More and more people demand immediate transportation throughout the United States through ridesharing services. Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing companies have continued to grow in popularity, resulting in thousands of additional vehicles on the roadways. Unfortunately, the more vehicles on the roadways mean that there are more accidents on the roadways as well. While the ridesharing industry attempted to keep the number of accidents related to ridesharing vehicles secret, the continued revelation of additional statistics shows that ridesharing accidents are common and result in serious injuries. If you suffered injuries related to a ridesharing accident, consider how a Chicago ridesharing accident lawyer can help you with your case by contacting our legal team for a free consultation at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at 800-794-0444 today.
Ridesharing and an Increase in Fatalities on the Roadways
One of the main advantages touted and promoted by ridesharing companies is that driving while intoxicated and accidents involving alcohol use decrease due to the availability of ridesharing vehicles. While this may have some truth to it, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago research shows that while accidents involve drunk driving decreased due to ridesharing, there was a 3% increase annually in traffic-related fatalities (including pedestrians) since the introduction of ridesharing services in 2011 in the United States. Their research concludes that the increase in traffic-related fatalities is directly related to the introduction of ridesharing services throughout the country such as Uber and Lyft.
Ridesharing Safety Tips
As a passenger in a ridesharing vehicle, or as a motorist or pedestrian involved in an accident with a ridesharing vehicle, you may not have a great deal of ability to prevent an accident. However, you should always follow these safety tips while riding in an Uber, Lyft or another ridesharing vehicle in order to ensure your safety and protection.
- Request your ridesharing vehicle while inside for the best protection and safety.
- Check your ridesharing driver’s credentials prior to entering the vehicle.
- Always ride in the back seat, for protection from your driver, and also for protection in a car accident. You have a better ability to exit the vehicle if you sit in the back seat versus the front seat.
- Always wear your seat belt. In some cases, riding in a ridesharing vehicle gives a false sense of protection. Make sure to always fasten your seat belt in any vehicle.
- Tell family or friends that you have used a ridesharing service and let them know your location.
- Protect your private information and never disclose personal details to your driver.
- Use common sense, and never hesitate to turn down a ridesharing driver if you feel they seem to behave in a suspicious way or appear negligent or violent in any way.
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Accidents Involving Ridesharing Vehicles
Many accidents involving ridesharing vehicles are similar in nature to other types of vehicle accidents on the roadways. The same types of accidents with catastrophic injuries can easily occur with ridesharing vehicles. If you suffer injuries related to a ridesharing vehicle, make sure to follow these steps:
- Obtain the driver’s contact information, driver’s license number, license plate number, ridesharing vehicle number, and any other identifying information.
- Obtain the contact information of any other drivers, passengers, pedestrians or witnesses involved or near the accident.
- Make sure to seek immediate medical attention and receive an evaluation for any possible injuries you may have suffered due to the accident. If you do not go to the emergency room immediately following the accident, consider going to your primary care physician or another healthcare provider to ensure that you have a proper medical evaluation. In some cases, certain injuries do not exhibit symptoms until hours or days following an accident. Additionally, if you see a medical provider and later develop different or more severe symptoms, you should again visit a medical professional for your health and safety.
- Attempt to determine whether the ridesharing driver has car insurance coverage through his or her own personal policy or through the ridesharing company for which they work. You have the legal right to contact that insurance company to file a claim regarding your injuries and losses.
- Keep documentation regarding any medical bills, surgeries, physical therapy, prescriptions, hospitalizations, medical equipment, lost wages, lost bonuses or employee benefits (such as pension contributions), vacation or sick time used, property damage, pain and suffering, and any loss of the ability to engage in normal everyday activities.
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Filing a Claim Against a Ridesharing Company
If you suffered injuries directly related to the negligence of a ridesharing driver, you have the legal right to file a claim. However, ridesharing companies operate their businesses differently. Some companies, such as Uber, will allow you to file a claim directly with Uber’s insurance policy as they directly offer their driver’s vehicle insurance coverage. In other cases, such as Lyft, the driver is not covered by the company’s insurance, but rather by their own personal car insurance. Unfortunately, in some cases, some drivers do not carry insurance at all as certain car insurance policies disallow any coverage related to accidents involving the car as a ridesharing vehicle.
If an investigation into the accident makes the determination that the ridesharing driver is at fault for the accident due to their negligence, then a victim will have the legal right to file a claim directly against the driver, or perhaps against the ridesharing company. Making the determination who to file a claim against following a ridesharing accident can prove legally complex and challenging. Consider how a Chicago ridesharing accident lawyer can help you with your case by contacting our legal team for a free consultation at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today.
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Consider How a Chicago Ridesharing Accident Lawyer Can Help You
If you suffered injuries due to an accident involving a ridesharing driver, consider visiting with our legal team at the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at 800-794-0444 for a free consultation, and to learn how a Chicago ridesharing accident lawyer can help you understand your legal rights.