Being in an Uber, Lyft, or other ride-for-hire during an accident can add an extra layer of complexity. Car accident attorneys understand how to navigate these cases. You should reach out to a Cook County Uber accident lawyer after suffering injuries in a crash.
If a vehicle for hire is available to the public, then it may be considered a common carrier, which include buses, trains, and shuttles. If the vehicle is considered a common carrier under the law, they owe their passengers the highest duty of care, which is justified by the fact that an individual is paying for the transportation.
There are many alternatives in Cook County to hire a vehicle, like transportation companies, such as Uber and Lyft, who operate using an app on a phone. Rideshare vehicles, such as Uber and Lyft, are not considered common carriers in Cook County due to a specific exemption law.
A taxi is considered a common carrier which owes its passengers the highest duty of care. This differs from normal passenger vehicles, which are only required to exercise “reasonable” care. While the status as a common carrier does not automatically mean the taxi is liable for any injury, the higher standard does make it easier to prove that the taxi driver was negligent.
A lawyer in Cook County will handle an accident which involves a rideshare (like Uber) differently than a routine car crash case. While an Uber or Lyft vehicle is transporting an individual, the insurance for the rideshare company is primary. While the individual is not using the app, then their personal car insurance will be primary. The insurance which covers an accident can make a big difference in terms of the ultimate recovery. If a person injured in a crash was a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, it is advisable that they save the information about their ride on their phone for future reference.
The insurance company which covers an accident involving an Uber can be a difficult situation to determine. There are different amounts of coverage afforded by Uber at different periods of time. For example, if an Uber driver is on the app and available to pick up a passenger, there is one level of insurance. If they are in transit to pick up a passenger, there is a different layer of insurance. Finally, while they have a passenger within the vehicle, this triggers additional insurance coverage. If the driver is not operating their vehicle for Uber, then their personal car insurance is primary. A rideshare accident lawyer in Cook County needs to analyze this situation carefully because it can make a difference in the ultimate recovery in the case.
In an accident with an Uber driver, the first step for a plaintiff and their attorney is to prove that the driver was negligent. Once they prove that the Uber driver was liable, they are responsible for the damages which resulted. The insurance company for the Uber driver is ultimately responsible for compensating any individuals who may have received injuries in an accident.
Following an Uber accident, an injured individual is entitled to economic and noneconomic damages, but in rare instances the Uber driver may also be responsible for punitive damages. While economic and noneconomic damages are meant to compensate the individual for losses from the accident, punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoing of the at-fault driver. There is a much higher standard to prove punitive damages than to prove economic or noneconomic damages, and they are awarded rarely.
Rideshare accidents present a unique challenge when it comes to personal injury lawsuits. In addition, Uber and Lyft do not have the designation of common carrier like a taxi or a public bus, which could affect liability. To learn more, reach out to a Cook County Uber accident lawyer.