Today, many people in Chicago and throughout Illinois prefer using Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing services instead of taxis, trains and buses. As surveys show, people find that these services are easier to use and cheaper than other forms of transportation. However, the benefits come with risks. Uber and Lyft drivers get into accidents every day. Often, the ridesharing service drivers cause these crashes.
Did an Uber or Lyft driver hit you while you were driving, biking or walking? Were you a passenger in an Uber or Lyft car involved in a crash? If so, you should treat it like any other accident and immediately seek help from an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer.
The attorneys of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., understand the latest developments in Uber driver liability and Lyft driver liability in Chicago and Illinois. If you were injured in a ridesharing service accident, we will protect your rights and pursue all compensation available to you. To learn more, contact us today. Our initial consultations are always free.
How Safe Are Uber, Lyft and Other Ridesharing Services in Chicago?
Uber came to Chicago in 2011, and Lyft followed in 2013. Today, those two companies dominate the market. However, you can find many other ridesharing services in the city and suburbs such as Via and DivvyRide.
All of these services involve drivers who use their own cars to transport passengers. In this sense, the drivers with these ride-hailing companies are just like any other drivers you may encounter. Ridersharing drivers can engage in the types of careless and reckless conduct that causes accidents, including:
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
The ridesharing companies and the cities and states in which they operate have tried to increase the safety of ridesharing passengers and others on the road. Both Uber and Lyft conduct background checks before they bring drivers aboard, while Chicago’s “transportation network provider” rules require drivers to also take an online course and get a special chauffer’s license before they accept rides in the city.
Additionally, both companies set certain standards for the vehicles which their drivers use. The Chicago ordinance requires that the ridesharing vehicle be no more than six years old, or else the vehicle must be inspected semi-annually.
Despite these steps, ridesharing drivers can still present danger. For instance, an Uber driver in Schaumburg recently was charged being under the influence of alcohol while he drove a passenger, The Daily Herald reports.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a crash that involved an Uber or Lyft driver, our law firm will thoroughly investigate your case to determine if the driver’s negligence played a role. If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering and more.
Can I Sue Uber or Lyft in Chicago If a Driver Hits My Car?
If a negligent Uber or Lyft driver hit you while you were driving, biking or walking in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois, you may have the right to pursue a personal injury claim. Your claim could possibly seek compensation through:
- The driver’s personal insurance
- The ridesharing company’s insurance coverage
- Both the driver’s and company’s insurance
- Your own auto insurance coverage.
The insurance that covers your injuries will largely depend on what the driver was doing when the accident occurred. Here are three scenarios:
- The driver was “offline”
If the driver was in “off” mode when your accident happened, then you would likely file a claim through the driver’s personal auto insurance liability coverage. Some drivers carry special ridesharing insurance coverage. However, other drivers may carry a policy that excludes coverage of “commercial activity.” We will closely examine the driver’s policy in your case and vigorously protect your right to be compensated if the insurer tries to avoid paying your claim.
- The driver was logged in, waiting for a request
If the driver was online and waiting to receive a rider request at the time of the crash, you could bring a claim through the driver’s insurance and/or the ridesharing company’s insurance. Both Uber and Lyft provide their drivers with liability coverage that covers this scenario in the following amounts:
- $50,000 for bodily injury per person
- $100,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage per accident.
Lyft describes its coverage as “contingent liability coverage.” This coverage would pay for your losses if the driver’s “personal insurance does not respond.”
- The driver was picking up or transporting a passenger
After an Uber or Lyft driver accepts a ride, and until that ride ends, the driver should be covered by the company’s primary liability insurance. So, if a driver injures you while en route to pick up a passenger or while carrying a passenger, you could file a claim through that policy. Both Uber and Lyft provide $1 million in total coverage.
In order to maximize your recovery, an experienced personal injury attorney from Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., will explore all other options available to you. For instance, if your losses exceed the amount of coverage available through the driver’s and/or ridesharing company’s insurance, you may be eligible to file a claim through your own underinsured motorist (UIM) policy.
What Are Passenger Rights for Uber and Lyft Passengers in Chicago?
Passengers in Uber accidents and Lyft accidents can suffer serious injuries that require costly medical treatment, keep them from working and cause severe pain and suffering. If you were passenger in a ridesharing crash, your options for recovering compensation may include:
- Filing a claim against the other driver
If another driver was at fault for your crash, you could file a claim against that driver just as you would in any auto accident case. But what happens if that driver has no insurance or has insurance that fails to fully cover all of your losses? Fortunately, both Uber and Lyft provide uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage that covers passengers who are injured in crashes. The policies provide $1 million of total coverage for bodily injury.
- Filing a claim against the driver and/or Uber or Lyft
If you were a ridesharing passenger, and the Uber or Lyft driver caused a crash that injured you, then you would have the right to bring a claim against the driver and/or the ridesharing company. Again, both Uber and Lyft provide liability insurance coverage of $1 million for bodily injury.
How Can Our Lawyers Help with Your Uber or Lyft Accident Claim?
The lawyers of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., can provide an immediate, free consultation about your ridesharing accident. The consultation will be completely confidential and carry no obligations.
If we move forward together in your case, we will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident. We will determine who was at fault and examine other potentially important issues in your case such as:
- Did Uber or Lyft conduct an adequate background check before hiring the driver?
- Was the driver’s car in compliance with the ridesharing company’s standards and/or local regulations?
- Did the driver have a required chauffer’s license?
- Did Uber or Lyft receive any complaints about the driver and, if so, what actions did the company take?
Our law firm also will review your medical records in order to determine the full extent of your injuries. We may consult with experts such as life-care planners or economists to assess the impact of the crash on your future.
We will review what insurance policies apply to your case and work directly with the insurers to seek a settlement that justly compensates you for the physical, emotional and financial harm you have suffered. If necessary, we will be ready to present a strong case for you in court.
What Should I Do After a Ridesharing Accident in Chicago?
If you are involved in a car accident that involves an Uber, Lyft or other ridesharing driver, you can take immediate steps to protect your legal rights. In addition to getting in touch with Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., you should:
- Get immediate medical attention. You need to get checked for injuries and start treatment right away.
- Report the accident to your insurer and the ridesharing company. However, when you make your report, just stick to the basic facts.
- Order a copy of the crash report. Within a few days after the accident, you should be able to get a report through the law enforcement agency that responded to your crash or by going online.
- Gather all of your information. You should collect all documents related to your accident, including medical bills, receipts from other accident-related expenses, accident scene photos and insurance company letters.
- Refer the insurance company to your lawyer. You should not give a recorded statement or accept a settlement offer after a ridesharing accident until you speak with your attorney first.
Contact Our Chicago Uber & Lyft Accident Attorneys Today
With a record of results that includes more than 260 multi-million dollar settlements, Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., has the skill, experience, and resources you need to protect your rights and pursue just compensation after a ridesharing accident. If you suffered injuries in a crash involving an Uber or Lyft driver in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois, contact us for a free consultation.