Crash with UBER or Lyft Driver? What happens if you are in an accident with a driver using one of the popular rideshare apps? Should you contact a personal injury law firm?

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Since 2009, when Uber launched in San Francisco, ride share apps have become extremely popular and are available to take people from Point A to Point B almost everywhere in the world. Uber and Lyft are the two largest ride sharing apps in the world. In 2017, Uber had over 7 million drivers.

No doubt the ride sharing apps have provided a much-needed convenience, but what has their impact been on safety on the roads? On the one hand, Uber and Lyft provide a safe way home for people after a night of drinking, and there is some evidence that these ride share apps have reduced drunk driving. But there is also evidence that links the increased popularity of ride share services to an increase in fatal car crashes. This evidence largely concludes that the increase in cars on the road as a result of Uber and Lyft has increased the number of traffic related deaths.

A more relevant question for many users of these ride share apps is what happens if they get injured in a crash while riding with an Uber or Lyft driver? Or similarly, what happens if they are travelling in another car and are hit by an Uber or Lyft driver? The answer is that these crashes are the same as any other crash as far as determining who is at fault and responsible, but the insurance company that pays the claim may be different.

In any car accident, the person who causes the accident or is to blame is responsible for any injury suffered by other parties. In some states, like Iowa, the owner of the vehicle may also be responsible, and if the driver was working at the time of the crash the driver’s employer may also be responsible. But Uber and Lyft don’t own the vehicles used for the service and they have repeatedly argued that the drivers are not their employees and so it is probably difficult to sue Uber or Lyft for an accident caused by one of their drivers. But that also likely doesn’t matter.

In almost all car accidents, the insurance company for the negligent driver pays any damages caused by the driver. Uber requires all of their drivers to carry car insurance. The driver’s personal auto insurance applies when the driver does not have their app on and is not taking riders. If an Uber driver has the app on and is simply available to drive or waiting for a driver, Uber provides insurance to that driver for injuries in the amount of $50,000 per person or a total of $100,000 per accident. If an Uber driver is traveling to pick up a passenger or has a passenger in the car, Uber provides $1,000,000 in liability insurance.

If you have been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, there are a few things you may want to do:

  1. Get a copy of the police report;

  2. Get any medical care that you need;

  3. Make sure you have the contact information for all of the drivers involved; and

  4. Decide if you want to speak with a car accident injury attorney.

Personal injury claims involving Uber or Lyft drivers can present somewhat complicated insurance coverage questions. It may be beneficial to speak with a car accident injury attorney before deciding how best to pursue your claim for injuries.

If you have questions about an Iowa car accident, please call our office at (319) 826-2250.

Accidents and Brain Injuries - When to Call a Personal Injury Law Firm

According the CDC, traumatic brain injury is a major cause of death and disability in the United States, but often can be the last injury diagnosed when someone has been in an accident because of other, more obvious physical injuries.

But the statistics about brain injuries are staggering:

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  1. There are nearly 3 million hospital visits and deaths in the US each year;

  2. Nearly 330,000 children are treated for brain injuries each year; and

  3. Car accidents are the third leading cause of brain injuries in the US.

Because car accidents are a major cause of brain injuries, in fact car accidents are the leading cause of brain injury in people age 15-44, many people who have suffered a brain injury have a personal injury claim. Oftentimes, a brain injury is not immediately obvious, and a brain injury can occur from a sudden jolt to the head or body even if you didn’t strike your head. The Mayo Clinic lists physical symptoms as including headaches, dizziness, sleep problems and difficulty with speech. Mental symptoms include memory and concentration problems, changes in mood and feeling depressed or anxious.

As a personal injury law firm, we have represented numerous victims of head injury, and their families often describe them as completely changed people.

Personal injury claims for persons with a brain injury require different types of evidence than claims where the injury is easy to see on an x-ray. It’s often necessary to obtain expert opinions from multiple physicians and psychiatrists specializing in brain injury. Equally important are getting as many witnesses as possible who have observed changes in the person because of the brain injury.

Oftentimes, insurance companies do not place a high enough value on what has been taken from someone who has suffered a brain injury. An experienced personal injury law firm can help gather the necessary evidence to help a jury understand just how devastating this injury is.

If you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury through the fault of another and you would like more information about your options, please call our office at (319) 826-2250.

The above information is meant to be helpful but does not replace advice you may receive from an attorney you have an attorney-client relationship with.