What if my Uber/Lyft driver is at fault in the car crash?

What if my Uber/Lyft driver is at fault in the car crash?

If you were seriously injured while riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, and the crash was caused by the negligence of the Uber/Lyft driver, then you should contact the lawyers at Hessig & Pohl immediately. The question of whether Uber/Lyft drivers are inherently unsafe has become more prevalent due to the increasing numbers of ride-sharing or ride-hailing drivers on the roads and highways of Kentucky. This question is not one that is easily answered. However, it can be argued that the incentives that Uber and Lyft give to their drivers make at least a small percentage of them unsafe to be picking up passengers. First, most Uber/Lyft drivers are careful drivers, following the rules of the road, and not getting into accidents. But if the incentives that are given to the drivers push even a small percentage of the 3.5 million of them to the “unsafe column” then that is still a huge amount of unsafe drivers on the road. Further, there are no laws that regulate how long ride-sharing drivers can be on the roads, similar to the laws and regulations that dictate how long semi-truck drivers can drive in one 24 hour period.

Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft were created to make a profit for the companies’ owners. In order to do that, their business is structured in a way that in order for them to make a profit, they have to continually increase the number of rides that their drivers take. This is how they make money. Therefore, the longer Uber and Lyft drivers are on the roads available for passengers, the more money they will make. Given this business model, Uber and Lyft create incentives for their drivers to push themselves to keep driving, even when they probably shouldn’t be. Having hundreds of thousands of overly tired drivers on the roads ferrying passengers is a dangerous thing and can cause many car crashes. Also, for many of these Uber and Lyft drivers, this is a part time job where they will work a full time job during the day and then drive for Uber and Lyft well into the night. Again, this can create a dangerous situation on the roads and highways of Kentucky.

Another dangerous incentive that Uber and Lyft offer its drivers are bonuses if they hit a certain number of rides in a given shift. Similar to reaching certain levels in video games and being awarded a certain type of status, Uber and Lyft awards drivers “badges” of honor the more rides the driver completes. Uber/Lyft are also constantly sending its drivers texts and messages encouraging them to drive more and for longer periods of time. It also encourages its drivers to “binge-drive” and not take rests in between rides by sending new rides even before the current one is not even complete. This entire incentive scheme can create a dangerous situation and cause more Uber crashes than necessary. Uber passengers should keep a keen eye on their drivers for any signs that they are overtired or dozing off, particularly if the ride is late at night. If you see any signs of drowsiness, end the ride immediately.

Kentucky has passed laws and regulations that seek to regulate the industry and place some standards on the companies when it comes to driver qualifications, vehicle requirements and insurance policies that are needed. The driver requirements are as follows:

  • The driver must be 21 years of age or older.
  • The driver must have 3 years driving experience.
  • The driver needs to have in-state car insurance in their name.
  • The driver must have in-state car registration.
  • The driver must have an in-state driver’s license.
  • The driver must have a Social Security Number for a background check.
  • No DUI or drug-related offenses.
  • No incidents of driving without insurance or a driver’s license.
  • No fatal accidents.
  • No history of reckless driving.
  • No criminal history.

If you have been injured due to the negligence of an Uber or Lyft driver, then you have the option to file a lawsuit against the driver as well as Uber or Lyft. A lawyer that has a lot of experience with Uber or Lyft crashes will be able to fairly and accurately determine the worth of your accident claim. There are many issues, however, that must be considered when putting a dollar figure on any particular case. However, the first thing you should do is to contact an experienced Uber or Lyft accident attorney to have all of your questions answered. The initial consultation is free so there is no downside to contacting a lawyer to discuss your accident and injuries. The issues that will affect the value of your case are as follows:

  • How bad were you injured? Did the injury heal completely in six weeks or will you suffer from the injury for years or maybe even forever? Was surgery required to fix your injuries? Was there permanent aspects to the injury such as scarring or the need for implants to repair bones, thus possibly causing arthritis later in life?
  • How much are your medical bills? Usually, the amount of medical bills can be helpful in demonstrating how serious an injury is. This number includes past medical bills but also future medical bills for any ongoing treatment that might be needed in the future. A good Uber or Lyft crash attorney can hire an expert to determine what amount of future medical bills will be necessary and factor that number into the equation.
  • The amount of lost wages — and just like with medical bills, this number counts both past lost wages as well as future loss wages due a lower earning power caused by an ongoing disability. Again, a good attorney will hire an expert called an economist who will determine the amount of future lost wages, along with interest, that you might lose due to a permanent disability caused by the Uber or Lyft accident.
  • The amount of “pain and suffering” that you have endured — this category of damages is called non-economic damages and can be difficult to put a number on it because there is no formula that can be used. The only way to determine this number is to hire an experienced lawyer who has handled many Uber or Lyft crash cases and can fairly judge the case to calculate an amount of money to ask for.
  • How much insurance coverage are you able to get access to? This issue involves how much are the insurance policy limits does the at-fault driver have to cover your injuries. Also, do you have underinsurance or uninsurance (UM/UIM) coverage if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance. You may have suffered injuries that an average person would agree should be worth millions of dollars. However, you will only receive the policy limits of the various insurance policies that are in play.

If you have been injured in a car accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle, the lawyers at Hessig & Pohl will be able to help you. Schedule a free, no obligation consultation today to review your claim and discuss your legal options. No upfront payment is required and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you. Please contact us here or at (502) 777-1111.