Uber and Lyft rides are popular transportation alternatives for residents of Monroe, NC. Sometimes they seek to avoid driving during hours of high traffic, or when finding parking can be difficult. For other North Carolinians, the goal is to prevent drinking and driving accidents. Riding in an Uber or Lyft is considered a safe option. However, problems with crashes and precarious situations have occurred in North Carolina.
For example, Uber’s hiring practices have been questioned recently as a result of investigations into the poor background check practices for Uber drivers. Many individuals hurt in accidents involving Uber/Lyft drivers find themselves having trouble obtaining full compensation for medical expenses and other losses. Unfortunately, this is more common than most people expect. With the right legal representation, you won’t be in that position.
If you or someone you know suffered injuries while riding an Uber or Lyft in Monroe, NC, you should contact a skilled attorney who can help you recover compensation for your losses. The team of attorneys working at Dewey, Ramsay, and Hunt, PA, are seasoned legal representatives in cases involving car accidents. They will fight for your rights and seek adequate compensation for your injuries and other losses. To schedule a consultation, call (704) 377-3737.
Rideshare Car Accidents in North Carolina
In North Carolina, you can sue the driver who is at fault to recover your losses. In some cases, North Carolina allows the driver’s employer to be held responsible for paying for the damages and other injuries caused by the driver. There is an open question in North Carolina as to whether Uber/Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors or employees. North Carolina rejects the notion that contracts alone define the position of an employee as an independent contractor. This question was brought recently before a Monroe court. However, there was no ruling on that issue because the case was settled before the court issued a decision.
North Carolina is an “at-fault” state. This rule means that you can sue for injuries after a car accident occurs. However, North Carolina allows a “no-fault add-on” insurance policy protection with personal injury protection for accidents. When car drivers incorporate these policy protections into their insurance coverage, the victim’s ability to recover damages can be limited. The attorneys at Dewey, Ramsay, and Hunt, PA, offer free and confidential legal consultation so you can go over the details of your accident to determine the causes of action available to you.
Insurance-based limitations don’t necessarily mean you will not be able to receive compensation for your losses because you can seek recovery through the insurance companies. Uber/Lyft drivers must carry car insurance. Also, Uber and Lyft supplement drivers’ insurance coverage if the accident occurs when the app is turned on.
What Uber/Lyft Insurance Covers
Uber’s/Lyft’s insurance coverage is not unlimited – there are limitations on insurance amounts. As to timing, there are pre-established periods when depending on the status of the app when the insurance coverage is available. As for measuring fault, drivers have their time divided up depending on the point in the ride. Uber, for example, divides their drivers’ time into three periods after the app is turned on:
The first portion is the time before a passenger calls for a ride and the app is turned off. Uber’s insurance will not offer coverage if an accident occurs at a time when the driver has not accepted a passenger or when the driver is “off the clock” as determined through the status of the app.
The second part of the Uber ride is when the app is “on,” beginning when a passenger sends a request and the driver accepts the ride. In situations when there is trip cancellation, there may be a dispute as to whether Uber’s insurance is available. Your attorney can analyze that in greater detail with you.
The third and last portion of the ride is the time when the passenger is in the car. This period is the time when the driver is “on duty,” and financial recovery is possible if an accident occurs.
Uber’s/Lyft Million-Dollar Insurance Policies
Uber and Lyft have each contracted insurance policies with a million-dollar recovery for accidents. Each rideshare company has its own type of “million-dollar” policy.
Uber’s policy offers:
- Damages caused by Uber driver – $1 million
- Injuries caused by an underinsured motorist – $ 1 million
- Coverage supplemented by the driver’s collision coverage and personal policies
- To receive coverage, the driver has to be in the car
Driver’s insurance policy offers:
- Company’s insurance will be primary
- When the driver causes the accident, the $1 million coverage will be available to cover the losses
- $1 million coverage for underinsured motorists in North Carolina
- Supplemental collision coverage
What to Do If Injured as a Rideshare Passenger in North Carolina
It can be extremely stressful to be in an accident when you’re riding in an Uber or Lyft. Since establishing legal responsibility can be unpredictable, there are some precautions people should take if they experience an accident while traveling in a rideshare. For example:
- When it’s safe, call 911
- Take pictures if possible
- Gather vital information such as the names, phone numbers, and addresses of everyone present at the time of the accident
- Determine if the driver is logged on and take a picture of the rideshare app and the driver’s insurance policy
- Take screenshots of the driver’s app showing the time when the ride was accepted
- Contact a North Carolina Uber/Lyft lawyer
Monroe Uber Accident Lawyers You Can Trust
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving an Uber/Lyft driver, you should rely on the representation of attorneys with a strong background in car accident representation in North Carolina. The team of attorneys at Dewey, Ramsay, and Hunt, PA, is committed to relentless and trustworthy legal representation. They stand ready to tackle all challenges regarding an Uber or Lyft accident. To schedule a consultation, call (704) 377-3737.