How the Gig-Economy Leads to Injuries

Ridesharing services, such as Lyft and Uber, have provided people in Denver with a convenient, economical way to get around. Technology makes it possible to easily connect with a rideshare driver through an app on your phone. Like other motorists, rideshare drivers can be involved in vehicle accidents in and around Denver, and possibly more so, as they are driving for longer hours and may be distracted by their phone.

After a rideshare accident, you may be tempted to accept any settlement offer available. But before you do, reach out to the Denver car accident attorneys at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC. We offer free consultations to all potential clients and can fully explain to you what compensation is available to you. Contact us at (303) 502-5587 to learn what options are available to you after an Uber or Lyft accident.

Contributing Factors in Rideshare Accidents

As mentioned above, technology has become a major cause of rideshare accidents, providing a new host of distractions. But it is just one factor in a rideshare accident and your injuries could have been the result of:

  • Driver distraction: Rideshare drivers have several different sources of distraction, including noisy passengers, app notifications, calls from angry clients, and often complicated GPS instructions.
  • Driver fatigue: The more people they transport to their destinations, the more money rideshare drivers make. This causes them to pack on multiple hours, often working late-nights to ferry passengers between hotels and Denver International Airport. If they drift often, they put themselves, their passengers, and other drivers at danger.
  • Speeding: Rideshare drivers are in a hurry to pick up passengers and get them to their destinations, so they can accept more rides and earn more money. Despite common knowledge that speeding is a major factor in most accidents, drivers will still do it to pick-up a new client or as a result of passenger demands. Whatever the reason, they should always obey the speed limit.
  • Tailgating: Following too closely is dangerous driving behavior, but all too common, particularly in heavy traffic. A rideshare driver who is tailgating may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision with the vehicle ahead.
  • Impaired driving: Alcohol and drug use can significantly impair reaction time and driving ability. Although impaired driving is illegal for Uber and Lyft drivers, as well as any other person operating a motor vehicle, major rideshare companies do not conduct random drug and alcohol testing to prevent it.

How Does Rideshare Liability Insurance Work?

In addition to a driver’s personal auto insurance coverage, Lyft and Uber both provide liability coverage for rideshare accidents. However, the amount of coverage available varies based on whether or not the driver is “on the clock” or driving for personal reasons. For insurance purposes, driver activity is classified into different phases:

  • When driver mode is off: When the driver is not logged into the ridesharing app, the driver’s personal auto insurance policy applies. At this point, you would file a standard car accident claim.
  • When the app is in driver mode, but the driver has not yet accepted a ride request: Both Lyft and Uber provide liability coverage of up to $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage in this phase.
  • From when the driver accepts a ride request until the ride has ended: Lyft’s primary liability insurance kicks in during this phase, with $1,000,000 in available coverage per incident. If the driver carries commercial auto insurance or personal auto insurance with specific coverage for ridesharing, Lyft’s policy will cover damages in excess of the driver’s policy limits.

Recovering Compensation

If you have been injured in a rideshare accident that was someone else’s fault, you are entitled to pursue economic and noneconomic damages. Your economic damages may include property damage to your vehicle and past and future medical expenses for required treatment, therapy, and rehabilitation. They may also include lost wages for the time you are unable to work because of your injuries. This can extend to any impairments you may have suffered, resulting in compensation for a loss of earning potential.

If your injuries are painful, disfiguring, or limit your activities, your noneconomic damages may include physical and emotional pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional stress, and a diminished quality of life.

Because there are many layers to a rideshare accident and multiple insurance policies involved, each insurance company will try to limit the amount of compensation they pay out, either by offering reduced compensation or denying claims. To ensure you have a fair shot at recovery, both medically and financially, you will need to contact a skilled auto accident attorney who can:

  • Investigate your accident to determine fault and liability
  • Collect and preserve evidence to support your claim
  • Assess the full extent of your losses, past, present, and future
  • Negotiate skillfully with insurance companies on your behalf
  • Fight effectively for the compensation you deserve in court, if necessary

When you bring your case to a Denver rideshare accident attorney at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we will shoulder the majority of the legal work so you can focus on recovering. Our history of success speaks for itself and we are fully equipped to handle negotiations with rideshare companies and their representatives, and will even take your claim to court, if it comes to that point. Call us at (303) 502-5587 to schedule a free consultation to learn about your rights after a rideshare accident.