$63-million victory highlights importance of hiring an attorney for Uber accidents
When Boston resident Will Good used his phone app to call an Uber following his shift at a local restaurant, he could not have expected that his life was about to change forever. Like most people, Will got in the car and began to unwind, anticipating he’d arrive home in good time to relax. However, his plans were interrupted when the driver, taking a sharp turn, crashed the vehicle into a stationary vehicle.
As a result of the accident, Will was left wheel-chair bound.
For most people, having an accident in an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare vehicle is the last thing on their mind when they open their driver app. Will’s story paints a different reality that, unfortunately, happens all too often as demand for rideshare services increases.
Statista.com highlights the exponential growth of rideshares. It anticipates the rideshare market will grow by 115 percent between 2021 and 2026. By 2026, it is expected to be worth around $185 billion.
What’s more, a recent study by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business indicates a clear correlation between the increase in demand for these services, and an increase in overall car accidents. The study results specifically allege that Uber and Lyft, the big players in the industry, have resulted in an increase of 3 percent in overall fatalities related to vehicle accidents.
Common causes of rideshare accidents include driver errors from illegal turns or lane changes to speeding, sudden braking or accelerations, failure to stop or double parking – even driving while texting or checking the rideshare app.
At the same time, the actual nature of the business means that drivers are paid more for driving more. As a result, hard-working drivers are at risk for driver fatigue.
Filing a Lawsuit for an Uber Accident: Do I Need a Lawyer?
Filing a claim for a rideshare accident can be slightly trickier than for a conventional accident involving a personal car. Multiple parties – such as the driver, the insurance company and the actual rideshare company — might be liable for the accident. These parties will more than likely try to place the blame on each other, adding to the challenges you may experience in trying to claim compensation for the accident.
You may also be entitled to damages that you don’t realize. When you are involved in an accident with a rideshare like Uber or Lyft, you will likely be contacted by the driver’s insurance company. Notoriously, these companies try to settle a claim as fast as they can, and for as little money as they can get by with paying. As friendly as they sound, they will not tell you that you might be eligible for considerably more compensation than in a typical car crash, including for things like pain and suffering, current and future medical bills for injuries sustained in the accident, lost wages, loss of quality of life, loss of ability to work, and many other potential injuries.
For these reasons, it is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. When you call OnderLaw, not only will you be at peace knowing you have the best representation possible; studies show that those who hire attorneys for personal injury claims like rideshare accidents are often compensated considerably more. The Insurance Research Council found that those injured in accidents were able to recover, on average, 3.5 times more compensation than those who tried to represent themselves.
This is exactly what Will did. He hired a professional to claim for severe physical injuries, and mental and emotional trauma. Will’s life was interrupted in a profound way and he needed an attorney who was well-versed in laws governing rideshare accidents. The result was that he was awarded $63 million in compensation for the injuries he sustained.
His attorney helped him to get to the nitty-gritty behind the incident. It was discovered the driver hadn’t been screened properly before acceptance as an Uber driver, resulting in a negligence lawsuit against Uber.
U.S. ridesharing statistics emphasize the importance of knowing your rights when using professional car services. Statistics released at the end of last year on Zippia.com show that a staggering third of the U.S. population (36 percent of Americans) are using a a rideshare app. This is more than double the percentage of those using the services in 2015. At the same time, every day, around 14 million trips by Uber take place every day.
The services are convenient, accessible, and provide a travel solution for many, which is why they are so popular. But at the same time, as Will’s story illustrates, taking a ride with rideshare doesn’t mean one has to be taken for a ride.