Ubers and Lyfts are extremely popular ways to get around Boston whether you are a local, tourist, or checking out one of the incredible entertainment options in the city. In Boston alone, there were about 96,000 Uber and Lyft rides per day in 2017.
Rideshare drivers may be more likely to be rushed, negligent, or distracted by the app's use. If you were involved in a car accident with a company like Lyft or Uber in Boston, the driver or others could be responsible for your accident and injuries.
Handling an Uber or Lyft accident is much more complex than a typical car accident case, but the experienced lawyers at Spada Law Group are here and ready to help. We will represent you to help you recover medical costs, lost income, and other losses. If you were injured as a rider, passenger, or third party, please call today for a free consultation: (617) 889-5000.
What Should I do After being Hurt in an Uber or Lyft Accident in Boston?
If you were hurt in a car accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft as a passenger, there are three main things you need to do:
- Get information at the scene of the accident
- Get the medical attention you need
- Call a skilled car accident attorney to set up a free consultation
1. What to Do on the Scene of the Car Accident
If you’re able to, here are some suggestions of what to do at the scene of the accident:
- Call 9-1-1 to get a police report
- Get information about the other driver involved in the accident, including their license plate and car insurance policy information
- Get information from your Uber or Lyft driver: their full name, phone number, address, information about their car, and their insurance policy
- Take photos of the accident scene and all vehicles and property involved
- If any witnesses are at the scene, get their names and contact information
- Screenshot the details of your Uber or Lyft ride on your phone, so you have proof that you were a passenger in a ride at the time of your accident
- Email yourself notes about what happened
2. Get Medical Attention
The most important thing to do after any car accident injury is to get the proper medical attention you need. Even if you don’t immediately notice any pain, you should go to your doctor or urgent care because sometimes it can take a few days to settle in after a car accident.
A medical exam soon after the accident will help an injury attorney prove your injuries were actually caused by the car accident. This will help strengthen your case and help ensure you get the compensation you’re entitled to. If you wait too long to get medical care, insurance companies will try to argue your injuries did not result from the Uber or Lyft accident, or they will try to argue that your injuries are not severe.
3. Consult a Personal injury Attorney
Set up a consultation with a skilled personal injury attorney with experience handling injuries suffered in Lyft and Uber accidents. Spada Law Group offers FREE consultations and is a top car accident and top personal injury lawyer in Boston and all of Massachusetts.
How Can I Get Compensation After I’m Hurt in an Uber or Lyft Car Accident in Massachusetts?
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, more people have opted for calling an Uber or Lyft instead of using public transportation such as the MBTA bus or T. You have a right to compensation if you were injured in an Uber or Lyft car accident in Boston or Massachusetts. As a passenger or rider, you have a right to file a claim against whoever is at fault for the car crash.
Firstly, if you were injured in a car accident involving a Lyft or Uber, DO NOT talk to anyone’s insurance company until you meet with an attorney.
An injury lawyer knows all your rights and the best way to protect and advocate for them. Your claim could involve the personal insurance policy of your driver, the insurance policy from Uber or Lyft as a company, and the insurance policies of any other drivers involved in the accident.
What NOT to do after your Lyft or Uber car accident:
- Do not make any statements to insurance companies.
- Do not sign any release forms or any type of paperwork.
- Do not discuss or agree to any form of monetary settlement.
Uber and Lyft car accident injury cases can be more complicated due to the involvement of multiple parties and insurance companies. But skilled car accident injury attorneys at Spada Law Group are ready to assist you.
What Compensation Can I Recover After an Uber or Lyft Accident in Massachusetts?
After being injured in a Lyft or Uber accident, you may be entitled to damages for medical bills. This would include emergency or lifesaving medical treatment, medical transportation, hospital charges, imaging (X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, etc.), and more. It would also include paying for ongoing medical care such as medications, doctors’ appointments, medications, physical therapy, specialists, and more.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering includes the physical pain and other intangible hardships you suffer that were caused by your injury and accident. Your pain and suffering is “worth” something when it comes to experiencing an injury due to an accident. Pain and suffering can also be psychological.
Lost Income and Professional Losses
If you experience loss of income from being unable to work or can show that you had to change careers or your earning potential was harmed due to your injuries in an Uber or Lyft accident, you can recover damages for these losses. Serious injuries could result in cutting back work hours, losing performance bonuses, being less productive, needing to change careers, and more.
You can also receive compensation for any property damage. If you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, damages could include your cell phone, glasses or eyewear, suitcases, or anything you had in the vehicle with you. If you were driving your own vehicle and were crashed into by an Uber or Lyft driver, then property damage recovery would include any damages to your vehicle and personal items.
Who is Responsible for a Boston Uber or Lyft Rideshare Accident?
Finding out who is at fault for your accident requires proving negligence. This is a well-established legal standard that applies in all Lyft or Uber accidents. There are, however, unique considerations when figuring out who was at fault for the accident. We must look into the details of the accident to find out all the relevant factors at play that contributed to the accident.
Evidence from your Uber or Lyft Accident Case that can Prove your Claim
If you were injured in an Uber or Lyft car accident as a passenger, there are several steps you can take to take care of yourself and to help build a successful injury case.
If you’re able to, at the scene of the accident call 9-1-1 to get a police report; get information about the other driver involved in the accident, including their license plate and car insurance policy information; take screenshots of the rideshare app; get information from your driver; take photos at the scene; and take notes about what happened while it’s fresh in your mind.
What Other Parties Could be Liable for My Accident?
If you were involved in a car accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft in Massachusetts, the driver or someone else could be responsible for the accident.
Any negligent party could be liable for damages. For example, if the accident involved a defective vehicle, you would have a claim against the car’s manufacturer. The accident could also be entirely the fault of a third party, such as a driver who ran a red light and hit the Uber or Lyft as it passed through an intersection. Other factors to consider can even include road construction or conditions. As attorneys, we will look at all the facts, perform research, and determine all possible liable parties involved in the accident.
An Uber and Lyft Accident Claim Could also Include Other Responsible Parties Due to the Following:
- Negligent hiring
- Negligent training or supervision
What Kind of Insurance is Involved in a Massachusetts Uber or Lyft Accident?
As a general rule, Uber and Lyft carry a $1 million injury liability policy that applies while a passenger is riding in the car. Rideshare drivers also must carry their own insurance policies.
Rideshare companies do not have the same employer/employee relationship with their drivers as traditional taxi companies.
Because Uber and Lyft drivers typically are not considered “employees” of the company, when an Uber or Lyft driver’s negligence causes an accident, their negligence does not automatically make the company liable for your injuries.
The Uber or Lyft driver is considered an independent contractor, which can mean the ride-sharing company is not legally responsible for any car accidents. Because of this unique liability situation, you need to know your rights if you were in an accident as a passenger or driver in a ride-sharing vehicle.
There are still some circumstances that can make Uber or Lyft liable as a company. It takes a skilled injury attorney like Spada Law Group to know when this is the case. As an Uber or Lyft passenger, you are covered by a $1 million liability insurance policy. This is far more coverage than the $20,000 liability insurance taxicabs carry, which is hardly enough to cover your damages for any substantial injury.
What Happens if the Uber or Lyft Driver was Waiting for a Ride Request?
Uber’s liability insurance policy may cover the accident if an Uber driver injures a third party while they are available for riders but are waiting for a ride request. If the driver’s personal insurance does not cover the accident, Uber’s insurance policy will cover it.
In a scenario like this, Uber’s or Lyft’s insurance policy will cover $50,000/$100,000 for bodily injury and up to $25,000 for property damage.
Who is Liable if the Uber or Lyft Driver was on Their Way to Pick Up a Passenger?
If an Uber or Lyft driver is en route, the rideshare companies’ insurance policy will pay for the third party’s or driver’s injuries. Even if the accident involves an uninsured driver, the policy includes up to $1 million in total liability coverage for the accident.
What if the Rideshare Driver Was not Using the Uber or Lyft App?
There are several things to consider if a driver was not using the Lyft or Uber App. Still, in general, if the driver was unavailable to pick up passengers and if the app was turned off at the time of the accident, the driver’s personal insurance policy will be what covers any accident. This is because, at the time of the accident, the driver was acting as a typical driver, not driving for profit while “working” for the rideshare company.
How Can a Lyft or Uber Accident Lawyer Help Me?
The unique relationship that Uber and Lyft companies have with their drivers means that Uber and Lyft accident cases are far more complex than a “typical” car crash case. In fact, the cases are even far more complicated than an injury from a traditional taxi cab accident.
It takes a skilled injury attorney like Spada Law Group to know how to ensure Uber and Lyft are liable for the accident. The good news is that as a passenger injured in an Uber or Lyft Accident, the companies carry a $1 million liability insurance policy – much more coverage than the $20,000 liability coverage taxicabs are required to carry.
Massachusetts Time Limits on Filing an Uber or Lyft Accident Case
Massachusetts has a no-fault personal insurance policy. However, people injured in accidents can still sue the responsible party for negligence if their damages exceed the standard severity threshold.
A car accident injury case can be filed within three years from the date of the accident, but it is better to bring the case as soon as possible. There may be circumstances that require a case to be brought more quickly.
Changes in Massachusetts Law Regarding Ride-Sharing
In August 2016, Governor Charlie Baker officially passed legislation to regulate ride-share services in Massachusetts.
Traditional taxi companies criticized that legislation for being too liberal and putting them at risk of eventually going out of business. The regulations included requirements for ride-share drivers to have special, supplemental insurance because once the driver launches the app and logs in, they are no longer covered under their own personal auto insurance policy.
Pursuing legal action against a ride-share company like Uber or Lyft can be a complex process. It is essential to have a proven, experienced Boston car accident lawyer to represent you during this process.
At Spada Law Group, we have a proven track record of fighting for our clients to get the best possible result, and we used to work for insurance companies – which gives us a unique advantage.
Injured In An Uber or Lyft Car Accident in Massachusetts? Text or Call East Boston Car Accident Injury Attorney For A FREE Consultation
As Massachusetts car accident attorneys, we know the unfortunate truth: Car accidents in an Uber or Lyft are inevitable.
Over the last three decades, we’ve helped thousands of people in Massachusetts get the recovery they need after a car accident injury. Spada Law Group was recently recognized as one of Boston’s Top 20 Car Accident Attorneys. Attorney Spada was named one of Boston’s Top Personal Injury Lawyers. We’re here and ready to help. As personal injury lawyers, you never pay us a penny until we win your case.
We have offices in Chelsea, Peabody, and Worcester, but we proudly serve the entire state and can meet with you remotely from the comfort of your own home.
Contact us for a free consultation to see how we can help you get the recovery you deserve after your injury.