When a driver behaves negligently behind the wheel and causes an accident, those who sustain injuries in that accident have the right under Indiana law to file a lawsuit and seek compensation from the negligent driver. This right still exists if the driver was operating as a rideshare driver for a company like Uber or Lyft.
While you may not necessarily be able to name the rideshare company directly in your suit, you can recover compensation through the driver’s insurance coverage, which utypically coverage that the rideshare company provides to all of its drivers.
Be wary, however, that you only have a limited amount of time to file your lawsuit before your opportunity expires.
To get experienced, dedicated legal help on your side, reach out to the Indiana Uber and Lyft accident lawyers at Wruck Paupore. When you call our offices at (219) 322-1166, we can provide you with a free first-time case assessment to help you get started toward recovery the right way.
If you were injured in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver’s negligence, you likely can file a lawsuit to recover damages or seek settlement against the Uber or Lyft driver’s insurance. However, your legal action will not be against the rideshare company directly.
There are some instances where an accident injury victim could sue an employer for their employee’s negligent driving while working for the employer. However, the law does not classify rideshare drivers as employees. Rather, drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft are independent contractors, meaning that they are technically self-employed.
The only instances in which Uber or Lyft might be directly liable for injuries are where the company’s own negligence contributed to the victim’s injuries. Several cases have recently made the news where rideshare passengers sued the rideshare company for injuries sustained in accidents where their driver was intoxicated and had a prior history of DUIs. Our Indianapolis Uber and Lyft accident lawyers stay current with all developments in the law so that our clients can make the best decisions for their monetary recovery.
One of the biggest benefits if you are injured because of the negligence of an Uber or Lyft driver - or by someone else’s negligence while you are and Uber or Lyft passenger - is that you will typically have more insurance available to you to pay your damages than you might in other situations.
As of this writing, Uber provides its drivers with $1,000,000 in third-party liability coverage for accidents that occur while an Uber driver is en route to a pickup or during trips. This insurance also applies to Uber drivers who are making deliveries through UberEats.
Uber also provides $1,000,000 uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to passengers, so if you are hurt due to another driver’s fault while you are an Uber passenger, you will be able to seek recovery from Uber’s insurance for your damages.
At the time of this publication, Lyft provides the same limits of insurance to its drivers as Uber does under the same circumstances.
Since you likely cannot name the rideshare company itself in the lawsuit, your best bet is to name the negligent rideshare driver themselves. All drivers, including rideshare drivers, are obligated under Indiana law to obtain at least a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage that will kick in to cover damages awarded in a lawsuit.
Additionally, companies like Uber and Lyft provide additional coverage that will apply to accidents their drivers cause while on the job. This could mean any period where the driver is headed to pick up a fare, actively transporting a fare, or simply waiting for a fare assignment with their rideshare application open and active. Different policies might apply to different situations.
However, you should not rule out the possibility that another driver was responsible for causing the accident. Even if you were a passenger in the rideshare vehicle, you can still sue another driver for causing the accident and recover damages from them and their insurance provider – as well as Uber or Lyft’s insurance if the other driver does not carry enough insurance to pay your damages.
To determine who was to blame for causing the accident that injured you, reach out to an experienced Hammond, IN Uber and Lyft accident lawyer who can help assess your experience for fault and correctly name the party to blame.
Because every accident, injury, and victim is different, it is too difficult to predict how much one might obtain through their own unique lawsuit. However, our seasoned Indiana Uber and Lyft accident attorneys can walk you through the process of calculating damages so that you have a reasonable understanding of what to expect.
Injury victims can recover compensation for their direct economic losses sustained because of the accident and resulting injuries, such as medical expenses and lost income because of missed time at work. You may also recover damages based on your pain and suffering. In certain cases where the defendant acted particularly recklessly, the court may determine that they deserve additional punishment and award punitive damages.
With the help of a Fort Wayne Uber and Lyft accident attorney, you can put a reasonable estimate on the value of your case, which you can use to determine your next steps, including evaluating potential settlement offers.
If you hope to pursue damages in court after being injured by a negligent Uber or Lyft driver, you will have to abide by Indiana’s strict statute of limitations. The statute of limitations puts a deadline on how long an injury victim can wait before filing their formal complaint in court. The time limit is only two years for car accident injury cases, including those caused by rideshare drivers.
This two-year window starts on the date that the accident occurred. If you do not file before the two-year period elapses, the court will likely dismiss your case, leaving you without any monetary recovery. The pre-filing phase for any civil personal injury lawsuit can take some time, so you will want to get started on your case as soon as possible to avoid running up against your deadline.
Acting early on your claim has other added benefits as well. It may be harder to gather and introduce evidence as time passes, particularly when it comes to eyewitness testimony. When you get a lawyer early on, you can avoid communicating with insurance company representatives, who may attempt to convince you to take a bad settlement deal or make statements that they can use against you in court. And, of course, the sooner you file your claim, the sooner you will recover the compensation that you deserve to help you recuperate from your injuries in comfort.
To get a free initial case assessment to help you seek justice, call the offices of Wruck Paupore’s seasoned South Bend Uber and Lyft accident attorneys at (219) 322-1166.
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Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.
More importantly, Don understands representing personal injury victims is about more than recovering the best settlement: it’s about helping clients get back on their feet and supporting them in every aspect of their recovery.
In nearly all cases, our clients seek compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance company. Before forming Wruck Paupore, Jason worked for a prominent law firm representing some of the world’s largest insurers. This experience gives Jason a deep understanding of the insurance industry and the strategies it uses to pay injury victims as little as possible.
Jason -- and our entire team -- put this inside knowledge to work to force insurance companies to pay what is actually owed. Often, we use the insurance company’s own tactics against them as we fight for the full compensation our client deserves.
For more than four decades, Keith has been fighting for injury victims. During that time, he’s watched the insurance industry change, with insurers now more interested in protecting their stock price than treating injury victims fairly.
Since the beginning, Keith has put people first. From his childhood in Gary, Indiana during the 1960’s and working his way through law school, Keith has risen to become one of the Midwest’s most respected trial lawyers. He has never forgotten that being a lawyer is about helping people -- and seeing injury victims through struggles in a way that could change their lives forever.
Over the decades, Keith, Don and Jason have fought relentlessly for clients, even when other lawyers have said the case was impossible to win.