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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

Staying Safe with Rideshares—What Can You Do to Avoid Lyft and Uber Accidents in Iowa?

In recent years, the popularity of rideshares, such as Lyft and Uber, has sky-rocketed. That is because of convenience and cost. Rideshares provide travelers with an easy and convenient way to reach their destination.

Lyft and Uber offer mobile apps with tracking capabilities, so customers know when their ride will arrive. Automated billing makes the payment process easy. Additionally, traveling this way may be safer regarding who the drivers are.

Background checks are performed on rideshare drivers, and passengers leave reviews in the apps, so current ones can know what kind of service to expect. This method of transportation is much more cost-effective than other options when travelers group up to share the expenses.

However, what happens when safety is destroyed by an Uber or Lyft accident? Before hopping into another rideshare vehicle, it is important to consider the potential danger of being involved in a car accident, especially if Uber and Lyft drivers are distracted or reckless.

What to Do to Avoid a Lyft and Uber Car Accident

What to Do to Avoid a Lyft and Uber Car Accident

Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft have revolutionized transportation. However, they have been met with disputes because of a small percentage of drivers engaging in dangerous and reckless behavior, such as assaults and crashes. There are ways to avoid a car accident when using rideshare.

Read Customer Reviews

Reading reviews can help passengers gauge if they have a responsible rideshare driver. Uber and Lyft apps make it easy for passengers to rate employees. Both companies claim to deactivate those with a consistently low rating.

Stay Alert

Avoid using Uber and Lyft services if impaired or intoxicated can help passengers avoid a rideshare accident. First, this limits the risk of a stranger taking advantage but staying alert also lets passengers know when an Uber or Lyft driver is being reckless.

Protest Unsafe Driving

Another way to avoid a rideshare accident is to speak up. If there are concerns that a Lyft or Uber driver is putting a passenger in danger, speak up right away. It is safer to ask them to pull over at the nearest secure location, such as a gas station or convenience store. After exiting the vehicle, report the driver’s reckless behavior on the Uber or Lyft app.

Steps to Take if Injured in an Uber or Lyft Accident

Sometimes, a car accident is unavoidable as it is out of a passenger's control. Uber and Lyft accidents are not typically the passenger's fault. They should not be liable for any injuries sustained.

However, it can be a complicated process to decide who is legally responsible for covering the cost of a rideshare accident — whether the driver or the rideshare company. Therefore, it's wise for accident victims to seek advice from a personal injury attorney. A free consultation will help to determine fault and liability coverage.

To recover compensation after the accident occurred, there are things to do to prove liability.

  • Immediately after a rideshare accident, call the police to the scene to investigate the incident and get a police report.

  • Take photos at the accident scene as evidence for a potential lawsuit.

  • If possible, gather witness statements for further evidence.

  • Be careful when speaking to the driver and others to avoid mistakes that might hurt a claim.

  • Promptly get medical attention for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Medical reports are crucial evidence in liability cases.

  • Be sure to follow the treatment plan after a diagnosis and keep a record of all medical bills.

  • Consult a personal injury lawyer for help protecting rights, determining liability, and recovering compensation.

Who Is Liable in a Rideshare Accident?

In a rideshare accident, the answer to who is liable relies on several factors. Uber and Lyft drivers or the rideshare companies may be liable, depending on the circumstances. If rideshare drivers are negligent, then they could be held accountable.

However, if they are not at fault for the accident and follow the rules and regulations of the rideshare company, then the firm could be held liable. When another person or vehicle is responsible for a rideshare accident, that third-party driver can be liable for the damages.

Will the Rideshare Insurance Company Provide Coverage?

Uber or Lyft coverage can't be relied on. Do not assume that the rideshare service's insurance company will cover damages. In many rideshare accidents, it is the driver who must look to their insurance provider for coverage. This is due to businesses, such as Uber or Lyft, not employing drivers but hiring them as independent contractors.

Most ridesharing drivers do not have access to a commercial insurance policy. They also don't typically have a plan in their personal car insurance policy that provides coverage for passengers who are injured while the driver is working for a ridesharing company.

This is because a personal car insurance provider does not typically include business use in their coverage.

In essence, when a victim is injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, the companies' insurance coverage may be limited. It's important to get information from the driver for their insurance.

Getting Compensation After Rideshare Accidents

Victims of Uber and Lyft accidents can recover compensation. Listed are the possible claims after an accident:

Personal Injury

This type of claim is filed when an individual has been physically or psychologically injured due to the fault of another party and seeks compensation for their injury.

Medical Expenses

Victims hurt in crashes can seek compensation for medical expenses acquired because of the injury, such as doctor visits, hospital bills, and medications.

Lost Wages

A lost wages claim is when an individual wants recompense for salary loss due to being unable to work because of injuries.

Property Damage

A property damage claim is a legal action concerning damage done to an individual's property rather than the person. Physical injuries may be a factor in some cases, such as auto accidents, but the main purpose of the claim is to seek restitution for the damage done to possessions.

Pain and Suffering

These claims are a form of damages that compensate victims for physical and emotional distress resulting from an injury or illness. They are usually sought in personal injury cases. Pain and suffering damages are designed to provide monetary compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish.

What Is the Typical Settlement After Rideshare Accidents?

It is hard to determine the exact amount a plaintiff can recover. All cases are different. When an accident occurs involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle, the cost of the damages and who is responsible for covering them depend on a variety of factors.

These elements include the coverage an insurance company provides (for the rideshare business or the driver), the circumstances of the crash, and the statutes of the jurisdiction where the accident happened. It is best to seek an experienced personal injury attorney to help navigate the legalities.

Benefits of Hiring an Attorney for Rideshare Accident Cases

Benefits of Hiring an Attorney for Rideshare Accident Cases

Hiring a personal injury attorney after an accident can provide immense benefits. An experienced solicitor can help guide individuals through the intricate legal process, ensuring they receive deserved compensation.

An attorney will advise clients on things, such as whether they have a solid case and insurance coverage to expect, and that is just the beginning. There are many other benefits of using legal services.

Knowledge of the Law

Personal injury attorneys have an understanding of the law and how it applies to individual cases. They know the complexities of the legal system and can advise on the best course of action.

Negotiating Power

After suffering from car accident injuries, going back and forth with other parties will add to a victim's stress. An auto accident attorney will step in to negotiate with any involved insurance company on their client's behalf, ensuring they get the maximum amount of compensation.

Cost-Effective Representation

Initially, clients are typically given a free consultation to learn if they have a case and the steps to take to win. A lawyer will then handle all legal aspects of a lawsuit for a reasonable fee. In the end, it will be more cost-effective than trying to handle the case alone.

Tackling personal injury or other claims after an accident will leave plaintiffs vulnerable to entities seeking to take advantage of such an insurance company trying to limit payout. Furthermore, it is likely that without an attorney, a fair settlement will not be reached.

Peace of Mind

When a plaintiff knows that an experienced personal injury lawyer is on their side, they have peace of mind. The case is being handled in the best possible way, and it's also comforting to have additional support. Toom Fowler Law can also answer questions like, "What can you do to avoid drowsy driving accidents in Iowa?"

Limited Time to File Claims

After an Uber or Lyft accident, it's crucial to file lawsuits as soon as possible. In states such as Iowa, it can be difficult to overcome the statute of limitations when filing a case.

This rule declares that an injured party must file a lawsuit related to personal injury within a specific period. The statute of limitations varies in each state. In Iowa, plaintiffs have two years from the date of the car accident and five years for property damage claims.

The Bottom Line

There are measures individuals can take to stay safe when using rideshares, such as Uber and Lyft. However, accidents happen. When injuries occur, victims have a right to compensation. However, navigating the legal system can be tricky. With the help of attorneys, justice is within reach.

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