Representing Victims of Ride-Sharing Accidents in the Greater Charleston, South Carolina, Area
Uber and Lyft are two of the most popular ridesharing companies in the greater Charleston, South Carolina, area today. However, just like all other vehicles, Uber and Lyft vehicles can be involved in an accident. In some cases, the Uber or Lyft driver is the at-fault driver. In other cases, another motor vehicle driver caused the accident.
If you are involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, keep in mind this principle regarding their potential liability and insurance coverage: These ridesharing companies will do everything in their power to downplay their responsibility and involvement.
The knowledgeable auto accident lawyers at the Hughey Law Firm understand the tactics these ridesharing companies and their lawyers use to try and escape liability. Our knowledgeable attorneys can advise you on how to proceed forward with your case and help you pursue monetary compensation via settlement or lawsuit.
Steps to Follow After a Ride-Sharing Accident
Ridesharing is a convenient way of getting from point A to point B in a quick and efficient manner; however, when ride-sharing vehicles are involved in a collision, it can complicate matters considerably. If you were recently involved in a ride-sharing accident, you should always keep the following steps in mind:
- Call an ambulance – If you are involved in a collision as a passenger in a ride-sharing vehicle, you should immediately call an ambulance to the scene. If you are not able to do so, you should ask someone else to make the call for you.
- Speak to other involved drivers – If you are physically and mentally able, you should speak to all other involved drivers at the accident scene, including your Uber or Lyft driver. In addition to speaking with these individuals, you should also obtain their insurance information, driver’s license information, and contact information in case you need it later on.
- Speak to eyewitnesses at the scene – If anyone who witnessed the accident is present at the scene, you should speak with him or her. You should also obtain contact information from all eyewitnesses, in case they need to testify in court or at a deposition.
- Seek emergency medical care – As soon as possible after your accident—and preferably the same day—you should seek emergency medical treatment at a hospital or urgent care facility. Even if you are not experiencing symptoms, it is a good idea to get checked out, just to be on the safe side. This is because injury symptoms sometimes do not manifest themselves until several days after the accident. If you have not sought medical treatment by that time, you may have a difficult time trying to convince the insurance company that you were actually injured.
- Do not speak to insurance adjusters – In some cases, insurance adjusters will reach out to you and ask you to provide a recorded statement about how the accident happened and the injuries and damages which you sustained. You should never agree to provide a recorded statement outside the presence of legal counsel. This is because insurance company adjusters have an incentive to twist your words to serve the insurance company’s ends.
- Call a lawyer to represent you – As soon as you are able, you should contact an auto accident lawyer about your case. Since ride-sharing accident cases are different from run-of-the-mill auto accident cases, it is important that you contact a Charleston personal injury lawyer who regularly handles these kinds of cases. The knowledgeable auto accident lawyers at the Hughey Law Firm frequently represent victims of ride-sharing accidents and may be able to help you pursue damages in your case.
Uber and Lyft oftentimes try and downplay their involvement in an auto accident case, claiming that their drivers are independent contractors, rather than employees. In order for an Uber or Lyft driver to be considered an independent contractor, the driver must be able to exert a certain amount of independence over their work. For example, independent contractor drivers typically set their own routes and hours and routinely perform work for other ridesharing companies or employers.
Moreover, in an independent contractor relationship, both the ridesharing company and the independent contractor must sign a written agreement that sets out the scope of the relationship. Independent contractors are sometimes denied state benefits, like health insurance. However, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is a federal law, they may be entitled to federal benefits.
Insurance Policy Limits
Uber and Lyft drivers are required to maintain their own motor vehicle insurance while operating a ridesharing vehicle. In terms of Uber’s direct liability in the event of a collision, the following insurance policy limits apply:
- A 50/100/25 policy of contingent coverage – This insurance coverage is provided by Uber for in-between fares. This means that these limits are contingent to the Uber driver’s personal car insurance policy. Moreover, these limits are only payable in the event the driver’s personal car insurer does not pay anything.
- $1 million of uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits per accident – This coverage is provided for the benefit of Uber passengers who are injured in a collision that was caused by another motor vehicle driver, other than their Uber driver.
- $1 million of liability coverage per accident – This policy amount is divided into liability for bodily injuries and liability for property damages only.
Call a Charleston, South Carolina, Auto Accident Lawyer Today
Ride-sharing accidents are generally more complicated than other motor vehicle accidents. This is because of the number of potentially at-fault parties, as well as the various insurance considerations in play. The auto accident lawyers at the Hughey Law Firm can discuss the circumstances of your accident with you and determine the best and most efficient way to proceed forward with your case.
To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Charleston, South Carolina, auto accident lawyer, please call us at (843) 881-8644, or contact us online.