Uber & Lyft Rideshare Accident Lawyers

Getting a ride has never been easier.

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Getting a ride has never been easier. Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies have made it possible to arrange for almost-instant door-to-door transportation without making any phone calls or even exchanging hard cash. Commuters, tourists, and those going out for a few cocktails have made the most of these convenient services. For convenience and to avoid driving while under the influence, rideshare services are great. But they have also added a tremendous number of cars to Maine’s roads, increasing opportunities for accidents.

If you are injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, the road to compensation can have more twists and turns than you might expect. Specifically, there are more insurance policies to navigate, and untangling the potential snags is a job best left to the skilled Maine Uber & Lyft rideshare accident lawyers from Berman & Simmons. Our team is dedicated to fighting for victims’ rights, and we will work tirelessly to secure the compensation you need and deserve. 

Rideshare Accident Statistics

In its most recent safety report, Uber boasts its fatality rate for accidents involving Uber vehicles is half the national average. Of those fatal accidents, more than half of the vehicle operators demonstrated at least one risky driving behavior, speeding or driving under the influence. Further, 94% of the accidents were “related to third-party drivers.”

Both Uber and Lyft’s safety reports indicate that 99% of their respective rides were free of any safety incidents, and only .0002% involved critical safety events.

While those reports are impressive, research reported in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “stacks” suggests that “Ridesharing contributes to increased injury burden due to motor vehicle crashes, particularly for motorist and pedestrian injury crashes at trip nodes.” 

Despite the low fatalities and incidents reported by Uber and Lyft, they still pose risks. And even if only .0002% of their rides lead to death or injury, the individuals represented in that small percentage deserve fair compensation. 

Potential Victims and At-Fault Parties in a Rideshare Accidents

Victims of rideshare accidents have the right to hold the person who caused the accident responsible for the damage sustained from the incident. Victims may include:

  • The rideshare vehicle driver
  • Passengers in the rideshare vehicle
  • Another driver
  • Passengers in other vehicles
  • Pedestrians and cyclists

A critical element in securing a favorable outcome to a rideshare accident case is identifying the true at-fault party. 

While it may seem initially obvious who that party is, things are not always as they appear. The Uber & Lyft rideshare accident lawyers from Berman & Simmons have years of experience carrying out accident investigations and will work diligently to find the cause of your accident and identify the at-fault party.

The Rideshare Driver

Like any other driver, those operating rideshare vehicles can make mistakes or become distracted. Rideshare operators are constantly checking devices to follow routes and accept ride requests or messages from the rideshare company.

Drivers of Other Vehicles

Negligent or reckless behavior from other drivers puts everyone on the road at risk–including rideshare vehicle drivers and their passengers. Driver action or inaction contributed to 45,212 crashes in a recent year, according to the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) Highway Crash Statistics Report. Failing to yield right-of-way or stay in lane and driving too fast for conditions were some of the more frequent contributing actions.

Government Entities

Different government offices are assigned responsibilities for maintaining safe roads, whether by clearing ice and snow or other debris, fixing potholes, keeping road lines and markings visible, and ensuring roads are properly lit and traffic signals and signs are operational and visible. When these offices fail, accidents can result. 

Vehicle or Part Manufacturers

Drivers and passengers depend on manufacturers to produce safe vehicles and vehicle parts. If a driver races through a red light, it may seem that the driver is at fault for the resulting crash. However, further investigation may show the car had faulty brakes, and continued investigation will indicate whether those faulty brakes were defective when installed and then unnoticed during additional inspections. If the driver had the brakes repaired recently and mechanics failed to do their job, they may hold culpability.

Of course, brakes are not the only parts of a car that can fail. Bad tires, defective steering systems, and any other mechanical problem can cause an accident. Even if a mechanical issue does not cause the accident, if airbags fail to deploy upon impact from another cause, the consequences of that accident can be far worse, and victims may have grounds to hold the airbag manufacturers or installers responsible. 

Commercial Companies

When accidents happen with delivery trucks, semi-trucks, tour buses, or other commercial vehicles, the company represented by that vehicle may hold culpability. Companies are responsible for vetting, training, and continually evaluating their drivers, maintaining their vehicles, and adhering to all Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. 

Uber or Lyft

Rideshare companies protect themselves from most liability by “hiring” their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. It is difficult to hold them responsible even for accidents that are the rideshare driver’s fault. Still, the companies owe their customers some responsibility. If they had knowledge of a dangerous driver and failed to ban them from driving under the company’s name or commit some other act of negligence, the Uber & Lyft rideshare attorneys from Berman & Simmons will work to keep those companies accountable. 

Other Parties

Though rare, unruly, or violent, passengers in rideshare or other vehicles can contribute to an accident. Similarly, reckless or careless cyclists can swerve out of the lane or dart across a roadway, causing drivers to swerve and lose control. 

In Maine, there is also the possibility of wildlife-caused accidents. Though deer were the most common animal culprit, bears, moose, turkeys, and “all other animals” made up the MDOT’s crash report’s list of contributing accident factors. Uber & Lyft rideshare accident lawyers in Maine are familiar with these scenarios and can investigate to determine if the drivers involved took sufficient actions to avoid the crash or were driving while distracted and did not notice the animal until too late.

Insurance Considerations

Determining the at-fault party is critical in any motor vehicle accident. In rideshare-vehicle-involved accidents, determining exactly when the accident happened is another crucial element—the timing of the event factors heavily in which insurance company is accountable for paying victims compensation. 

All Maine drivers are legally required to carry minimum coverage for liability, medical payments, and uninsured or underinsured motorists (UM), according to the Maine Bureau of Insurance. If a rideshare operator is involved in an accident while not “on the job”(the rideshare app is not activated), their personal insurance applies.

Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies each follow a similar structure for ensuring rideshare drivers and passengers when drivers are on the job, but again, the timing of the accident matters. 

Rideshare Insurance Structure

Most rideshare companies, such as Uber and Lyft, follow similar insurance structures. Drivers with the app activated and awaiting a fare request have third-party liability coverage if that driver’s own insurance does not apply, with coverage including:

  • For bodily injury, per person: $50,000
  • For bodily injury per accident: $100,000
  • For property damage per accident: $25,000

Most likely, neither of the potential parties “on the hook” in these scenarios will volunteer to pay your damages if there is the possibility of blaming the other party and having them pay. Of course, this arguing will happen as you continue to suffer. Connect with the Uber & Lyft rideshare accident lawyers from Berman & Simmons to help bring this argument to a close so you can receive the compensation you need.

When rideshare operators have the app activated and are either traveling to a pickup or transporting vehicles, rideshare company insurance coverage includes:

  • For third-party liability: $1,000,000 covering property damage and injuries when the rideshare driver is at fault
  • Cost of repairs to the rideshare vehicle, up to its cash value and after a $2,500 deductible, contingent on the vehicle operator’s personal insurance collision coverage.

Again, to avoid having your needs lost among insurance company arguments, partner with an experienced Uber & Lyft rideshare accident lawyer in Maine. While insurance companies keep their interests front and center, your attorney will protect your best interests and well-being.

What a Settlement from an Uber or Lyft Rideshare Accident Can Cover

Rideshare accidents have physical, financial, and emotional consequences. One category of injury gives rise to the next. A fair settlement works to make the victim “whole” again–to the extent that is possible. While some injuries may never fully heal, the legal system allows victims to get acknowledgment of those losses through compensation paid by the at-fault party.

Every case is unique, but you can expect your attorney to seek compensation for your economic damages. Economic damages affect your bank account and include:

  • Medical expenses, including future care costs. Your attorney will consult with your medical team and caregivers to calculate the expected costs.
  • Property damage. If you were driving another car and hit by a rideshare vehicle, your car may need repairs or replacement. If you were in Uber or Lyft, you may have lost other personal property–devices or luggage, for example.
  • Income loss. While recovering from your injuries, you will likely lose income as you take time off to rehabilitate. Severe injuries may leave you unable to work permanently, in which case your lawyer will calculate your potential earnings and work benefits and factor those amounts into the settlement demand.
  • Any additional accident-caused costs. You may need to hire someone to care for your children, drive you or others in your family to work, school, activities, or appointments, or take care of other responsibilities you cannot manage on your own any longer.

Your physical injuries lead to many of these financial costs. But the injuries themselves and the emotional trauma they bring also deserve recognition, and your attorney will seek that recognition by demanding compensation for your non-economic losses. These include:

  • Your physical pain and emotional distress
  • Disfigurement or scarring
  • Permanent disability or loss of limb
  • Loss to your quality of life

These losses may not have a clear dollar amount, but they certainly have value. Trust your experienced lawyer to calculate the value of these damages. Your attorney will not overlook or underestimate any aspects of your suffering.

While not common, some victims are also awarded punitive damages in a personal injury settlement. Economic and non-economic damages compensate victims for their losses, but punitive damages punish the offender for especially egregious negligence. 

Collecting a settlement

Collecting a settlement requires proof of the at-fault party’s negligence. There are four components to negligence, and through a careful deep dive into your accident, your Uber & Lyft rideshare accident attorney in Maine will work to collect evidence proving all four components. 

First, you prove the at-fault party had a legal obligation to preserve your safety. This legal obligation is called a duty of care, and all drivers owe every other driver, pedestrian, or cyclist this duty. To this end, drivers must obey all traffic laws and rules of the road, drive “proactively” to avoid accidents, and refrain from any dangerous driving behaviors, such as driving while distracted or while under the influence, speeding, or operating the vehicle recklessly. 

Next, you must prove the driver breached this legal duty. They failed to uphold their obligation to preserve your safety. Then, you have to connect the breach to the accident, proving the breach–not some other factor–caused the accident. This step is why identifying the true at-fault party is so important. If a driver’s brakes failed, and that mechanical issue caused the accident, your attorney would work to prove the brake manufacturer (or inspector, installer, or repair mechanic, depending on the situation) breached their duty of care, not necessarily the driver. 

Finally, your attorney will calculate the damage you sustained in the accident, showing the measurable losses the accident caused by the at-fault party’s negligence cost you. 

Statute of Limitations

While many car accident cases settle out of court, it is still important to file a personal injury claim with the court before the statute of limitations–the legal deadline–ends. For most personal injury cases in Maine, the statute of limitations is six years

However, if unsafe road conditions or other issues under the authority of a government entity caused the accident, the rules for filing change. The claimant–you–must file a notice of claim within one year of the accident. 

Since it is not always clear who the true at-fault party is following an accident, connect with the team at Berman and Simmons as soon as possible. This way, whether you have six years or one year to file, your attorney will still have time to carry out a thorough investigation and compile evidence. Plus, insurance companies will start building their case right away. And if you are suffering, the sooner you start the claims process, the sooner you can hope to see financial recovery.

Factors Affecting Your Settlement

The extent of your injuries and the effects of those injuries on your life factor heavily in determining a settlement amount. Your lawyer’s knowledge, skill, and experience are additional factors, and the attorneys at Berman & Simmons have these factors covered, as our extensive history of success shows. 

Maine’s Negligence Laws

Maine’s modified comparative fault laws represent another factor potentially affecting your settlement amount. Under these laws, if you hold fault for the accident causing your injuries, you may see your compensatory damages reduced in proportion to that percentage of fault.

You can expect the at-fault party to work hard to find fault on your part. Their interpretation of events will probably differ from what you say happened and what your lawyer argues. They may reach out to you to “discuss” the accident and your losses and then twist your words into admissions of fault. Or, they may try to intimidate you into accepting their first offer, claiming it is the best you can hope for, or otherwise convince you into believing it is a generous, adequate amount.

Do not speak to the at-fault party’s insurance team. When you secure representation from an attorney, your attorney manages all communication with those representatives, protecting you from insurance companies’ unethical tactics and from their attempts to saddle you with unfair culpability that could reduce your settlement.

We Help Mainers Move Forward

If you have been laid low by an accident involving a rideshare vehicle, the Uber & Rideshare accident lawyers from Berman & Simmons are ready to help you move toward recovery and a more hopeful future. The consequences of a car accident can reach into all areas of your life, and when that accident is the fault of another party, you should not be left paying the bills for those consequences or left without acknowledgment for your pain and suffering. 

Connect with a call or an electronic message, and we will schedule a time to review your case for free. There is no financial risk to you. When we decide to take your case, we are so confident in our ability to secure a settlement that we accept no payments until you have received that settlement. Reach out today.

Let Us Help You Win

A Law Firm That Listens

We have helped countless victims who have been harmed in motorcycle accidents and we understand the challenges you face. We realize that beyond the physical struggles, the emotional and financial impacts can be overwhelming.

Our lawyers and staff members take the time to listen to you, understand your concerns, and come up with solutions that can make your life better, including obtaining payment for or deferral of your debts until your case is resolved.

Get Peace of Mind

It never hurts to consult an attorney regardless of whether you decide to move forward.

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    Many states have strict deadlines for filing personal injury claims.

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    The other insurance company is likely already building their client’s case against you.

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    Witnesses may become unavailable and evidence may be lost or degraded with time.

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    You’ll need help navigating your medical care and dealing with financial pressures.

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    You need peace of mind to focus on your recovery.

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  • What do I prepare for the first call or meeting with you?

    For your first meeting with us, simply tell us your story and explain in your own words what happened and how your life has been affected. If you’re meeting with us in person, you can bring notes about what happened to you, driver insurance information, names of any witnesses, photos of the accident damages or injuries, medical records, and other related paperwork if you have it and if it’s applicable, but that information isn’t necessary. Really all you need to do is be yourself, speak with us honestly, and be willing to tackle your problems with us.

    Initial conversations between potential clients and our staff members are often done over the phone. Rest assured that everything we discuss is confidential and protected under law.

  • How much will a lawyer cost me?

    The lawyers at Berman & Simmons work on a contingency basis. That means you pay nothing up front and nothing unless we settle or win your case. We will consult with you, evaluate your situation, and do initial research free of charge. This is true even if we decide you don’t have a valid claim. We will also cover all necessary case expenses and you will not be obligated to reimburse us until and unless we recover monies on your behalf. if we do take your case and win a settlement or a jury verdict in your favor, a percentage of the compensation goes to pay for our costs and the work done by our legal team.

  • How will I know if I have a case?

    To pursue a case, we will need to prove that you suffered a substantial personal injury and the injury was directly caused by the negligence of another party. A bad result alone is not enough to establish negligence. We let you know upfront if we are able to move forward with the legal process, or if we don’t think you have a case. Generally, we will know if you have a case after our first phone call or meeting.

    If we believe you have a valid claim and decide to move forward with litigation, our attorneys and staff will then take it from there and do everything else that needs to be done, including obtaining and reviewing records relevant to your case, such as accident reports and other law enforcement documents, employer records, medical records, and other information.

  • How long will it take to resolve my case?

    Every case is different, and there is no way to predict how long it will take for your case to be resolved. Some cases end in a matter of months, while the most complex and challenging cases, such as a medical malpractice case, can span several years. The vast majority of cases, however, are resolved before a trial and usually within a year.

    The goal is to make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, no matter how long it takes whether that comes in the form of a pre-trial settlement, or with a jury verdict in your favor.

  • How much is my case worth?

    There are many factors that need to be considered when determining the value of your case. Every case is unique and it takes a team effort — including your attorney, staff researchers, and outside experts — to determine the extent of your damages and how much your case is worth. There are two types of damages for which you could receive
    compensation: Economic and non-economic.

    If your case goes to trial and a jury agrees you deserve compensation, the jury members will decide how much the money you should receive for each category of damages.

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