Using a rideshare app is supposed to be simple. You simply download the app and then generally the closest driver to your destination will accept your request and bring you to your destination. While rideshare apps like Lyft and Uber have become quite popular forms of transportation in Colorado, rideshare accidents can occur, leaving the victim injured and wondering how they can seek compensation to cover their losses.
If you’ve been involved in a rideshare accident where the driver was at fault, you might not be sure who to file the claim against to seek compensation. Should you file against the driver or the rideshare company? This is where an experienced rideshare accident lawyer with experience with these types of cases can help. Lawyers, like those of Mintz Law Group, will work diligently on your behalf to get you the compensation you may be entitled to if you suffer injuries from the accident.
What Causes Rideshare Accidents in Colorado?
Many rideshare accidents are the fault of a mistake the driver made. For example, one particular issue with rideshare drivers is driver distraction. This is because they’re having to check the app on their phone frequently, converse with their passengers, and operate a GPS. A number of other factors can also cause rideshare accidents in Denver, including:
- Speeding: Whether it’s the rideshare driver or a driver in another car, speeding reduces a driver’s reaction time to dangerous situations.
- Sudden pickups: While rideshare drivers are able to pick passengers up almost anywhere, when they make sudden pickups, it can lead to accidents for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
- Distractions: As mentioned, rideshare drivers are required to operate using an app which causes them to have to look at their phones frequently. This can distract them from watching the road and can lead to an accident.
- Alcohol or drugs: If any rideshare driver uses alcohol or drugs while driving on the road, it could result in a preventable collision.
Any of the above-mentioned causes could be grounds to file a claim as long as you were not the at-fault party. But, the fault and causes of rideshare accidents can confuse both passengers and drivers since there’s the added element of an unknown driver and rider together on the road. A Colorado rideshare accident attorney can help determine who the at-fault party is and if you have a case.
How to Decide the At-Fault Party In a Rideshare Accident
In the event of a rideshare accident, there are certain protections put in place for both passengers and drivers. They vary depending on the accident details, including who the at-fault party is. These details may include:
If the at-fault party of the rideshare accident is the driver, coverage will generally be provided by the rideshare company. In this case, you would need to file your claim for damages to the rideshare company. Sometimes, the driver’s insurance policy will provide coverage.
If the at-fault party is a non-rideshare driver, you would file your claim with their insurance company. In some cases, a non-rideshare driver won’t have insurance or will lack sufficient coverage. In situations like these, the rideshare company’s underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage would be the party to seek compensation from.
When a rideshare driver is at fault for an accident, they might not have to shoulder all the responsibility for your damages on their own. When a driver is at fault for a rideshare accident, the rideshare company can still be found negligent if they:
- Hire drivers with criminal convictions, particularly for DUIs or violence
- Hire drivers that have multiple traffic violations
- Allow drivers on their platform who have had multiple major accidents
- Allow the operation of their app despite knowing its software or operations have major defects
- Onboard drivers with less than a year of driving experience
- Hire drivers that make driving unsafe because of major medical conditions
Additionally, Colorado passed a law in 2015 that regulated rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber. The law required rideshare companies to perform medical and criminal backgrounds and check driver histories. If you become injured in a rideshare accident due to a violation of this law, you could potentially hold Lyft or Uber directly accountable.
What to Do After a Rideshare Accident
The steps you take following your rideshare accident could impact your health as well as your injury claim. You’ll want to ensure you protect yourself by taking the appropriate steps after your accident, including:
Seek Medical Treatment
Your well-being and health should be your top priority. It’s critical that you seek medical attention after your rideshare accident as soon as possible. This may seem obvious if you sustained a severe injury like a broken bone. But, a healthcare provider may still find injuries that weren’t apparent right away even if you feel fine. This can occur due to factors like adrenaline.
Report the Accident
The drivers that were involved in the accident are responsible for contacting the police. If you were involved in a rideshare accident and you were the passenger, you’ll still want to notify the rideshare company and report the accident. Lyft and Uber have already set up a reporting process and once you report the accident a representative may reach out to you for further details.
Collect Evidence and Information
Collect the names and contact information of all parties involved in the accident as well as any witnesses who saw the accident. Take photos of the vehicles involved, the accident scene, and your injuries if you can.
Contact a Rideshare Accident Lawyer
Dealing with a rideshare accident can be an overwhelming and complex process. A skilled Colorado rideshare accident attorney will help guide you through the process. It’s a good idea to speak with a lawyer before accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company. Often, the offer insurance companies give out are much lower than what the victims are actually entitled to get.
Contact Our Experienced Colorado Rideshare Accident Lawyers at Mintz Law Firm to Schedule a Consultation
Rideshare apps are fairly new when you compare them to other types of transportation. Therefore, most individuals aren’t exactly sure what they should do if they’re involved in a rideshare accident. Rideshare accidents are also a bit more complex than normal motor vehicle accidents. This is why you’ll want legal advice from an experienced rideshare accident attorney in Colorado.
If you’ve been in a rideshare accident and you require a rideshare accident lawyer in Denver, consider Mintz Law Firm. Our Denver personal injury attorneys will do their utmost to fight and win financial compensation for your injuries or losses resulting from the accident. This compensation can help you pay for costly current and future medical bills resulting from your rideshare accident. Call our offices today at (303) 462-2999 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.