Virginia Beach Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer
Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular in recent years. Rather than calling and having to wait for a taxi, users can get transportation in a matter of minutes via a smartphone app. Payments are made using the app. As the demand for ride-hailing services has spiked so too has the number of accidents involving Uber and Lyft cars in Virginia and elsewhere.
When we take an Uber or a Lyft service, we are putting a lot of trust in the driver. Unfortunately, ride-share drivers have been involved in crashes and other incidents such as assaults across the country, raising questions about their credentials and vetting.
Uber and Lyft use amateur drivers, or drivers without commercial licenses who use their own vehicles. In the past, this has resulted in gray areas in insurance coverage. If you are injured in an accident with a ridesharing driver consult with a Virginia Beach Uber accident lawyer today. The experienced car crash attorneys with our firm are available to assist you in building a claim and guiding you through the legal process.
How Many Ride-Hailing Vehicles Are Involved in Accidents?
It’s not easy to put an accurate figure on the number of accidents involving Uber and Lyft cars in Virginia. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles does not compile figures of this kind. However, research from other places suggests a spike in accidents involving passengers of Uber and Lyft as these services became more popular.
An investigation by the New York Post found crashes involving for-hire vehicles more than tripled in two years in New York from 534 in July 2014 to 1,672 in June 2016.
The spike coincided with an increase in the number of people using Uber, Lyft and Juno.
Passengers in Uber and Lyft cars have suffered injuries at intersections when their driver has failed to yield the right of way or has made improper lane changes. In some well-documented cases, ride-hailing service drivers have been convicted of DUIs or have crashed when driving distracted. Common injuries to passengers which may warrant contact with a Virginia Beach Uber accident lawyer include:
- Broken arms and legs
- Collar bone injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
- Herniated discs
- Rotator cuff injuries
Filing a Lawsuit After Accidents Involving Uber or Lyft Cars in Virginia
In the past, passengers who were injured in a ride-hailing car faced an uphill battle to make a claim. Fortunately, under a law enacted in 2016 in Virginia, the General Assembly moved to close the loophole by requiring $1 million in coverage for ride-hailing service drivers. Insurance companies are now offering coverage to Uber and Lyft drivers which means passengers who are injured may be afforded more protection than in accidents involving cars with private insurance policies.
Virginia also says Uber and Lyft must abide by its zero-tolerance policy regarding the use of drugs and alcohol by their drivers.
As well as the states, the ride-hailing companies have moved unilaterally to improve the insurance coverage available.
Uber and Lyft now carry third party liability insurance coverage which pays up to $1 million for personal injuries and property damage for every accident. These policies will often only kick once the ride-sharing driver’s own insurance has been exhausted, assuming the driver possesses an applicable policy. However, as a passenger in a ride-hailing service, you’re covered under this kind of liability policy when the driver is at fault for the accident.
In 2013, Uber added insurance coverage to its UberX service, which utilizes drivers lacking commercial licenses or commercial insurance. Originally, it only covered drivers after they accepted a ride request and while they were transporting a passenger. Uber expanded the remit of the service to cover drivers during their entire time on duty under certain circumstances. However, an insurance gap remained.
Many claims brought by passengers hurt in ride-hailing vehicle accidents are resolved without having to file a lawsuit. Normally a claim is presented to the insurance company for the at fault driver listing all of the economic losses like medical bills and lost wages as well as the other more personal suffering aspects of injury to the passenger.
A lawsuit is not always required in these cases. However, hiring an experienced Virginia Beach Uber accident attorney will give you the backup threat of recourse through the courts if Uber, Lyft or another service like Juno denies your claim.
Hiring a Virginia Beach Uber Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in any type auto accident you should contact a lawyer who focuses on these types of cases. This is certainly the case with claims against Uber and Lyft. Not all lawyers have experience in these types of cases.
At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, our Virginia Beach Uber accident attorneys have handled hundreds of claims brought by injured passengers and wrongful death lawsuits following fatalities in car accidents. We have a main office in Norfolk and seven other convenient Hampton Roads meeting locations in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News and on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.