Winnebago County Rideshare Accidents

Rideshare Accidents

Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft have gained tremendous popularity throughout the United States in recent years. These services allow app users to summon drivers on request, often outside the service areas of most traditional taxi services and at times of the day and night when public transportation is unavailable. People from all over Winnebago County can easily take advantage of the convenient accessibility of rideshare services, but they should know what to do if they experience a rideshare accident.

Legal Counsel for Winnebago County Rideshare Accident Victims

Winnebago County rideshare accident lawyers can be the best possible asset for an injured passenger to have after an accident involving a Lyft or Uber driver. While these rideshare services offer insurance coverage to protect their drivers and passengers, the coverage functions differently based on numerous factors, and filing an insurance claim after an auto accident is rarely easy. Franks Gerkin Ponitz Greeley can provide the meticulous legal counsel you need to navigate the often-complex insurance issues that typically follow rideshare accidents in Winnebago County, IL.

Should I Hire an Accident Attorney?

It’s normal to wonder whether you need to hire legal representation after a motor vehicle accident, especially if the fault for the incident seems clear. However, it’s essential to realize that even if your situation seems straightforward at first, there is no guarantee that you can navigate your case easily without an attorney. Whether you intend to file an insurance claim, pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, or both, these processes are much easier to handle with a reliable Winnebago County rideshare accident attorney representing you.

Your attorney can handle the procedural issues your case entails on your behalf so you can rest and recover with peace of mind. Your case will be in capable hands, and you won’t face the risk of jeopardizing your recovery on a paperwork error or missed filing deadline. Additionally, an experienced Winnebago County rideshare accident lawyer will be more likely to maximize your compensation than you would be on your own, and they are likely to reveal channels of compensation you would have overlooked if you attempted to handle your claim by yourself.

What Percentage Do Accident Lawyers Take?

May Americans believe the cost of legal counsel to be prohibitively high. While legal fees can be expensive in some cases, most personal injury attorneys would not be able to find clients if they charged exorbitant legal fees to everyone they represented. Franks Gerkin Ponitz Greeley offers contingency fee billing, meaning our clients pay nothing up front and only pay legal fees after we win their cases. We provide each client with understandable and transparent billing information. If you choose us as your Winnebago County rideshare accident lawyers, you will know exactly what to expect in terms of your legal fees at the conclusion of your case.

Common Rideshare Company Insurance Issues After Accidents

Filing an auto insurance claim is typically the first step toward recovery for anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident in Illinois. The state upholds a fault-based system for auto insurance, meaning all drivers must purchase auto insurance policies that offer bodily injury liability coverage, total accident liability coverage, and property damage liability coverage. Drivers are also strongly recommended, though not required, to purchase additional coverage beyond the state’s minimum requirements, such as underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage that takes effect when an at-fault driver does not have auto insurance.

Rideshare accident claims can pose additional layers of complexity over an already complex process regarding their own insurance coverage. As rideshare companies grew more popular in the US, public concern over liability for rideshare accident damages compelled legislators to enact new laws requiring them to provide insurance coverage to their passengers. This coverage also protects their drivers to an extent.

At first glance, the insurance coverage offered by rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft seems quite generous, offering up to $1 million in third-party liability coverage for a rideshare accident caused by a rideshare driver. However, this does not mean you will automatically receive $1 million after a rideshare accident in Winnebago County. The rideshare company’s insurance carrier has the right to investigate your claim, and you may only receive a fraction of this coverage based on the specific details of your claim.

Uber and Lyft have insurance policies that operate on a tiered system based on the phase of a trip and whether the rideshare driver has their Driver app turned on or off. This coverage can apply to drivers, passengers, and even third parties in some cases, such as a pedestrian caught between vehicles in a rideshare accident.

  • When a rideshare driver does not have their Driver app turned on, their own auto insurance policy would apply if there is an accident. Rideshare companies require their drivers to maintain auto insurance that adheres to their state’s minimum coverage requirements.
  • When the rideshare driver has their Driver app on but has not yet accepted a fare, the lower tier of the rideshare coverage applies, providing up to $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for a single person, up to $100,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for all individuals injured in a single accident, and up to $25,000 in property damage liability coverage. These coverage limits are the same for both Uber and Lyft, and both rideshare services will also cover underinsured/uninsured motorist accidents.
  • Once the driver is on the way to pick up a passenger, or when they are transporting a passenger to their destination, the rideshare insurance provides the highest available tier of coverage, which includes up to $1 million in third-party liability coverage. This coverage tier can also provide underinsured/uninsured driver coverage and limited comprehensive and collision coverage for the rideshare driver’s vehicle, with certain conditions.

Like any other insurance company, the insurance carrier for your rideshare company has the right and the legal responsibility to investigate any claim for damages. Generally, insurance claim adjusters look for all justifications they can identify to reduce or deny a claim. Having an attorney assist you with this process will significantly reduce the chances of the insurance carrier engaging in any unfair or bad faith tactics against you and will streamline the process of securing your insurance settlement check.

It is vital to remember that after any car accident, you should never speak to an insurance company without consulting a lawyer first. If an insurance company representative contacts you after an accident, including a rideshare accident, politely inform them that your legal counsel will return their call as soon as possible. Insurance companies may attempt to coerce an accident victim into accepting a lowball settlement as quickly as possible after an accident, so the insurance company is released from further liability for claims from the victim.

Determining Liability for a Rideshare Accident in Winnebago County

You cannot always rely on a rideshare company’s insurance after an accident in an Uber or Lyft. If available, auto insurance does not fully cover your damages from a rideshare accident, you will need to take further legal action against the party responsible for your damages. Your Winnebago County rideshare accident lawyer will help you prove liability for your damages and hold the appropriate party or parties accountable for your losses. Your rideshare driver may bear fault for your recent accident, but liability may also fall to a third party or multiple parties.

A rideshare accident claim falls within the purview of personal injury law, and “negligence” is the core legal concept of every personal injury claim filed in Illinois. Therefore, your Winnebago County rideshare accident lawyer must identify the defendant responsible for your damages, prove they were negligent in some way that directly caused your damages, and provide the court with a complete and accurate list of all the damages resulting from the accident. You and your attorney must also prove that your damages would not have occurred but for the defendant’s negligence.

Compensation Beyond Insurance in a Rideshare Accident Claim

Any motor vehicle accident is likely to result in substantial damages to everyone involved. Once the fault has been determined, an injured victim has the right to claim compensation for all damages they incurred due to the at-fault party’s actions. While available auto insurance may provide partial coverage for your damages from a rideshare accident, some auto accidents result in catastrophic, life-changing injuries. Therefore, you may need to take further legal action for a complete recovery, and a personal injury lawsuit filed with the help of your Winnebago County rideshare accident lawyer can potentially help you recover:

  • Medical expenses, including those incurred immediately after your rideshare accident, as well as future medical expenses. Some injuries will require multiple surgeries, ongoing rehabilitation, and long-term physical therapy. The medical expenses from a severe accident can pile up on the victim for many years, and your personal injury claim can potentially help you recover compensation for these extensive losses.
  • Lost income. Your rideshare accident may injure you enough that you are unable to work until you recover. You have the right to claim compensation for lost income during this recovery period. In addition, when injuries cause permanent disabilities that prevent the victim from working at all in the future, the victim’s attorney can potentially help them recover compensation for their lost future earning capacity based on how much they would have reasonably expected to earn until retirement age had their injuries not occurred.
  • Property damage. You have the right to claim compensation for any personal property destroyed in an accident. In most vehicle accident claims, this would include the plaintiff’s vehicle repair costs, but if you were riding as a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, you could still recover compensation for personal items destroyed in the accident.
  • Pain and suffering. Illinois state law allows personal injury plaintiffs to claim compensation for intangible losses such as emotional distress, psychological trauma, and physical pain experienced because of a defendant’s negligence. Your Winnebago County rideshare accident lawyer can help you calculate a reasonable amount to include with your claim. Catastrophic injuries that result in permanent disabilities are likely to lead to substantial pain and suffering compensation for the victim.

Even when a rideshare company’s insurance offers coverage to an injured passenger after an accident, the insurance settlement may not fully cover the victim’s losses. Your Winnebago County rideshare accident lawyer could be instrumental in ensuring the fullest recovery possible after a rideshare accident caused by your driver’s negligence or the reckless actions of a third party.

What to Expect From Your Winnebago County Rideshare Accident Lawyer

The right legal team can make an extraordinary difference in the outcome of your rideshare accident claim. Not only will it be much easier for you to meet the procedural requirements of your case, but you will also have peace of mind knowing your legal team can maximize your recovery to the fullest extent possible under Illinois state law. When you are suffering the effects of a rideshare accident, such as lost income, mounting economic pressure from bills, you cannot pay, and painful recovery from your injuries, managing legal matters alone would be highly challenging.

When you choose Franks Gerkin Ponitz Greeley to represent you as your Winnebago County rideshare accident attorneys, we will provide you with client-focused and meticulous legal counsel through every phase of your case. We’ll assist you in determining liability for your recent accident and guide you through the insurance claim process. Our team will verify the coverage available to you and compel the insurance company to process your claim in good faith. Suppose your insurance claim payout is not enough to fully cover your losses. In that case, we will help you explore additional legal remedies, such as a personal injury claim against the driver who caused your accident.

Our goal is to maximize your compensation after a rideshare accident. If another party caused you painful injuries, lost income, and significant economic losses due to negligence, you should not be left to pay for the damages on your own. Franks Gerkin Ponitz Greeley is ready to provide the legal representation you need to confidently navigate the most complex rideshare accident claims. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced Winnebago County rideshare accident attorney.

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