How Do Attorneys Evaluate Damages in Uber or Lyft Accident Lawsuits?

When evaluating damages in Uber or Lyft accident lawsuits, personal injury lawyers often consider various factors. These include the extent of physical injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and the impact on the victim’s quality of life as a result of the accident. Furthermore, a rideshare accident lawyer will also determine who is responsible for the accident, review the Uber/Lyft insurance policy, and the at-fault driver’s personal auto insurance. 

This complex process often requires a thorough understanding of personal injury law, insurance coverages, and the unique aspects of Uber/Lyft accident litigation.

At Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, our Uber/Lyft accident lawyers are here to help rideshare car accident victims in New York. We will carefully listen to your story, investigate your case, and get expert opinions to determine the actual value of your claim and negotiate the maximum settlement on your behalf. Reach out to our team at 917-540-8728 or get a free case review today!

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How Do Lawyers Calculate Uber/Lyft Accident Settlements?

When calculating an Uber or Lyft accident settlement, lawyers typically use the “per diem” or “multiplier” approach. The per diem method multiplies the number of days you are affected by a daily rate assigned to your pain and suffering.

On the other hand, the multiplier method involves multiplying your actual economic losses (like medical bills and lost wages) by a certain number to calculate the non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Below is a breakdown of the several factors an attorney will consider before finalizing a settlement amount for your Uber/Lyft accident claim:

The Extent of Your Physical Injuries

When you suffer severe injuries, the medical costs, both past and future, often form a substantial part of your claim. Past medical costs include expenses for emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and any immediate medical care you received.

Future medical costs are projected by considering your ongoing needs, which include rehabilitation, physiotherapy, follow-up surgeries, long-term medications, and necessary medical equipment.

At Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, our Uber accident lawyers will help you gather medical evidence to build a solid argument on your behalf. Our team will get opinions from medical experts to understand the full impact of your injuries on your daily life. This process usually involves a thorough review of your medical records, including:

  • Doctors’ notes
  • Diagnostic test results (like X-rays or MRIs)
  • Treatment plans
  • Future medical expenses (surgeries, rehabilitation, specialized equipment, etc)

The Degree of Fault

In rideshare accident settlements, the degree of fault is another major factor influencing the compensation you may receive. In many cases, the fault isn’t solely assigned to one party; you may also be partially at fault for the crash.

In such rideshare claims, the principle of comparative negligence plays a significant role. According to this rule, the insurers could decrease your compensation by the degree of fault assigned to you. For instance, if the insurance company deems you to be 20% at fault, they might reduce your settlement amount by that percentage.

In addition, the state’s no-fault insurance rules further complicate the situation in New York. These rules require that your insurance company covers your medical bill and lost income up to a certain limit, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. However, if you’ve suffered severe injuries, you may pursue a claim against the at-fault driver outside the no-fault system.

Partially at FaultHow it Affects Your Settlement
Pedestrian/Bystander/CyclistIf you’re a pedestrian, bystander, or cyclist, your compensation depends on your actions before the accident. Contributory negligence (e.g., crossing against a signal) may reduce your settlement. However, if the rideshare driver is clearly at fault, you could receive full compensation.
Rideshare DriverAs a rideshare driver, fault determination affects insurance coverage. If you’re at fault, the rideshare company’s insurance might cover liabilities. If another driver is at fault, you may be compensated through their insurance.
Other Vehicle DriverIf you’re another driver involved with a rideshare vehicle, settlement depends on comparative fault. Your compensation might be reduced by your percentage of fault in the accident.

At Uptown Injury Law, our team uses a thorough approach to establish the responsible party’s fault. We gather CCTV footage from the site of the accident, get witness statements, and carefully review police reports to establish facts on your case. In addition, our Uber/Lyft accident attorneys also cooperate with accident reconstructionists to get clear insights to support your insurance claims.

Lost Income

In a rideshare accident claim, lost income refers to the earnings you couldn’t receive due to injuries from the accident. When calculating these types of damages, a rideshare accident attorney will consider:

  • Current lost earnings due to time off from work
  • Future earning capacity due to long-term treatment or disability

Our lawyers examine your pay stubs and employment records to calculate your lost income accurately. This detailed analysis helps us validate your Lyft or Uber accident claim with concrete proof and ensures that we fully account for your current and future financial damages.

Property Damage

In rideshare accidents, recoverable property damages typically include the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and any personal items damaged in the accident, such as:

  • Electronics
  • Clothing
  • Other valuables

Furthermore, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft often have insurance policies that cover property damage, especially when their driver is at fault. However, the coverage limit can vary based on whether the rideshare driver was actively on a trip or waiting for a ride request.

A rideshare accident attorney usually calculates the repair costs for your vehicle by consulting with auto repair professionals for accurate estimates. However, if the vehicle is beyond repair, your lawyer will determine its market value pre-accident to claim for replacement.

Pain and Suffering

It refers to a category of intangible or non-economic damages that you may claim in Uber or Lyft accidents. These damages are intended to compensate you for the physical and mental trauma caused by an injury.

Unlike tangible damages such as medical bills or lost income, lawyers calculate pain and suffering damages based on various factors, including:

  • The severity of the injury and its impact on your daily life.
  • Emotional trauma you have endured as a result of the accident (anxiety, PTSD, depression.
  • The duration of your recovery period.
  • Your age and pre-accident health conditions (younger victims will likely receive a higher settlement).

Insurance Coverage and Policy Limits

Understanding insurance coverage and policy limits is crucial if you’re involved in an Uber and Lyft accident. Here’s how Uber or Lyft car accident insurance coverages apply to you in different periods:

Period 1: App Turned Off

When a rideshare driver’s app is turned off, they essentially operate as a private vehicle owner, and their auto insurance policy typically applies in case of accidents. During this phase, the rideshare company’s insurance is generally not involved. 

Period 2: App Turned On, No Passenger

When the Uber/Lyft driver’s app is turned on but does not yet have a passenger on board, the rideshare company typically offers contingent liability coverage. If the driver’s personal insurance does not cover the accident fully, the rideshare company’s insurance may cover the gaps. This period includes liability coverage to third parties, such as:

  • $50,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $100,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • $25,000 per accident for property damage

Period 3: Passenger on Board

During this period (when a passenger is on board), Uber/Lyft typically provides liability coverage with limits of up to $1 million. If an Uber/Lyft driver is responsible for the accident and causes an injury or property damage to third parties, their insurance policy will cover those damages up to the specified limit.

This coverage is intended to protect passengers, pedestrians, other drivers, and property owners who may be affected by Uber and Lyft accidents. This period covers damages:

  • Up to $1 Million third-party coverage
  • First-party coverages: PIP, Medpay, Uninsured or Underinsured motorist coverage
  • Contingent and comprehensive collision coverage (Up to $2,500 deductible)

Who is Liable in an Uber/Lyft Accident?

uber or lyft driver rideshare drivers uber car accident

In many cases, the rideshare driver is the one who bears responsibility for the accident. This can occur due to factors like distracted driving, speeding, reckless behavior, or other negligent actions behind the wheel. When drivers’ actions directly contribute to the accident, they are often held liable.

Furthermore, Uber and Lyft often classify their drivers as independent contractors, which means they are not responsible for the driver’s actions on the road. However, there are exceptions. Both Uber and Lyft provide third-party liability coverage that may be liable to compensate you when:

  • The rideshare driver is actively working on a trip or is en route to pick up a passenger.
  • The at-fault driver’s personal insurance coverage is insufficient or denied.

How Much is an Uber or Lyft Accident Settlement Worth?

The worth of an Uber or Lyft accident settlement varies widely based on factors such as the severity of injuries, liability, and insurance coverage. For serious injuries, settlements can range from $200,000 to $1,000,000 or more. Minor injuries may result in settlements between $5,000 to $30,000.

However, since each case is different, it is difficult to determine the exact settlement amount for rideshare accident cases.

If you’ve been involved in such an accident, we recommend that you consult with Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, Lyft or Uber accident lawyers to assess your case. We will suggest a fair settlement value by analyzing:

  • The extent of your injuries
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Liability issues
  • Insurance coverage

When Do I Need a Lawyer for an Uber or Lyft Case?

You should consider hiring a lawyer for an Uber or Lyft case when you’ve experienced injuries, emotional distress, property damage, or a tragic accident. We recommend consulting an experienced Uber or Lyft accident attorney if:

You Have Suffered Serious Injuries

If you or anyone else gets hurt in the rideshare accident, especially if it’s serious, talking to an Uber or Lyft car accident lawyer is a good idea. They will help you recover your expenses, like medical bills, long-term care, and other damages. In addition, your lawyer will ensure that you get compensated for the emotional suffering you’ve been through due to the accident.

There are Disputes over Who’s to Blame

Sometimes, there’s a disagreement about whose fault the accident was. The rideshare company, the driver, or other people involved might assert that it’s not their fault. In such cases, a lawyer can investigate, collect evidence, and make a solid case to back up your rideshare accident claim and hold the responsible party accountable for your damages.

You Find it Hard to Negotiate with Insurers

Dealing with insurance companies, especially those connected to rideshare services, can be tricky. They might try to pay you less than you deserve or say that the driver is an independent contractor and they are not liable for the accident. A rideshare accident lawyer is familiar with the insurance policies and local personal injury laws and can help you avoid being a victim of lowball settlements.

The Accident Resulted in Fatalities

If you’ve lost a loved one due to such an Uber or Lyft accident, you will need a lawyer to help deal with the legal proceedings. This is because wrongful death personal injury claims can be complex. A lawyer will help you obtain the rightful compensation on behalf of your loved one by:

  • Identifying liable parties
  • Assessing damages
  • Negotiating with insurers

How Long Does an Uber or Lyft Accident Claims Take to Resolve?

Most rideshare accident claims typically settle out of court and can take weeks to several months to resolve. The exact timeline varies based on:

  • The difficulty of the case
  • Severity of injuries or damages
  • Negotiations between the parties involved

Quick settlements may occur when liability is clear, while more complex cases with disputed liability or severe injuries may take longer to resolve. Working with an experienced rideshare lawyer can expedite the process and help you receive fair compensation for your losses.

Contact Uptown Injury Law Attorneys to Maximize Your Settlement

If you have been a victim of a rideshare accident due to someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to reach out to Uptown Injury Law, PLLC. With over 15+ years of trial experience, our personal injury attorneys have the expertise to deal with the complexities of rideshare car accident cases.

Our team will help you gather solid evidence by:

  • Investigating the accident scene.
  • Analyzing police reports.
  • Obtaining expert witness statements from accident constructionists and medical professionals. 

And if the insurance company does not agree to settle on fair terms, we will take your case to court and get you the compensation you deserve. Furthermore, we won’t charge you any fees until we secure a settlement or verdict on your behalf. If we don’t win your case, you owe us nothing. Contact us today at 917-540-8728 or schedule a free case review with our attorneys.

FAQS – Uber/Lyft Accident Lawyer

How Much Is an Uber/Lyft Accident Settlement in New York?

The settlement amount for an Uber/Lyft accident can vary for each case depending on the extent of injuries, liability, and insurance coverage. For minor injuries, settlements may be in the range of a few thousand dollars. However, settlements for severe injuries can range from $200,000 to $1,000,000 or more.
Consult Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, and Uber/Lyft accident attorneys to assess your specific situation and negotiate a fair settlement based on your medical bills and other related expenses.

How Do I Know If I Am Eligible to File an Uber/Lyft Accident Claim?

You may be eligible to file a rideshare accident claim if you suffered injuries or property damages as a passenger, driver, pedestrian, or another party. However, you must collect solid evidence to prove your insurance claim, such as accident reports, medical records, and witness statements. 
Additionally, one or more parties may be responsible for the accident, and you’ll need to determine and prove liability. Hence, make sure to consult a personal injury attorney to get your case reviewed and learn your legal options.

Can You Sue Lyft After an Accident?

Yes, you can sue Lyft after an accident. Lyft provides third-party liability coverage for injuries sustained in a Lyft accident, but if another driver is at fault, you may need to file a claim with their insurance. You can pursue a lawsuit against Lyft for damages not covered by their insurance or if their coverage is insufficient.
If you need help with your Lyft car accident case, contact Uptown Injury Law, PLLC Lyft accident lawyers. Our legal team will help you navigate the legal process and determine the best course of action for your case.

Are Lyft Drivers Covered With Collision Insurance?

Yes, Lyft provides collision insurance coverage for its drivers. However, this coverage typically applies when the driver has the Lyft app turned on and is awaiting a ride request or actively transporting a passenger. It may not cover personal use of the vehicle.
Moreover, the coverage details can vary by location and may have deductibles. Drivers are encouraged to review Lyft’s insurance policies and consider additional coverage to ensure they are adequately protected in all situations.

How Does a Lawyer Help You Determine Liability?

A lawyer helps determine liability by analyzing the facts, evidence, and applicable laws related to a situation. They investigate the circumstances, gather relevant information, interview witnesses, and review documents. 
Furthermore, rideshare lawyers apply their legal expertise to assess who may be legally responsible for an incident or harm. They then advise on your legal rights and obligations and how to proceed with legal action.

How Much Do Uber/Lyft Accident Lawyers Charge?

Uber and Lyft accident lawyers typically work on a contingency fee structure, 25% to 40% of the final verdict or settlement. It means that they only get paid if they win your case. However, some lawyers may also charge additional expenses. So, make sure to discuss fee structures with potential lawyers before hiring them to understand the specific terms of their representation.

Does Uber Cover Accidents for Drivers?

Yes, Uber provides insurance coverage for its drivers involved in accidents while they are actively using the Uber app. The coverage includes liability insurance for third-party injuries and property damage, as well as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. 
However, the specific coverage amounts and details can vary depending on the driver’s activity status within the app (e.g., waiting for a ride request, en route to pick up a passenger, or with a passenger in the car).


Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers
Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers

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