Knoxville residents rely on the convenience of Uber and Lyft ridesharing services to take them to work, appointments, shopping, and other places. Drivers earn extra income by using their own vehicles to transport passengers. The ridesharing process appears seamless until a car accident happens.
If you suffered serious injuries as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle—or if an Uber or Lyft driver hit your vehicle—you may be wondering who will compensate you for your medical costs and property damage. Should you file a claim against the driver, the ridesharing company, or both? What if the driver did not have adequate liability insurance?
When a ridesharing service goes from convenient to catastrophic, the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can answer your questions and help you seek maximum compensation for your injuries and property damage. Our experienced lawyers know how to navigate through the complex maze of filing insurance claims with ridesharing services. Call the firm today at 865-546-1111 for a free, initial case evaluation with an Uber and Lyft accident lawyer in Knoxville.
Why Do Insurance Companies Deny Ridesharing Injury Claims?
Insurance coverage has been a concern since Uber and Lyft started operating its ridesharing services in Tennessee. Initially, Uber and Lyft were not regulated by state laws or local ordinances like taxi cab companies or public transportation systems. Also, Uber and Lyft drivers—nationwide, not just in Tennessee—believed their personal auto insurance policy provided coverage for accidents. Auto insurers denied claims after discovering the drivers—whether or not they caused a crash—were using their vehicles as company employees without proper insurance coverage at the time of the accident.
How Do I Know If an Uber or Lyft Driver Has Auto Insurance Liability Coverage?
A state law that took effect on January 1, 2016, requires Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing services in Tennessee to have specific types of insurance that protect drivers and their passengers. The Transportation Network Company Services Act requires drivers to obtain primary auto insurance coverage that recognizes them as a Transportation Network Company (TNC) driver.
Under the legislation, liability falls on a driver if they cause an accident while logged into the ridesharing company’s digital network or app, but they do not have a passenger. The driver must have primary auto liability insurance of at least $50,000 for death and bodily injury per individual, $100,000 for death and bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
A driver engaged in a prearranged ride must have primary auto liability insurance of a minimum of $1 million for death, bodily injury, and property.
If an accident occurs and the driver is uninsured, ridesharing companies have a duty to provide coverage and defend an insurance claim.
Regardless of whether the at-fault driver in your wreck had appropriate insurance, our attorneys can help protect your interests after an Uber or Lyft accident. We will hold the responsible party liable for the compensation you deserve.
Does This Mean I Can File a Claim Against the Driver as Well as the Ridesharing Company?
Whether you were a passenger in a ridesharing vehicle or an occupant of another vehicle, our claim must show that the Uber or Lyft driver’s negligence caused your accident. We must also prove that, as a result of the driver’s negligence, you suffered injuries or damages to your vehicle.
We may need to file a claim against Uber or Lyft depending on the circumstances surrounding the crash. We advise you to speak to one of our attorneys before filing an insurance claim. An accident that appears clear-cut can become complicated quickly.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me File My Claim?
Our attorneys can help you build a strong insurance claim by investigating your accident. Our firm gathers evidence to prove the Uber or Lyft driver that caused the crash failed to uphold their responsibility to avoid a collision while behind the wheel. We will gather the evidence we need to show this occurred during the course of our investigation. This proof may include:
- Medical records that detail your injuries;
- Police reports of the accident;
- Your report and other eyewitness reports of the accident;
- Photographs of the accident scene; and
- The driver’s past driving record.
We may also explore whether the ridesharing company issued previous warnings to the driver or if the driver was engaging in distracted driving at the time of the crash. Uber and Lyft use mobile apps and websites to connect passengers with drivers. Sometimes, drivers check their apps while driving to see if the company has other passengers needing a ride.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive?
As the victim of an accident with a ridesharing service driver, you may recover compensation to pay for:
- Current and future medical expenses;
- Lost wages, if your injuries prevented you from working;
- Property damages;
- Funeral expenses, if a loved one died due to the accident; and
- Pain and suffering.
Our lawyers will serve as your representative in your insurance claim. We will negotiate a settlement with the insurance company and other parties involved in the accident. Insurance companies typically underpay or deny claims. Should this occur and we cannot reach an equitable settlement, we can discuss the possibility of filing a lawsuit.
I Am Ridesharing Driver Who Wants to File a Claim for an Accident I Did Not Cause. What Do I Do?
Tennessee is a fault state, which means the driver at fault for an accident is liable for injuries and property damages. You may file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, Uber and Lyft drivers involved in an accident—whether or not they caused it—must call the police to report the accident. Drivers must also contact their personal insurance companies, as well as Uber or Lyft to report the accident.
Let Our Law Firm Untangle the Web of Ridesharing Legal Issues.
At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, our attorneys will wade through the complexities of ridesharing insurance claims to recover just compensation for your injuries and property damage. Call 865-546-1111 now for a no-obligation case evaluation with our Uber and Lyft accident lawyers in Knoxville.