their incomes.
However, it is precisely because of Uber and Lyft’s tremendous ascent over the past decade that the number of rideshare accidents has drastically increased. The legal and legislative realities that govern Uber and Lyft accident settlements and lawsuits are accordingly complex, and can prove confusing to victims of serious car wrecks. At LLN, we believe that it is important for a victim of a rideshare car accident to consider acquiring counsel as they prepare to seek compensation in- or out-of-court.
The process of choosing an Uber or Lyft accident attorney can be overwhelming, which is why it is necessary to make informed decisions and to get your information from the most authoritative sources.
What You Should Look for In An Uber and Lyft Accident Attorney
Car accidents can be a headache. Aside from the serious injuries they may cause, they often result in complicated legal questions. Rideshare car accidents are no exception.
When you confront the policy providers of rideshare independent contractors or Uber and Lyft’s insurance carriers, they will play hardball to avoid liability and avoid paying you the compensation you deserve. That is why it is imperative that you find an Uber and Lyft attorney with extensive experience in unraveling the intricate statutory and policy realities that govern rideshare car accidents.
Before disembarking upon your journey to find the best counsel, there are several criteria which you should consider along the way. The most successful rideshare accident attorneys typically:
- Have a relevant case portfolio
- Possess extensive rideshare lawsuit experience
- Boast a proven track record of client victories
- Work on a “no-win, no-fee” basis
- Offer free consultations to prospective clients
How You Should Look for An Uber Accident Attorney or Lyft Lawyer
As soon as you have the criteria that will help you to assess a rideshare attorney, you then have to go about finding one. There are a variety of ways in which to search for a local Uber accident attorney or experienced Lyft lawyer. Nevertheless, the same principle of skepticism when surfing the internet applies here.
Certain services are superior to others, while some are downright unhelpful. To help you navigate the overwhelming volume of advertisements and digital portals, we have put together a list of useful services and explain the downsides of others.
Do Your Research on Accredited Law Firm Websites
Every major law firm in your area is likely to have a website that advertises its services and contains client testimonials and flashy figures from past settlements or successful verdicts. Navigating their websites can help you to understand the scale, feel, and scope of a law firm and determine whether or not your potential case would fit well within their portfolio.
Generally speaking, it is best to search for an attorney whose work is specific to your situation. If you were injured in a Lyft accident, it is likely that an attorney who specializes in the complicated legal sphere of rideshare car accidents as opposed to a more general car accident attorney will prove more helpful and successful in getting you the compensation you deserve.
Although both would have experience with filing demand letters and official complaints or negotiating with insurance carriers, the rideshare accident attorney will possess greater practical knowledge about how Uber and Lyft’s insurance providers operate.
Confirm Your Findings Through Attorney Rating Websites
No one is in the business of undermining their own credibility. Law firms are no different. When researching the best legal services for your case, it is worthwhile to confirm what you discover on a law group’s page through a well-accredited third-party website.
For example, some law firms are so large that they tackle massive lawsuits with tremendous success and shower a website visitor with large numbers and payout sums. However, perhaps its size renders it less personal and intimate than other law groups. If you want to receive individualized treatment and have regular interfaces with your counsel, another firm may be better.
Fortunately, there are many independent and third-party lawyer rating websites that permit you to search extensively and by area for experienced attorneys. You can access professional recommendations from legal peers and unfiltered client testimonials which can better guide your decisionmaking.
Why Not To Use Lawyer Referral Services to Find an Uber or Lyft Lawyer?
If you watch T.V., it is highly likely that a screen advertising the instantaneous lawyer referral services for victims of personal injury accidents has flashed before your eyes. 1-800-411-PAIN and 1-800 Ask Gary are perhaps the most ubiquitous of these services.
At LLN, we advise prospective clients to avoid these attorney referral numbers for a variety of reasons, mainly because they are:
- For-profit companies
- Not administered by attorneys
- Not owned by attorneys
- Vulnerable to fraud attempts
Attorneys who join these services normally have to pay a monthly fee in order to receive, through the rigamarole of the referral process, a prospective client. Moreover, the referral services, however credibly advertised, are generally run via call centers and lack the necessary individualized treatment that can prove so critical in the success of getting counsel.
If that were not enough, there is no extensive screening process to ensure that the attorney to whom your case is referred has thorough and successful experience in your particular legal area. Put simply, lawyer referral services do not have the requisite knowledge to make educated references that ensure client contentedness and success.
What Do Rideshare Accident Attorneys Do?
A major question for those seeking legal counsel after getting into an Uber or Lyft accident is how they would benefit from getting a rideshare accident attorney. Some individuals are looking simply to get a quick settlement and others are determined to file suit on account of severe injuries they sustained.
Fortunately, rideshare car wreck attorneys can assist you every step of the way, providing the best counsel so that you can make the best decisions. Every case is unique, which means that unexpected circumstances may arise for which there is no online template.
Assess and Collate Uber or Lyft Accident Evidence
As is the case with every car accident, it is paramount that you collect as much evidence from the scene of the collision as possible. If and when you decide to seek legal counsel and begin out-of-court settlement negotiations with policy providers, an abundance of evidence detailing the fault of the Uber or Lyft independent contractor, another reckless driver, or the extent of your injuries will bolster your case.
Your rideshare attorney will assess this evidence in your initial free consultation, and help you to make a determination about how to proceed. If you decide to seek compensation, your Uber or Lyft accident lawyer will also acquire:
- Police reports from the scene of the accident
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Your medical records, prognoses, and diagnoses
- Driving and criminal records of the rideshare driver
Determine Complicated Uber or Lyft liability questions
In the context of an Uber accident or a Lyft car wreck, liability depends on a number of criteria, all of which will determine the policy provider to target for settlement negotiations. Uber and Lyft drivers are not technically or legally employees. Instead, they are independent contractors and/or freelance drivers who provide transportation services through one of the major rideshare platforms.
Consequently, liability is uniquely difficult to determine in the context of rideshare collisions. Depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible to pursue compensation from the rideshare driver himself, the Uber or Lyft insurance provider, or another unaffiliated driver who is at fault for the accident.
Do Uber and Lyft Provide Insurance Coverage for Rideshare Accidents?
Florida requires that rideshare independent contractors possess insurance coverage on top of the minimum personal injury protection (PIP) mandates. Nevertheless, many private insurance companies, however high an individual’s rates may be, do not assume liability for accidents that occurred while their policyholder was driving in a commercial context.
If this occurs, Uber and Lyft’s insurance coverage for their independent contractors may kick in and provide, when a driver’s app is on but he has not received a fare:
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
When a rideshare independent contractor is at fault for an accident while “en route to pick up riders and during trips” but lacks sufficient private insurance protection, Uber and Lyft may provide up to $1 million in third-party liability.
File A Demand Letter with Uber or Lyft Insurance provider
If you and your rideshare attorney conclude, after assessing the relevant evidence, that you have a strong case for seeking compensation from an Uber or Lyft independent contractor or the companies’ carriers themselves, the first step is to make contact with the insurance company in question.
To initiate discussions, your Uber and Lyft car crash attorney will draft and send a demand letter to the relevant insurance provider. Demand letters more or less “make the case” for the carrier’s liability, your injuries, and the settlement figure you seek.
Initiate Negotiations with Uber or Lyft Insurance Carrier
Once the Uber or Lyft demand letter has been filed, you and your rideshare attorney will undertake the, at times, grueling process of negotiating with the policy carriers. Their playbook is lengthy and unpleasant, but Uber attorneys know how to preempt their tactics, uncover their strategy, and respond to their moves.
Although it may seem at times that the major insurance providers are determined not to settle, they have every reason to do so. If the rideshare insurance carrier fails to reach an amenable out-of-court settlement, they run the risk of the claimant going to court. As every insurance provider knows, verdict payouts or pretrial settlements can eclipse by some degree of magnitude those which they could otherwise reach without judicial recourse.
How Does a Rideshare Accident Lawsuit Work?
If you cannot reach a settlement agreement with the Uber or Lyft insurance provider or the carrier continues to deny its liability, you and your attorney may decide to pursue a lawsuit to seek compensation. Every rideshare accident lawsuit is unique, but many display the following procedural outline:
- Filing an official complaint
- Collecting evidence during the discovery phase
- Undertaking pretrial negotiations
If the pretrial negotiations in a rideshare personal injury lawsuit do not result in a settlement with the Uber or Lyft insurance provider, then your attorney will likely prepare for:
- The trial itself
- The handling of judgment money from a verdict
- The dispensation of judgment money funds
Few insurance companies want to compel a rideshare accident victim to seek legal recourse. Nevertheless, Uber accident lawsuits and Lyft car wreck cases are regularly filed. Given the geographic stretch of Uber and Lyft and the popularity of their services, experienced rideshare accident attorneys abound and intimately understand how to maximize an Uber or Lyft accident victim’s chances at acquiring a desired compensation sum.
Experienced Rideshare Accident Attorneys Near You Are Ready to Help
Experienced rideshare accident attorneys are on standby to provide as much assistance as you need while recovering. Offering free consultations for prospective clients and ready to work 24/7 to protect your rights while you safeguard your health, they often work on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning you don’t pay unless they win.
At LLN, we do not believe that irresponsible drivers should be able to deprive you of wellbeing and security while insurance providers reject your claims for compensation. That is why we have qualified Uber and Lyft accident attorneys on the ground who understand the complexities of the legal landscape and care deeply about your wellbeing.
Seeing as there are statutes of limitations in Florida that restrict the period in which you are eligible to bring a personal injury lawsuit to 2 years, the more quickly you acquire counsel, the more flexible you will be to strategize.