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 When you need a Virginia Beach Uber accident lawyer or a Virginia Beach Lyft accident lawyer, knowing whom to trust is important. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers are “The Car Crash Experts” and have recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients. We have years of experience helping car accident victims and rideshare passengers with their legal claims. We can negotiate with insurance companies to get you the compensation you need. 

Ride-hailing apps have exploded in popularity in recent years, and with that has come a steep increase in accidents involving rideshare vehicles.  

In 2022, the ride-sharing app Uber reported 7.6 billion trips and $31.9 billion in revenue. In 2019 and 2020, Uber reported that 0.0002 percent of its trips resulted in a critical safety event, and 99.9 percent of Uber’s trips ended without any safety issues. While these numbers may seem low, they indicate an estimated 760 million Uber trips in 2022 involved a safety issue or accident. 

Additionally, it is not just Uber and Lyft drivers that can cause accidents. People working with delivery services, such as Doordash or Uber Eats, can crash into you too. 

The claims process can be confusing when you are involved in a rideshare accident. Understanding which party’s insurance will cover the cost of your damages depends on several factors. Convincing rideshare companies’ insurers to pay you fairly can be challenging. A Virginia Beach rideshare accident lawyer can help. 

The Car Crash Experts at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers can support you through your legal claim from start to finish. We will handle all aspects of your case so you can focus on your recovery.

Why Should I Hire a Rideshare Accident Lawyer From Cooper Hurley?

When you need to recover damages following a rideshare accident, you want the most knowledgeable and experienced Uber or Lyft accident attorney in Virginia Beach. You need a lawyer with a deep understanding of rideshare accidents and the potential complications involved. 

Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers are renowned for our decades of experience recovering fair settlements from insurance companies. These phenomenal accomplishments include: 

  • A strong record of case results, with multi-million dollar awards for multiple clients 
  • The second-highest car crash verdict in Virginia in 2022 
  • A $6.5 million in a mediation settlement for a three-car collision with hotly contested contributory negligence issues 
  • Awarded Best Law Firm in Coastal Virginia by CoVaBiz in 2023 

Most importantly, you pay nothing until we recover fair compensation. That’s because we work on a contingency fee basis with no upfront costs to you. 

How a Virginia Uber Accident Lawyer Can Help You

While some cases seem simple because one driver is clearly at fault and liable, Uber and Lyft accidents aren’t always as cut and dry as regular car accidents. Determining the applicable insurance coverage for rideshare accidents can be especially tricky because of the nature of the companies’ relationships with their drivers.  

Generally, if an accident occurs when the driver is on the clock, the rideshare company’s insurance covers the accident. However, if the collision occurs when the driver isn’t on the clock, the driver’s personal insurance typically takes effect. Drawing the lines is not always easy, and insurers often use this uncertainty to duck coverage. That’s why it’s best to hire a skilled and experienced lawyer to represent you.  

Our Virginia Beach rideshare accident lawyers can take the stress and responsibility of legal issues off your shoulders and carry the burden for you.  

 The right lawyer can handle all aspects of your case, including the following, so you can focus exclusively on your recovery: 

  • Provide a free consultation in which you can get your questions answered and meet the team 
  • Conduct a thorough accident investigation 
  • Determine who is responsible 
  • Identify all applicable insurance coverage 
  • Negotiate with the insurance companies to obtain the maximum settlement 
  • Evaluate your total damages to ensure they account for everything 
  • Prepare and file all necessary paperwork 
  • Fight for your rights in court if necessary

Additionally, we are the first law firm in Virginia with access to video footage from 978 traffic cameras throughout the state. If there is footage of your accident, Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers’ Crash Cam may have the critical evidence needed to win your case. 

Types of Damages in an Uber Accident Case

There are several types of damages your Virginia Beach personal injury lawyer can help you recover: 

  • Economic damages: The quantifiable expenses resulting from the accident 
  • Non-economic damages: Losses that are more difficult to quantify relating to the life impacts of the injuries 
  • Punitive damages: Awarded sparingly by the court as a punishment to the offender, Virginia caps punitive damages at $350,000 

Examples of economic damages your Virginia Beach Uber or Lyft accident attorney can fight for include the following: 

  • Lost wages 
  • Lost future wages 
  • Medical bills 
  • Future medical bills 
  • Property damage 

Examples of non-economic damages include the following: 

  • Pain and suffering 
  • Mental anguish 
  • Emotional distress 
  • Depression or anxiety 
  • Loss of consortium, or the benefit of a family relationship 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life 
  • Disfigurement and scarring 

If the rideshare accident resulted in the fatality of your loved one, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in their name. The experienced attorneys at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers can advise you during this difficult time. We’re also available if you need a  Virginia Beach truck accident lawyer.

Headshot of Griffin O'Hanlon

Ask The Car Crash Experts

Griff O'Hanlon, Personal Injury Lawyer

“With the advent of Uber and Lyft, we have a lot of folks in our area who are are working as rideshare drivers. Maybe it’s just at night, to supplement their income or as a primary form of employment. If you are a rideshare driver and you’ve been hit by another driver and the wreck was not your fault, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer if you were injured. Do not attempt to go through the claim process on your own. These rideshare operators are doing their very best to limit what they’re paying to those who’ve been hurt, and they’re trying to limit their insurance liability and how much money is that are going out the door. It’s very important.

If you are a rideshare driver and you were in an automobile accident that was not your fault and you were injured, those three things, you need to call a personal injury lawyer right away. At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, we are regularly dealing with these rideshare operators. We know how to navigate the claims process and, if needed, file a lawsuit on your behalf. So it’s very important. Again, rideshare driver, wreck’s not your fault, and injured, call a personal injury lawyer.”

Common Injuries in Rideshare Accidents

Rideshare drivers can cause accidents in various ways. For example: 
  • Failing to yield the right of way or making improper lane changes 
  • Speeding 
  • Turning improperly  
  • Drunk driving 
  • Distracted driving  
  • Driving while fatigued 
Common injuries to passengers that may warrant contact with a Virginia Beach Uber or Lyft accident lawyer include:  If a rideshare accident has left you or your loved one with any of these injuries, a Virginia Beach car accident lawyer can help.
Griff O'Hanlon at a conference table

What to Do After a Rideshare Accident

If you are a passenger or driver in a rideshare vehicle, follow these guidelines after an accident: 

  • Check for injuries: Check yourself first, then the other people involved in the accident. If anyone suffered serious injuries, call for emergency medical services immediately. 
  • Report the accident: Call the police to report the crash. An officer will create a police report that can be used as evidence if your claim proceeds to court. 
  • Report the accident in the Uber app: Don’t assume the driver will report the accident. Go to the “Trip Issues” section on the Uber app and report the traffic accident. This allows you to collect qualified reimbursement from Uber’s insurance company. 
  • Report the accident in the Lyft app: Open the app and select “Help” from the menu. Under “Report a safety issue,” select “Report safety issue or accident,” then click “Accident.” Or go to the Lyft website to make a report
  • Screenshot the rideshare app: Take a screenshot of your ride to prove you used the rideshare service during the accident. 
  • Document the scene: If you are not seriously injured, take photos of the scene immediately after the accident. Be aware that vehicles may need to be moved if they block the road. Try to take pictures before this happens. Take photos or videos of the vehicles involved, license plates, any property damage, and anything else that could be relevant, such as malfunctioning traffic lights, poor roads, or missing street signs.  
  • Talk to witnesses: If anyone witnessed the accident, ask for their contact information. 
  • Collect insurance information: Gather the insurance and contact information of all the drivers involved in the accident if you are unsure who is at fault. 
  • Get a post-accident medical check: Even if you don’t think you sustained any injuries, it is imperative to seek medical attention. Latent injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents can arise weeks after an accident. When too much time has passed, proving your injuries are related to your rideshare accident can be difficult, and the other party’s insurance company may fight your claim. Seeking prompt medical attention can save you time, money, and headaches later. 
  • Contact a Virginia Beach rideshare accident lawyer: Seeking a free consultation with an Uber or Lyft accident attorney in Virginia Beach can help you understand your options and legal rights. Your lawyer can provide an initial case analysis based on your information. They can also answer your questions and tell you what to expect. 

If you were driving a non-rideshare vehicle and had an accident with a rideshare driver, follow the same steps other than reporting the accident through the app or taking a screenshot. If the rideshare passenger is not seriously injured, you can ask them to do these steps and send you the information and screenshots before leaving the scene.

Headshot of Griffin O'Hanlon

Ask The Car Crash Experts -
How to report an accident in the Uber/Lyft app

Griffin O'Hanlon, Personal Injury Lawyer

“When reporting an accident involving a delivery driver, the first person you want to notify is, oddly enough, your own insurance company. It’s important to put them on notice that you’ve been involved in a wreck. This can come into play later down the road if you want to seek additional coverage through your own auto insurance company. It’s always smart to give them a call….Generally, the police will provide you with some sort of crash exchange information. It’s important to notify the insurance company of the delivery driver involved about a potential claim as well. Now, you don’t necessarily have to do that yourself if you retain a lawyer.”

What Type of Insurance Coverage Do Uber & Lyft Drivers Have?

Uber and Lyft both provide insurance to their drivers, but that insurance is limited in amount and restricted to certain times in the rideshare process. Lyft insurance and Uber insurance cover rideshare drivers in the following ways: 

Lyft Insurance:  

When the Lyft App Is Off 

Lyft provides no coverage when the apps are off. The driver must rely on personal auto insurance. 

When the Lyft App Is On, and Drivers Can Receive Ride Requests 

Lyft provides third-party liability insurance for covered accidents if the driver’s insurance does not apply.  

During this period, both rideshare companies’ insurance will cover up to: 

  • $50,000 per person for bodily injury 
  • $100,000 per accident for bodily injury 
  • $25,000 per accident for property damage 

When the Lyft App Is On, and Drivers Are en Route To Pick Up or Currently Transporting Customers 

Lyft’s insurance provides: 

  • $1 million+ for third-party vehicle liability 
  • First-party coverages, which may include underinsured motorist coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, MedPay, PIP, and occupational accident coverage 
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage up to the actual cash value of the car with a $2,500 deductible when the driver has comprehensive and collision on their personal insurance. 

Uber Insurance:  

When the Uber App Is Off 

When the driver app is off or offline, drivers must rely on their personal insurance. 

When the Uber App Is On, and Drivers Can Receive Ride Requests 

When the driver is “available” on the app or awaiting a ride request, Uber’s insurance policy is identical to Lyft’s, covering up to: 

  • $50,000 per person for bodily injury 
  • $100,000 per accident for bodily injury 
  • $25,000 per accident for property damage 

When the Uber App Is On, and Drivers Are en Route To Pick Up or Currently Transporting Customers 

Uber’s coverage is similar to Lyft’s, covering: 

  • $1 million third-party liability 
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury and first-party injury insurance 
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision up to actual cash value of the car with a $2,500 deductible 

If you have questions about insurance claims involving Uber or Lyft drivers, you can arrange a free consultation with an experienced Virginia Beach car accident attorney. 

Who Is Liable for an Uber or Lyft Accident?

In Virginia Beach, rideshare drivers are generally considered  independent contractors. The classification status of rideshare drivers is a  hotly debated subject. 

The controversy arose because employers generally can be held liable for the actions of their employees. Classifying drivers as independent contractors allows Uber and Lyft to avoid liability. 

In the case of a rideshare accident, the at-fault driver is generally liable for the accident damages. If they have insurance, you or your lawyer will file claims with the insurance company. 

Headshot of Griffin O'Hanlon

ASK THE CAR CRASH EXPERTS

Griffin O'Hanlon, Personal Injury Lawyer

“In two real scenarios, one would be if you’re a passenger in an Uber or Lyft. In those circumstances, you’d potentially be able to sue your Uber or Lyft driver, as well as another driver if they caused the crash involving your ride. It depends on analyzing who is at fault, and you may also be able to sue both of them if they were both at fault.

Alternatively, if you’re a driver involved in a motor vehicle accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, meaning you’re driving your own vehicle and you’re hit by an Uber or Lyft, you can sue that driver. You could also potentially sue Uber and Lyft themselves as a company in either of those scenarios. Those are the primary entities you’d be able to sue in a ride-share wreck.”

Can You Sue Uber or Lyft?

Yes, you can sue rideshare companies. Hypothetically, companies such as Uber and Lyft could be liable for damages through vicarious liability, which holds corporations responsible for the actions of their subordinates. The legal doctrine of respondent superior could allow the rideshare company to be held liable for the negligence of its employee.  

Unfortunately, rideshare drivers must be classified as employees rather than independent contractors for this legal strategy to work. A  California court ruled that ride-sharing companies can classify drivers as independent contractors. However, the ruling could get appealed to the California Supreme Court and reversed. 

There have not been similar court rulings in Virginia yet. If you believe you have a claim against Uber or Lyft, you should speak with a Virginia Beach rideshare accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Rideshare Accident Cases in Virginia?

Virginia has a two-year statute of limitations for filing rideshare accident claims. If you miss this deadline, the court will bar you from recovering damages, with few exceptions. Contact a lawyer immediately after your rideshare accident to ensure they have plenty of time to build a successful case.

Rely on a Virginia Beach Rideshare Accident Attorney From Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

When a rideshare accident happens, finding the right legal team to represent you is imperative. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers are The Car Crash Experts, with two convenient locations in Virginia Beach.  

We know the local courts and understand the laws surrounding Uber and Lyft. We focus exclusively on personal injury and car accident cases. We have decades of experience helping injured clients recover damages from general car accidents and rideshare crashes. Get your free case evaluation now. 

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