Whether you live in Las Vegas or are visiting from out of state, Uber and Lyft often provide convenient and safe alternatives to driving yourself around the city. You do not have to worry about parking, and it is safer if you plan to drink. These rideshare options also make the trip less stressful for those unfamiliar with the area and local traffic conditions.
But unfortunately, accidents involving rideshare vehicles happen every day. And because Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors, recovering compensation for your injuries and damages can sometimes be difficult. That is why it is important to reach out to an Uber and Lyft accident attorney in Las Vegas to discuss your options if you have been involved in a crash. The experienced team at Morris Injury Law is ready to review your case.
Types of Accidents Involving Uber and Lyft
There are several different ways you might be impacted by an accident involving a rideshare vehicle, including the following:
- An Uber or Lyft vehicle in which you are a passenger gets in an accident;
- A rideshare driver hits your car or one in which you are a passenger;
- An Uber or Lyft vehicle runs into you while you are walking or running as a pedestrian; or
- A rideshare delivery driver crashes into you while on a food delivery run.
All of these instances can result in injuries and property damage. An Uber and Lyft accident attorney in Las Vegas can figure out who is responsible for the associated costs.
Why You Should Contact an Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyer Right After an Accident
You may think there is no point in contacting an attorney until you experience problems recovering compensation for your damages from your insurance company or from the other driver. But there are advantages to reaching out to a Las Vegas Lyft accident lawyer early on in the process. Most importantly, an attorney can deal with insurance adjusters, the police, witnesses, and the other driver while you focus on healing.
If you were just visiting Las Vegas for vacation, it could be a hassle trying to investigate the accident, collect evidence, or interview witnesses when you live in another state. Nevada also has procedures you may not know about. For example, Nevada law requires you to notify the police if the accident caused injury, death, or property damage. If a police officer does not complete a report at the scene, you have to submit a report to the Department of Motor Vehicles. You must submit this report within 10 days for accidents resulting in bodily injury, death, or property damage exceeding $750. Hiring an Uber accident lawyer from Las Vegas takes this burden off of you and puts it in the hands of a professional who is familiar with local regulations and procedures.
Victims have the dual pressures of mounting medical bills and insurance companies pushing quick settlements that seem very appealing when your budget is stretched to the breaking point. However, these initial settlement offers are often lowball offers designed to target vulnerable and desperate victims. If you take this offer without speaking to an attorney first, it is very likely that you’ll end up with bills still coming in long after that money is gone. And once you accept an offer, you can never go back for more.
Hiring an attorney soon after your accident means that the insurance company will not have the opportunity to take advantage of you. Your lawyer knows their tricks, knows the real value of your case, and knows how to protect your rights and get you every dollar your case is worth.
But there are some instances where you really do not need an attorney, and we will tell you that too. If you were involved in a minor accident and the circumstances just do not warrant a lawyer getting involved, we will not pressure you. The consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose by speaking with us.
Can I Recover Damages from Uber or Lyft?
Yes, but recovery can be complicated because the drivers are independent contractors. Normally when a company employs a driver, the company is liable for the driver’s mistakes while on the job. When the driver is an independent contractor, the rules are a bit different. Furthermore, Uber and Lyft have very specific rules regarding when their drivers are covered by company insurance and when they are not.
Automotive Insurance Policies
Las Vegas rideshare drivers must carry their own automobile liability insurance. Additionally, some drivers may have added rideshare endorsements to their policies. As Uber and Lyft explain on their websites, the companies also insure their drivers under certain circumstances.
When a driver is not working, and their app is off, the driver is covered only by their personal automobile insurance policy.
If the driver’s app is on and lists the driver as available or waiting for a ride request, then Uber and Lyft maintain auto insurance providing the following coverage for a covered accident:
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person;
- $100,000 in bodily injury per accident; and
- $25,000 in property damage per accident.
This takes effect if the driver’s policy does not apply.
If the driver is en route to pick up riders or has riders in the car, insurance for Uber and Lyft provide:
- $1,000,000 of third-party liability coverage;
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury; and
- Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage.
Both companies provide the same coverage for their delivery drivers, except Uber does not appear to offer uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage.
Unfortunately, despite there being several coverage options available to offset your losses, the insurance companies may pressure you to accept a lowball offer. Our firm is familiar with these tactics and will not recommend accepting a settlement that does not make you whole.
To ensure that all of your medical and auto repair costs are covered, you might need your Las Vegas attorney to sue Uber or Lyft directly. Rideshare companies might be liable for additional damages if they do not comply with legal requirements related to drivers and their automobiles.
Specifically, Nevada law requires rideshare drivers to be at least 19 years of age, have a valid driver’s license, and drive vehicles that are registered with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. When the driver registers with Uber or Lyft and every three years thereafter, the company must conduct a criminal background check. An applicant will be disqualified if they have been found guilty of three or more motor vehicle violations or traffic ordinances in the preceding three years. The criminal background check goes back seven years in looking for felonies, instances of driving under the influence, and sexual offenses. Your attorney can investigate whether the rideshare company complied with all of these background check requirements.
Uber and Lyft also set minimum standards for the vehicles their drivers use to transport customers. Both companies require the vehicle to have four doors and pass a vehicle inspection. Uber allows drivers to use vehicles up to 15 years old so long as they do not have any cosmetic damage and are in good condition. Lyft limits its vehicles to those manufactured in or after 2012 with at least five seats, including the driver’s seat. If the rideshare company has not complied with its own standards, it may have been negligent.
Why You Need an Experienced Las Vegas Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyer
If your Uber and Lyft accident attorney from Las Vegas concludes that it is appropriate for you to sue your rideshare company, they will begin by conducting discovery. This process involves collecting evidence and marshaling all of the facts to support your claim. The types of evidence likely to be relevant to your case include:
- Photos of the damage to your vehicle and the other car;
- Witness statements;
- Photos or sketches of the accident scene;
- The police report;
- Medical records and bills;
- Vehicle repair estimates;
- Your deposition testimony, as well as that of other drivers; and
- Any accident investigation reports.
Your injury attorney will pursue the facts and evidence required to build a strong case. We also will take care of dealing with the other driver’s lawyer so you can focus on getting your life back on track.
But we also understand that the discovery process can be confusing. This is one of the many reasons why clients turn to Morris Injury Law for help. Scott Morris is committed to customer service. He will take the time to walk you through what all of the documents mean and why they are important for your case. Scott will treat you with respect and strive to ensure you are happy with how your case is handled.
What Compensation Will I Receive Following an Accident Involving a Rideshare Vehicle?
Every accident is different, and the laws governing the state where your accident occurred impact your recovery. That is why it is vital to consult a seasoned Lyft and Uber accident lawyer in Las Vegas. At Morris Injury Law, we have a proven track record of obtaining significant recoveries for our clients.
Modified Comparative Negligence
An Uber and Lyft accident lawyer at Morris Injury Law can tell you what kind of verdicts Nevada juries typically award. They can also explain how Nevada’s modified comparative negligence law may affect your recovery.
Modified comparative negligence allows you to collect some compensation even if you were partly to blame for the accident—as long as you are not more than 50% to blame. If you carry 51% of the blame or more, then you cannot recover any money for your losses.
In practice, this system works by apportioning fault between the parties. For example, imagine Bob drove into Juanita while she was crossing the road. A jury determines that Juanita’s injuries are worth $1,000,000 in damages. But it also finds that Juanita was 30% at fault because she was jaywalking when Bob hit her. The court will reduce Juanita’s award by 30%, and she will receive only $700,000.
Compensatory and Punitive Damages
When you use a Las Vegas attorney to sue Uber or Lyft, they typically sue for negligence and seek compensatory damages. There are two types of compensatory damages—economic and noneconomic. Your attorney can help determine how much your case is worth.
Economic damages include the things you can easily tally up like medical expenses, car repair costs, and lost wages. This is why it is important to keep track of all of your bills and receipts following an accident.
Noneconomic damages are compensation for the emotional turmoil you experienced. A jury decides on a figure that atones for the pain and suffering, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress you suffered from the accident.
In rare cases, the jury may find that the person at fault was guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice. Such a finding might entitle the plaintiff to punitive damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant or set an example.
- Three times the amount of compensatory damages if the compensatory damages award is $100,000 or more; or
- $300,000 if the amount of compensatory damages is less than $100,000.
But these limits do not apply in some circumstances. For instance, there would be no cap on your punitive damages award if the rideshare driver who hit you was drunk or high on drugs.
Contact Morris Injury Law When You Need a Las Vegas Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyer
Scott Morris is a Las Vegas native and has made serving his community his life’s work. When he is not practicing law, Scott serves on the YMCA board and gives out scholarships to students from his alma mater, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has built his life and career around making his hometown a better place for all who share it.
And while some firms handle all types of cases, Morris Injury Law focuses only on automotive accidents and injury cases so that we can be the best at what we do. We are part of the Las Vegas community and want to fight for justice for our neighbors. We do that by taking the time to sit down and walk you through your case, by answering the phone when you call, and by checking in to make sure you are recovering. Then we fight zealously to get you full compensation for your injuries and damages.
When you are hurt in a rideshare accident, you owe it to yourself to find excellent legal representation. Contact Morris Injury Law today for a free consultation.