Colorado Springs Rideshare Accident Lawyers
CALL (800) 863-5312 to talk to one of our Colorado Springs rideshare accident lawyers today
The popularity of rideshare services has surged more quickly than the price of an Uber ride in a college town on a Thursday night; more than one third of American adults say they have used a rideshare service, and such services as we know them today have only been available since around 2009. Though rideshares are popular, their drivers are still susceptible to traffic accidents. Colorado Springs rideshare accident lawyers regularly help victims who have been involved in such accidents.
All drivers have a duty to exercise care while driving. When rideshare drivers are negligent, they can injure not only themselves but also passengers who trusted the drivers to take them safely to their destinations. If you were in a rideshare accident recently in CO, in or near Colorado Springs, call a personal injury lawyer at (800) 863-5312 and schedule your free consultation.
What are The differences between rideshare services and taxi services?
The line between rideshare services and taxi services is not always clear, but there are some important differences that matter if an accident occurs. Perhaps the biggest difference is that rideshare companies treat their drivers as independent contractors, which limits the companies’ liability in the event of an accident. There are other functional differences that can help you parse whether the service involved in your accident was a rideshare or a taxi.
Rideshare services allow passengers to download apps to request rides from drivers in real time. The most well-known rideshare services are Uber and Lyft, but there are several others that fall within the category. Rideshare services help cities that do not have taxi services, since drivers in any city across the United States can sign up, and they likely make the roads safer by helping eliminate the number of instances of drunk driving.
Rideshare drivers typically provide their own car to drive, so long as the vehicle is insured and in good working condition. Drivers make money through rideshare companies by using the app to find passengers who will pay them for their transportation. Many rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft provide an extra incentive for drivers to log on during busy hours by charging more for rides when there are more people using the rideshare app.
Many taxi services like zTrip, which is available in Colorado Springs, have evolved to compete with the rideshare industry. Unlike Uber and Lyft, zTrip offers black car services, including luxury vehicles or limousines, but it does not have price surging when there are more passengers in need of a ride. zTrip’s vehicles that are not part of the black car service are clearly marked with the company’s logo.
Taxi drivers, unlike rideshare drivers, are employees of the companies for which they work. But like Uber and Lyft, they have an app that allows passengers to book rides. The difference is that zTrip passengers can book their rides well in advance.
What are uber’s and lyft’s driver requirements?
Uber and Lyft keep the requirements somewhat lenient for their drivers so that they can maximize the number of drivers on the platform; this comes with the slight disadvantage of not having the most in-depth hiring process possible. The requirements for both Uber and Lyft are likely strict enough that their processes would not be considered negligent, but a personal injury attorney can help you decide whether the rideshare company negligently hired the driver who caused you injury.
Both Uber and Lyft require each driver to have a valid U.S. driver’s license, pass the driver screening test, which includes the prospective driver’s record and criminal history, and have a smart phone that can download and run the rideshare app. Both services have the option for the driver to use his or her own eligible vehicle or to rent an insured car.
In addition to the requirements that both rideshare services place on drivers, Uber also requires drivers to use an adequate picture for their profile, provide proof of insurance for the car they plan to drive, and supply proof of residency for the driver’s city or state. Uber drivers must have at least one year of experience driving in the United States with a valid license or three years of experience driving if the prospective driver is under the age of 25. Lyft, on the other hand, requires that drivers be 25 or older and display the Lyft logo on their vehicle.
How do I stay safe while using a rideshare service?
We have talked about some of the benefits of ridesharing, such as offering a safe and easy way for people who drank more than expected on a night out to get home without driving drunk. However, there are certain risks intrinsic to the ridesharing system beyond those associated with driving in general.
There are people who pretend to be rideshare drivers in order to pick up unsuspecting passengers, sometimes printing off emblems of rideshare services and putting them on their vehicles. In response to these hazards, rideshare companies have created several ways that passengers can stay safe while using rideshare services, including adding features that are built into the rideshare apps. While these features are immensely helpful, there is no replacement for staying aware of your surroundings.
Know Who Your Driver Is
Most rideshare apps have driver profiles where you can look at the ratings and picture of the driver. If the ratings are highly negative or otherwise make you uncomfortable, you can cancel your ride with that driver and request someone else. Ask your driver his or her name when he or she arrives before you climb into the car; you should also ask your driver to tell you the name of the passenger that he or she is picking up to add another level of security to the interaction.
Text Friends and Family Your Location
Uber has a “Share status” feature, and Lyft has a comparable feature called “Send ETA.” These features allow passengers to send texts that includes the driver’s profile picture, name, and license plate number as well as the passenger’s location. to their friends or family members.
If you accept a ride from a rideshare service that does not have a feature to share the driver’s profile and your location, you can snap a picture of the license plate and send it to friends or family members. You can also follow along the route to your destination with your own navigation app.
Abide by Safety in Numbers
The more people you keep near you, the less likely it is that someone will target you as a victim. There are also more eyes to watch for suspicious activity from your driver. Uber and Lyft allow you to carpool with other passengers with similar routes so that you would not be alone with the driver for the entire duration of your ride.
If you have no other option than to ride alone, there are still precautions you can take. First, you can stay inside until your rideshare app alerts you that your driver has arrived; when you stand outside alone on your phone, people impersonating rideshare drivers may be able to tell that you are waiting on your ride. Second, when the car arrives, you should sit in the back seat to put distance between you and the driver; this also makes it safer for you to exit the vehicle, since you can get out on whatever side allows you to avoid traffic.
If You Are in Danger While on Your Ride
If you suspect that you are in danger—if you think the person driving you is not your rideshare driver or the person driving you is taking you far off of the route to your destination—call the Colorado Springs police. If you can safely get out of the vehicle, do so and get to a public place with people in it as soon as possible. In cases where you believe you are in imminent danger, attract attention and ask someone for help.
Whom should i sue if i was the victim of a rideshare accident?
Rideshare auto accidents look different from each perspective of each party involved. There is the party at fault (the one who caused the accident), and there are the victims. Sometimes there is more than one party at fault, depending on the circumstances of the accident, but usually one party can be found more negligent. The victims include the parties that were less at fault or not at fault at all; they can be passengers, cyclists, pedestrians, or other drivers.
For rideshare accidents, the person the victim sues might depend on circumstances outside of the accident itself; that is, the rideshare company may have negligently hired the driver because the driver had a bad driving record or did not have insurance. However, the rideshare company’s liability will be limited in most circumstances, since the drivers are independent contractors. You also may have signed away your right to sue the rideshare company by agreeing to the company’s terms and services when you downloaded the app.
If you are the victim of the rideshare accident in or near Colorado Springs but you were not the passenger of the rideshare driver, you will want to know whether the rideshare driver was carrying a passenger in his or her vehicle. This will affect how many parties might be trying to sue the driver and whether the rideshare company will be involved in litigation at all. If there was no passenger, it will be highly unlikely that the rideshare company will have any liability for the accident.
What should I do if I was in a rideshare accident? Contact a Colorado Springs Rideshare accident lawyer.
If you do not know how to proceed after a rideshare accident, you may want to discuss your next steps with a Colorado Springs injury lawyer. Your lawyer can walk you through what you need to do to recover for your injuries and can tell you how a lawyer can help you with your claim.
Attend to Your Injuries
Even if your injuries were not that serious, you should visit the doctor so that you have a record and can see if your injuries get worse over time. For example, you might not notice some more serious injuries on your own at first because you are in pain from sprains, bruises, and broken bones that distract you from more dangerous conditions you might have incurred, like spinal problems or head trauma.
Document all of your medical expenses along with any other evidence of your injury, including X-rays and records of follow-up appointments and treatment. These records will be helpful for you and your attorney as evidence to support your claim.
Get Evidence to Support Your Story
In addition to evidence of your injuries, you will need evidence to support your story of how the accident happened. You might be able to start gathering evidence at the scene of the accident if you did not suffer serious injuries. Call the Colorado Springs Police Department to report the accident, and an officer will come to take the names and contact information of the drivers involved; be sure to get a copy of that crash report later.
Take pictures of the accident scene if you can and gather contact information from any witnesses who saw the accident. If you are unable to gather such information because you were seriously injured, you can have a CO Springs, CO, attorney help you with this investigation.
Determine Who Is at Fault
A determination of fault will depend on the specific facts of your case. To show that your side of the story is true, gather as much evidence as you can at the scene of the accident, including the names and contact information of the people directly involved in the accident and the people who witnessed the accident. Of course, if you are too seriously injured at the accident to do this, you should receive emergency care first.
You can consult with a Colorado Springs injury lawyer to theorize who was at fault in your accident. If one of the drivers admits to being distracted while driving, then the fault determination is a little clearer. In many cases, though, such a determination will not come easily without further investigation.
Take Legal Action
If you plan to take legal action against the driver who caused your injury, you have three years to do so. That is the law under Colorado’s statute of limitations. There are no exceptions to the rule, so if you miss that deadline, you cannot recover against the driver for your injuries. After you file your claim, you or your Colorado Springs accident lawyer may begin negotiating a settlement with the other party and the other party’s insurance company.
The type of compensation you can receive in a personal injury claim includes economic damages, noneconomic damages, and sometimes punitive damages. Economic damages include your medical expenses, damage to your vehicle, and missed wages from your time off of work; noneconomic damages include compensation for your pain and suffering. Punitive damages are only awarded in very serious cases to punish the party at fault.
Speak with a Zinda law group Colorado Springs rideshare accident lawyer about your goals for recovery
We do not want you to have any regrets about how you should have handled your lawsuit. You deserve an advocate who will fight for you while respecting your goals and understanding your concerns. If you still have questions like, “How can injury lawyer near me help with my case?” we are happy to answer them. The Zinda Law Group Colorado Springs rideshare accident lawyers will take your call and listen to your side of the story and help you form a plan.
Our attorneys understand that you may be feeling the financial strain of medical expenses from your accident, and we want to ensure that you do not have to add expensive legal representation on top of your other expenses. That is why we offer victims of rideshare accidents a free consultation with a Colorado Springs accident lawyer at (800) 863-5312. Additionally, we offer our clients a No Win, No Fee Guarantee, meaning that you do not owe us unless we win your case for you.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.