For some people, owning a car is becoming less desirable or practical. Instead, many people rely on rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft to fulfill their transportation needs. While these rideshare options offer a reliable and convenient way to get around, they also increase the frequency of accidents in the Lewisville area. These rideshare accidents present unique liability issues when you get into an accident. These unique issues can complicate your efforts to pursue a claim. If you are injured while using a rideshare app, you need an experienced Lewisville rideshare accident lawyer who can help.
At the Hartley Law Firm, we have years of experience representing injured victims in rideshare accidents. Attorney Austin Hartley understands the nuances of these claims and has the skills to handle your accident from start to finish. As an experienced litigator, he is not afraid to take your case to trial if the insurance company refuses to negotiate in good faith.
While rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft can make your life more convenient, they also can make road conditions more dangerous. A study by the University of Chicago shows that rideshare companies account for an increase in fatal accidents. The study looked at traffic volume, accidents, and transportation choices to conclude that rideshare companies have increased traffic fatalities by around three percent.
Here’s a look at some of the primary reasons rideshare drivers get into accidents.
Some drivers spend many hours on the road for their respective rideshare companies. Some of them may have worked eight or more hours at their full-time job before starting the evening as an Uber or Lyft driver. That can lead to more tired drivers on the road. As drivers get more fatigued, their reaction times increase, and they struggle to think clearly.
Driver Inexperience or Unfamiliarity
With many people losing their jobs in the last year, more people are looking for ways to make a living. Rideshare companies only require that someone have a year of driving experience. If they are under 23 years old, they need three years of experience. Just because someone has a license, it doesn’t mean they have the same defensive driving skills as someone else. And inexperienced drivers suddenly out on the road for hours at a time can increase the risk of an accident.
Another problem is rideshare drivers may not be familiar with an area. There is no way every driver knows every neighborhood in a given city. Drivers unfamiliar with an area can miss stop signs or have trouble knowing when their turn is coming up.
Distracted driving is a growing problem among all motorists, not just rideshare drivers. Rideshare drivers routinely rely on their apps to get passengers to their destination. So it is natural that they would check their phone screens often. All rideshare companies require drivers to use hands-free devices, but they still divert their eyes for moments at a time. Apps beeping to notify drivers of new fares can also distract their eyes from the road.
Rideshare companies typically pay drivers by the trip. Therefore, they make less money on longer journeys. This leads some drivers to take unsafe actions like speeding, cutting in and out of traffic, and running stop signs or traffic lights. This type of aggressive driving is dangerous and can contribute to an increase in accidents.
One of the most complicated aspects of a rideshare case is determining who is liable. Financial responsibility varies depending on the circumstances of the accident. While rideshare companies are legally responsible for carrying insurance on behalf of their drivers, it does not always apply in every accident.
When a driver does not have their app on or is not accepting rides, the rideshare company’s insurance does not apply. When a rideshare driver turns on their app and starts accepting passengers, the rideshare insurance may be liable for up to a limited amount. For example, before matching with a driver, the rideshare company might be responsible for coverage up to $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage, and up to $25,000 in property damage per accident.
Once a rideshare company matches a driver with a fare, the coverage amount increases to one million dollars. That coverage is typically limited to passengers of the rideshare vehicle who are injured. Another motorist, pedestrian, or bicyclist wouldn’t have that same coverage. Because the liability and potential coverage amounts are so complicated, you need a Lewisville rideshare accident attorney who understands how liability coverage from the rideshare company works.
Contact Hartley Law Firm
If you suffered injuries due to a rideshare driver, you don’t have to deal with it alone. Let us help. We’ve successfully represented injured rideshare clients for nearly as long as rideshare apps have been available. Let us put our skills and experience to work for you and help you fight for the compensation you are owed.
Our experienced lawyers also handle other types of injury cases, including:
Contact the Lewisville rideshare accident attorneys at Hartley Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help.