Woodbridge Rideshare Accident Lawyers Defending Clients Rights and Helping Recover Compensation for Injuries
Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular in urban areas and perceived as a safe, convenient, and inexpensive way to get around. As more and more drivers sign up to provide services through the apps, it does not come as a surprise that the number of accidents involving Uber or Lyft drivers and passengers has also been climbing since the two companies started operating in the state of Virginia. But what happens when you have been injured in an accident while being transported by a rideshare driver? This is where things can get a bit more confusing depending on the specific circumstances of the accident.
What are the Laws that Protect Uber and Lyft Passengers in Virginia?
In 2015, the Virginia General Assembly has put into place a new set of regulations that aim at protecting rideshare drivers. The rules cover many different aspects and set basic standards for rideshare companies, such as the need for all ride services to go through the licensed corporate platform, i.e., the app, and it requires rideshare companies to provide passengers with the ability to report unsafe drivers and to ensure drivers undergo drug and criminal record screenings.
The new statute also requires rideshare companies to carry primary insurance of up to $1 million to cover passengers for the duration of a ride, in addition to contingent liability coverage of up to $50,000.00 per person or a $100,000.00 maximum per accident. Drivers are also required to have insurance for their vehicles.
Who is Responsible for My Rideshare Accident and Injuries?
This is where things get a little more complicated, and may require the help of a seasoned rideshare accident attorney to accurately determine who is liable in case of an accident involving a rideshare passenger. There are many circumstances that an attorney will analyze to determine if Uber or Lyft is responsible for the accident.
If the driver has the rideshare app inactive and turned off when the accident occurs and it is determined that he or she caused it, the driver will be fully responsible and the claim will go through that driver’s personal insurance. If the driver has the app turned on and is waiting for a request, he or she is responsible for the costs of any accidents but can also rely on Uber’s contingency policy for any injuries in this case.
Uber is only fully liable for the accident when the driver has the app turned on and is currently working, and is either on his way to pick up a passenger or has a passenger already in the vehicle.
Can I Sue Uber or Lyft for an Accident in Virginia?
The short answer is it depends. Your first step is to determine who is responsible for your accident given the different scenarios we just covered above. Every accident is different and working with an attorney is an essential step to determine liability for your injuries. If your accident occurred during your ride, it is likely that Uber or Lyft will be responsible for covering the costs of it.
Your attorney will also help you understand whether you have enough reason to file a personal injury lawsuit or if you are better off negotiating with the insurance company. The extent and severity of your injuries will play a deciding role on your eligibility to begin a lawsuit and on the amount of money you may be able to receive. As one may expect, more severe injuries may be awarded a higher settlement (but each case is different and this is not guaranteed).
What Help Can a Rideshare Attorney Provide?
If you have been injured in a rideshare accident in or near Woodbridge, VA and feel that you have received an inadequate settlement offer, have had your claim denied, or would like to know what your options are for receiving compensation for your medical expenses, property damage, pain, suffering, emotional distress and/or lost wages resulting from your rideshare accident injuries, the legal team at the Johnson Law Firm, PC is ready to answer your questions and analyze your case. An auto accident involving an Uber/Lyft driver can quickly become a very complex case with many parties involved. Our firm has the skills to handle every aspect of your case for you without any upfront costs – we don’t get paid unless you win. Contact our Woodbridge office at 703-670-0761 for a consultation and let us help you get started.