Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft are often convenient and affordable alternatives to personal transportation when people are intoxicated, fatigued, lack their own vehicles, or otherwise cannot drive themselves. Little information about the safety of rideshare services is available from companies like Uber and Lyft themselves, but research suggests this convenience may come at a cost.
According to a 2019 study conducted by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, U.S. cities that have adopted services like Uber and Lyft have seen subsequent increases of roughly three percent in fatal traffic accidents. Researchers say these increases in traffic fatalities remain consistent or even increase over time as long as rideshare services are still present in these cities.
If you were injured in a Portland Uber or Lyft accident, the experienced attorneys of Siefman Law LLC can help you hold negligent parties accountable and demand the compensation you need to recover. Call us at (503) 395-2135 or contact us online to learn more in a free consultation.
Causes of Uber/Lyft Accidents in Portland
It’s important to remember that Uber and Lyft drivers are not professionals. Therefore, the causes of rideshare accidents are typically the same as the common causes of all car accidents, including:
- Distracted driving - Drivers are more likely to crash when distracted by text messages, rideshare apps, GPS information, passenger conversations, or any other distractions that take a driver’s focus and attention away from the road.
- Driving under the influence - Drivers are more likely to crash when they are intoxicated by alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, or any other substances that compromise safe driving abilities.
- Drowsy driving - Drivers are more likely to crash when they are excessively fatigued, which can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- Inexperienced driving - Drivers who are relatively young and inexperienced are more likely to be involved in traffic accidents due to underdeveloped judgment and increased likelihood of driving errors.
- Reckless driving - Drivers are more likely to crash when they engage in risky and reckless behaviors such as speeding, lane weaving, and tailgating.
- Poor road conditions - Drivers are expected to maintain full control of their vehicles even when poor road conditions exist. State or local agencies may be held responsible for accidents that result from excessive potholes or other dangerous road conditions caused by government negligence.
Compensation in an Uber/Lyft Accident Claim
If you are injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, you may have several options for pursuing compensation, including:
- Filing an insurance claim against the rideshare company - Compensation may be available from the rideshare company’s insurance policy if the Uber or Lyft driver was at fault for an accident while they were on duty. Here, “on duty” means they were available to pick up passengers through a rideshare app, on their way to pick up passengers, or actively transporting passengers.
- If the driver was on duty but not actively carrying passengers or on their way to pick anyone up, most rideshare companies’ insurance policies will provide limited benefits of up to $50,000 per person for bodily injuries, up to $100,000 per accident for bodily injuries, and up to $25,000 per accident for property damage.
- If the driver was at fault for an accident while they were actively carrying passengers or on their way to pick up passengers, accident victims should have access to full liability insurance coverage from rideshare companies, which is typically up to $1 million for bodily injury and $1 million per accident for property damage.
- These full insurance coverage amounts are also available to passengers of on-duty rideshare drivers who are injured in accidents caused by other road users.
- Filing an insurance claim against the rideshare driver - If a rideshare driver was responsible for an accident when they were not on duty, rideshare company insurance will not be available. Victims must rely on the rideshare driver’s personal liability insurance for compensation. In Oregon, minimum liability insurance coverage amounts for drivers include $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury and $20,000 per accident for property damage.
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit - If the at-fault driver or rideshare company attempts to minimize or deny your insurance claim, you could file a personal injury lawsuit with the help of an attorney to pursue the money you need. Contact a knowledgeable lawyer to learn more about your legal rights and options.
What To Do After an Uber/Lyft Accident
If you were injured in an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare accident in Portland, you can protect your legal rights and your ability to recover compensation by:
- Seeking prompt medical care for your injuries and following through on your doctor’s treatment recommendations to create a permanent record of your condition and demonstrate that you are taking your injuries seriously.
- Collecting evidence from the scene of the accident, such as photos of the accident scene, the clothes you were wearing when the accident occurred, and statements from any witnesses who saw what happened.
- Keeping track of accident-related expenses and financial losses, including medical bills, property damage repair or replacement costs, incidental expenses that you are forced to pay out-of-pocket, and lost wages from missed time at work.
- Establishing a “pain journal” to record your daily pain levels, any physical limitations you experience, and other impacts the accident has on your life.
- Avoiding social media posts or providing statements about the rideshare accident to anyone else who was involved in the wreck, rideshare companies, their insurance representatives, or their attorneys.
Statute of Limitations for Uber/Lyft Accident Claims
If you believe you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit after an Uber or Lyft accident, it’s important to be aware of the statute of limitations laws that will apply to your case. In Oregon, personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years of the date when the injury occurred.
If you fail to file your lawsuit before the two-year deadline has expired, you will likely lose your right to demand compensation. An attorney can help you determine whether you are eligible to file a lawsuit, work out a clear timeline for your case, and ensure your lawsuit is filed in a timely manner.
Contact a Portland Uber/Lyft Accident Attorney Today
To learn more about how a Portland rideshare accident attorney could help you if you’ve been severely injured, reach out to the trusted team at Siefman Law LLC today by calling (503) 395-2135 or contacting us online for a free consultation.