Rideshare programs, such as Uber and Lyft, are very popular in big cities like Chicago. While Uber and Lyft are the most well-known rideshare services available, there are several other companies providing these services. Rideshare drivers now account for a significant percentage of the vehicles on the road.
Unfortunately, Uber and Lyft drivers are involved in accidents every day. When they do, serious injuries and damages can arise.
The question is – what are your legal rights, and who can you recover compensation from?
Retaining an experienced personal injury attorney is critical for the success of your case and to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries and losses. At Drake & Collopy, P.C., our experienced legal team understands the laws related to rideshare services, and we are dedicated to helping you recover the compensation you deserve after an accident. The first step is to get in touch with us to discuss your situation. Consultations are always free of charge.
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Understanding Rideshare Services in Chicago
Ridesharing is an affordable and convenient way for commuters to get where they need to go. It also allows passengers to secure a ride in almost any location, from an app, rather than trying and “wave down” a taxi. The popularity of these services is also because of how flexible they are. Passengers are in control of the pickup time, route, and more.
While rideshare services are beneficial and may even help reduce the number of impaired and drunk drivers on the road, there are also risks. Rideshare drivers are not required to go through the rigorous process of obtaining a Public Chauffer license like taxi drivers are. They may be more likely to engage in distracted driving than other drivers because of the need to monitor the rideshare app and/or navigation to unfamiliar locations.
Insurance Coverage for Chicago Rideshare Accidents
If a rideshare driver’s negligence caused or contributed to a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. That compensation may come from one or a combination of several sources, depending on the facts of the situation, including:
- The rideshare company’s insurance policy
- The driver’s personal insurance policy
- Your own auto insurance policy
The insurance that will apply depends on the particular situation. A careful examination of the facts is required to determine which insurance coverage applies. There are three possible scenarios:
1. The driver was offline at the time of the accident
If the driver was not logged in to the rideshare app at the time of the accident, the driver’s personal auto insurance will typically apply. However, the driver’s insurance policy may exclude coverage for use of the vehicle for commercial purposes. In that situation, the driver’s insurance company may deny coverage for the accident. If that happens, it may be necessary to pursue your own insurance policy for uninsured motorist coverage. In other cases, it may be necessary to pursue your own insurance for underinsured motorist coverage if your injuries and damages exceed the driver’s policy limit.
2. The driver was logged in and waiting for a request at the time of the accident
In this scenario, the driver’s insurance and/or the ridesharing company’s insurance may apply. Both Uber and Lyft provide their drivers with liability coverage that covers this scenario in the following amounts:
- $50,000for bodily injury per person
- $100,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage per accident.
It may also be necessary to pursue your own insurance policy for underinsured motorist coverage if your injuries and damages exceed the ridesharing company’s insurance policy limit.
3. The driver was en route to pick up a passenger or was transporting a passenger
If the driver was either en route to a passenger or transporting a passenger, the rideshare company’s insurance will apply. Both Uber and Lyft carry bodily injury insurance coverage up to $1 million.
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Reasons to Hire an Experienced Chicago Rideshare Accident Attorney
Studies have proven that victims of vehicle accidents recover significantly more compensation when they are represented by an attorney than trying to manage their accident claim on their own. This is especially true with the added complexities involved in rideshare accidents. Our team of legal professionals can provide you with effective and aggressive representation designed to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation. Some of the functions we perform include:
- Thoroughly investigating your accident
- Consulting with experts from various fields including medical experts, engineers, accident reconstructionists, vocational and economic experts, and life care planners
- Ensuring that all documents are filed properly and on time with the appropriate entities
- Investigating all potential defendants, insurance policies, and avenues of recovery
- Corresponding and negotiating with the responsible insurance companies on your behalf
- Preparing and presenting a persuasive case in court, arbitration, or mediation
- Negotiating and resolving any health care or other liens related to your case
At Drake & Collopy, P.C., we understand that an immediate and thorough investigation of every accident claim must be conducted. We will work to ensure that no important evidence is destroyed or lost during our investigation. We encourage you to get in touch right away to ensure we can protect the available evidence.
As mentioned above, we also use the services of qualified experts in order to prove who caused the accident, what injuries were caused by the accident, the future medical care required and the expected cost of future medical expenses due to the injuries, and the reduction in lifetime earning capacity as a result of the injuries.
When you hire our team, you will find that our goal is to build a strong personal injury claim from day one in order to secure maximum compensation. We promise aggressive representation against the at-fault parties and insurance companies and, if necessary, strong prosecution of the case in court to ensure you are compensated for all accident-related injuries and damages.
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Types of Damages That Can be Recovered in a Chicago Rideshare Accident
If you are involved in a rideshare accident, the types of compensation you may be able to recover include:
- Medical expenses: the cost of all related, reasonable, and necessary medical care, services, and treatment you receive and that you will require in the future.
- Pain and suffering: compensation for the pain you experienced because of the accident and injuries and any future pain and discomfort caused by a permanent condition.
- Lost income: compensation for all lost past and future profits or earnings. This also accounts for commissions, bonuses, fringe benefits, and other types of income you would have received if the injury did not occur.
- Loss of a normal life: if you are rendered disabled due to the accident and injury, you can recover compensation for being unable to participate in your normal life activities.
- Emotional distress: compensation for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health conditions related to the accident and injury.
- Damages for wrongful death: If you have a family member who passes away because of an accident or injury, it may be possible to recover for all related medical costs, pain and suffering by the decedent, loss of financial support, loss of companionship or consortium, and funeral and burial costs.
- Loss of consortium of spouse: compensation to a spouse who has lost the services, companionship, or intimacy of the injury victim because of the spouse’s injuries.
- Punitive damages: damages designed to punish someone for reckless or egregious misconduct.
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Hiring Drake & Collopy, P.C. to Handle your Rideshare Accident Claim
If you have been involved in a rideshare accident caused by someone else’s negligence, we recommend that you contact us right away. Our team will review and investigate the facts of your case and get to work right away to build a strong case. We will fight aggressively on your behalf to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation. The first step is to contact us to discuss your situation.