Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have revolutionized transportation and provided many people with convenient rides. However, many people have been killed or hurt by rideshare drivers. These companies deal with millions of transactions per day, and as is the story with so many tech companies, they simply do not systems in place to control all the different things that can go wrong. Although these companies typically do some sort of background check on their drivers, we all know that is not enough. Some bad actors will inevitably slip through the cracks and be trusted with the lives of passengers and fellow motorists.
If you or your loved one was injured by a rideshare driver, a Florida rideshare accident attorney from Spetsas Buist can help you. We represent injured rideshare passengers, as well as other motorists or people injured by rideshare drivers. Rideshare drivers generally have extensive insurance coverage or multiple layers of insurance, and our rideshare accident attorneys are excellent at navigating these complex insurance policies.
Give us a call for a risk-free conversation. We won’t stick you with a customer service representative, an assistant, or a paralegal. Once you schedule your free legal consultation with one of our receptionists, you will get a call from a real attorney.
Over the past decade, rideshare apps have absolutely exploded in popularity. Not that long ago, using a rideshare was a hip and novel thing to do. It was for the technophiles only. However, rideshares are now a part of life for the average American. Here are some interesting rideshare statistics that show how rideshare apps have added an element of danger to our lives, as well as some statistics that show just how popular rideshare apps have become.
Rideshare Accident Statistics
- There are around 1.7 million rideshare drivers in the US.
- Rideshares make up over 6% of all the miles traveled on US roads.
- Rideshare companies are responsible for around a 3% overall increase in total car accident fatalities.
- Roughly 1,000 car accident fatalities occur every day because of the increasing number of rideshares.
Rideshare Popularity and Profitability
- As of 2021, the rideshare industry made around $117 billion.
- Back in 2015, roughly a third of people in the US had never heard of rideshare; nearly everyone has heard of rideshare now.
- Currently, roughly 40% of Americans have used a rideshare app in some capacity, which is more than twice the percentage in 2015.
- The global rideshare market projected to be worth around $185 billion by 2026.
- Uber is the current king of rideshare with 71% of total rideshare sales in 2022; Lyft has about 29% of the market.
- Roughly one quarter of rideshare app users will use pay for rideshare service every month.
Rideshare applications are extremely convenient and have made life easier in many ways. However, as these companies make more money, the data shows that more people are getting injured and killed because of rideshare accidents. Therefore, if you or a loved one has been injured in a rideshare accident, your family should not have to bear the financial burden of those injuries. That’s the responsibility of the tech companies; it’s the cost of doing business and using our taxpayer-funded roads to make billions of dollars.
Causes of Rideshare Injuries
There are many ways a rideshare driver could cause people harm. The nature of the business involves vehicles and unknown drivers, as well as a cell phone app being constantly turned on and in reach. Thus, there are lots of ways something bad might happen. Some of the more common causes of rideshare injuries are below.
Exhausted Rideshare Driver
Many people that work for rideshare companies are also working other jobs. Some of these drivers will inevitably hit the road when they’re too tired to safely operate a motor vehicle. This can and does result in numerous accidents, injuries, and deaths. Unfortunately, rideshare companies are not regulated like other driving professions.
For example, the trucking industry has rules limiting the number of hours in a row a trucker can drive, and truckers have logs they must fill out to show how many hours they’ve been driving. That’s because the trucker is typically engaged in one job in a given day: driving a truck. However, it’s not so easy to determine whether a rideshare driver is exhausted or not. These drivers are hitting the road after work, and some are driving late into the night. Sometimes, they’re even driving all through the night. Therefore, people get hurt every day because of an accident involving an exhausted rideshare driver, and this problem will get worse as more people become rideshare drivers in their spare time.
Drunk Rideshare Driver
Irresponsible people get behind the wheel of a car every second of every day. Rideshare drivers are no different. Inevitably, rideshare drivers will hit the road after drinking, and people will get injured. After all, an employee at one of these tech companies can’t ride along for every trip to make sure the driver is staying off the booze. Therefore, rideshare accidents often occur because the rideshare driver has had something to drink. Again, as the number of rideshare drivers increases, the number of drunk rideshare drivers on the road will also increase.
Distracted Rideshare Driver
Rideshare business is conducted over an App. In other words, rideshare companies typically operate most of their business with their drivers and passengers over a cell phone application. We all know that cell phones are distracting, and drivers distracted by cell phones cause accidents every minute. However, because these rideshare businesses are conducted over the cell phone app, the driver is essentially required to use a cell phone while working and driving. What could go wrong?
In addition to the cell phone distraction, passengers can be unruly and distracting. This is especially true where the rideshare driver works the late-night shift and picks up lively people from bars and clubs. This can lead to the driver turning up the music too loud and playing along with the wild passengers. Add in the driver working on the cell phone while socializing with the passengers, and you have a potent mix of intense distraction. You have a recipe for a serious rideshare accident.
Violent Rideshare Driver
Not all rideshare injuries are due to an automobile crash. We have all heard the horror stories of the rideshare drivers who have committed all types of violence against passengers. They have sexually assaulted passengers, battered passengers, and even killed passengers. With the business model these tech companies have, where a driver undergoes a remote background check and a scant interview process, predators are bound to slip through the cracks and hurt innocent and unassuming passengers. If a rich tech company’s negligence caused you injuries, hardship, or suffering, that company should be held accountable for what it did. “We didn’t know” is not an excuse for negligent hiring.
Rideshare Insurance Policies
The most well-known rideshare companies offer very similar insurance coverage for their drivers who get into an accident while driving for the company. The amount of coverage available to a person injured in a rideshare accident is typically dependent on whether the injured person was a passenger in the rideshare vehicle. For example, if the rideshare driver is carrying a passenger while in “driving mode” and driving for the company, there is typically a $1,000,000 insurance policy in play.
However, the insurance coverage is typically less if there is no passenger. For example, if the driver is in “driving mode” but not carrying a passenger, the policy will typically offer $50,000 for each person injured and $100,000 of injury coverage per accident. Additionally, the rideshare insurance policy will typically offer property damage coverage to the tune of $25,000.
Let’s look at a hypothetical. Let’s say a rideshare driver is riding around in “driving mode” and actively searching for a passenger but does not have a passenger in the vehicle. Then, the driver looks down at the phone and drives through a stop sign and smacks into Driver B’s car. Driver B would have $50,000 of injury coverage available for the injuries Driver B suffered, as well as $25,000 in property damage coverage to fix Driver B’s car.
Now, let’s suppose the rideshare driver is carrying a passenger when he looks down at his phone, runs through a stop sign, and smacks into Driver B’s car. Then, Driver B and the passenger would be able to access the $1,000,000 in coverage, depending on the injuries and damages involved.
Let’s look at another twist in the hypothetical. Let’s suppose the rideshare driver is driving the vehicle and is not in “driving mode.” Let’s also suppose that the rideshare driver is carrying passenger. The rideshare driver looks down at the phone, runs through the stop sign, and smacks into Driver B. Now, because the rideshare driver was not in “driving mode” and thus not working for the rideshare company at the time of the accident, the insurance coverage available to the passenger and Driver B will likely only be the rideshare driver’s private insurance policy.
What to Do After a Rideshare Accident
Get to Safety
If you’re involved in an accident, the first and foremost concern is your safety. Call 911 and get to safety as soon as possible. This is the most important thing you can do after a rideshare accident.
Assess Your Injuries
Stay calm and don’t make sudden movements if you think you are seriously injured. Sometimes, the adrenaline from the excitement of an accident can mask pain, and people are often tempted to jump up and walk around after being injured. This can make matters worse. Stay calm and try not to jump around too much until you or a medical professional has assessed the damage done to you.
Take Pictures and Videos
If you can safely do so, take pictures and video of the accident scene. Try to get pictures of the vehicles involved; the accident scene; the areas around the vehicles; the stop signs and lights nearby, if any; and anything else that could be useful as evidence. Also, if possible, get pictures of license plates and other information that could help in identifying anyone involved in the accident.
Get Witness Contact Information
If there are helpful people involved that seem like they want to help out after the rideshare accident, get their contact information. There are often witnesses to accidents that want to help people however they can. These people can sometimes provide extremely useful information, pictures, and statements. They can also be extremely valuable witnesses in your case. However, if we don’t have their information, we probably won’t be able to find them.
Don’t Talk Too Much
As with a truck accident or auto accident, do not let the excitement of the accident overtake you such that you provide too much information to anyone. Cooperate with the police, but you should try stay on topic. Only answer the questions you are asked. Don’t offer up a bunch of extra information because the insurance companies will use whatever you say to try and reduce your claim. In other words, the more you say, the more ammunition the defense will be able to use against you. It’s hard to stay calm after an accident, but you should do the best you can to keep a level head.
Contact a Florida Rideshare Accident Attorney
As we have discussed, there are many ways a rideshare driver can harm you. Additionally, there may be a lot of insurance available to help you and your family financially in the event that you have medical bills and other costs and expenses as a result of a rideshare accident. Additionally, it’s critical that someone preserve the evidence regarding your accident as soon as possible. For example, there is often data within the rideshare driver’s phone, the rideshare vehicle, and even surveillance cameras at businesses and Ring cameras at houses nearby.
These rideshare tech companies have plenty of money to hire defense attorneys, and the job of a defense attorney is to make sure you get as little money as possible. Therefore, you should seek help from a Florida rideshare accident attorney as soon as possible after your rideshare accident. That way, you can make sure you have someone fighting in your corner as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected every step of the way.