Since launching in 2010 and 2012, respectively, Uber’s and Lyft’s ride-share services have exploded, disrupting the transportation market and kick-starting the creation of a whole new class of “gig workers.” In 2021 alone, customers took just over $6 billion total Uber trips worldwide.
Uber and Lyft accidents, like any car accident, can have devastating consequences. These accidents leave people with injuries ranging from whiplash to broken bones to traumatic brain injury or death. More so than with other car accidents, however, Uber and Lyft accident claims can be difficult for people to navigate on their own. That’s why it’s important to have a Pensacola Uber accident attorney on your side.
How Can a Lawyer Help After an Uber or Lyft Accident?
While you focus on recovering physically and emotionally, a Pensacola ride-share accident lawyer can investigate your claim. They have experience battling with Uber, Lyft, and their ride-share insurance companies, fighting to ensure that auto accident victims receive due compensation.
The Pensacola Uber and Lyft accident attorneys at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon regularly navigate the back and forth with ride-share insurance companies. We know the tactics that insurance companies and big ride-share companies may use to save money, and we have the resources to take on these billion dollar ride-share companies.
What Kind of Insurance Coverage Does Uber and Lyft Have?
Uber and Lyft have vested interests in restricting the amount of money that they pay out. To that end, both Uber and Lyft have tiered insurance policies, with specific events triggering different coverage. For example, one of the triggers is whether the app is on or off at the time of the accident.
Note that the coverage that Uber and Lyft post online may not be the actual policy. Like Lyft notes on its website, “coverage may be modified to the extent allowed by law.” Having an attorney in your corner is critical to make sure that you know what policy applies to your accident. Insurance companies may try to take advantage of you by making you believe that the policy doesn’t cover your situation. An attorney can stay a step ahead of the insurance and ride-share companies.
Uber’s Insurance Policy
Whether Uber’s insurance policies covers the accident depends in part on whether the driver’s app is on at the time of the accident. If the app is offline or the Driver app is off, then Uber’s insurance company may not cover the situation. The question then becomes whether the app was, in fact, offline or off at the time of the accident. A Pensacola Uber accident lawyer can help you request the evidence you need in this situation.
If the app is on, then Uber’s insurance policy may cover the accident. Uber’s Florida certificate of insurance coverage indicates that the policy may cover up to $1,000,000 total in bodily injury and property damage. For this to apply, the driver needs to have accepted a ride and be in transit at the time of the accident.
Lyft’s Insurance Policy
Like Uber, Lyft also carries insurance policies that may only kick in if the app is on and the driver is on the job. According to Lyft’s Florida certificate of insurance, the insurance company may cover up to $1,000,000 in bodily injury and property damage. This policy applies only if the accident is a “covered accident.” A Pensacola Lyft accident lawyer at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon has the skills and knowledge to help you recover what you deserve under the law.
What Does the Uber and Lyft Accident Claim Process Look Like?
So you have reported the accident to the police and, if need be, to Uber and Lyft. What next? What does the claim process look like for an Uber or Lyft accident?
The Parties in an Uber or Lyft Accident Claim
Ride-share accidents are unique in part because of the different parties involved in the claims process. In a regular accident, you, the other driver, and your respective insurance companies need to settle things.
With ride-share accidents, dispute resolution may also involve:
- Uber or Lyft driver,
- Uber or Lyft driver’s personal insurance company,
- Uber or Lyft driver’s ride-share insurance company,
- The ride-share company (Uber or Lyft, e.g.),
- The other driver, and
- The other driver’s insurance company.
If and when any of the above parties hire an attorney, then the attorneys will communicate on behalf of their clients. If not, then any unrepresented individual will have to communicate with the other parties on their own.
Filing an Insurance Claim
Reporting the accident to police and to the appropriate ride-share company starts the claims process. The ride-share insurance company will investigate the claim, including reviewing accident reports and determining which policy applies. If it determines that the policy doesn’t cover the accident, then the claim may fall to the driver’s personal insurance company.
Negotiating with the Insurance Companies
Having a Lyft accident lawyer in Pensacola to help you at this early stage is important. Frequently, insurance companies will attempt to persuade accident victims to accept a lower settlement amount than they deserve. They may be intentionally quick to offer you a settlement in the hopes that you’ll be just as quick to accept it. Unless you have an attorney on your side who says otherwise, accepting this first offer is ill-advised.
A Pensacola Uber accident attorney knows what a good offer might look like for a given case. The Pensacola ride-share accident lawyers at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon are here to help evaluate and investigate your claim. We take pride in our strong advocacy skills and ability to shield our clients from insurance companies. We will negotiate with the insurance company to make sure that the settlement offer we recommend is a good offer for you.
Preparing for and Going to Trial
If the insurance company doesn’t offer you what you deserve, then going to trial may be necessary. To prepare for trial, each side gathers evidence through discovery and taking depositions. Discovery is where the parties send to each other written questions or requests for documents. Depositions are where the parties interview people (parties, witnesses, e.g.) about the accident. This process is helpful to gather critical evidence and to develop a trial strategy.
At trial, each side will present their evidence to the judge and, if applicable, the jury. At the conclusion, the jury (if a jury trial) or the judge (if a bench trial) will decide who wins the case.
You Need the Pensacola Ride-Share Accident Attorneys at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon
Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon has been in business for over 100 years. In those 100 years, clients continuously praise us for our unwavering commitment to our clients and their recovery. We don’t take any money from you unless we win your case. We are one of Pensacola’s oldest and largest law firms, equipping us to take on any adversary. Contact us online or call us today at (850) 444-4878.