Rideshare programs and apps are gaining popularity in cities around the country. While most people choose between Lyft and Uber, there are several other rideshare apps in Chicago. Our Chicago rideshare accident lawyers handle crashes involving these drivers regularly.
A rideshare is an arrangement in which a passenger travels in a private vehicle driven by the owner/operator of that vehicle. The driver is typically a stranger and the passenger agrees to pay a fee in exchange for transit.
Ridesharing is a convenient and inexpensive option for commuters. It allows the passenger to hail a driver at almost any location to reach their destination.
Ridesharing apps are more flexible than public transportation as the passenger can control the route and pickup time. Further, most ridesharing programs allow carpool options, keeping costs lower.
Ridesharing apps are seen as convenient, accessible, and a great resource for those looking to travel around the Chicago area. Further, some limited data suggests that ridesharing apps are helping to reduce the number of drunk and impaired drivers on public roadways. This can improve safety and reduce the frequency of drunk driving accidents.
Seeking Recovery for Rideshare Drivers
Passengers are not the only people who can get injured in ridesharing accidents. Rideshare drivers may ﬁnd themselves involved in, and injured from, accidents and incidents behind the wheel. Physical injuries can lead to signiﬁcant medical and economic consequences for rideshare drivers, particularly when the injuries keep them away from work and unable to earn fares. Property damage, typically to a vehicle, can put a driver out of work for the immediate future. Modern vehicles are becoming harder and far more expensive to repair.
Rideshare drivers have the same rights to the road as any other motorist. Unfortunately, pursuing compensation from an at-fault driver, a large insurance corporation, or a multi-billion dollar rideshare company is rarely a simple task for anyone, including a rideshare driver. When a rideshare driver is injured or suffers property damage on the job, they deserve to have someone in their corner. This is where the trusted car accident lawyers at Abels & Annes come in.
Drivers’ Rights to Compensation
Drivers for a rideshare service have a right to receive compensation for injuries they sustain in the course of their work, including:
- The costs of medical care necessary to treat an injury, from emergency medical care through long-term therapy.
- The economic impact of wages lost because an injury prevented the driver from returning to work, and of future economic opportunities the injury forced the driver to forego.
- The expenses associated with services the driver needs to retain to manage day-to-day life while recovering from or living with an injury, such as childcare or keeping house.
- The non-economic impact of an injury, such as the physical pain and emotional suffering it causes, and its detrimental effects on a driver’s quality of life and close, personal relationships.
At Abels & Annes, we believe hard-working rideshare drivers deserve this compensation. Rideshare drivers are skilled professionals, and an essential aspect of modern transportation—they deserve the same protections as any other motorist, particularly when providing a service to others. We can help drivers recover the compensation they deserve no matter if it requires chasing down insurance coverage, taking legal action against a rideshare company, or suing an at-fault party.
If you’re on your way to pick up a rider or carrying one in your vehicle, Uber covers you with a $1 million policy—more than the personal policies that most Uber drivers or other motorists carry. Unfortunately, Uber’s insurance company is no more likely to offer an adequate settlement on a valid claim than any other insurance company. That’s where the Uber accident lawyers at Abels & Annes come in.
Chicago Rideshare Car Accident FAQ
Over the past decade, ridesharing has revolutionized how Chicagoans get around town. Hailing an Uber, Lyft, or Via has become as (if not more) common than hailing a cab for anyone who needs to get from their office in The Loop to a game in Wrigleyville, or from a club on Halsted or Rush Streets back home to a dorm room in Evanston. Taking a rideshare is convenient, affordable, and (hopefully) safe.
However, accidents involving rideshare cars happen. Victims of those accidents often have lots of questions about their legal rights. They wonder if the fact that they suffered injuries in a crash involving a rideshare vehicle, either one they were riding-in, or one that collided with them, affects whether and how they can obtain compensation for their injuries.
Below we answer some frequently asked questions about Chicago rideshare car accidents. For answers to more detailed questions about a rideshare crash that injured you or a loved one, contact an experienced Chicago rideshare car accident attorney today.
I got hurt in a Chicago rideshare car accident. How can I pay my bills?
Chicago rideshare car accident victims generally have the right to take legal action against anyone whose unreasonably dangerous decisions or actions led to the accident and their injuries, so call the Chicago rideshare lawyers at Abels & Annes.
Every Chicagoland rideshare car accident has unique circumstances, of course, but speaking broadly, rideshare car crash victims can often take legal action for damages against one or more of:
- A rideshare driver whose dangerous actions behind the wheel causes a crash;
- Another motorist whose actions lead to a crash with a rideshare vehicle;
- In extremely rare cases, a government agency if it failed to fix or warn drivers about an unreasonably dangerous, preventable road condition that caused the accident; and
- The rideshare company itself, either as the employer of the driver or if its decisions or actions contributed to the accident or the harm the victim suffered.
Seek the advice of an experienced Chicago rideshare car accident lawyer to learn who may owe you damages for your injuries and losses.
Are my rights different because I got hurt in a rideshare car accident, as compared to one that does not involve a rideshare?
Yes and no. A rideshare car accident is still fundamentally a car accident. As a victim, you have all of the rights anyone would have in any accident, regardless of whether it involved a rideshare car. For example, a motorist responsible for causing any Chicagoland car accident will typically carry auto insurance that includes at least some liability coverage for crash victims. As owners and drivers of personal vehicles, rideshare drivers carry that kind of insurance, just like anyone else, and it will typically cover at least some of the costs of the victims’ injuries and losses.
However, the involvement of a rideshare car can affect your rights and the amount of money potentially available to compensate you. Most significantly, rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber provide supplemental insurance for their drivers that covers victims for injuries sustained in an accident involving one of their drivers.
Further, different levels of insurance apply depending upon the driver’s rideshare car status at the time of the crash. The insurance provides a lesser-level of coverage for accidents that happen when the driver was merely logged-in to the dispatch app, and a greater level of coverage if the driver was actively engaged in traveling to or providing a ride. The insurance provides no benefit at all if the driver was not using the rideshare app at the time of the crash.
Those distinctions—not logged-in/logged-in but not dispatched/logged-in and dispatched—can mean the difference between receiving full compensation for an injury and receiving only some (or none). Consequently, they make moving quickly to secure evidence of the driver’s status at the time of the crash very important.
By seeking the help of an experienced Chicago rideshare car crash lawyer as soon as possible after a crash, you can give yourself the best chance of securing that evidence and (potentially) benefiting from supplemental insurance coverage provided by the rideshare company to its driver.
Did I have to be a rideshare passenger to receive the benefit of the supplemental insurance?
Generally speaking, no. The supplemental insurance provided by rideshare car companies to their drivers in Chi-town broadly covers all injuries and harm caused by an accident. So, you do not need to have been the rideshare driver’s passenger to benefit from it. In fact, the rideshare driver does not need to have had a passenger in the car at all for the insurance to apply. As we described above, the extra insurance covers victims of a crash that happens when the driver is logged in to the app, albeit at different levels depending on the driver’s status.
How much money can I get for my rideshare car accident claim?
That depends on the facts and circumstances of your crash. Broadly speaking, Chicago victims of rideshare car crashes can take legal action seeking compensation for:
- Medical and non-medical costs associated with their injuries;
- Past and future lost income resulting from getting hurt and missing work and/or suffering a disabling injury that prevents the victim from working;
- Their pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life and relationships owing to the accident and injuries; and
- In cases involving extreme conduct that led to the rideshare car accident, punitive damages.
The amount of damages that fall into each of these categories can vary based on the severity of the injury, length and prognosis of recovery, and victim’s age, income, and overall state of health.
An experienced Chicago rideshare accident injury lawyer can evaluate your claim and determine the maximum amount of damages you arguably have a right to receive, as well as the most effective way to secure as much of those damages as possible from parties who have a legal liability to you.
To learn more, contact the skilled Chicago rideshare accident lawyers at Abels & Annes today for a free case evaluation.
Our Chicago Uber Accident Lawyers Can Help Uber Drivers, Too
The Chicago legal team at Abels & Annes can help you obtain the money you deserve after sustaining an injury as a rideshare driver. We are prepared to analyze your unique situation and to explore all paths available to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, our assistance can include:
- Review of police reports;
- Investigation of the accident scene;
- Input from experts when required;
- Interviewing witnesses;
- Analysis of recovery options under all insurance policies and against all potentially liable parties;
- Reviewing medical records and bills;
- Settlement negotiations;
- Negotiating to reduce medical bills at the time of settlement;
- Filing a lawsuit and going through the litigation process;
- Handling a mediation or arbitration;
- Trying the case in front of a judge or jury; and
- Pursuit of an appropriate legal strategy, whether in or out of court.
Rideshare drivers are quickly becoming an essential aspect of our economy, and millions of Americans rely on rideshare drivers to get them where they need to be, whether for work or for pleasure. Accordingly, rideshare drivers should have an ally when the unexpected happens, even if that means going up against a large insurer or rideshare company to ensure you are made whole under the law. Trust Abels & Annes to protect your rights as a rideshare driver and to pursue the compensation you deserve.
The legal team at Abels & Annes is available 24/7 for free consultations. Our Chicago rideshare accident lawyers will speak with you and answer questions about your options.
“This firm was great to work with. Very fast and understanding. Every time I called I was able to receive a update about my case and always had a polite conversation. I was able to get through my case with less stress then I anticipated. I will be sure to come back if I am ever in need of their services again.” -Darrel W.
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