mike bottaro uber and lyft accident attorney

Uber & Lyft Accident Attorney in Rhode Island

The growth of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft has meant these companies have more and more drivers out on the road for them at any given time. This increase in rideshare drivers and vehicles means an increase in the accidents they cause.

Rideshare passengers injured in accidents they did not cause do not deserve to bear the financial consequences of the losses they suffer. If you have been involved in an auto accident with a rideshare vehicle, a Rhode Island Uber and Lyft accident lawyer from Bottaro Injury Lawyers can help you understand your rights and options.

Our experienced personal injury lawyers have successfully represented accident victims across Rhode Island. Our clients rely on our firm to help them seek maximum financial resources for their recovery in the shortest time possible. We work tirelessly to create a safer community for everyone by holding motorists at fault for accidents accountable for their carelessness or recklessness. With our firm’s No Fee Guarantee, you will always have top-rated legal representation at no upfront cost. We get paid only when we win your case.

If you have been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle in Rhode Island, reach out to Bottaro Injury Lawyers for a free initial case review. We are ready to help you pursue a claim for financial recovery.

Understanding How Insurance Works in Uber and Lyft Accident Cases

Under Rhode Island law, rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft must adhere to multiple regulations, including having certain minimum levels of insurance coverage. The amount of insurance coverage Lyft and Uber provide varies depending on the circumstances at the time of an accident.

These scenarios include:

When the driver is on duty with a passenger

If a rideshare driver has a passenger from the app in their vehicle, Lyft and Uber provide insurance coverage of:

  • Up to $1 million in combined third-party bodily injury and property damage liability coverage
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage for the rideshare driver and passengers
  • Contingent comprehensive/collision coverage up to the actual cash value of the rideshare vehicle, minus a deductible

When the driver is on duty and on the way to pick up a passenger

If a rideshare driver is driving to pick up a passenger after accepting a fare request, the same insurance coverage limits apply as when the driver has a rideshare passenger in their vehicle.

When the driver is on duty and waiting on a fare

If a rideshare driver is merely logged into the app awaiting a ride request from a passenger, then the following lower insurance coverage limits apply:

  • Up to $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident in third-party bodily injury liability coverage
  • Up to $25,000 per accident in third-party property damage liability coverage

In this scenario, Uber and Lyft’s insurance obligations kick in only if the driver’s personal auto insurance does not provide coverage.

When the driver is not on duty and not logged into the app

If a rideshare driver is not logged into the app, they are not considered “on duty” with the rideshare company. The driver’s own personal auto insurance coverage would apply in the event of an accident.

When another driver hits your Uber or Lyft

If you are riding in an Uber or Lyft that gets into an accident with another vehicle, and the driver of the other vehicle caused the accident, you initially would turn to the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage for compensation. However, if the other driver’s insurance policy limits can’t cover the full extent of your expenses and losses, you may be entitled to turn to Uber or Lyft for UM/UIM coverage.

How an Experienced Rhode Island Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer Can Help

When you have been involved in an accident with a rideshare vehicle, an experienced Rhode Island Uber and Lyft accident lawyer from Bottaro Injury Lawyers can help advocate for your legal rights and interests by:

  • Quickly starting an investigation into the accident to recover physical evidence and witness testimony before it is unrecoverable
  • Reviewing the evidence, including with accident reconstruction experts if needed, to determine what caused the crash and to identify who can be held liable for your injuries and losses
  • Documenting your injuries and expenses to ensure we pursue full compensation for you
  • Presenting your demands for compensation to the liable parties and insurers, aggressively negotiating to secure a settlement that pays you a fair and full financial recovery
  • Advocating on your behalf in court or at trial if litigation becomes necessary to recover the compensation you need and deserve

Demanding Fair Compensation in Your Uber or Lyft Accident Case

If you suffered injuries from a Lyft or Uber accident that someone else caused, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your expenses and losses, including:

  • Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation of injuries, including emergency treatment and hospitalization, surgeries or other medical procedures, prescriptions, doctor’s appointments, and physical therapy
  • Expenses for long-term care, if needed to help you with permanent disabilities or chronic conditions you experience due to your injuries
  • Lost income from missed time from work or loss of future earning potential if your injuries disable you from returning to employment
  • Physical pain and anguish
  • Emotional trauma and distress
  • Lost enjoyment and quality of life due to scarring and disfigurement or permanent disabilities

Time Limit for Filing a Lyft or Uber Accident Lawsuit in Rhode Island

Under Rhode Island’s statute of limitations, you have a limited period to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for personal injuries or property damage you sustained in a rideshare accident. Lawsuits asserting claims for compensation for personal injuries suffered in an accident generally must be filed within three years of the date of the rideshare accident.

If you wait until the statute of limitations expires on your claims to file a lawsuit, you risk that the court may dismiss your case as untimely. If that happens, you will have permanently lost the right to recover compensation for your injuries or property/vehicle damage.

Tips for Protecting Your Rights after a Lyft or Uber Accident

When you have been involved in a Lyft or Uber accident, you should remember to take the following steps to help protect your rights and options for pursuing a legal claim for financial recovery of your injuries and losses:

  • Document the accident scene using your cell phone to take photos and video of details like vehicle damage, traffic controls, skid marks or debris in the road, and weather and lighting conditions.
  • Report the accident to the rideshare company, either through the app if you were riding in the rideshare vehicle or by contacting the rideshare company’s customer support.
  • Get examined by a doctor as soon as possible after the accident for injuries sustained in the crash. Take photos of any visible injuries.
  • Follow all treatment instructions your doctor gives you.
  • Keep copies of all medical bills and vehicle repair invoices, along with copies of your income statement if you miss time from work.
  • Avoid discussing the accident or your legal claim for compensation on social media. Insurers and defense lawyers often monitor accident victims’ social media accounts for posts that may contradict the accident victim’s official statements or claims.
  • Speak to a Rhode Island rideshare accident lawyer to discuss the next steps for pursuing financial recovery for your injuries and losses.

Rhode Island Uber and Lyft Requirements

People who wish to work on behalf of Uber or Lyft must meet the companies’ requirements for drivers and their vehicles, which include:

  • Vehicles must be 15 years old or newer, have four doors, have five to eight seats (including the driver’s seat), have valid registration and inspection, and not have a salvage, rebuilt, or similar title. Taxis and stretch limousines are excluded from eligible vehicles.
  • Vehicles must display the rideshare company’s logo when on duty in the lower corner on the passenger’s side of the windshield. The logo must be removed whenever the driver goes off duty.
  • Drivers must be at least 25 years old and have a valid U.S. driver’s license.
  • Drivers must pass a screening, which includes a review of the driver’s driving record along with a criminal background check.
  • Drivers must own a functional smartphone capable of running the rideshare company’s mobile application.
  • Drivers must maintain their own auto insurance policy that complies with Rhode Island law.
  • Drivers may not be on duty for more than 12 hours within 24 hours. After reaching the maximum on-duty hours, drivers must take a break of at least eight consecutive hours.