Hartford Uber and Lyft Accident Attorneys
Representing victims of rideshare accidents in Hartford & Manchester, CT
The ways we use to get from Point A to Point B are changing. Whether you live right in the city or out in the suburbs, rideshare apps like Lyft and Uber have never been more popular. If you have the means, you don’t have to rely on owning a vehicle or public transportation like CT Transit or private taxis and cabs. For many local Hartford residents, rideshare apps can be more convenient and less expensive, as they operate in many areas where taxi service is too costly or wholly unavailable.
However, unlike public transportation, if you’re injured while in an Uber or Lyft, who is responsible? What rights do you give up when you step into that car or SUV? If you’re hurt in a car accident while you’re a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, the process for recovering compensation can be more complicated than an “everyday” accident. The thought of dealing with big corporations like Lyft and Uber can be intimidating.
If you were injured or assaulted during a rideshare like Uber or Lyft, talk to the injury attorneys at Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC today. We hold the negligent and reckless individuals accountable for your damages and losses, and fight vigorously for you every step of the way. Contact our office today to find out how we can help you.
How do Lyft and Uber work?
First, here’s a basic overview of how rideshare companies work. Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft are a type of “driver for hire” services that a consumer can order directly through a smartphone app. Lyft and Uber work with freelance drivers who use their own vehicles, and act as the middleman to connect drivers looking for passengers to passengers who need a ride.
Getting started on Uber or Lyft is relatively simple as well. You download the app you want, set up electronic payment and request your ride. A nearby driver is notified and comes to pick you up. You confirm the price of the trip beforehand, so the fee is set. And, you can track the driver’s progress as they come to pick you up, see the make, model, and color of their car, as well as their name and photo – so you don’t get into the wrong car with the wrong driver.
The passenger is not required to tip the driver, but a tip suggestion will automatically pop up after the ride. Both the driver and the passenger can rate each other on the app, so future users can know what to expect (or, more conveniently, who to avoid).
Is my Hartford Uber or Lyft driver safe?
Many people new to rideshare apps might wonder if just anyone can apply to be a driver. You may wonder about your safety and the driving record of the person behind the wheel. According to both Lyft and Uber, they regularly screen their drivers by requiring the following before they can start driving:
- Submission of valid drivers’ license, social security number, car insurance
- Driving record checks
- Nationwide criminal search
- County court records search
- State sex offender registry search
- Felony search
- Ongoing criminal monitoring
Lyft in particular is launching a Community Safety Education program in partnership with RAINN, the largest nonprofit anti sexual violence organization in the United States.
Liability in a Hartford Uber or Lyft accident
If you’re in an accident on public transportation or with a city taxi, typically these vehicles are fully insured by the city and are required to comply with strict regulations. The drivers of buses and taxis in Hartford, CT, for example, work for the city and are considered state employees. However, individuals who drive Lyft or Uber are more like freelancers or independent contractors. As mentioned, companies like Uber and Lyft think of themselves more like middlemen than employers – they provide the technology to match riders and passengers and that’s it. This way, they can’t claim drivers as their own employees, which frees them of many of the liabilities they might hold as employers.
However, they do provide certain protections for their drivers – typically $1 million in both liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UI/UIM). However, just because someone has insurance doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get a fair settlement. It’s crucial you work with experienced Hartford Lyft and Uber car accident attorneys like the ones at Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC.
You could be eligible to bring an injury claim against Uber, Lyft or another rideshare company if:
- You were a rideshare passenger or driver injured in an accident where the rideshare driver was at fault. In most situations, the rideshare company’s liability insurance should cover you. However, there may be exceptions if, for example, the rideshare driver did not have a passenger in their car at the time. Then it would likely be handled like any other car accident.
- You were a rideshare driver hurt in a collision where someone else was at fault. If the other driver has no insurance or is underinsured, you may be able to file an injury claim against Uber or Lyft’s insurance policy.
- A passenger injured in a rideshare accident where another driver was at fault. If the at-fault driver has insufficient insurance to cover your injuries and damage, the rideshare company’s UM/UIM policy might extend to passengers.
If you are an Uber or Lyft driver, most auto insurance policies have supplemental insurance for rideshare drivers, which can financially protect you in the event of an accident.
Uber and Lyft drivers have a legal duty to exercise the same degree of care and caution, and to follow all the same traffic laws, that any other reasonable driver would use under the same or similar circumstances. Additionally, rideshare drivers owe their passengers a duty of care that their vehicles are safe and properly maintained.
Because companies like Lyft and Uber classify their employees as contractors or freelancers rather than employees, they don’t bear the same type of responsibility for their drivers’ behaviors and actions in quite the same ways as other companies would. However, anyone – from a passenger, driver, cyclist and pedestrian – injured by a rideshare driver in a crash may be eligible to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party.
Dedicated Hartford Uber and Lyft accident lawyers
At Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC, we provide thorough representation and support if you or a loved one is hurt in an Uber or Lyft accident. Our attorneys work to secure you compensation for your damages and losses after a rideshare crash – helping you recover from your injuries and holding the right parties accountable. We’re located right off I-84 or I-384 in Manchester. To schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers in Hartford or Manchester, please call 860-649-4400 or fill out our contact form.