Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyer in Chicago
If you were hurt in a collision with a ride share vehicle in Illinois, we want to help
Chicago has some of the best public transportation in the country, but when it comes to speed, convenience and cost, Uber and Lyft have made their mark. According to research done by City Lab, UberPool in particular has proven an excellent alternative to our shambling bus system, helping people get where they need to go faster.
As more and more people being driving for, and using, Uber and Lyft, we have seen a noticeable uptick in the number of accident cases, especially in the Chicagoland area. ABC News 7 reports that Lyft and Uber have actually increased traffic jams and made the roads less safe. Making a claim for damages after being injured in an Uber is a little different from making a claim in a “regular” collision. At Gainsberg Law, we can help you make that claim. Our experienced Chicago injury lawyers know what it takes to get you the compensation you need after an accident. Contact us to learn how we can help.
How do Uber and Lyft work?
The premise behind ride share vehicles like Lyft and Uber is pretty basic. You download an app on your phone, which allows you to set up an account for electronic payment. Then, using the app, you request a ride. This request is sent electronically to drivers in your area. Once one of these drivers accepts your request, you get an update with and or all of the following information:
- Name of the driver
- Photo of the driver
- Estimated time of arrival
- License plate number
- Make, model and color of the vehicle
When the driver arrives, you hop in and off you go. Payments are all electronic, so you don’t have to worry about giving the driver cash; you can even tip right through the app.
How safe is an Uber, really?
Over the last few years, multiple stories have been covered in the news about riders being sexually assaulted by Uber drivers. Last year, an Uber driver actually killed a Cook County man with a machete. In some cases, the people who picked up passengers weren’t even real drivers for Uber or Lyft; they just had fake logos in the window. To that end, safety has become paramount. By offering so much information about the driver, companies like Uber and Lyft can help ensure that you are getting into the car you hailed, and eliminate some risk.
These companies also require that drivers submit copies of their licenses and registrations, undergo criminal background checks, and have their driving records reviewed.
Chicago, however, pushes it further. In 2017, after failing to pass an ordinance that would require fingerprinting for drivers, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance that “required [Uber and Lyft] drivers to obtain special chauffeur’s licenses and post signs informing riders they can relay complaints to 311, and prohibited ridesharing drivers from operating cars older than 6 years, unless they submit their vehicles for semiannual testing.”
Making a claim for damages
Your claim for damages would most likely be made against the company, not the driver – much to those companies’ chagrin. Though both Uber and Lyft have attempted to position themselves as a network for independent contractors, they can still be held liable for your injuries.
If you are attacked in an Uber, or if you are hurt in a car crash involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle – whether you are a passenger in the ride share or driving the other car – you can make a claim for damages. Both Uber and Lyft carry liability policies for their drivers in the event of an accident or injury. How much insurance they carry is dependent on what happened at the time.
- If an Uber or Lyft driver gets into an accident when he or she is not logged in, there is zero liability. This is true even if you are in the car at the time. The driver must be logged in to be covered by Uber or Lyft’s policy.
- If the Uber or Lyft driver is logged into the app, but has not accept a request for a ride, then the coverage is 50/100/25: $50,000 for bodily injury, $100,000 per incident, $25,000 for property damage.
- If the Uber or Lyft driver is logged in and had accepted a ride, the coverage is $1 million.
We know that sometimes, however, a truly catastrophic injury can cost far more that the limits set forth here. We also know that the lawyers for Uber and Lyft are going to fight you whenever possible, to avoid paying out your claims.
This is why you want an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer helping you make your case. If we can get you a just settlement, so that you can start paying your bills more quickly, we will. But if the insurance companies start playing hardball, or try to deny that their clients are liable, we have the skills, resources and experience to fight them in court.
I was hit by an Uber driver in Chicago; what do I do?
If you were hit by an Uber or Lyft driver, the same insurance coverage applies – but now, you might be on the hook for a certain percentage of your claim. This is because Illinois is a comparative negligence state. This means that, as a driver, if you are found 51% or more at-fault for the crash, you cannot collect any damages, not matter how severe your injuries are. If you are found 50% or less responsible, than you can collect damages, minus the amount of your share of the blame.
In other words, if an accident is worth $100,000, and you are found 10% liable for the crash and/or your own injuries, your award is reduced by 10% – in this case, $10,000. Thus, the most you would be entitled to in damages is $90,000.
What you must do, then, to ensure that you can recover the maximum amount is call a lawyer. At Gainsberg Law, we can build a case for maximum recovery by working with accident reconstructionists, investigating the scene of the crash, interviewing witnesses, reviewing the police report, and working with your doctors to show that your injuries were caused by the negligent Uber or Lyft driver. We’ll also help you secure a rental vehicle, or find additional resources for things like home health aides or aftercare for your kids, if necessary. You can trust us to fight for what’s best for you.
Injured in a crash with an Uber or Lyft? Let our legal team help
Gainsberg Law offers comprehensive counsel and practice advice to car crash victims in and around the Chicagoland area. If you were hurt in a car accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle, we want to help. Please call 312-313-1621 or fill out our contact form to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with an attorney you can trust.