GBM Law represents Uber and Lyft passengers who have been injured in ride sharing accidents. The lawyers with GBM Law also have experience representing pedestrians, cyclists and other people who have been injured in accidents involving Uber and Lyft drivers. We provide our clients with advice and support while fighting for justice and fair compensation.
The rideshare app Uber was launched in March 2009 in San Francisco, and has since spread across the globe, coming to Columbus in 2013 and Cleveland in 2014. Uber and Lyft are both extremely popular and widely considered to be a safe and easy way to get around. In Ohio, people use rideshare apps to get from home to work, school, the airport, or to avoid drinking and driving. However, many rideshare accidents involving Uber and Lyft have occurred throughout the country, and the drivers are often at fault.
The Nationwide Uptick in Car Accident Fatalities
In 2010, there were 32,885 car accident fatalities in the U.S., the lowest number since 1949. Over the past decade, accidents have increased, with 37,133 fatalities reported in 2017 and 36,750 fatalities in 2018. This increase in accidents is in part because of more rideshare vehicles on the road. A 2018 study from the University of Chicago and Rice University linked the arrival of ridesharing (Uber/Lyft) with the uptick of fatalities nationwide. The study found that whenever Uber and Lyft launched in a city, accidents increased.
Accidents, injuries and fatalities increase because ridesharing vehicles like Uber and Lyft add more cars in cities and billions of miles driven on roads. Uber and Lyft drivers frequently drive in circles in an activity called “deadheading” (waiting to get pinged for rides). Many people who would have taken public transportation, walked or biked, now take rideshare vehicles. In cities where Uber and Lyft have launched, bus and subway ridership has decreased, and car accidents have increased.
How Uber’s Insurance Policy Works
Uber provides supplemental insurance coverage to drivers when the app is on, and has tweaked their coverage over the last decade based on several lawsuits. When the Uber driver is not driving for Uber, they are covered by their own personal insurance coverage. A low level of liability coverage becomes active when the app is on. This is known as the “available or waiting for a ride request” period. Once the driver is en route to pick up a passenger, $1,000,000 third party liability kicks in.
Once you, the passenger, have been picked up by an Uber vehicle and are in the vehicle, Uber’s insurance policy also covers you up to $1,000,000. This means you are eligible for at least $1,000,000 for bodily injuries and property damage where another party is responsible for an accident. In the event the Uber driver is determined to be at fault, contingent collision and comprehensive coverage may cover the vehicle owner (with a deductible). Lyft’s insurance policy is similar.
Insurance claims can be complicated if you were a third party injured by a rideshare driver, such as a pedestrian or a bicyclist. These accidents often lead to very serious injuries such as concussions, traumatic brain injuries, bone fractures and spinal cord injuries. Whether or not Uber’s insurance will apply will depend on whether the rideshare driver is waiting for a ride request, en route to pick up a passenger, or on a ride.
What to Do Following an Uber or Lyft Accident in Ohio
- Report the Accident / Call Police: If you are riding in a rideshare vehicle and are involved in an accident, you should ask the driver to pull over and safely get out of traffic. Make sure everyone is safe. Then report the accident to local police or Ohio State Highway Patrol by calling 911. Under Ohio law, police are required to come to the scene if the accident causes a fatality, an injury requiring medical care, or more than $1,000 in property damage.
- Take Photos: If you are able to, take photos of the vehicle damage, any stationary objects that were struck (like trees, medians or poles), and skid marks. Also photograph license plates of any vehicles involved, and Drivers’ License and insurance cards of any vehicles. If you are unable to take photographs, you can ask a witness or third party to help.
- Get Medical Attention: Getting medical treatment immediately following an accident is important for your physical health and having a documented record of receiving medical attention. This record will be important for your legal claim later.
- Report the Accident to Uber or Lyft: Uber’s emergency hotline for emergencies is 800-353-8237, and Lyft’s phone number is 1-844-307-8651.These numbers are only to be used for emergencies. Provide the details of the accident, the time it occurred, the location, and the parties involved. Do not admit or speculate on fault. Uber or Lyft will likely do their own review and investigation of the incident.
- Talk to an attorney: You may receive a settlement offer from Uber for your injuries. Do not accept any offer without first talking to a skilled and knowledgeable personal injury attorney. You may be entitled to far more compensation than is initially offered. Once you accept any offer, you permanently waive rights to any future claims. The Columbus rideshare accident lawyers at GBM law offer complimentary consultations to review rideshare accident claims.
Why Choose GBM Law for Your Rideshare Accident Personal Injury Claim
GBM Law is an Ohio personal injury law firm with more than 30 years of experience handling personal injury and wrongful death claims. We are based in Columbus but handle cases throughout Ohio, and have a reputation in the legal community as one of the top personal injury law firms. Having recovered more than $200 million in verdicts and settlements, our award-winning trial lawyers are able to get results. Our team of trial attorneys work with the best investigators, medical experts, forensic specialists and accident reconstruction experts to prove fault and damages in order to recover the maximum compensation available for our clients.
There are no attorney fees if we review your case. You pay no attorney fees or expenses unless we settle your injury case. To discuss your potential case with one of our attorneys, and your rights to compensation for lost earnings, medical expenses and pain and suffering, call us today For more information feel free to call us at (614) 222-4444 or fill out a case evaluation form.