Serving clients in Fayetteville and all of NW Arkansas
Uber and Lyft are supposed to be safer alternatives than driving while intoxicated after a night out, and a simpler alternative to calling a taxi. However, many Uber and Lyft drivers have little oversight and may become tired, distracted, and dangerous after hours on the road. If you were injured in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver or while you were a passenger in an Uber, call an experienced Bentonville Uber or Lyft accident lawyer today.
Bentonville Uber and Lyft accident attorney Ken Kieklak may be able to help you file a claim against the driver and Uber or Lyft’s insurance policy to get you the coverage you need for damages. Damages from a serious car accident can include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages, which can all be compensated through an Uber accident lawsuit. To schedule a free, confidential consultation on your case, contact our law offices at (479) 316-0438.
Can You Sue Uber or Lyft for a Car Accident in Bentonville?
When a car accident occurs, a victim will seek compensation from the negligent driver that caused the accident. If the negligent driver that caused the crash was transporting materials or passengers for their employer, there may be a scenario where the driver’s employer becomes liable for their actions through the doctrine of respondeat superior. This doctrine holds employers vicariously liable for accidents caused by their employees as long as it occurs within the scope of the employment. For example, a truck driver that causes an accident while transporting multiple vehicles for their employer could result in the employer being held liable for the accident.
Uber and Lyft drivers use the apps from these companies to find passengers and accept payment. However, these drivers do not work for Uber or Lyft; they are technically self-employed as independent contractors. When a person is hired as an independent contractor, it means that the party that employs them does not exclusively control how they perform their job. For example, an Uber driver could take the route they are given to a destination, or they could use a different route. This level of freedom may allow Uber to argue they only hired the driver as an independent contractor.
As mentioned, when commercial drivers like truck drivers and taxi drivers cause an accident, you can sue both the driver and their employee. Since Uber and Lyft do not hire these drivers, it could be difficult to sue the company directly. However, you can sue the driver, and Uber and Lyft’s insurance policy will typically pay for damages.
When you are injured in a Uber or Lyft accident in Bentonville by a driver’s negligence, you can always sue the driver directly. All drivers in Bentonville, AR are required to carry auto insurance to cover victims in case they cause an accident. Additionally, you may be entitled to additional damages if you sue them in court, which could be paid by the insurance company or through other methods.
Uber and Lyft each provide their drivers with extra insurance to cover injuries during an accident. These companies have an interest in making sure that victims get coverage since their business is based on ensuring safe travels for passengers and other drivers on the road.
If you were injured as an Uber or Lyft driver, another driver, a pedestrian, or an Uber or Lyft passenger, you may be able to claim damages against the rideshare company’s insurance policy. These policies cover substantial costs, which can help you ensure your losses are fully covered. To learn more about compensation for an Uber or Lyft accident, continue reading and consult with an experienced Bentonville Uber car accident lawyer today.
Common Causes of Uber + Lyft Accidents in Bentonville, AR
Uber and Lyft are arguably the most popular means of transportation in the US and the world. These mega-corporations have been fan-favorites due to their ease of use, effectiveness, and convenience. However, this doesn’t mean they are free from all of the dangers other drivers face daily. Over the years, Uber and Lyft drivers have been involved in thousands of accidents. Like every other car collision, victims often suffer severe injuries – which we will discuss below. Some of the most common causes of Uber and Lyft accidents in Bentonville, AR include:
Distracted driving has been responsible for thousands of crashes, injuries, and deaths over the years. Perhaps more disturbing is the fact that everything surrounding a driver can cause a distraction. Texting, browsing the internet, and using the official Uber & Lyft app to pick up clients can be distracting enough to cause an accident. Uber and Lyft drivers are expected to exercise caution when transporting their clients. However, this is not always the case. If you or someone you know was injured by a distracted Uber or Lyft driver in Bentonville, AR, we can help.
Speeding has become a significant issue for ridesharing services in the US. Often, drivers may rush transporting their clients to jump from one customer to the next. This behavior increases the likelihood of a crash. Driving over legally-established limits can lead to devastating accidents. According to official sources such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), speeding is responsible for thousands of injuries and deaths in the US every year. If you were involved in an accident caused by a speeding Uber or Lyft driver in Bentonville, AR, we can help you fight for compensation.
In some cases, Uber and Lyft drivers have been found driving while under the effect of alcohol. Drunk driving is responsible for thousands of severe crashes every year, including ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft. If you were injured in a ride-hailing service caused by a drunk Uber or Lyft driver in Bentonville, AR, we can help.
Injuries Caused by Uber & Lyft Accidents in Bentonville, AR
Nobody enters an Uber or Lyft car thinking they will be involved in an accident or suffer severe injuries. Unfortunately, many ridesharing service passengers – as well as other drivers and pedestrians – suffer devastating injuries during a crash.
One of the most common injuries in ridesharing accidents is head injuries. This type of injury can be particularly dangerous, depending on the extent of the damage. For instance, one of the most devastating types of head injuries is known as traumatic brain injuries (TBI). As the name implies, TBI refers to brain dysfunction caused by a massive blow to the head. TBI’s are known for causing debilitating symptoms that may manifest right after a crash or develop over time. Some of these symptoms include vomiting, memory loss, and behavioral changes – among other debilitating symptoms.
Back injuries are also common in Uber and Lyft crashes. Spinal cord injuries (SCI) stand out as some of the most serious injuries a person can sustain during a collision. These lesions can be particularly dangerous for their potential to cause loss of bodily function from the site of the injury down. In severe cases, a person can suffer from paraplegia, quadriplegia, and tetraplegia. These conditions often require continuing medical care.
Another common injury in Uber and Lyft crashes are broken bone injuries. These particular injuries are painful and dangerous. In addition to causing significant pain, a piece of a broken bone can pierce through skin and organs, causing gashes and internal bleeding. Bentonville, AR Uber & Lyft attorneys can help you if you or a loved one was injured due to a negligent to a ridesharing service driver.
How Much Do Uber and Lyft Pay for Accidents in Bentonville?
The damages you are entitled to in your case depend heavily on the specifics of your case. After a Bentonville Uber or Lyft car accident, you may face medical expenses, you may be unable to work, and you may face substantial pain and suffering. The damages you can claim in a lawsuit consist of any damages you suffer as a consequence of the accident, which typically includes 100% of the losses from medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Talk to an attorney about how much your case should be worth.
Before you can receive compensation from Uber or Lyft for your car accident, you should first report the claim to the respective company. Uber and Lyft both have options for reporting an incident that occurred during a ride. If you were injured as a passenger, you can go into the “help” tab of either application and report the accident. The application should provide you with information about the driver, the vehicle used by the driver, and even the route taken by the driver. If a rideshare driver struck you or your vehicle, you must take down their information so that you could report the incident once you are able.
After reporting the incident to Uber or Lyft, you should be prepared to speak with a representative from the company. Remember that this representative represents the rideshare company. That means they do not you have your interests in mind and will look for ways to undermine your claim. If you are concerned about speaking with the representative, our firm may be able to work with you to alleviate your concerns.
As for what Uber and Lyft cover after an accident, this depends on when the accident occurred. Uber and Lyft have two potential insurance policies that cover damages after a severe collision. Whether these policies apply, and which policy applies depends on when the accident occurred:
- If you were hit by an off-duty Uber or Lyft driver, the driver’s personal insurance policy would cover the crash, just like any other car accident case.
- If you were hit while the Uber or Lyft driver was logged-in to the app, but before they accepted a ride, the rideshare company’s supplemental insurance policy will cover the crash. This policy typically covers up to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for injuries and $25,000 per accident for property damage.
- If you were hit any time between when the driver accepts a ride and drops off a passenger, or if you were injured as a passenger, the $1,000,000 insurance policy takes over. This policy covers up to $1 million per accident.
Uber and Lyft’s $1 million insurance policies seem like they cover broader damages than is typical of insurance policies. Still, these types of policies are also common for taxi companies and are somewhat standard in the industry. Regardless, this means that your injuries and bills could be covered, even if they cost multiple thousands of dollars.
Just because the insurance policy can cover your injuries does not mean that you should accept an insurance settlement. When you accept payment from an insurance company, your damages may be covered only in part, and pain and suffering damages are usually not available. If you take your case to court, a judge or jury has the authority to order full damages to cover your needs. To learn more about filing a lawsuit for your Uber or Lyft accident, continue reading and contact an experienced Bentonville injury lawyer.
When to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Bentonville Uber or Lyft Accident
If you were severely injured in an Uber or Lyft accident and discovered that the insurance policy they offer is not enough to manage your injuries, you should consider filing a personal injury lawsuit. A personal injury suit may also be a wise choice if you were injured in a rideshare vehicle accident, and the company refuses to provide you with compensation.
When filing a lawsuit for a car accident claim, the potential plaintiff must know that they only have a limited amount of time to submit their suit to the court. The reason for this is the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations sets the amount of time a plaintiff is given to file a particular lawsuit.
In Arkansas, personal injury lawsuits must be filed within three years of the date of the accident. If the case is not filed within three years, there is a possibility that the plaintiff’s claim could be barred entirely. For example, if a defendant believes you have exceeded the statute of limitations, they may move for the court to dismiss the case. If this happens, the plaintiff could be left without any options for pursuing compensation. If you are unsure about when the statute of limitations began to run for your lawsuit, you should speak with an experienced accident attorney as soon as possible.
While three years is a generous amount of time to pursue a case, it would be wise to pursue your claim immediately. There are a number of reasons that a lawsuit should be filed as soon as possible. For example, if you are relying on the testimony of a witness, you do not want their memory to become hazy because you waited to file your case. Additionally, you should leave time for your lawyer to properly investigate the matter and build your claim.
Recoverable Damages in a Bentonville, AR Rideshare Accident
When filing your Bentonville Uber or Lyft car accident lawsuit, you should also remember that it would be prudent to file suit against a party that is capable of compensating you for your injuries. For example, if your injuries were severe and required extensive medical care, the rideshare driver may be unable to cover the costs of the accident. As a result, you should consider filing a lawsuit against the rideshare driver and the company they work for.
To be awarded damages in a personal injury lawsuit, a plaintiff must show how a defendant acted negligently. To prove negligence, there are four elements that a plaintiff must prove to the trier of fact (jury or judge):
- The defendant had a duty of care to the plaintiff (to operate their vehicle with caution)
- The defendant breached their duty of care
- The plaintiff was injured as a result of the defendant’s breach
- The plaintiff suffered an injury or losses that are compensable by a court of law
Once all four elements are proven, a court will award damages to a plaintiff. Compensatory damages are awarded to plaintiffs that suffered economic and noneconomic losses. An economic loss is one that can be easily determined as there will likely be receipts for damage to a vehicle or medical bills. Noneconomic injuries are more difficult to quantify as they may vary depending on the circumstances of a case.
Compensatory damages can be awarded for the following economic and noneconomic losses:
- Medical expenses such as prescriptions, rehabilitation, or surgery
- Damage to a vehicle
- Loss of wages or loss of future wages
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
Our Bentonville Uber + Lyft Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft car, or if you lost a loved one to an Uber or Lyft accident, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, today. Our Bentonville Uber and Lyft accident lawyer offer free consultations to help you understand your case and how much you might be entitled to in damages. For help with your case, contact our law offices today at (479) 316-0438 to schedule your free legal consultation.