Ridesharing is an arrangement where passengers travel in private vehicles for a fee. Rideshare apps have made transportation to and from passenger’s destinations very convenient. Little wonder why about 93 million users patronized Uber, the world’s most popular ridesharing app, in 2020. Other popular rideshare apps include Lyft, Limos, Taxis, Ola, and Didi.
Unfortunately, while Uber can be a convenient way to travel, it also adds to auto accidents in the US. According to the National Safety Council (NSC) reports, 2020 recorded 42,060 fatalities due to motor vehicle crashes.
No passenger envisages traffic fatalities or collisions as they order an Uber ride. However, accidents can happen at any time, and all passengers should be aware of their rights when they occur. We’d discuss that in this article. For more specific information about your rights as a passenger in an Uber accident, contact our accident attorneys at McDonald Worley Law Firm.
Do I Have Passenger Rights in Rideshare Accidents?
In all motor vehicle accidents, innocent injured parties and passengers have certain rights they can exercise. For example, they can ask for specific information about all the drivers involved in the vehicle accident. They also have the right to reasonable assistance, especially when it comes to accessing medical care. In fact, injured Uber passengers have more rights than anyone else in the accident since they are 100% innocent.
One of the most important rights they have is the right to sue an at-fault party for damages. Nevada is not a no-fault state. As such, negligent drivers who cause an accident are responsible for all the resulting property damages and auto/bodily injury.
Therefore, passengers in rideshare accidents can bring personal injury claims against the liable parties. If they succeed, they will get financial compensation for their losses. If the accident leads to loss of life, the deceased passenger’s family can file a wrongful death claim.
Who Are the Liable Parties in My Automobile Accident?
Under Nevada’s personal injury law, an at-fault driver bears liability for the injuries and other damages in an auto accident. That means that getting your compensation is tied to knowing who the responsible party is. Sometimes, this can be very easy to determine, and in other cases, it’s an arduous task.
However, in all cases, determining liability will depend on which party was negligent or had the higher degree of negligence. Every driver, including rideshare drivers, has a duty of care towards other road users. As such, they must obey traffic laws and conduct themselves in a way that doesn’t harm others.
To succeed in your injury or property damage claim, you must prove a breach of the responsible party’s duty of care. Next, you will prove that it was such a breach of duty that caused the accident and your injuries.
Here are some scenarios where a rideshare driver may be liable for an accident:
- Distracted Driving
Distracted driving happens when a driver engages in any activity that takes their focus off the road. Any driver who gets distracted on the road compromises passenger safety. If such a distraction caused a crash, the distracted driver would be liable for damages.
- Reckless Driving
This involves deliberate disregard for the lives and safety of other road users. One typical example of reckless driving is over-speeding.
- Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
Drink drivers who cause accidents are liable for the injuries in the crash. Authorities usually check for drunk driving by checking the driver’s blood alcohol concentration.
- Drowsy Driving
Drowsy or tired drivers pose a safety risk to passengers and other motorists. If the other driver was responsible for the crash, the at-fault driver’s insurance policy would compensate the accident victims. However, when the rideshare drivers are the negligent parties, many factors come to play. Usually, Uber’s insurance company would verify if the driver logged into the Uber app when the accident occurred.
If the Uber driver weren’t logged into the app, their personal liability insurance policy would cover the damages. If they were logged into the app, Uber’s insurance coverage would cover the damages. If the injury was severe and Uber’s insurance can’t cover everything, the victim’s underinsured motorist coverage may pay the remainder.
What Types of Damages Would I Get?
Motorists, Uber, and other rideshare companies must carry auto liability coverage or adequate car insurance peradventure they cause a crash. Ideally, the liability insurance coverage provides a fair settlement for bodily injuries and property damage. As such, common damages in an Uber accident claim or lawsuit may include:
- Medical Costs
A liable insurance company would foot the accident victims’ medical bills related to injuries sustained in the crash. This will include past, current, and future medical expenses. Sometimes, it may also include costs of rehabilitation and physical therapy.
- Lost Wages
Sometimes, accident victims suffer severe injuries that make them miss work for extended periods. As such, they may not be able to earn a salary. In that case, they’d receive compensation for all the income they would have earned had the accident not occurred.
Lost wages may include loss of earning capacity, too. Lost earning capacity is money that the victim would have earned in the future, but for the injury. While lost wages measure past earnings, lost earning capacity estimates future income.
- Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are not compensation per se. That’s because this type of compensation aims to punish the offender, not to reimburse the victim. It also serves as a warning to intending or future negligent drivers.
- Non-Economic Damages
Apart from compensation for actual finances expended, accident victims can get non-economic damages in a Nevada accident lawsuit. In other words, they are not out-of-pocket expenses that you incurred. They include loss of enjoyment of life, pain, suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, disfigurement, etc.
- Wrongful Death Damages
A deceased accident victim’s family can bring a wrongful death claim or lawsuit against a responsible party. Like personal injury claims, the deceased’s family would seek maximum settlement for their economic and non-economic losses. Fair compensation would include special damages, funeral expenses, burial costs, punitive damages, and other compensatory damages.
Five Common Injuries in Nevada Rideshare Accidents
The following are five common types of accident injuries that victims suffer during a rideshare crash:
A spinal cord injury happens when there’s some damage to the spinal cord, especially due to external trauma from collisions. Since the spinal cord is an extremely delicate body part, any damage to it can affect the victim all-round. Effects of this type of injury extend from physical pains to emotional and mental distress. Common symptoms of spinal cord injuries include loss of movement, excruciating pain, loss of sensation, etc.
- Internal Bleeding
Internal bleeding is another common injury that occurs in auto accidents, especially when it involves high-speed collisions. The force upon impact can damage the victim’s internal organs and cause them to bleed. Internal injuries are highly life-threatening and require urgent medical care to save the affected person’s life.
Whiplash is a kind of neck injury that occurs due to sudden and forceful forward-and-backward neck movement. It’s very common in rear-end crashes and also in motorcycle or bicycle accidents. Also called neck strains or sprains, this injury causes headaches, fatigue, pain, loss of motion, etc. If left untreated, whiplash can develop into a more serious condition like degenerative disc disease.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that’s common in car accidents. Although temporary, concussions can cause highly discomforting effects like severe headaches and memory problems. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, ringing sensation in the ears, and confusion.
Sometimes, concussion patients have seizures or lose consciousness due to the trauma. Treatment methods include having lots of rest and limiting physical activity. Pain relievers like Tylenol can soothe headaches and pain from the crash.
Will My Personal Injury Lawyer Help My Accident Claim?
When it comes to getting maximum compensation in personal injury claims, hiring an experienced attorney is extremely necessary. An experienced lawyer will help your case by doing the following:
- Handling the Paperwork: The insurance claim process is a tedious one. It’s also very complex and sensitive that one mistake can make you lose out on a lot. An insurance defense attorney will help you handle all the complex paperwork and file them in time to beat deadlines. You wouldn’t have to stress about anything.
- Gathering Evidence: Right from the accident scene, experienced attorneys will gather enough evidence to support your claim. From compiling eyewitness accounts to accessing police reports, they’d ensure that everything you need to prove your claim is available.
- Ensuring Adequate Compensation: Your lawyer knows precisely what your case is worth. They will ensure that you don’t get less than you deserve. They will even endeavor to work out larger settlements for you.
- Negotiating With the Insurance Adjusters: Getting in settlement talks with insurance companies and adjusters requires a lot of skillsets. Only an experienced injury attorney has all it takes to beat them in their game.
- Representing You in a Lawsuit: Sometimes, insurance companies remain adamant in offering you meager compensation. When it becomes necessary, your attorney may decide that a lawsuit is a next step. They’d ensure that they file the claim in court and offer you top-notch legal services through adequate representation in court.
Book an Appointment With Experienced Accident Lawyers Now!
Our auto injury attorneys at McDonald Worley Law Firm are the bridge between little compensation and maximum damages in your injury claims. So, if you’ve been in an Uber accident, you should give us a call right away. We’d stand with you every step of the way to ensure that you get exactly what you deserve — and some more.