Huntsville Uber & Lyft Accident Attorneys
Helping rideshare passengers get compensation from responsible parties for all their injuries
Uber, Lyft and other rideshare businesses have completely changed the passenger transportation industry. Instead of relying on taxi services, Alabama residents can use software to reserve a car to take them to work, to shopping centers, to doctor’s appointments, or anywhere. Riders have better control of their time using rideshare services and often save on the cost of the ride. Like all drivers though, Uber and Lyft drivers get into accidents. They speed, run red lights, don’t watch where they’re driving, or are just careless and inattentive.
The Huntsville car accident lawyers at Martin & Helms have the experience and skills to help rideshare accident victims get justice. We’ve been trying cases and negotiating settlements for clients throughout North Alabama for more than 20 years. We understand how life-changing most accidents are for injured riders. We help you get compensation from responsible parties for your medical bills, lost wages, physical pain and emotional suffering, and guide you through each stage of the process.
Insurance coverage when you are hurt in an Uber or Lyft vehicle
The major difference between rideshare services and taxi services is that the drivers of rideshare vehicles own their own vehicles. Taxicabs are generally owned by the taxicab company.
Car owners who operate their own vehicles are required to have minimum amounts of liability coverage in case they cause an accident. The minimum vehicle liability coverages in Alabama are:
- Bodily injury for one person: $25,000
- Bodily injury for each accident: $50,000
- Vehicle damage: $25,000
The same principle holds true for drivers who work for Uber and Lyft. If the driver is off duty (this means his/her rideshare app is turned off) when the collision occurs, then the driver’s own liability insurance is used to pay for any injuries the driver causes.
However, both Uber and Lyft also have insurance to cover your damages in case of an accident when the rideshare app is turned on. How much compensation is available depends on whether or not the driver has accepted a fare:
- If the driver has his/her app turned on (ready to accept rides) but hasn’t actually accepted a ride, then the insurance for Uber/Lyft provides coverage in the following amounts:
- Bodily injury for one person - $50,000
- Bodily injury for multiple people - $100,000
- Property damage to another vehicle - $25,000
- If the driver has accepted a ride, then from the time the passenger is picked up until the time the passenger is discharged, both Lyft and Uber offer up to $1 million in coverage.
Causes of Lyft and Uber rideshare accidents
Rideshare accidents happen for the same reasons most car accidents happen. The main difference is that passengers who use rideshare services are placing their trust in an unknown driver and an unknown car. The main causes of rideshare accidents include:
- Failing to follow the state traffic laws. Speeding, running through a stop sign, passing improperly, and other traffic violations often cause severe injuries and can sometimes cause death.
- Driving while distracted. Drivers who are on the road a lot may be tempted to eat or drink while they’re driving. Drivers shouldn’t use their smartphones to accept rides while they’re driving. They also shouldn’t look at their GPS system while they drive. Distracted driving takes the driver’s eyes off the highway, hands off the wheel, and mind off how to respond to emergencies.
- Drunk driving. There’s never any justification for drinking while driving. Operating a rideshare vehicle while intoxicated and while there is a passenger in the vehicle is completely irresponsible.
- Tired driving. Many Uber and Lyft drivers are in their car for long periods of time at all hours of the day and night. Driver fatigue is a major cause of roadway accidents.
- Poor car maintenance. Uber and Lyft drivers need to be extra careful that all parts of their cars are in good working order. Rideshare drivers should regularly check the brakes, the tires, and other parts of the car. Airbags should be in proper working order.
Common injuries in Lyft and Uber crashes
Just like any passenger in any car, rideshare passengers can suffer the following injuries in an accident:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken bones
- Muscle and ligament damage
- Internal bleeding
- Nerve damage
- Psychological injuries
Whiplash is a strong possibility since most passengers sit in the rear of the car where they can be impacted by a rear-end collision.
Information you need if you’re in a rideshare accident
- Get the name, contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance information of the driver
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses
- Take pictures with your smartphone of the accident scene – including photographs of any Uber/Lyft stickers or information and license plate
- Seek immediate medical care for any injuries
You should make sure to save your reservation information.
Contact a Huntsville lawyer for help after a Lyft or Uber accident
At Martin & Helms, our lawyers work aggressively to confirm that you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle when the accident happened. Our Huntsville lawyers work with investigators and conduct a thorough discovery examination to determine how the accident occurred. We work with your doctors and medical providers to verify your injuries and your prognosis. For help now, call us at 256-539-1990 or complete our contact form. We take cases on a contingency fee basis. Our offices are located in Huntsville and Decatur, and we serve clients in Madison, Athens, and throughout North Alabama.