Boulder Uber and Lyft Accident Attorneys
Since the arrival of Uber and Lyft in Colorado, thousands have let the convenient and affordable ridesharing services take them to places they want to visit in Boulder. Yet, like any other vehicles on the road, Ubers and Lyfts are at risk for accidents. The crash might be due to the negligence of the rideshare driver, or it might be the fault of another driver.
In either case, if you were injured in an accident with a rideshare driver, whether as another driver or a passenger, you might be entitled to compensation that is related to your injuries. But rideshare insurance is complicated, and it can be tricky for accident victims to untangle how to get compensation while recovering from their injuries. Instead, reach out to a Boulder rideshare accident attorney at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC. We are a full-service, boutique law firm that can dedicate all of our skill, experience, and knowledge to get you the compensation you need to heal comfortably. To get started on your case, call our office at (303) 665-2929 to schedule a free initial consultation to learn if you have a case.
The legal team at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, has extensive experience handling motor vehicle accident cases, including those that involve a rideshare companies. In recent cases, the firm recovered more than $800,000 for a woman who was in a rear-end collision, $950,000 for a woman who was hit by a teen driver while traveling, and $1,350,000 for a driver who was in a head-on collision on her way to work in Denver. These examples of past results do not guarantee a particular outcome in your case, but the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, will fight to get the best possible outcome for your individual situation.
Situations that lead to rideshare accidents do not differ greatly from any other motor vehicle accident, but rideshare drivers are especially vulnerable to certain types of accidents because of the nature of the service they offer. Although each accident is different, here are some common causes of Uber and Lyft accidents:
- Distracted driving - Driving while distracted has long been a cause of motor vehicle accidents, but Uber and Lyft drivers are especially vulnerable. In addition to normal distractions like food, radios, and talking or texting on cell phones, rideshare drivers might be distracted by loud, drunk, or annoying passengers, as well as their GPS. Entering information in the GPS as well as listening to the instructions cause distractions that might cause a driver to take their eyes off the road, leading to an accident.
- Drowsy driving - Uber and Lyft restrict the number of consecutive hours a driver can work per day, but that doesn’t completely eliminate the problem. For example, Lyft requires that drivers take a minimum six-hour break for every 14 hours they drive; however, 14 hours is still a long time to go without a break. Additionally, this doesn’t account for the fact that Lyft is a second job for many people. Drivers might already be tired from working somewhere else. The time limit also only includes driving; it does not account for long breaks between rides or other employment.
- Drinking and driving - Drinking and driving is dangerous and illegal. Alcohol and other controlled substances impair judgment, slow reaction time, and lead to worse decision-making. For-hire drivers certainly are not allowed to drink and drive, but Uber and Lyft do not conduct random alcohol/drug-testing. Although alcohol could certainly lead to a rideshare accident, driving under the influence of marijuana is of more concern in Colorado. As the first state to legalize recreational use, rideshare drivers who use are more likely to cause an accident because of impaired driving.
- Speeding - Violating traffic regulations might lead to accidents, but Uber and Lyft drivers are likely to speed. Riders want to get to their destinations quickly, and rideshare drivers want to give as many rides as possible to make more money. Speeding increases the likelihood of severe injuries and fatalities when crashes do occur.
- Tailgating - Following another vehicle too closely is another behavior common in Lyft and Uber drivers in a hurry. Tailgating doesn’t leave enough distance for a rideshare driver to respond if the car in front of him stops or turns quickly.
- Poor maintenance - Rideshare drivers in Colorado are legally obligated to have their car inspected once per year by their rideshare company or by a certified mechanic to check steering, lights, brakes, tires, and more. In the event that a driver doesn’t comply, issues such as worn brake pads or tire blowouts might cause an accident.
However, not all the blame can be placed on Uber and Lyft drivers. Other drivers are completely capable of committing these same acts of negligence and causing a collision with rideshare drivers. Rideshare drivers often work at late hours, meaning they are more likely to encounter drowsy or drunk drivers. If you were a passenger in a rideshare accident, you may have multiple sources of compensation to pull from, including the other driver’s and rideshare driver’s insurance policies.
Rideshare drivers have insurance coverage from both their personal provider and the rideshare company. The degree of coverage from either provider is based on what the driver is doing at the time of the accident:
- Phase 1: Phase 1 is when the app is active, but the driver has not yet received a pick-up request. Here, the driver is covered by his personal auto policy as well as the rideshare company’s insurance coverage. Although both Uber and Lyft offer coverage during this period, they only offer liability protection for other vehicles or passengers.
- Phase 2: Phase 2 is the period when a driver has the app active, has received a request for a ride, and is heading to pick up the requested passenger. All insurance coverage is handled by Lyft or Uber at this point.
- Period 3: This phase begins when the driver is taking a customer to their destination. Lyft's or Uber's insurance policies cover this period.
Colorado’s Senate Bill 25, the Transportation Network Company Act, requires rideshare companies to provide primary coverage for liability when the driver is signed into the parent app. This means you may have to deal with Uber or Lyft’s insurance carrier after a crash with injuries.
However, if your accident was caused by another driver, you may have to file a claim against their insurance company instead. In either situation, you will want to discuss your case with an attorney to ensure you receive proper representation throughout the entire process.
Ridesharing accidents often include multiple parties and insurance companies, making them complex cases; it is often wise to hire a lawyer to guide you through the process. You will need to determine if the rideshare driver caused the accident or if fault lies with another driver. An experienced personal injury attorney who has dealt with rideshare claims and lawsuits will guide you through the claims process and advise you if and when a formal lawsuit is required.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, filing an insurance claim might be enough to get compensation for your damages; however, insurance companies do not like to pay out claims, especially if they represent a large company like Uber or Lyft. It is in your best interest to hire a lawyer to advise you if and when the time is right to escalate an insurance claim to a personal injury lawsuit. In the event that you sue, you might be able to recover the following damages:
- Medical costs including emergency services, hospitalization, x-rays, surgery, doctor visits, medication, and more
- Lost wages for time away from work due to your injury
- Future medical costs in the event of a long-term disability or catastrophic injury that requires a long time to fully recover
- Future lost wages if an injury results in a disability that prevents you from returning to your job
- Non-economic damages for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, scarring, disfigurement, and more
Our skilled Boulder personal injury attorneys will anticipate counterclaims and other strategies that the defense might use to avoid paying damages. Additionally, we can help investigate your rideshare accident; gather evidence and relevant documentation such as medical reports, police reports, and witness statements; enlist experts to support your case; and negotiate a settlement with the insurance companies. When insurance companies are not willing to offer full and fair payment, we are prepared to litigate your case and pursue the compensation that you deserve.
We are empathetic to the struggles that come with a serious injury and wish to help you through this difficult time, so you can focus on recovery. If you choose the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, to represent you, we handle personal injury cases on contingency fee basis. This means you won’t pay attorney fees unless we secure a settlement or verdict in your favor.
Contact our top legal team at (303) 665-2929 for a free consultation to discuss your Lyft or Uber accident with a Boulder car accident attorney before the statute of limitations runs out. You have three years to take legal action in Colorado when a motor vehicle is involved.
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