Ridesharing Vehicle Accidents

Respected Oklahoma City Lawyers Helping Victims of Uber and Lyft Accidents

Caring advocacy for passengers and other Oklahoma drivers injured or killed by Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services

Uber and Lyft, which offer convenient and quick rides for passengers at the swipe of an app throughout Oklahoma have created tough competition for Taxi services and limousine companies. Lyft, Uber and other rideshare drivers and companies must drive safely and responsibly. Drivers who speed, text while driving, or fail to obey traffic laws will be held accountable if they cause or become involved in an accident. Uber and Lyft must investigate their riders to make sure they are good drivers and have quality cars.

At Cunningham & Mears, our Oklahoma City Uber and Lyft accident lawyers have negotiated numerous strong settlements and obtained just verdicts for car accident victims and their families. Our legal team can obtain strong results for our clients because we work from the start to investigate why the accident happened and what steps should have been taken to prevent your injuries. We demand that rideshare companies, drivers, and their insurance companies pay all the damages that you deserve.

Insurance requirements for rideshare companies

The difference between liability and insurance can before confusing. The core thing injury victims should understand is that companies like Uber and Lyft are generally not liable for the actions of their drivers, because their drivers are considered contractors – not employees. Rideshare companies carry $1 million in coverage in case there is an accident where someone is injured.

The obligation of an insurance company to pay your personal injury or wrongful death damages depends on whether you were a paying passenger in the Uber or Lyft vehicle, or you were an occupant of another vehicle.

  • Driver insurance for injured passengers. Like all Oklahoma City drivers, Uber and Lyft drivers are required to meet the state’s minimum liability insurance requirements. Drivers and car owners should have $25,000 in liability coverage for one accident victim and $50,000 for multiple victims. $25,000 in property damage is also required.
  • Driver insurance for the occupants of other cars and to pedestrians. The insurance requirements for non-paying customers is the same for paying customers – $25,000/$50,000/$25,000.
  • Rideshare companies. Lyft and Uber are required to have up to one-million dollars in coverage if their driver was negligent. The rideshare company is not required to pay more than one-million unless they were directly negligent. Direct negligence typically means letting a driver drive while the company knew the driver’s license was suspended or something of that nature.
  • Uninsured/underinsurance coverage. Anyone who is injured by a rideshare driver has the right to request that their own insurance company pay any damages that aren’t covered by third-party liability coverage – up to their UM/UIM coverage limits.

What has led to the popularity of Uber and Lyft and other ridesharing services in Oklahoma City?

Lyft and Uber and other rideshare services have become attractive for several reasons:

  • The competition with existing taxi and other ride services means lower prices.
  • They provide an opportunity for almost anyone who owns a vehicle to earn extra cash.
  • Passengers can arrange for rides through smartphone applications.
  • The wait times for getting a ride is greatly reduced.
  • The passenger can choose the type of car they like.

Emergency assistance for Uber and Lyft passengers

You may have heard about some of the unnerving stories about Uber or Lyft passengers who faced emergency situations while riding in a rideshare vehicle. To solve that problem and give passengers an added sense of safety, Uber has installed a safety icon at the button righthand corner of the app. A passenger can tap that button to call 911, which will send their location and trip details to the dispatcher. This feature is available now in a few test cities, but the goal is to make it available everywhere as soon as possible.

In the Lyft app, if you experience an emergency such as an accident, or if you feel your personal safety is in danger, Lyft recommends that you dial 911 or your local non-emergency number. They do have a critical response team that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week from a “call me.” button in the app.

The legal requirements Oklahoma rideshare companies and drivers must obey

Both drivers and rideshare companies are obligated to protect their customers.

  • Drivers who injure their paying customers. If a driver fails to follow the traffic laws, fails to slow down during bad weather, or fails to drive defensively, they should be held accountable for their negligence.
  • Rideshare companies’ duty to paying customers. Uber and Lyft are generally not liable for the actions of their drivers because their drivers are not employees. Uber and Lyft must take steps to ensure that the public is protected. Rideshare companies must:
    • Conduct background checks on their drivers. This includes confirming that the driver has a valid license and that the driver has a safe driving record.
    • Update the background checks. If a rideshare company receives information that a driver has a DMV violation or has been in an accident, the rideshare business must reevaluate whether their driver should be allowed to continue taking passengers
    • Discharge drivers who have been found guilty of drunk driving. Drunk driving is a leading case of highway fatalities.
  • Driver duties to other drivers, passengers in other cars, and pedestrians. Rideshare drivers, like every other driver, are responsible if they injure or kill anyone in other vehicles or pedestrians while driving.
  • Rideshare company’s obligations to occupants of other cars and to bystanders. Generally, the rideshare company is not liable to non-passengers unless they own the vehicle involved in the accident or if they failed to act when they knew their driver shouldn’t have been allowed to drive.

Speak with a trusted Oklahoma City car accident attorney now

At Cunningham & Mears, our Oklahoma Uber and Lyft accident lawyers put their 105 years of combined legal experience into filing the right claims against the right parties and collecting the insurance proceeds that are due to you. Uber and Lyft make a lot of money through their drivers. The price they must pay for these profits is to provide extensive insurance coverage. When their insurance isn’t enough, we understand how to obtain excess coverage through your own underinsurance/uninsured carrier. To make sure you get what the law allows, please call us at 405-232-1212 or contact us to schedule a consultation.