Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have made it convenient for tourists and residents to get around Colorado without having to deal with parking or a possible DUI. For Lyft and Uber drivers, this means driving through Denver's various weather conditions, including snowstorms, freezing rain, and icy roads.
When a driver is involved in a car accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, it can be more complicated to try and file an accident claim with the other driver's insurance company. There may also be a dispute about what coverage applies during the accident or whether the rideshare driver was distracted at the time of the crash.
The attorneys at accidentdenver.com have represented drivers and victims injured in Uber and Lyft accidents. We will investigate your claim, deal with the insurance company, and fight to get you the money to pay your medical bills and cover your lost income after an accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Snow and Ice Accidents and Investigations
After an accident in snowy or icy conditions, the other driver may claim that they lost control of the car but the accident was not their fault. Fault in hazardous weather conditions can be more complicated than other types of accidents. However, fault in most personal injury cases generally comes down to negligence.
If a driver breached their duty of reasonable care when driving and caused an accident, that driver may be liable for any damages caused by the accident. Negligence is generally based on what a reasonable driver would do under similar circumstances. How would a reasonable driver in Colorado act when driving through the snow or on icy roads?
Many Uber and Lyft drivers have not grown up with Colorado's weather conditions. They may be unfamiliar with driving in the snow or not know what to do when the tires lose traction. Rideshare drivers can make extra money when the weather is bad. However, these drivers are still responsible for safe driving under the existing conditions.
Wet roads, icy roads, and snowy roads generally require slower driving and longer braking distances. Driving too fast and following too closely in snowy and icy conditions can be dangerous and increase the risk of an accident. Other factors in snow and ice accidents can include:
- Lack of chains or studded tires,
- Lack of all-wheel drive (AWD),
- Bad brakes,
- Tires without proper tread,
- Not using headlights in snowy conditions,
- Wiper blades and defroster not working properly,
- Hard braking on slick roads, or
- Improper reaction to hydroplaning.
After an Uber Accident
It can be frustrating to deal with the rideshare company, through their app and investigation process. A simpler method of dealing with an Uber driver after an accident is to contact your personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer will handle the insurance company and Uber so you can focus on recovery.
Each rideshare company has its own policy for dealing with an accident with one of their drivers. According to Uber's website, if you were involved in an accident, you should take the following steps:
- Check that all parties involved are safe.
- Notify police and paramedics if necessary.
- Contact Uber.
Contacting Uber is done through their app. Under Trip and Fare Review, there is a link for “I was involved in an accident.” This link directs the user to provide more information about what happened in an Uber accident. After completing the form, a member of Uber's Incident Response Team will contact the individual to gather any additional information.
The Response Team will generally follow up with an emailed Incident Report Form to be completed within 24 hours. The Incident Report Form requests photos of all 4 sides of the vehicle in proper lighting and questions about:
- Incident details,
- Trip ID,
- Whether police or emergency vehicles responded,
- Vehicle information,
- Damage to the car,
- Other vehicles involved,
- Incident drawing or diagram,
- Citations issued, and
- Property damage.
Following the accident report, Uber may conduct its own investigation to find out what happened, who they determine to be at-fault, and direct the insurance company for any claims. Drivers involved in an accident with an Uber driver may have questions about how they can get compensation for any injuries after an accident but Uber may not be transparent with their claims process. If you have questions about an accident with an Uber driver, contact your Denver-area personal injury lawyer for help.
After an Accident with a Lyft Driver
Lyft has a similar reporting process after an accident with one of their drivers. This generally requests reporting the accident to the rideshare company directly and letting them handle their own investigation. In addition to handling the Lyft reporting, a driver will have to report the accident to their own insurance company.
A driver's own insurance company will also investigate the incident to determine if coverage is to be provided and which insurance provider is responsible for covering any damages. Insurance coverage for the rideshare driver can be complicated. The amount of coverage can depend on whether the Uber or Lyft driver was transporting a rider, responding to a ride request, or had the app turned off.
Colorado requires all drivers to have minimum liability insurance. This minimum coverage also applies when an Uber or Lyft driver has not yet accepted a ride or has already finished a ride. The mandatory minimum coverage required for drivers in Colorado includes:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death to any one person in an accident;
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death to all persons in any one accident; and
- $15,000 for property damage in any one accident.
After an Uber or Lyft driver becomes active on their ridesharing app (but before picking up a rider), contingent coverage applies. Under Colorado's Transportation Network Company (TNC) laws, Uber and Lyft must provide minimum coverage of:
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death to any one person in an accident; and
- $100,000 for bodily injury or death to all persons in any one accident
Once the driver accepts a ride request, is on the way to pick up the passenger, or has the passenger in the vehicle, Lyft and Uber's policy coverage is for up to $1 million.
Denver Uber and Lyft Accident Attorney
After an accident in the snow, drivers do not want to have to deal with Uber and Lyft apps and investigations. Drivers may get frustrated with the rideshare company or insurance company's response to the accident or injury claims. Drivers can benefit from the experience of a Denver accident attorney. The attorneys at accidentdenver.com have successfully represented their clients involved in accidents with Uber and Lyft in Denver. Contact us today for a free consultation.