Columbia Uber/Lyft Accident and Injury Attorneys
Strong representation for South Carolina rideshare accident victims
More and more people in the Columbia area, and across the country, are using ridesharing apps. Choosing services like Uber and Lyft over more traditional forms of transportation brings a host of benefits, like convenience, cheaper fares, and a choice of vehicles. As a passenger in a rideshare car or van, you have the right to a safe and a secure ride. If your driver has an accident, assaults you or otherwise causes you harm, you have rights.
When you’re injured in a Columbia rideshare accident, the driver and the rideshare companies that could and should have prevented it should be held accountable. At McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC, our personal injury lawyers have a strong track record of success holding reckless and negligent parties accountable for the injuries, losses, and other damages they cause.
Liability for Columbia rideshare accidents
To drive for companies like Uber or Lyft, drivers are required to carry their own personal auto insurance policies. Uber and Lyft also have their own insurance policies. However, whose policy covers what and when can be tricky. The rideshare companies typically cover drivers when they’re on the job, or in “driving mode.”
In general, both companies offer coverage for drivers who are actively driving passengers at the time of an accident. This means that the driver’s app is on, they have accepted a ride request, and are either en route to pick up a passenger or have passengers in their vehicle.
You may also find yourself in a third-party car accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle. These drivers also have liability insurance that varies depending on what “mode” the rideshare driver was in at the time.
If the driver’s app is on (driving mode) but they do not have a passenger:
- Up to $50,000 for each injured person
- Up to $100,000 total injury coverage per accident
- Up to $25,000 for property damage
If the driver is in driving mode and does have a passenger:
- Up to $1 million total coverage
Here’s an example. If a Lyft driver has their app on and is looking for a passenger (but hasn’t yet accepted a ride request), runs a stop sign and injures another driver, the injured person may be eligible for up to $50,000 in damages. On the other hand, if the Lyft driver has their app on and is in the middle of transporting a passenger and causes an accident, anyone injured in that accident may be eligible for up to one million dollars in compensation.
What if the drivers’ app was turned off at the time of the accident?
If you’re injured or assaulted by an Uber or Lyft driver who’s “off the clock,” you generally may only seek compensation and damages through their personal car insurance. As illustrated above, rideshare companies provide insurance, but only when a driver’s app is on and active. The experienced attorneys at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC can explain which scenario applies to you.
I was assaulted in a Lyft or Uber. What should I do?
Unfortunately, rideshare assaults are a common topic in the news lately. If you were physically or sexually assaulted by an Uber or Lyft driver, it’s important you take these steps to ensure your attacker is held responsible for their actions.
- Get to a safe place as soon as possible
- Call 911 and report the assault
- Get medical care immediately
- Provide the police with all information regarding the assault
- Screencap your rideshare details from your app
- Take photos of your injuries
- Notify the rideshare company
- Document and save all paperwork
- Talk to your personal injury attorney
Additionally, Uber and Lyft each have anti-discrimination policies. If a rideshare driver discriminated against you on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, age, or sexual orientation, our Columbia attorneys can help you take action.
Holding rideshare companies accountable for accidents and injuries
Uber and Lyft do not deserve a free ride when it comes to responsibility for their driver’s wrongful acts. Columbia passengers who suffer injuries during a rideshare trip may hold the companies liable for negligence if Uber or Lyft:
- Did not take precautionary measures that would have prevented dangerous drivers from accepting passengers
- Failed to conduct professional background checks of their new drivers
- Failed to establish protocols to help protect the safety of their passengers
- Failed to monitor their drivers during the ride by checking in with them
- Knew that there were other complaints of misconduct involving the driver and failed to investigate them
Generally, drivers are held liable and must pay damages based on intentional misconduct or fault in an accident. Rideshare companies are liable if they were negligent in the way they hired the driver, kept the driver, or failed to secure the passengers’ safety. Damages are usually paid by the driver or rideshare company, unless an applicable insurance policy applies.
What to do after a Columbia Uber or Lyft accident
If you’re involved in a rideshare accident, there are several key things you should do:
- Call the police. The police should be called to take a report of the accident or incident. They should also work to get the driver’s name, insurance information, car information, and other relevant details. They can speak to any witnesses.
- Go to the ER. Emergency room centers can document your injuries and provide immediate medical help. Ensure you keep all paperwork and prescriptions.
- Verify the ride. If possible, verify that you did use an Uber or Lyft. For example, screencap and save the app information that confirmed your ride.
- Get the names of any witnesses. Witness accounts can help build an even stronger case.
- Consult with an attorney. Our personal injury lawyers will explain your rights and what steps to take based on what happened.
Contact McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC before you sign anything. Your claim is worth more than you think.
How our Lyft and Uber accident attorneys can help
If you’re injured as a passenger in a rideshare vehicle – or as part of an accident with a rideshare vehicle – you should not be responsible for your damages and losses. We’ll hold the negligent parties accountable for:
- Lost wages, current and future
- Medical bills for hospital treatment, doctors, and medication
- Your emotional suffering including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress syndrome
- Your physical pain such as cuts, bruises, harm due to an assault, and other physical harm
Drivers should also be required to pay punitive damages for intentional misconduct. Uber and Lyft may be required to pay punitive damages as well if they were aware of a driver’s past criminal history and failed to do anything about it. Victims of assault may also be eligible to file a civil claim against their attackers.
Speak with an experienced Columbia rideshare accident lawyer today
At McGowan, Hood and Felder, LLC, our personal injury lawyers have obtained numerous large settlements and favorable jury verdicts for many clients because we do all the detail work, prepare you and your case for trial, understand the law, and argue persuasively. To schedule an appointment, call our South Carolina lawyers at 855-326-1091 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment.