Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last few years, the odds are that you’ve at least heard of ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft, and most likely, you’ve probably even used their services.
These innovative gig economy companies, and the ever-present smartphones that enable them to work, are striking examples of the way that technology has changed many of the basic tasks of living we all engage in every day.
In case you are unfamiliar, Uber and Lyft are both apps that people can use on their smartphones to arrange transportation, courier services, order food to be delivered and much more. The drivers these services use are contracted by the companies as independent contractors. So that means that they’re driving their own vehicles, which makes them easy to find when you need a ride. No more worrying about having to find or schedule a taxi or shuttle, you can find an Uber driver that will be there within minutes.
And by having these people work as contractors instead of employees, the companies are able to push many of the costs that are usually incurred in this type of business operation, such as gas and vehicle maintenance costs, onto the drivers themselves. Since they’re able to limit their costs, they’re able to provide cheaper transportation than traditional cab companies can offer.
It’s this flexible business structure that has enabled these companies to grow very, very quickly. In fact, Uber alone has more than 110 million regular monthly users worldwide, and all of those users need drivers. That means there are millions of independent contractors working for Uber and Lyft, and anytime you have a lot of drivers on the road, there are inevitably going to be motor vehicle accidents.
But how does it work when an Uber or Lyft driver gets in an accident? If someone is injured as a passenger during an Uber ride, who will pay for the medical bills they’ll now have to face? What about the driver of a car injured because a Lyft driver crashed into them, how will they recover fair compensation for their damages?
Uber and Lyft Car Accidents and Liability Insurance
The unique business model behind rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft, greatly differentiate them from traditional taxi companies in many ways, one of the most important of which is how liability is determined in the event of a motor vehicle accident. Traditional taxi companies have their own fleet of vehicles, and must have policies covering those vehicles and the drivers who operate them while carrying out the taxi company’s business.
Uber and Lyft drivers use their own vehicles, and as such, are required to have their own insurance policies. But on top of that, these companies also cover their drivers with additional policies that kick in when the driver is actually transporting a customer. And speaking of customers, these companies have policies to cover them as well. But, there are many types of common situations that arise when these policies might not cover either the driver or the rider, and that can leave vulnerable rideshare car accident injury victims in a difficult financial situation.
Uber and Lyft, like all other large corporations, are focused first and foremost on making a profit. And that is the exact goal they should be focused on. But when possible, they, or the big insurance companies they have polices with, may try and deflect the financial burden for damages sustained in a crash with an Uber or Lyft driver, onto other parties, in order to maintain their financial bottom line.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, it’s important that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as you are able, and after you’ve gotten any necessary medical care. These types of cases often involve multiple insurance companies and can be quite complex. The right attorney will be able to ascertain the details of your case, and let you know the best way to proceed.
Contact our Colorado Uber and Lyft Car Accident Attorneys Today
If you were injured in a car accident because of the negligent actions or a rideshare driver working for Uber or Lyft, consider putting our experienced Denver car accident attorneys on your side. At the Gold Law Firm, we work hard to achieve the maximum compensation for all of our clients. Contact attorney Gregory A. Gold or Sommer Luther of the Gold Law Firm today for a free consultation at (303) 694-4653.
The Gold Law Firm serves the victims of personal injury and insurance disputes throughout the state of Colorado, including Denver, Akron, Brush, Byers, Fort Morgan, Greeley, Holyoke, Strasburg, Weldona, Wiggins, and Yuma.