What are the Common Causes of Ridesharing Accidents in Memphis?
Car accidents involving ridesharing vehicles are becoming more common in Memphis. Wrecks are so common among ridesharing drivers that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued warnings to both riders and drivers about the dangers.
In recent years, there have been many cases of ridesharing accidents that resulted in injuries or fatalities. Some common causes of ridesharing accidents in Memphis include:
- Speeding: Speeding continues to be a significant issue in Memphis, and it’s especially problematic for ridesharing drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding is responsible for over 9,000 deaths per year. Ridesharing drivers were also found to speed in roughly 30% of the journeys they made.
- Drunk Driving: Driving while intoxicated is dangerous. Excessive alcohol impairs a driver’s ability to reason and make the right decisions. This can increase the risk of a crash. There is no way for a passenger to verify if a driver is drunk before getting inside the vehicle.
- Distraction: Distraction is a serious problem for drivers and pedestrians. Daily, thousands of people in the United States become distracted while driving. Ridesharing services require their drivers to use smartphones or GPS systems, putting them at greater risk of performing unsafe driving behaviors. A significant number of serious auto accidents occur when a driver is distracted by their smartphone or navigation system. A popular way to solve this problem is to place touchscreen displays in the car. This allows the driver to interact with passengers without picking up their phones.
- Reckless Driving: With Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies, the more passengers you transport, the more money you can make. To maximize their pay, drivers in rideshares may engage in unsafe and extremely reckless driving behaviors. This can mean things like speeding, running red lights or stop signs, making illegal U-turns, turning right on red where prohibited, and weaving in and out of traffic. These unsafe behaviors have contributed to over 1,000 deaths per year and thousands of injuries.
- Inexperience: Ridesharing can be dangerous if inexperienced drivers transport passengers. Because of how young the ridesharing industry is, most companies only require their drivers to have a minimum of three years of experience. Most ridesharing services offer little to no training at all for their drivers. This poses a danger to the public. Riders can protect themselves by requesting rides from drivers with lots of positive feedback.
The Challenge with Ridesharing Services and Insurance
While taxi services and buses are under one insurance policy, Uber and Lyft drivers do not have insurance coverage. The independent contractor status depends on a particular state’s laws, but this leaves most drivers with no insurance coverage in the event of an accident.
Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors, which means they are not full-time employees. As a result, their vehicles and other tools aren’t covered by a single insurance policy that protects all the company’s cars. If a driver gets into an accident while using the app along with their personal vehicle, neither Uber nor Lyft will provide any protection or help to that person due to the driver being classified as an independent contractor.
- Insurance May Not Cover the Accident: If a hired driver hits your car and is not carrying passengers, then the company’s liability insurance policy may not apply. Only the driver’s policy is applicable, and it will be up to them to help you pay for repairs that exceed the value of their car to the extent that they are uninsured.
- Personal Insurance Denies Business Transportation Claims: Using your private insurance for a commercial vehicle is not recommended. Most personal auto insurance policies don’t cover rideshare drivers who use their vehicle for commercial purposes without disclosing that to the company beforehand. This is one of the reasons why you should consider getting commercial insurance for ridesharing. An independent policy can protect your income and vehicles from property loss. It also offers deductible options with fixed payments. This means your personal auto insurance policy will not be of any use. To ensure that you are covered, you can sign up for an excess or umbrella liability policy to provide extra protection when driving for ridesharing companies that do not carry their own coverage for drivers.
Who is Liable for Injuries and Accidents Caused by Uber and Lyft in Memphis?
As the popularity of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft continues to grow, so does the number of accidents and injuries caused by these companies. But who is liable for these accidents and subsequent damages? In Memphis, Tennessee, the answer is not always clear.
Whenever Uber and Lyft accidents occur, the driver usually assumes liability for the crash. However, due to the way drivers are treated as independent contractors, their insurance may not cover all claims associated with a vehicle wreck. In many cases, drivers have minimal coverage that would not be sufficient to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses sustained in an Uber or Lyft accident. As a result, victims of rideshare accidents are starting to hold the rideshare companies themselves responsible.
Uber and Lyft have long fought to avoid responsibility for the actions of their drivers by claiming that the drivers are independent contractors and not employees. The companies claim that they are a platform that connects people with ridesharing services through mobile apps. This absolves them from liability.
The reality is that Uber and Lyft are both parts of the transportation industry, and they should be held responsible for the safety of both passengers and drivers in their network.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys at Mama Justice can help you seek compensation if you are a victim of an auto accident involving rideshare vehicles. You may be able to file a lawsuit against the Uber or Lyft driver if you can prove that they were at fault for your injuries.
Common Injuries that Occur During Ridesharing Accidents in Memphis
Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular in recent years. There’s no doubt that ridesharing services have made getting around town a whole lot easier. But, as with any form of transportation, there is always the potential for accidents. While most rideshare accidents are relatively minor, some can result in severe injuries to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Some of the common injuries that ridesharing accident victims often suffer include:
- Concussions: Concussions are one of the most common injuries that occur during ridesharing accidents. While many people think of concussions as being caused by a blow to the head, they can be caused by any type of impact to the head or body. This means that even if you’re not hit directly in the head, you can still suffer a concussion in a car accident. Symptoms of a concussion include dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion, and memory loss.
- Neck and Back Injuries: Another common injury that occurs during ridesharing accidents is whiplash, commonly referred to as “neck and back injuries.” While they may not be life-threatening, these types of injuries can still cause a great deal of pain and suffering. If you’re involved in a ridesharing accident and suffer from neck or back pain, it’s essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Broken Bones: Broken bones often take weeks or even months to heal properly. If you’ve suffered a broken bone during an accident, then it’s crucial to go to a doctor immediately so that your injury can be treated appropriately.
Other injuries that occur during ridesharing accidents are:
5 Types of Damages You May Be Entitled to If You’re Injured in a Ridesharing Accident
If you’re injured in a ridesharing accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Here are five types of damages you are entitled to:
- Medical Expenses: Medical bills can be one of the costliest damages associated with a ridesharing accident. If you are injured in a ridesharing accident, you may be able to recover the medical expenses incurred because of the accident. This could include hospital bills, doctor’s visits, physical therapy, and more.
- Lost Wages: If you have been involved in a ridesharing accident and are unable to work, you may be able to recover lost wages as part of your damages. This recovery is based on the premise that if not for the accident, you would have been able to work and earn income. To recover lost income, you will need to show that the accident caused your inability to work and that you have suffered financial damages as a result.
- Pain and Suffering: When you’re involved in a ridesharing accident, you may be entitled to pain and suffering damages. These damages are meant to compensate you for the physical and emotional anguish that you’ve suffered because of the accident. To prove that you deserve these damages, you’ll need to show that the accident has caused you significant problems and made it difficult for You to live your life as before. An experienced Uber and Lyft accident lawyer can help build your case and get the compensation you deserve.
- Emotional Distress: If you’ve been in a ridesharing accident, you may be entitled to more than just monetary damages. You may also be able to recover from your emotional distress. This can include symptoms like anxiety, depression, nightmares, and trouble sleeping. If your emotional distress is severe enough, it can qualify as a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you’re struggling with any of these symptoms after a ridesharing accident, discuss it with your attorney. You may be entitled to compensation for the ways that the accident has impacted your mental health.
- Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are awarded to punish the at-fault party for their negligence and help to discourage similar accidents from happening in the future. If you have been injured in a ridesharing accident, it is essential to talk to an experienced attorney who can help you understand all the damages that may be available to you.
Let Mama Justice Fight For You
If a rideshare driver caused your accident, you deserve to recover compensation for all your losses. The process is challenging to navigate, so you must work with experienced rideshare accident lawyers who have a proven track record of helping injured passengers get the money they deserve. With the help of Mama Justice’s Memphis personal injury lawyers, you can get the care and compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
Not sure who is at fault for your accident? Need help determining whether your claim against the rideshare company will be successful? Need help building a solid case? Our attorneys at Mama Justice can help you get the answers you need. Don’t settle for less than what you deserve in ridesharing accident claims. Call (662) 262-6264 now to schedule a free consultation.