Charleston Rideshare Accident Lawyers
Helping Victims of Uber & Lyft Accidents in Charleston, SC
Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular for both riders and drivers. However, these services can be dangerous for both parties involved when an accident occurs. In addition, the insurance coverage provided by these companies may not be sufficient to cover all of the damages sustained by an injured party.
At Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC, we understand that accidents involving rideshare services can be complex. Our Charleston rideshare accident lawyers can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Call (843) 968-0886 today.
What Happens in a Rideshare Accident?
In a rideshare accident, the process that unfolds involves several key steps, similar to other types of motor vehicle accidents. Here's a general overview of what typically happens in the aftermath of a rideshare accident:
1. Safety and Medical Attention:
- Immediate Safety: Ensure the safety of all involved parties. If the accident is minor and the vehicles are causing a traffic hazard, move them to a safe location if possible.
- Medical Attention: Check for injuries and call emergency services if needed. Seek medical attention for yourself and others involved, even if injuries seem minor.
2. Contact Law Enforcement:
- Report the Accident: Call the police to report the accident. Law enforcement will arrive at the scene to assess the situation, document the incident in an official report, and, if necessary, coordinate medical assistance.
3. Exchange Information:
- Exchange Details: Collect information from all parties involved, including names, contact information, insurance details, and vehicle registration. Also, obtain contact information from any witnesses.
4. Document the Scene:
- Take Photos: Use your phone or camera to take pictures of the accident scene, vehicle damage, license plates, and any relevant road signs or signals. This documentation can be crucial for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
5. Legal Representation:
- Consult with an Attorney: If you've suffered injuries or if liability is disputed, it's recommended to consult with a personal injury attorney. They can provide guidance on your legal options, help navigate insurance negotiations, and, if needed, represent you in a legal proceeding.
6. Notify the Rideshare Company:
- Report to the Rideshare Company: Do not speak to the rideshare company without first consulting your attorney. Like insurance companies, they may try to use anything you say to limit their liability. Do not fall for such tactics. If you were a rideshare passenger or the accident involved a rideshare driver, only notify the rideshare company (e.g., Uber or Lyft) that the accident has happened. Let them know that you will defer to your attorney if they ask for details.
7. Seek Medical Treatment:
- Medical Examination: Even if injuries seem minor, it's advisable to seek a medical examination. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms immediately, and having a medical record can be important for insurance claims.
8. Insurance Claims Process:
- File a Claim: Rideshare companies typically have insurance coverage for their drivers. You or the rideshare driver may need to file a claim with the rideshare company's insurance. Insurance companies will investigate the claim.
9. Legal Proceedings:
- Lawsuits: If a settlement cannot be reached through insurance negotiations, legal proceedings may be initiated. This involves filing a lawsuit, discovery, negotiations, and potentially a trial if an agreement is not reached.
10. Settlement or Judgment:
- Resolution: The case may be resolved through a settlement between the parties or a judgment by the court if the case goes to trial. If a settlement is reached, it typically includes compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
It's important to note that the specifics of the process may vary based on the circumstances of the accident, local regulations, and the policies of the rideshare company involved. Seeking legal advice early in the process can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
Who Is Liable in a Rideshare Accident?
In a rideshare accident, various scenarios can play out based on who is at fault and the extent of injuries or damages.
The Rideshare Driver's Liability: If the rideshare driver is at fault for the accident, they may need to file a claim with their personal car insurance depending on if they were logged into their app at the time of the crash. If they were logged into the app, most personal auto insurance policies do not cover commercial (rideshare) activities. In such cases, the rideshare company's insurance steps in. Uber and Lyft, for example, provide their drivers with a $1 million liability policy that can cover damages if their personal insurance doesn't.
Another Driver's Liability: If another driver is at fault, then their insurance should cover the damages. If that driver is uninsured or underinsured, the rideshare company's uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may cover the damages.
Passenger Involvement: As a passenger, if your rideshare vehicle is involved in an accident, the rideshare company's car insurance would apply to your injuries. If the other driver is at fault, you might have to claim from their insurance. In case both insurances do not cover all your damages, you can make a claim under your own uninsured/underinsured insurance policy.
Accidents While Waiting for a Ride Request: If a rideshare driver is waiting for a ride request when the accident occurs, the company's liability is typically limited.
After an accident, it is important to document everything - take pictures, collect driver and witness information, and report the incident to the police and the rideshare company. It's also critical to seek immediate medical attention, even if injuries are not immediately apparent.
Always consult with an attorney experienced in rideshare accidents to guide you through the process and protect your rights.
Why Hire a Lawyer After a Rideshare Accident?
After an accident involving a rideshare driver, there is a good chance that multiple parties will be liable for the damages sustained by the injured party. In some cases, the rideshare company and the driver's personal insurance company will attempt to claim that the driver was not acting as a rideshare driver at the time of the accident. They may claim that the driver was "not logged in" or not accepting rides at the time of the accident. However, our Charleston rideshare accident attorneys know how to prove that the driver was, in fact, on the app and accepting rides at the time of the accident.
Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC can help you file all of the necessary paperwork and communicate with the rideshare company on your behalf. We can help you negotiate a fair settlement with the liable parties, and if a settlement cannot be reached, we are ready to take your case to court and fight for the compensation you deserve.
The legal team at Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC is ready to help you after an accident involving a rideshare driver. Contact us today at (843) 968-0886.