Ride-sharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft, along with more traditional taxicab companies and other common carriers, are extremely popular in Denver and other major metropolitan areas nationwide. Uber and Lyft are giving the ubiquitous taxicab companies a run for their money, as they far surpass taxicabs in terms of safety, cleanliness, convenience, and affordability.
If you have been injured in a Denver Uber accident, or any ridesharing accident, an experienced Denver Uber accident lawyer may be able to help. A skilled accident attorney can discuss all of the facts and circumstances of your individual case with you and may be able to file claims against potential defendants on your behalf. An attorney may also be able to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and help you to obtain monetary compensation for your bodily injuries and damages.
Characterizing Common Carrier Drivers
It is important to note that Uber and Lyft require their drivers to undergo thorough background checks and maintain their own motor vehicle insurance. However, Uber and Lyft drivers – and in some cases, taxi cab drivers – are not employees of their respective companies. Rather, they are independent contractors.
The difference between an independent contractor and an employee rests with the level of control maintained by the company over the driver. Independent contractors usually have the ability to set their own schedules, perform contract work as opposed to salaried work, and receive a Form-1099 (as opposed to a W-2 form) at tax time.
Responsibility for Car Accidents
In cases of motor vehicle accidents involving negligent Uber, taxicab, or common carrier drivers/operators, the following parties could potentially share in the responsibility for the injuries and damages sustained by the plaintiff:
- The Uber, taxicab, or common carrier driver
- The rideshare or taxicab company
- The insurance company through which the rideshare or taxicab company has a liability policy
- The driver of another vehicle who caused the accident (and their insurance company)
Most Colorado personal injury lawyers will file suit against all of these entities in order to safeguard liability and maximize a personal injury plaintiff’s potential monetary recovery in the case.
The lawsuit will typically allege that the common carrier driver was negligent – usually by driving recklessly or violating a rule of the road – and that the driver’s negligence resulted in certain injuries and damages to the vehicle passenger or passengers.
Some of the most common types of injuries and damages sustained in Denver Uber/taxi/common carrier accidents include whiplash injuries, soft tissue neck and back strains, seatbelt rash injuries, chest and shoulder injuries, knee injuries, and head injuries.
Uber’s Direct Liability
In terms of Uber’s direct liability, the following Uber policy limits typically apply:
- 50/100/25 of contingent coverage by Uber in-between fares (i.e. contingent to a driver’s personal automobile insurance policy and paid only if the personal automobile insurance policy refuses to pay, or pays nothing)
- $1 million of uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits per accident, providing coverage for Uber passengers who are injured when another driver causes a collision or other type of accident
- $1 million of liability coverage per accident (divided into bodily injury and property damage liability)
Contact an Attorney
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident when you were a passenger in a, Uber, Lyft, taxicab, or common carrier vehicle, you may be entitled to monetary compensation under Colorado law.
Common carriers often like to allege that their drivers are independent contractors and that they (i.e. the company) should be exempt from liability when their drivers are negligent. However, a knowledgeable attorney will have the knowledge and expertise to challenge the insurance company and hold all responsible parties accountable for their negligence.
Contact an experienced Denver Uber accident lawyer at any time, via telephone or email, for a free initial consultation.