Denver Rideshare Accident Lawyer for Lyft and Uber Accidents in Colorado
As rideshares become an increasingly traditional way to get around in Colorado and across the country, traffic accidents involving drivers for Uber, Lyft and similar companies are also on the rise. When those crashes happen, they can raise complicated legal issues about liability for injuries caused by the collision. Without the help of a Denver rideshare accident lawyer, an accident victim can miss out on top compensation.
At Levine Law, we help people injured in Uber and Lyft crashed and other types of accidents get back on their feet with the full compensation available under the law. We are nationally recognized trial lawyers who work aggressively to resolve these cases without lengthy and costly court battles.
Our firm has a strong track record of successful results, including several six- and seven-figure settlements over 25 years of legal practice in Denver and across the state. We are so confident in our ability that we regularly offer contingency fee arrangements, meaning that we do not get paid unless we successfully resolve your case.
Who is Responsible for a Rideshare Accident Under Colorado Law?
Colorado is an “at fault” and “comparative negligence” state when it comes to liability for car accidents.
The driver who caused the crash (or his or her insurance company) is obligated to cover the money damages for anyone injured in the collision. That includes compensation for medical bills, property damage, missed wages and other impacts of the injuries.
In situations in which the injured person is partially to blame, he or she can still recover a share of the damages that is reduced based on proportionate fault. That is, so long as the person is not found to be 50% or more at fault for the crash.
Typically, companies are legally liable for accidents caused by employees when they are acting in the ordinary course of their jobs. Uber and Lyft drivers, however, are primarily considered independent contractors instead of employees. Although both companies may offer some insurance coverage in certain situations, they often fight full liability for collisions caused by their drivers. In some cases, the companies may also be liable for negligent hiring if they did not properly vet a driver before allowing the person to hit the road.
For example, Uber’s insurance policy does not cover accidents that happen when the app is turned off, and they limit coverage for crashes that occur while a driver is available and waiting for a ride request. The policy offers up to $1 million in third party liability coverage for accidents that happen when a driver is on the way to pick up a passenger or is completing a trip.
Also, insurance companies often play hardball with people injured in car crashes. They will regularly look to force quick settlements for pennies on the dollar. That is why it is vital to consult an experienced Denver rideshare accident attorney before you accept any deal.
Common Causes of Colorado Rideshare Accidents
Like other car crashes, rideshare accidents can happen in many different ways, from a low-speed fender bender in a retail parking lot to a multi-car wreck on a busy highway. They can also be caused by a variety of factors.
A Denver rideshare accident lawyer at our firm will tell you that some of the most common causes of Uber and Lyft crashes are:
- Driver fatigue: Rideshare companies put little or no limits on how long drivers stay on the road. In addition, many rideshare drivers get behind the wheel after working full-time jobs. This can create dangerous situations in which drivers are not able to remain awake and alert, increasing the risk of a crash.
- Poor vehicle maintenance: Uber and Lyft put the responsibility for maintaining cars in a safe condition on drivers, with few or no checks to ensure that rideshare vehicles are in good working order. Combine that with the low wages the drivers often earn on the apps and you can see why many rideshare vehicles are not properly maintained.
- Aggressive or unsafe driving: Rideshare apps give drivers a huge incentive to complete trips as quickly as possible by paying per trip rather than based on time behind the wheel. This causes some drivers to cut corners and disregard speed limits and other traffic laws, putting everyone on the road at risk.
An experienced Denver rideshare accident attorney will investigate the crash to determine the cause and identify those responsible. A lawyer will also help you understand your rights and explore your options for obtaining compensation.
Our Denver Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyers Explain Rideshare Insurance Policy Limits
Uber and Lyft drivers are required to provide proof of insurance when they initially sign up to drive for the companies, but it is unclear whether or how they must prove that they continue to be insured once they hit the road.
The companies also offer some insurance coverage to drivers, which has some significant limits. The policies do not cover accidents that happen when a driver is not logged into the app, for instance.
Here is how the insurance policies work in other situations:
- Driver is online and waiting for a passenger: Both companies offer up to $50,000 per person in bodily injury coverage, up to a maximum of $100,000 per accident. They provide an additional $25,000 in coverage for property damage.
- Driver is making a trip or on the way to pick up a passenger: Uber and Lyft provide up to $1 million in coverage for both bodily injury and property damage.
These limits do not necessarily cap the amount of compensation that a person injured in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle can obtain.
A Denver rideshare accident lawyer at Levine Law will help you explore other sources of compensation, including under the driver’s personal insurance policy and potentially by pursuing a lawsuit against the driver and the rideshare companies. A Lyft or Uber accident attorney will also determine whether other drivers and third parties like vehicle manufacturers may be liable for the crash.
FAQs: Understanding Your Legal Rights After a Rideshare Accident in Denver
Can I Sue Uber or Lyft If I was Hit By a Rideshare Driver?
The answer depends on whether Uber or Lyft is responsible for the crash. If the rideshare company is responsible for the accident, then you may have grounds to sue. However, if the rideshare company is not responsible, then you may have a claim against the rideshare driver’s insurance company (or a third party) instead.
How Will I Know if Uber or Lyft is Legally Responsible for My Rideshare Accident?
Determining legal responsibility depends on the specific circumstances involved. Since Uber and Lyft drivers are not classified as “employees,” these companies are not necessarily liable whenever a rideshare driver causes a crash. However, if a crash occurs because Uber or Lyft was negligent (i.e., the company failed to adequately screen a high-risk driver), then the company could be held legally responsible. As mentioned above, both of these companies carry liability insurance that applies when their drivers cause accidents while logged into their apps.
What are My Rights If I was Injured While Driving for Uber or Lyft?
If you were injured while driving for Uber or Lyft, your rights are the same as they would be after any other type of car accident. You can pursue a claim against the at-fault party (assuming you were not at fault), and you can seek to recover full compensation for all of your accident-related losses. This includes not only your property damage and medical bills, but also your loss of income, pain and suffering, and other financial and non-financial losses.
How Are Rideshare Accident Cases Different from Other Types of Car Accident Cases?
Fundamentally, rideshare accident cases are not different from other types of accident cases. The only major difference is that some accident victims will have an additional source of financial recovery in the form of a claim against Uber or Lyft. If you have been injured in a rideshare accident, you still need to see a doctor right away, you need to be careful when dealing with the insurance companies, and you will need to speak with a Denver rideshare accident lawyer as soon as possible.
What if the Rideshare Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
While Colorado law requires all rideshare drivers to carry auto insurance, some, unfortunately, do not comply with the law. If you were involved in a rideshare accident and the driver said he or she was uninsured, you should talk to a lawyer to find out what options you have available. Even if it proves to be true that the rideshare driver was uninsured, there could still be a variety of claims you can file to recover the financial compensation you deserve.
Does My Auto Insurance Apply If I Was Injured While Riding in an Uber or Lyft Vehicle?
If you were injured in an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, your auto insurance policy may apply. Many policies provide coverage for policyholders even if they are not driving their own vehicles when they get injured. When you contact us for a free consultation, we can determine if you can (and should) file a claim with your auto insurance company.
Contact a Denver Rideshare Accident Lawyer Today After a Crash in an Uber or Lyft
If you or a loved one has been injured in a rideshare crash or other accident in Colorado, a Denver Uber or Lyft accident attorney at Levine Law can help you understand your legal rights and options for seeking compensation. Our firm is pleased to serve clients throughout Colorado, including Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins, and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver accident lawyer.