Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have innovated travel, providing an efficient and cost-effective alternative to traditional taxis. However, with the growth of rideshare usage comes a rise in rideshare accidents. Understanding the causes, consequences, and legal recourse available is crucial for passengers and drivers involved in rideshare-related accidents. A rideshare accident attorney can guide you in navigating this complex landscape.

The Rising Frequency of Rideshare Accidents

The convenience of rideshare services has led to a significant increase in their usage. According to recent statistics, rideshare trips have grown exponentially, leading to a corresponding rise in Uber and Lyft accidents. A Research Brief released by the University of Chicago  found that the introduction of ridesharing accounts for a roughly 3 percent annual increase in traffic fatalities. This uptick in accidents highlights the pressing need for passengers to know the risks and their legal options.

An article published in the University of Illinois UIC Today found that one-third of rideshare drivers surveyed in a new study reported being involved in a crash while working. 

Common Causes of Rideshare Accidents

Several factors contribute to the frequency of Lyft and Uber accidents. Understanding these causes can help passengers stay vigilant and improve safety.

  1. Distracted Driving: Rideshare drivers rely heavily on their smartphones for navigation, accepting rides, and communicating with passengers. This constant use of mobile devices can result in distracted driving, increasing the risk of accidents.
  2. Fatigue: Many rideshare drivers work long hours, often juggling multiple jobs. This can result in fatigue, which impairs reaction times and decision-making abilities, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
  3. Speeding: Some rideshare drivers exceed speed limits to complete more rides and earn higher fares, which can lead to dangerous driving conditions.
  4. Inexperience: A lack of driver experience or unfamiliarity with local roads and traffic patterns can contribute to errors and accidents.
  5. Poor Vehicle Maintenance: Unlike traditional taxi services, rideshare drivers are accountable for their vehicle upkeep. Lack of periodic maintenance can result in mechanical failures and accidents. 

Consequences of Rideshare Accidents

Rideshare accidents can have severe consequences, affecting both passengers and drivers.

  • Injuries: Passengers, drivers, and other road users can suffer various injuries. This can range from lacerations and bruises to critical, life-altering conditions such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord damage.
  • Financial Loss: Medical bills, lost wages, and property damage can accumulate quickly, placing a significant financial burden on those involved.
  • Emotional Trauma: The emotional effect of an accident can be profound, leading to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Legal Complications: Determining liability in a rideshare crash could be complex, involving multiple parties such as the driver, the company, other drivers, and insurance companies 

Your Rights as an Uber or Lyft Passenger

As a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, you have specific rights, especially if you suffer an auto accident injury:

  1. Right to Safety: You have the right to a safe ride. If a driver’s negligence or misconduct causes an accident, you can hold them accountable.
  2. Right to Compensation: If you are hurt in an auto accident, you can fight for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
  3. Right to Legal Representation: You have the right to hire the best car accident lawyer to assist with your case and assure you receive fair compensation for injuries. 

Steps to Take After a Rideshare Accident

If you find yourself injured in a rideshare accident, it’s critical you take the following steps to safeguard your rights:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the absolute priority. Though your injuries may seem minor, get a thorough medical examination. There may be hidden or more severe injuries.
  2. Report the Accident: Notify the rideshare company about the accident through their app or customer service. This establishes an official record of the incident.
  3. Document the Scene of the Accident: If physically able, take photos of the scene, vehicle damage, and any visible injuries. Collect contact information from witnesses.
  4. Gather Driver Information: Obtain the driver’s name, contact details, insurance information, and vehicle details.
  5. File a Police Report: Ensure a police report is filed, as it is an official accident record, which can be crucial for your case.
  6. Consult a Rideshare Accident Attorney: Contact an auto accident attorney in Wilkes-Barre to examine your case and discuss legal options. 

Frequently Asked Rideshare Accident Questions and Answers 

Who is liable in a rideshare accident case?

Liability can be complex in rideshare accidents. It may involve the rideshare driver, another driver, vehicle or parts manufacturer, or even the rideshare company. A rideshare accident lawyer can help determine the responsible parties. 

What kind of compensation can I receive?

It may be possible to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. The amount depends on the severity of your injuries and the specifics of your case.

 How long do I have to file a rideshare accident claim?

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims varies by state. Pennsylvania has a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits. It’s vital to consult with a rideshare accident lawyer promptly to avoid missing the deadline.

Do I need an attorney to handle my claim?

While not legally required, hiring a personal injury attorney can considerably improve the likelihood of appropriate compensation. They can navigate the legal complexities and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. 

A Rideshare Accident Attorney Can Protect Your Rights

Hiring a rideshare accident attorney is crucial for five reasons:

  1. Experience in Rideshare Accident Cases: Attorneys who focus on rideshare accidents understand the unique legal issues and can provide knowledgeable guidance.
  2. Determining Liability: Establishing fault is the first step in seeking compensation. Fault may rest with the rideshare driver, another motorist, a trucking company, or possibly the rideshare company if negligence can be proven. An accident claims lawyer can help.
  3. Negotiation: Filing a claim can be complicated, and insurance companies may attempt to minimize payouts. Rideshare collision lawyers are skilled negotiators who can deal with insurance corporations to ensure you receive fair compensation.
  4. Representation in a Personal Injury Lawsuit: If your case goes to court, a Pennsylvania accident attorney can represent you and advocate for your rights.
  5. Peace of Mind: Dealing with the aftermath of a rideshare crash is stressful. An auto accident attorney can tackle the legal complexities, enabling you to concentrate on recovery. To sum it up, an experienced rideshare lawyer can guide you through the claims procedure, negotiate with insurance, and represent you in court if necessary. 

Take Prompt Action if Involved in a Rideshare Accident

Rideshare accidents are a grim reality in our increasingly mobile world. The hidden dangers associated with these accidents highlight the importance of being informed and prepared. By understanding the causes, consequences, and legal recourse available, you can better protect yourself and your rights.

If you are injured in a rideshare accident, taking swift action and seeking professional legal advice can make a major difference in securing the compensation you deserve. Don’t let the complexities of a rideshare accident overwhelm you; contact a rideshare accident attorney in Wilkes-Barre today. The auto accident attorneys at Distasio, Kowalski, & Yelen have years of experience protecting and fighting for the rights of car accident victims. Call or email DKY Law today.

Read our latest blog to learn more about selecting a personal injury attorney for your case.

 

 

Michael J. Kowalski, a partner with DKY Law Firm, has been representing individuals and their families in personal injury matters for 30 years. These include cases involving medical malpractice, medical errors, birth injuries, and auto and truck accidents, among others. If you are injured, you want Attorney Kowalski and the DKY Law Firm fighting for you. Contact Attorney Kowalski today.

 

 

 

Jeffrey A. Yelen, a partner with DKY Law Firm, is an Elder Law Attorney who brings 25 years of estate planning, probate and estate litigation experience to the clients he serves. He is head of the firm’s Elder Law and Estate Services division and is highly experienced in Wills, Estates, and Trusts.  When you are searching for an Elder Law Lawyer, Attorney Yelen can provide the skilled legal representation you and your family need. Contact Attorney Yelen

Each year as school ends for the summer, we hear tragic stories of teen lives cut short by car crashes. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens according to the CDC. In fact, they were the leading cause of death for every age 16 through 24 in 2014. Two startling facts from the NHTSA Teen Crash Statistics 2014 are: 1,727 drivers ages 15 to 20 died in motor vehicle crashes and 170,000 young drivers were injured in motor vehicle crashes.

100 Deadliest Days for Car Crashes Teen Drivers

According to a study by the AAA Foundation, over the past five years, more than 5,000 people have died in car crashes involving teen drivers during the 100 day summer driving period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This is a period of time when more teens are on the road. The study found that distracted driving is a major cause of teen car crashes, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the teen crashes. Top causes of driving distractions for teens include interacting with one or more passengers, talking, texting or operating a cell phone, and looking at something inside of the vehicle. Nearly 50 percent of those teens surveyed by AAA admitted to reading a text message or emailing while driving. A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute reported that texting while driving increases a risk of crash by 23 times.


Six Teen Car Crash Prevention Tipscar crash

The car accident attorneys at Distasio & Kowalski in Wilkes-Barre, Pa encourage you to talk to your teen about safe driving habits and high-risk behaviors. Be a good role model for your teen and you may be able to help prevent a tragic accident.

  1. Limit the amount of passengers in your teen’s vehicle. The more passengers, the higher the risk for a car crash.
  2. Stay free from distractions. Set rules for your teen regarding distractions while driving – including no cell phone or electronic device use. Encourage them to pull over into a safe spot if they need to make a call or text someone.
  3. Tell your teen the importance of following all of the rules of the road. This includes all posted speed limit signs, safe passing, keeping a safe distance behind the vehicle in front, etc.
  4. Be sure your teen understands the importance of seat belt use for both a driver and all passengers. Seat belts can help save lives.
  5. Limit night driving. Be sure to practice nighttime driving with your teen, it’s sometimes tricky even for experienced drivers.
  6. Prohibit all alcohol and drug use. Also be sure your teen knows never to get into a vehicle as a passenger with a driver who is under the influence. Let them know if they need a ride, they can call you.

The car crash attorneys at Distasio, Kowalski & Yelen have represented the victims of motor vehicle accidents throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Because we’ve seen the horrific results of teen crashes, we want to be sure that all teens understand the danger of distracted driving, in addition to other risky driving behaviors. We are highly experienced in all types of auto accident cases. If you need a car accident lawyer, call Distasio, Kowalski & Yelen in Wilkes-Barre today for a free consultation. Call 570-970-5400.