When you get in a car with someone, their driving skills and decisions can affect your life and safety. Uber and Lyft drivers are supposed to be a safe alternative to taking public transportation or driving after drinking, but they could also be responsible for causing the kinds of accidents and unsafe situations you try to avoid behind the wheel.
If you were injured in an accident while riding as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, or if you were hit by an Uber or Lyft, contact an attorney immediately. Fayetteville Uber and Lyft accident lawyer Ken Kieklak represents the victims of serious car accident injuries and fights to get them compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For help with your case, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, today to schedule a free consultation. Our number is (479) 316-0438. You could also contact the firm online to schedule a free case review to discuss the details of your case.
Can You Sue Uber or Lyft After an Accident in Fayetteville, AR?
When you are involved in a car accident, you can usually sue the driver who is at fault for the accident. In some cases, you may also be able to take the driver’s employer to court to pay for the damages you faced; this is common in a taxi accident and commercial vehicle cases. There are two problems with Uber and Lyft accident cases that might prevent you from suing the rideshare company for the accident in Fayetteville, but these problems do not stop you from being able to get compensation.
The first problem is no-fault insurance. No-fault insurance may prevent you from suing after a car accident and, instead, pay you damages regardless of who was at fault for the crash. Arkansas is an at-fault state, which means that you can typically sue for injuries after a car accident. However, Arkansas allows no-fault add-on policies, which add no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to your policy. If your policy has no-fault coverage, you might be barred from suing.
The second problem with suing Uber or Lyft is that the driver does not work for these companies, and they cannot typically be joined in lawsuits as the driver’s employer. Normally, an employer could be held vicariously liable for the actions of an employee through the doctrine of respondeat superior. Specifically, an employer could be held accountable when an employee performs a negligent act that is within the scope of their employment. For example, if a truck driver was speeding and injured another motorist, the negligence of the truck driver could be imputed to their employer. Unfortunately, employers could not be held liable for the actions of their employees if they were hired as an independent contractor or were considered as self-employed.
Arkansas’ vicarious liability rules only allow you to hold an employer responsible for their employee’s negligence. Since Uber and Lyft drivers are technically self-employed, these companies are not their employers and cannot be made to answer for the driver’s errors.
Just because you cannot sue Uber or Lyft does not mean you cannot sue at all. Typically, the driver must carry their own auto insurance, plus Uber and Lyft both cover their drivers with insurance policies. This usually means that there are plenty of funds available to pay for your injuries, even if you cannot sue Uber or Lyft directly.
How Much Do Uber and Lyft Pay for Car Accidents?
Uber and Lyft each provide their drivers with a “million-dollar insurance policy.” These policies cover the driver and passengers as well as any other victims of the accident. That means that you might be entitled to compensation and coverage for your damages whether you were the Uber driver, a passenger in the Uber, or another driver or pedestrian injured by a negligent Uber driver.
The coverage under these policies kicks in depending on when the accident took place:
- When the Uber or Lyft driver is not actively using their app and is driving on their own, they are treated like any other driver, and their own insurance policy covers their accidents.
- When the driver is using the app but has not accepted any rides yet, a second insurance policy will supplement their insurance policy if they cannot afford the damages.
- The million-dollar insurance policy is used from the time the driver accepts a ride to the time the driver drops off the passenger, whether they have a passenger in their car or not.
The supplemental coverage for accidents without passengers is higher than Arkansas’ minimum insurance requirement. This policy covers up to $50,000 per person for injury, $100,000 per accident for injury, and $25,000 per accident for property damage. Contrast this with the minimum Arkansas insurance requirements of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. Both Uber and Lyft have policies like this.
The million-dollar insurance policy covers “at least $1,000,000 per accident,” according to Uber’s website. The Lyft policy is similar, with a “$1,000,000 per accident limit.” Uber’s website states that its insurance policy will be the primary insurance policy. In contrast, Lyft’s policy may still use the driver’s policy as the primary policy and cover only the overages.
Our firm could help you determine whether you are eligible to receive compensation according to Uber or Lyft’s accident policy. If you cannot claim damages from Uber or Lyft due to the circumstances of your accident, you should consider filing a lawsuit against the negligent driver. To learn more about pursuing a lawsuit against an Uber or Lyft driver, continue reading and speak with an experienced Fayetteville Uber and Lyft accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Pursuing an Uber or Lyft Accident Lawsuit Against a Negligent Driver
If you were seriously injured due to the actions of a negligent Uber or Lyft driver, you should be compensated for your injuries and other related costs. As mentioned, Uber and Lyft have up to $1,000,000 available for injuries and losses related to a car accident caused by one of their drivers. However, if an Uber or Lyft driver was not logged into their application at the time of the crash, the victim will be unable to pursue Uber or Lyft for the accident. As a result, a victim of a rideshare driver’s negligence would have to pursue compensation from the driver personally.
As mentioned, the victim of the Uber or Lyft accident could file a claim against the negligent rideshare driver’s insurance company for compensation. However, if the rideshare driver does not possess a policy that could handle all the losses incurred by the victim, the victim would likely have to file a personal injury lawsuit. Our firm could help you get started on your personal injury lawsuit against the driver responsible for your injuries.
When to File a Car Accident Lawsuit Against an Uber or Lyft Driver in Fayetteville, AR
If your Uber or Lyft driver causes an accident and you cannot receive compensation from either company, you could pursue a lawsuit against the driver directly. When pursuing a car accident lawsuit, you should be aware that you do not have an unlimited amount of time to file your case with a court of law due to the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations determines the length of time that a potential plaintiff has to file their lawsuit with the appropriate court of law. However, the filing deadline for a potential lawsuit is subject to change depending on the circumstances of the case and the laws of each state. If you are unfamiliar with the law regarding your case, it would be wise to avoid making any assumptions about the filing deadline for your case.
In Arkansas, the statute of limitations for a car accident lawsuit is three years from the date of the injury. If you are not successful in filing your lawsuit before three years elapse, the court has the authority to bar your case with prejudice, which means it cannot be refiled. If this happens, you will be left with no other options to claim compensation after your Uber or Lyft accident. To avoid this scenario, you should work with our experienced Fayetteville Uber or Lyft accident attorney today.
Proving Liability in a Fayetteville, AR Uber + Lyft Accident Lawsuit
To claim damages in an Uber or Lyft lawsuit against a rideshare driver in Fayetteville, AR, you will have to prove how the driver behaved negligently. To prove this, you will need sufficient evidence. For example, if you have a witness that will testify that the rideshare driver was speeding at the time of the accident, this could help you prove your case.
Additionally, a victim in a Fayetteville, AR rideshare accident lawsuit will also have to prove the following elements to show negligence:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- The defendant breached their duty of care to the plaintiff
- The plaintiff was injured due to the defendant’s actions
- The plaintiff could pursue damages for their injuries and losses in a court of law
Once you prevail in a car accident lawsuit against a negligent rideshare driver, you could be awarded compensatory damages for your injuries. Compensatory damages could consist of the following:
- Loss of wages
- Medical expenses for surgery, treatment, rehab, and other related costs
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
Depending on the circumstances of your case, there could be other types of damages that may be available.
Fayetteville, AR Uber Accident and Lyft Accident Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident while riding as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, as a pedestrian or another driver struck by an Uber or Lyft, or as an Uber or Lyft driver, talk to a Fayetteville, AR personal injury lawyer about filing a lawsuit for your injuries. Fayetteville Uber and Lyft accident lawyer Ken Kieklak may be able to take your case and fight to get you compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To schedule a free legal consultation, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, today at (479) 316-0438. You could also contact us online using our online submission form to schedule your free consultation.