Renton Rideshare Accident Attorneys
With the expansion of Uber and Lyft over the past decade, Washington state laws have had to adjust to handle the sheer volume of inexperienced and negligent commercial drivers on the road. In fact, it was not until 2015 that the rideshare industry became regulated in Washington, at which point both Uber and Lyft were required to provide extensive liability policies to cover accident victims. While these policies are invaluable in helping victims receive proper medical attention and long-term damages after a collision, insurance companies are still resistant to providing full compensation to victims.
If you or someone you love was injured in a rideshare accident, then you need strong legal representation to get the compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company. At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., our Renton rideshare accident attorneys have represented numerous clients in complex auto accident claims and can provide sound legal advice about how to proceed. We have over 40 years of experience and can thoroughly explain all of your options after an accident. To learn how to file a claim, contact our office at (425) 228-3860 or toll-free at (888) 228-3860 and schedule a no-cost initial consultation.
There are two key factors that contribute to a rideshare accident. First, drivers often work in a competitive market that encourages them to accept more and more requests as they work. Many drivers work for Uber and Lyft as part-time workers, meaning they are often using the service to supplement their normal income. In turn, even more use the service full-time and rely on it to cover monthly expenses. Thus, they may be motivated to work long hours, ignore traffic laws, or speed to complete a ride and get to the next pick-up point as quickly as possible.
In turn, drivers rely almost exclusively on their cell phones to manage routes, receive pickup requests, and communicate with customers. Distracted driving is already a serious issue on Renton roads, and rideshare drivers are just as, if not more, prone to it when compared to everyday drivers. If a driver looks away from the road for even a second, they could easily collide with a pedestrian in a crosswalk or run a red light and T-bone another car.
In general, rideshare accidents are caused by:
- Violating speeding limits
- Ignoring red lights, yield signs, and stop signs
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Driving while intoxicated
- Failing to check blind spots
- Illegal merges or turns
No amount of negligence should be accepted when a driver gets behind the wheel, especially when someone drives commercial. Uber and Lyft drivers can not only endanger themselves and their passengers, but also other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. If a rideshare driver caused a collision through an act of negligence, then you may be able to file a claim under their liability policy.
Uber and Lyft are both required by Washington state law to provide liability insurance, uninsured motorist, and underinsured motorist insurance coverage for anyone injured in a rideshare accident, including other drivers and passengers. But the limits of these policies will vary depending on when an accident occurs in the driver’s route:
- Tier 0: If a driver has not turned on the Uber or Lyft app, then the rideshare company does not have to cover the accident. Instead, injured parties will have to file a claim with the driver’s personal auto insurance policy.
- Tier 1: If the driver has turned on the Uber or Lyft app but has not accepted a ride request, then they are only insured for $50,000 for a single injured party, $100,000 for two or more injured parties, and $25,000 in property damage. In addition, they are covered by a UM/UIM policy that matches the liability insurance limit.
- Tier 2: If the driver has turned on the Uber or Lyft app and has accepted a ride request, then they are covered for up to $1,000,000 in liability insurance and $1,000,000 in UM and UIM insurance coverage. This coverage ends when the passenger has been dropped off or the ride request was canceled.
If you are an Uber or Lyft passenger, then you are covered under the rideshare company’s insurance policy. This means that, if the rideshare driver causes an accident, then you can file a claim against their insurance policy. However, even if another driver is at fault, then you are still covered under Uber or Lyft’s UM/UIM policy. If the other driver does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries – or has no insurance – then you can file with the rideshare company to receive proper coverage.
Receiving compensation after an auto accident can be extremely difficult if you do not have an experienced Renton car accident attorney at your side. Insurance companies are rarely charitable, often offering low-ball settlements to accident victims that hardly cover the full cost of their medical bills. However, if you work with the legal team at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., we can utilize our more than 40 years of experience to advocate for full and proper compensation. We have the skill and knowledge to thoroughly review all available insurance policies and determine your best options to receive compensation. To schedule a free case evaluation and learn how we can represent you after a rideshare accident, contact our firm at (425) 228-3860 or toll-free at (888) 228-3860.
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