Chances are, if you want to get around the Windy City or its suburbs, you hail an Uber or a Lyft. You probably haven’t taken a taxi in years.
Since 2011, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have dominated the transportation business in Chicago. While rideshare services are convenient, they’re not necessarily safer. Negligent Lyft or Uber drivers injure or kill thousands of people across Illinois every year. These Uber or Lyft accidents can happen at any time while the driver is picking up or dropping off a passenger:
- A rideshare driver hits a pedestrian in the crosswalk.
- An Uber driver crashes into another vehicle.
- A Lyft driver gets into an accident while transporting a passenger. The collision injures the passenger.
- A rideshare driver strikes a bicyclist in a designated bike lane.
Life after a rideshare accident in Chicago is hard. Medical bills pile up. You can’t go back to work until your doctor says you can. This one moment in your life will define how you spend the rest of your days.
If you or someone you love is in this situation, our attorneys at Shannon Law Group, P.C. want you to know that you’re not alone. We can help you hold Uber or Lyft accountable so that you can recover financially and move forward with your life.
On this page, we explore the popular topics and frequently asked questions when it comes to ridesharing accidents:
- How rideshare companies work in Illinois
- What you and your family can do after an Uber or Lyft accident
- Do you need a rideshare accident attorney?
- Is Uber or Lyft responsible for accidents?
- How much liability insurance do Uber and Lyft provide?
- Which is safer in Chicago – taking rideshare, or hailing a taxi?
My Lyft Driver Got Into An Accident. What Are My Rights As a Passenger?
Being the passenger in a rideshare accident in Chicago is a terrifying experience—but it happens more often than you’d think. There are an estimated [x] rideshare trips taken across Chicago every day.
You hail an Uber to get to work, go to the gym, or meet a friend. Then, your Uber driver makes a wrong turn or your Lyft driver rear-ends another vehicle. You sustain permanent injuries that require ongoing treatment.
As a passenger, what are your rights in this situation?
- You have a right to an attorney. You don’t have to speak to the at-fault driver, the rideshare company, or their insurance company. If you hire an experienced Uber accident lawyer like Shannon Law Group, P.C., they’ll handle it for you. Your attorney will also investigate the accident, gather evidence, and protect your rights to financial compensation.
- You have a right to be treated fairly by Uber or Lyft. Right off the bat, the rideshare company may try to convince you that you don’t have a case. They may say that the driver didn’t have their app on at the time of the collision. Nevertheless, you deserve to be treated fairly. If they refuse to do so, consider hiring an experienced attorney who handles these types of claims.
- You have a right to file a claim against the other driver and/or Uber or Lyft. Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft carry additional insurance policies to cover accidents that occur when their apps are turned “on.” You may also have a claim with the at-fault driver’s private insurance.
An Uber or Lyft driver hit my car. What should I do next?
There are 60,000 rideshare drivers on the streets of Chicago. If you were hit by another vehicle, there’s a chance that the at-fault driver was driving for Uber or Lyft at the time of the crash. There are telltale signs that someone’s driving for a rideshare company. You may see a sticker or sign of the company’s logo on their vehicle. Other times, you may not find out they were driving for Uber or Lyft until months after the crash.
What’s the difference between a rideshare accident and a car accident?
Uber or Lyft accidents are different from regular car accidents. Rideshare lawsuits are like truck accident cases. Both involve a driver who is operating as an agent for a company. Both the driver and company are liable for the crash.
Ridesharing cases also require investigation of the company’s safety and training procedures. If the company is found to have inadequately trained its drivers, they can be liable for punitive damages in a Cook County trial.
What to Do After an Uber or Lyft Crash
Here are 5 steps to take after a rideshare accident in Chicago:
- Seek medical treatment immediately. Don’t delay going to the doctor or emergency room. You need to treat your injuries sooner rather than later.
- File a report with your insurance company. Only speak with your insurance provider when reporting the accident. Ask your attorney or insurer to contact the ridesharing company on your behalf.
- Order a copy of the Illinois Crash Report. Within a week of the accident, you can request a copy of the crash report through the law enforcement agency that responded to the crash. You can also order a report online.
- Gather evidence related to the accident. Collect all documents and information related to the accident, including photos of the crash, medical bills and records, and letters from insurance companies.
- Consult with a rideshare accident lawyer. You shouldn’t handle your claim alone. Why? Uber and Lyft have an army of attorneys ready to challenge your case. You deserve to have a team of attorneys on your side, too.
Do I Need A Rideshare Accident Attorney?
It depends. If you sustained little to no injuries as a result of an Uber accident, you likely don’t need to hire an attorney. However, if you suffered serious and permanent injuries, you will need a lawyer in your corner. Why?
Ridesharing companies are businesses. The fewer claims they have to pay, the more money they make. The more your claim is worth, the less likely Uber or Lyft is going to pay you what you actually deserve. They’ll make a lowball offer and hope you take it out of desperation.
Alternatively, if you hire a rideshare accident law firm like Shannon Law Group, P.C., you’re making the right choice. We are trial lawyers. We understand that you must file a case in order to get the compensation our clients justly deserve.
As soon as you hire us, we’ll begin our investigation of the crash. We’ll preserve crucial evidence that supports your case, including medical records and bills, photos and footage of the crash, driving records, and more.
Filing a case against Uber or Lyft also holds them accountable. During a lawsuit, the court will ask that them to produce their safety and training materials, as well as application records. These documents may reveal whether they failed to conduct a proper background check of the driver or if the driver had several complaints on their record.
If you were recently injured in a rideshare accident in Chicago, our attorneys would be happy to sit down with you and discuss your options. Call us today at (312) 578-9501 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
How rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft work in Illinois
Uber came to Chicago in 2011, and Lyft arrived in 2013. Both of these companies hire drivers who use their own vehicles to transport passengers from Point A to Point B. Uber and Lyft take a percentage of the driver’s earnings for every trip.
These companies create jobs for people in Illinois who would otherwise struggle to make ends meet. They also help folks living in less accessible neighbors get around town. You no longer have to rely on taxi cabs stopping for you. You hail an Uber or Lyft, and your driver comes to you. Passengers may opt to share rides with others on the way to their destination, or they may pay for a private ride.
Is it safer to take an Uber or Lyft instead of a taxi in Chicago?
Both ridesharing and taxi drivers can participate in reckless and careless conduct that causes car accidents, including speeding, fatigued driving, distracted driving, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
All things considered, it’s often safer to take a taxi rather than an Uber or Lyft in Chicago and the rest of Illinois. Why? It comes down to training and safety standards in each industry.
In Illinois, taxi companies implement robust safety training and conduct extensive background checks before hiring a driver. All drivers must have a Public Chauffeur license, and taxicab vehicles are subject to inspections.
While Uber and Lyft are regulated by state and local ordinances, there’s are a lot of gray areas when it comes to safety and training. In Chicago, rideshare drivers must follow Transportation Network Providers Rules in order to operate. They must take an online course and purchase a special chauffer’s license before driving for a rideshare service. However, drivers are not required to undergo this training in the rest of Illinois.
Is Uber or Lyft Responsible for Accidents?
Uber and Lyft can be held responsible for accidents that their drivers cause. Their insurance policies may apply if the crash occurs in the following situations:
- The driver’s ridesharing application is on, and they’re available or waiting for a ride request.
- The rideshare driver is en route to pick up a ride or is transporting a passenger to their destination.
Uber and Lyft say that they are not responsible if their drivers cause an accident when they’re offline or the driver application is off on their phone. However, even if Uber or Lyft claims their driver was offline, you should still hire a rideshare accident lawyer to investigate your claim.
How Much Does Uber or Lyft Insurance Have?
Uber and Lyft both carry similar insurance coverages for accidents that occur when a driver’s app is “on.”
- $50,000/person for bodily injury
- $100,000/accident for bodily injury
- $25,000/accident for property damage
If the app is “on” and the driver is picking up or transporting passengers when the crash happens, Uber or Lyft provide the following coverage:
- $1,000,000 for third-party liability
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury
- Contingent comprehensive and collision (up to the actual cash value of the car)