Santa Fe Uber and Lyft Injury Lawyers

CALL (800) 863-5312 to speak with Santa Fe Uber and Lyft Injury Lawyers for free

Ridesharing services have become extremely popular across the United States over the past decade, quickly growing from a cheaper and more convenient alternative to the traditional taxicab companies in large cities, to now providing services in both urban and rural areas. While these companies have made commuting and travel easier and cheaper for many passengers, the increase in traffic has also caused an increase in car accidents. That’s why it’s important to know experienced Santa Fe Uber and Lyft injury lawyers in the event of an accident.

If you or a loved one were injured in a Santa Fe car accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312. We will schedule your free consultation with a Santa Fe personal injury attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and your next steps to seeking compensation. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.

RIDESHARING ACCIDENT STATISTICS

Studies show almost half of Americans living in urban or suburban areas have used ridesharing services, while 19% of Americans living in rural areas have used these services since their inception. Overall, more than a third of all Americans have used a ridesharing service, which has doubled since 2015. However, additional research indicates that these services may also be making the streets more dangerous. One study found that ridesharing services are responsible for an increase in fatal car accidents nationwide, with approximately 1100 additional deaths per year attributed to the use of ridesharing services.

UBER AND LYFT DRIVER REQUIREMENTS

When using ridesharing services, passengers entrust their safety to complete strangers, depending on them to operate the vehicle in a safe manner and deliver their passengers to their destination on time without incident. We expect ridesharing services to ensure their drivers are safe drivers, yet most rideshare services provide little or no training for drivers. However, both Uber and Lyft have certain requirements their drivers must meet in order to drive for each service, although these vary between cities and states.

Lyft Requirements

In Santa Fe, Lyft requires their drivers to be at least 25 years of age. No driving history is required, and Lyft conducts background checks to screen potential drivers. If these background checks reveal certain disqualifying behaviors, such as violent crime convictions or a recent DUI conviction, Lyft will not allow the applicant to drive for Lyft and will generally terminate the driver if the driver is convicted under either of these categories while already driving for Lyft.

Lyft also claims to conduct follow-up background checks to monitor their drivers. Meanwhile, potential Lyft drivers are required to use a pre-approved vehicle type, 2006 model or newer, that has passed a vehicle inspection.  Finally, Lyft also conducts a driving record check with the DMV. This check may disqualify potential drivers who have had serious or multiple traffic violations.

Uber Requirements

Unlike Lyft, Uber requires their drivers in Santa Fe to be at least 21 years of age. Drivers must have at least one year of driving experience, or three years of experience if under 25 years of age. Uber states that it runs background checks on its drivers as well.  Much like Lyft, if the screening reveals certain behaviors, such as violent crimes, the potential driver will be disqualified.

Uber also screens driving records and at-fault accidents are also taken into consideration. Importantly, Uber conducts these screenings on a yearly basis at a minimum. Uber also requires drivers to use pre-approved vehicle types that are 15 years old or newer.

COMMON CAUSES OF RIDESHARING ACCIDENTS

Companies like Uber and Lyft have a responsibility to hire qualified and safe drivers. However, this is not always the case, and drivers for these services may behave negligently or recklessly, causing a car crash with serious or even fatal consequences.

Distracted Driving

Like any driver, rideshare drivers should refrain from using electronic devices or allowing passengers to distract them while driving. Due to the nature of these services, they may be paying attention to their phone to learn the details of their next pickup, or are using their phone to navigate the driver to the passenger’s pickup point or destination. Rideshare drivers may also be distracted by unruly passengers, especially at night. These types of distractions can make the driver fail to pay proper attention to the road, resulting in an accident.

Fatigued Driving

Rideshare service drivers are independent contractors rather than employees, and this means rideshare programs may have less control over the hours worked and schedules kept by their drivers. This can mean an abundance of drivers who are operating their vehicles on inadequate rest. Driving while fatigued or drowsy can make drivers less capable of reacting to their environment, and this may lead to an accident.

Reckless Driving

Rideshare service drivers are paid per trip, and some may seek to increase the amount of trips they can provide by engaging in reckless driving, such as speeding or crossing intersections when it may be unsafe to do so, in an attempt to more quickly accept their next ride.

LIABILITY IN RIDESHARING ACCIDENTS

Liability can be difficult to determine in any car accident, but it becomes more complex if the accident involves a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft. In most car accidents, the at-fault driver’s insurance will provide coverage for claims made against the driver. However, if the driver works for a ridesharing service, liability will depend on the status of the driver at the time of the accident. Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft do provide liability insurance for their drivers, but this coverage will only apply under certain circumstances.

Rideshare Driver Is Not Signed Into The App

If the at-fault driver is not carrying passengers and is not signed into the Uber or Lyft app at the time of the accident, the driver’s personal liability insurance will be liable for any claims after an accident. Uber or Lyft will not provide any coverage in this case.

Rideshare Driver Is Signed Into The App, But Is Not Carrying Passengers

If the at-fault driver is signed into the app, awaiting a request, and not en route to pick up passengers, the driver’s personal insurance may still be used after an accident. However, if the driver’s personal insurance denies the claim or the existing claims exhaust the driver’s personal policy limits, the insurance provided by Uber or Lyft’s insurance coverage may provide limited coverage, although not to the full $1 million in coverage that it offers for accidents that occur while drivers are carrying passengers.

Rideshare Driver is Carrying Passengers Or is enroute to retrieve passengers

If the rideshare driver causes an accident while carrying passengers or while traveling to pick up passengers, the accident may be covered by Uber or Lyft’s liability insurance coverage. Both Uber and Lyft provide $1 million in liability coverage for their drivers to cover all parties involved in an accident under these circumstances. If you are a passenger in a ridesharing vehicle involved in a Santa Fe car accident, you should use the app to report the accident to the ridesharing provider as soon as possible. Additionally, you should screenshot and maintain a record of your route and trip from the app to maintain proof of the driver’s status when the accident occurred.

Contact An Experienced Santa Fe Car Accident Attorney

You should contact a Santa Fe Uber accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to determine your legal rights and allow your lawyer to quickly begin a thorough investigation of your accident. Often, these ridesharing services may dispute the driver’s status at the time of the accident. Your Santa Fe injury lawyer will investigate your accident to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim and help you pursue the maximum compensation you may be entitled to.

HOW does INSURANCE after a rideshare vehicle accident apply?

Many drivers have liability car insurance to cover injuries or damages they may cause during an accident. In New Mexico, drivers are required to carry a minimum of liability coverage that includes coverage of:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death for one person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death for 2 or more people
  • $10,000 in property damage.

The at-fault driver who is held liable for an accident can use this coverage to meet any claims that may be brought against them provided that no such claims are excluded under the driver’s insurance policy.

If you have been involved in a car crash, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance to seek compensation for medical costs and property damage. You can do this while also filing a claim with Uber or Lyft’s insurance company if the service’s insurance covers your accident.

Hiring a Car Accident Attorney

If you have been involved in a car accident caused by another driver, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. While you can submit an insurance claim on your own, hiring an attorney before communicating with an insurer will often help you avoid making costly mistakes, such as making any unnecessary admissions to the insurance company. Your Santa Fe Lyft accident lawyer will help you pursue compensation from the insurance company while also making sure your rights are protected.

Submitting A Claim

Additionally, one of the first things you should do after an accident is submit a claim to the insurer. In this claim, your lawyer will describe why the insured policyholder is liable for the accident, the nature and extent of your injuries, and the amount of compensation necessary to provide compensation for your injuries and damages. The insurer will then decide whether to pay or reject the claim.

Offers And Counteroffers

Insurers, as for-profit companies, will seek to pay out as little as possible, regardless of the actual damages you may have suffered. Often, insurers will offer you a quick settlement, in hopes of quickly and cheaply dealing with the claim. These initial offers often greatly undervalue the claim, as the insurer seeks to exploit the financial urgency you may be experiencing due to mounting medical bills and missed work, especially if you are not represented by an attorney. An experienced Santa Fe Uber accident lawyer can help you determine how much compensation you may be entitled to and what may be a reasonable settlement offer after taking into consideration the delays and additional costs of taking your claim to trial.

Negotiations

Your attorney will also handle negotiations with the insurer while allowing you to focus on your recovery. Hiring an experienced car accident attorney often shows the insurer you are serious about pursuing compensation. Specifically, hiring a lawyer from Zinda Law Group allows you to take advantage of our team’s experience helping other car accident victims seek compensation, including accidents involving rideshare vehicles. The facts your attorney gathers during the investigation will be useful during these negotiations to strengthen your claim. Meanwhile, the insurer will likely attempt to dispute portions of your claim such as the extent of your injuries or whether the evidence clearly proves their policyholder is liable for the accident.

Settlement

If a settlement agreement can be reached by both sides, the insurer will pay the agreed upon amount of compensation to your attorney. Your lawyer will then ultimately disburse the compensation from your settlement agreement to you.

Trial

If the insurance company refuses to agree to a reasonable settlement offer made by your attorney, your lawyer may then take your case to trial instead. Here, both parties will present their cases before the jury. Your attorney will use any available evidence to prove the other party’s liability for your injuries and damages and prove how much compensation you should be entitled to. After both sides present their cases, the jury will then determine if the other party should be liable, and how much compensation you will receive.

Contact our experienced Santa Fe Uber and Lyft Injury lawyers today

Over a third of people living in the United States have used a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft at least once, with millions of people using these services daily. However, the social cost of the convenience and affordable costs of these services has been the increase in traffic congestion and car accidents across the country, including in New Mexico.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a Santa Fe car accident involving a rideshare vehicle, call Zinda Law Group today to schedule your free consultation with a Santa Fe car accident attorney. Your lawyer will handle your claim and negotiate with insurers on your behalf while allowing you to focus on recovering from the accident.

Call (800) 863-5312 as soon as possible for a free consultation with a Santa Fe Lyft accident lawyer. Our lawyers will help you determine the next steps to protect your legal rights and seek compensation for your injuries and damages. You will not pay anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.

Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.