Chicago Rideshare Accident Lawyer
Many Chicago residents rely on rideshare apps, such as Uber and Lyft, to travel from place to place. Although these vehicles may seem safe, rideshares are not immune from accidents. If you are in a collision while taking a rideshare, you may wonder what to do next.
After a rideshare accident, you can file an insurance claim or lawsuit to secure the compensation you deserve. In these situations, trust our Chicago rideshare attorneys at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC to represent your case and fight for your right to recovery. Call us today at (312) 586-1700.
Why Choose Us
- Our firm represents people, not corporations or insurance companies. We advocate tirelessly to prevent future injuries or losses of life due to the carelessness of others.
- Our attorneys have decades of experience and have secured millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. We are dedicated to achieving your maximum possible recovery.
- Our firm practices open and honest communication throughout each stage of your case. We will always be available to answer your questions and respond to your concerns.
Uber and Lyft Insurance Policies
Uber and Lyft, two of the most popular rideshare companies, provide similar liability insurance policies for their drivers. The coverage that you may receive depends on when the accident occurred.
- Period 0: If the driver is not logged into the Uber or Lyft app when the accident happens, the companies will not provide any coverage.
- Period 1: If the driver is logged into the app but has not accepted a ride request, the companies will provide liability insurance in case he or she causes an accident. This coverage amounts to up to $50,000 for individual bodily injury, $100,000 for total bodily injury, and $25,000 for property damage.
- Period 2: If the driver is on his or her way to pick up a passenger when the accident occurs, he or she will receive $1 million in liability coverage.
- Period 3: If a passenger is in the vehicle at the time of the accident, the driver will also receive $1 million in liability coverage. The companies may also provide uninsured motorist coverage and compensation for damage to the driver’s vehicle.
Statute of Limitations on Rideshare Accidents in Illinois
If you have been involved in a Chicago Uber accident or any other rideshare-related incident, it’s important to be aware that there is a limited timeframe in which you can file a claim for compensation. In Illinois, the Statute of Limitations typically allows victims of rideshare accidents to pursue legal action within two years from the date of the incident. While there are some exceptions, your attorney can advise you if you qualify for any of those. This timeframe is critical for ensuring that accident injuries, including those resulting from distracted driving, are addressed and properly compensated. It’s also important to consider the role of insurance coverage in these cases, as rideshare companies often provide additional coverage for accidents that occur during the course of their drivers’ work. Seeking the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney is highly recommended, as they can navigate the complexities of the Statute of Limitations and advocate for your rights to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Rideshare Accidents
Listed below are some of the most common causes of rideshare accidents:
- Distracted drivers cause accidents, and rideshare drivers are subject to distractions. In fact, Uber and Lyft drivers have more distractions than most drivers on the road since they must respond to their work app, field questions from passengers, and follow their GPS’s directions on unfamiliar roads, all the while trying to get to their passengers dropped off so they can pick up the next fare.
- Poorly maintained vehicles, such as those with bad brakes, slick tires, or missing headlights or brake lights, can be hazardous.
- Driving at excessive speeds is another cause of Uber and Lyft accidents since the drivers are often pressured to get to their next fare.
- Fatigued drivers are more susceptible to accidents since extreme exhaustion causes a delay in reflexes and inattentiveness.
- Impaired driving, such as drinking and driving or driving under the influence of drugs, is a totally preventable cause of an Uber or Lyft accident.
- Inexperienced drivers can be a problem as well. Being unfamiliar with high-traffic areas or needing help understanding how to properly navigate the roadways can cause collisions.
- Poor road conditions or bad weather conditions can cause an Uber or Lyft automobile accident.
Uber and Lyft drivers are vulnerable to the normal accidents that occur on the road, but to an increased amount since they have the added pressure of doing their job in their car. The pressure to pick up the next fare, to answer alerts on their phone, to find their way through unfamiliar areas, and to get the current fare to their destination promptly, if mismanaged, can end catastrophically.
The Difference Between Uber/Lyft Accidents and Standard Car Accidents
While the result of a standard car accident and one involving a rideshare driver can be similar, some key aspects are different. Insurance claims become more confusing when an Uber or Lyft driver is involved, depending on what they are doing during the accident.
Liability can be more complicated. Rideshare companies will often carry higher insurance limits than standard insurance policies, so the amount available in claims can vary. Rideshare drivers are freelance contractors, but the bigger umbrella that they work under may be responsible for the lack of driver screening or not ensuring the vehicle was properly maintained.
Your Legal Options After a Rideshare Accident
Illinois is a fault accident state, meaning that drivers who are responsible for car accidents must pay for their victims’ damages. When it comes to rideshare collisions, however, the process to secure compensation becomes more complex. Essentially, you will need to determine who was responsible for the accident.
If another driver outside of the rideshare vehicle caused the accident, you will need to file a claim against this driver. You could pursue compensation through an insurance claim or lawsuit. You will not file a claim with Uber or Lyft.
If the rideshare driver is responsible for the accident, you can recover compensation through the following process.
- Uber and Lyft require that injured victims file an insurance claim against the rideshare driver’s private policy before filing a claim with the company policy. However, most private auto insurance policies have a provision against business use, and will likely deny your claim.
- If the driver’s private insurance denies your claim, you could file a claim against Uber or Lyft’s company policy. You can also file a claim against Uber or Lyft if you exhaust at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits.
- If you are unable to secure sufficient compensation through an insurance claim, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, you are not able to file a lawsuit against Uber or Lyft directly. These companies consider their drivers to be independent contractors, meaning that they are not legally responsible for any accidents that occur on the job.
Navigating the rideshare accident claim process can be difficult without an attorney on your side. To identify your optimal avenue to compensation, speak to a rideshare injury attorney at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC. Your lawyer will review your case and determine which pathway is right for you.
How to Determine Liability in a Rideshare Accident
Determining who is responsible for a rideshare accident can be particularly complicated since they often involve multiple parties. The Uber or Lyft driver, other drivers, pedestrians, bikers, and cyclists all have a role in the accident. It is important that each component of the accident is thoroughly investigated.
Listed below are some ways to determine who is liable. What the driver was doing before the accident will be investigated to determine if reckless driving, impaired driving, or a violation of traffic laws was to blame for the accident.
- It will be critical that the rideshare company’s policies are examined to ensure compliance with local laws was met. If, for instance, the company neglects to screen or adequately train drivers appropriately, they may not comply with local law.
- When determining liability, the driver’s status at the time of the accident will be considered. If the driver had a passenger aboard, the rideshare company’s insurance might cover the accident.
- If the driver was off the clock, their personal insurance might cover the accident. But, if they were between fares or on the way to another pick-up, things can be cloudy, so it is important to speak to an attorney specializing in rideshare accidents.
- All involved parties will be investigated to determine who contributed to the accident and how.
- Evidence like video surveillance footage, dash cam video, eyewitness testimony, police reports, and expert testimony can help narrow down who caused the accident and therefore is responsible for the damages.
Damages Available for Rideshare Accident Victims
A rideshare accident can result in significant financial hardship, as well as physical and emotional pain and suffering. Through an accident claim, however, you can recover compensation for the economic and non-economic losses you sustained during the accident. Economic damages refer to your tangible financial losses, while non-economic damages encompass the physical and emotional trauma you sustained.
Examples of damages available to rideshare accident victims fall under three headings. A victim of a rideshare accident may receive compensation for economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
- Lost wages can occur from missed work while recovering from injuries caused by the accident.
- If it is impossible to return to your job following an accident, it could result in the loss of future earnings.
- All past and future medical expenses related to the accident. Medical expenses include ambulance travel, emergency room visits, hospital stays, diagnostic tests, treatment, procedures, surgeries, medications, and follow-up appointments.
- Vehicle repair or replacement due to the accident.
- Home alterations and accommodations, such as the addition of ramps, grab bars, handrails, roll-in showers, and accessible bathrooms and kitchens.
- Psychological, occupational, and physical therapy are often needed following an accident.
- Medical devices and appliances, including hospital beds, wheelchairs, prosthetics, and other medically necessary equipment, are often costly and should be included in an Uber or Lyft rideshare accident claim.
Non-economic damages are typically a bit harder to calculate monetarily than cut-and-dried economic damages. Some of the non-economic damages that you may experience following a rideshare accident might include the following:
- Loss of consortium may be available to a partner who has lost care, security, and companionship due to the accident.
- Emotional distress can be genuine following a rideshare accident and can make everyday life difficult.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may have long-lasting effects on a person who has suffered an Uber or Lyft accident. Therapy may be necessary to overcome lingering trauma.
- Pain and suffering are difficult to put a monetary value upon, but your attorney can help you calculate generous compensation.
- Loss of enjoyment of life is another non-economic damage that is one of the most important issues faced by an accident victim. Not being able to participate in the parts of life that they once enjoyed can rob them of the happiness once available to them.
- Disfigurement or scarring can cause intense emotional pain and often shame and discomfort on top of the surgeries and cosmetic procedures necessary to treat them.
- Permanent disabilities should be considered when calculating non-economic damages as well as economic ones. Every aspect of life can be affected.
What to Do After a Chicago Rideshare Accident
If you are in a rideshare accident, you may be unsure what to do next. The moments after a crash can be painful and overwhelming. However, there are certain steps that you should take to protect yourself, your family, and your right to compensation.
- Call 911 and report the accident to law enforcement. The responding officer will create a police report, which you can use to prove your case.
- Seek medical attention, even if you do not feel injured. Not only will this promptly treat any injuries you may have, but your medical records will serve as valuable evidence in your case.
- Exchange contact, license, and insurance information with the drivers involved in the accident. Keep your interactions with these drivers brief and do not say anything about your injuries or how the crash occurred.
- Document evidence at the scene. Take pictures of your injuries, property damage, and the accident site. If you were a rideshare passenger, take screenshots of your location and ride information in the app.
- Speak to any witnesses in the area and ask for their contact information. You could contact these individuals in the future to provide testimony, which could help prove your case.
Once you seek medical attention, an insurance representative may contact you and ask for a statement. Decline to speak to the representative and contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Insurance companies do not always have your best interests in mind, and any statements you make at this stage could harm your future case. Always speak to a lawyer before speaking to an insurance representative.
Contact Our Rideshare Accident Lawyers in Chicago Today
It’s crucial to seek the expertise of an experienced rideshare accident lawyer if you’ve been involved in a rideshare accident in Chicago. These skilled attorneys in Chicago specialize in handling cases involving Uber drivers. When dealing with the aftermath of a rideshare accident, navigating insurance companies and their complex policies can be overwhelming. A dedicated Chicago rideshare accident lawyer is well-versed in the intricacies of these cases and can guide you through the process of filing a personal injury claim. Whether you’re facing mounting medical bills due to broken bones or other injuries sustained in the accident, a knowledgeable attorney can help you seek the compensation you deserve. By consulting with the experienced Chicago accident attorneys at our reputable law office, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the necessary support and representation to navigate the legal complexities of your case.
If you are in a Chicago rideshare accident, contact the attorneys at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC. We can help you navigate the complex litigation process and secure the compensation you need to recover. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and learn about your legal options.