After a rideshare accident, the victim may be left with serious injuries. Medical care and losing your ability to work can take a serious financial toll on the victim and their family. In addition, there may be significant emotional stress and pain after an accident. The person or parties responsible for the accident should have to pay the price for their actions.
A personal injury lawsuit after an auto accident involving a Lyft or Uber vehicle will allow the injury victims to seek financial compensation for their losses. Many accident victims are not aware of how much their accident claim may be worth. The insurance company may try and take advantage of this by trying to get away with paying a small amount in a settlement offer in exchange for the victim giving up their rights to sue.
This information should help you understand how much your rideshare accident claim may be worth. If you were involved in a rideshare accident in Colorado, talk to a lawyer about your rights. The attorneys at accidentdenver.com will investigate your case and work to get you the maximum compensation after an injury accident in Denver. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Calculating the Cost of Damages and Losses
The costs of a car accident can extend far beyond the out-of-pocket money you have to spend for car repairs and copays. When calculating the damages and losses of a car accident, it is important to consider every way in which the accident affected your life.
Compensatory damages are supposed to put the accident victim into the same or similar position they would have been as if the accident had never occurred. This includes both economic and non-economic damages.
Calculating Economic Losses
Economic damages in a rideshare accident are for the expenses, financial losses, and costs associated with the accident. The most common financial costs of dealing with a rideshare accident may include:
- Cost of vehicle repair,
- Cost of vehicle replacement,
- Expense of a rental car,
- Other property damage,
- Ambulance costs,
- Emergency medical treatment,
- Medication and medical supplies,
- Continuing medical treatment,
- Loss of income from not being able to work, and
- Loss of income potential from permanent injury.
Calculating Non-Economic Losses
Non-economic damages in a rideshare accident can be more complicated to determine. Generally, it is up to a jury to determine the amount of the victim's non-economic losses. Non-economic damages in an injury accident may include:
- Physical pain and suffering,
- Mental pain and suffering,
- Emotional stress, and
- Impairment of the quality of life.
For example, a pedestrian is walking across a crosswalk in Boulder. A Lyft driver is distracted and hits the pedestrian, pinning the pedestrian's arm under the vehicle. After medical treatment, the pedestrian has to have their arm amputated and requires multiple surgeries. The pedestrian may be able to recover damages after the accident that include pain and suffering, inconvenience, emotional stress, and impairment of the quality of life because of losing an arm.
Proving Non-Economic Damages
In a personal injury lawsuit, the injury victim asks the jury to award an amount for their damages, including noneconomic damages like pain and suffering. The injury victim may try to show the jury the value of these losses through expert witness testimony, testimony of a counselor, a day-in-the-life video, and other ways to show how the accident has affected their life.
Caps on Non-Economic Damages
Unfortunately for accident victims in Colorado, there is a cap on the maximum amount of noneconomic damages available in a personal injury claim. For claims accruing on or after January 1, 2020 (and before January 1, 2022), the caps for noneconomic loss or injury are:
- $613,760, which can be increased upon clear and convincing evidence to the maximum of $1,227,530.
Physical Injuries and Medical Expenses
The type of accident may have an impact on the types and severity of the injuries. A slow-speed rear-end collision can still cause injuries, generally neck or spinal injuries. However, injuries may be much more severe in a high-speed impact, side-impact, head-on collision, rollover accident, or multi-vehicle collision.
The type of injury may also depend on who was involved. A Lyft or Uber driver can be the victim in an auto accident. The Lyft or Uber passenger can also suffer injuries whether the accident was caused by the rideshare driver or another driver. Common rideshare accident injuries may include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI),
- Neck injury,
- Broken bones,
- Eye injury,
- Internal bleeding,
- Nerve damage,
- Severed limbs,
- Hearing damage,
- Burn injury,
- Back injury, or
- Spinal cord injury.
These injuries can have temporary or permanent effects on the accident victim. Many of these injuries require medical treatment. Medical treatment in the U.S. is expensive. Even a brief visit to the emergency department can end up costing tens of thousands of dollars. Serious surgical procedures and long hospital stays can end up costing over $1 million.
Physical Injuries for Cyclists and Pedestrians in a Rideshare Accident
Some of the most serious injuries in a rideshare accident involved accidents with pedestrians or cyclists. Pedestrians and cyclists do not have the protections of seat belts, airbags, and the safety of being surrounded by a metal cage. Uber or Lyft accidents with cyclists and Lyft or Uber accidents with pedestrians can leave the injury victims with permanent damage and serious injuries, including brain damage or paralysis. Brain damage and paralysis can require lifelong care, including providing for the victim's basic needs like feeding, washing, and going to the bathroom.
When You Cannot Work After an Accident
Another major cost of a car accident is the way it affects your ability to work and make an income. A minor injury may take you away from work for a couple days, which may only end up costing you a few hundred dollars. However, a serious injury could mean the inability to work for weeks or months, with major financial consequences.
In some cases, a permanent injury may forever affect your ability to work. For example, if a pilot is hit by an Uber driver and suffers an eye injury, the pilot may be prohibited from ever working as a pilot again. This may cause a loss of income potential for the rest of their lives.
When Should I Accept a Settlement Agreement?
A settlement agreement is a negotiated offer to accept the terms of the agreement in exchange for releasing your legal claims against the other party. Once you accept the settlement offer, you are generally prohibited from filing a lawsuit or going after the other party for more money. Make sure you understand the limits of accepting a payout before you agree to anything.
Even if you plan on taking your case to court, most personal injury lawsuits are settled before they go to trial. Even on the first day of trial, the parties may finally come to a mutually agreeable solution. However, the decision whether or not to accept the settlement is ultimately up to you, the plaintiff. Your attorney will likely make a recommendation on when you should accept the offer but it is still your decision.
An experienced rideshare accident lawyer will have a good understanding of the value of the case and the strengths and weaknesses of your claim. If you want to know how much your rideshare claim may be worth and what kind of settlement offer you should expect, talk to your Colorado rideshare accident attorney.
Filing a Rideshare Accident Personal Injury Lawsuit
There is a limited amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit after a rideshare accident. The statute of limitations for someone involved in a rideshare accident limits the amount of time the injury victim can file a claim. If the claim is filed even one day late, it may result in the victim not being able to recover damages for their injuries.
Most rideshare accidents in Colorado are subject to a 3 years statute of limitations. The lawsuit has to be filed within 3 years from the date of the accident or injury. However, there are exceptions that can extend or shorten the statute.
If the injury victim is a minor, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the individual reaches the age of 18. This generally means a minor injured in a rideshare accident has up until before turning 21 to file the lawsuit.
Alternatively, claims against the State of Colorado or city or county agency may have a shorter notice requirement. For example, if the injury victim had a claim against the state for a state employee's negligence, the injury victim may need to file a notice with the state within 180 days from the date of the accident.
Denver Rideshare Accident Lawyers
The attorneys at accidentdenver.com have successfully represented drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and their families after an accident involving a Lyft or Uber driver. Our experienced attorneys understand how the insurance and rideshare companies operate and will fight to get the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.