Understanding Colorado Rideshare Accidents
Ridesharing has become one of the more popular ways to get around. The list of rideshare companies is not limited to Uber and Lyft, but has grown significantly over the years to include the following:
Of course, not all of these rideshare companies may be available in your area, but it goes to show the growth in the industry. It's growing because ridesharing provides a convenient way to find a ride in cities where having a car is impractical or in situations where someone isn't able to drive themselves (or don't want to drive themselves).
Ridesharing is still all about driving vehicles, and so it still poses the risk of being involved in a car collision. Ridesharing companies perform certain background check requirements, but there is always the risk that you can be injured in a ridesharing accident.
If you are in a ridesharing accident, you will most likely be dealing with one of two companies: Uber or Lyft. As large companies, they have a lot of financial resources behind them and can be very difficult to deal with. That said, even these smaller rideshare companies have resources you may not have, so they still remain at an advantage when you fight to get the compensation you deserve.
Unique Challenges of Colorado Rideshare Accidents for Injured Parties
Car accidents between two passenger vehicles, while not simple, follow a fairly straightforward path. The only people who will typically be involved will be the injured party, the other driver, and their insurance companies. However, accidents involving ridesharing companies introduce a whole new layer of complications.
Most accidents don't involve drivers who are working. The fact that Uber and Lyft drivers are on the clock while on the road means that these companies are now involved when an accident happens. Rideshare drivers exist in a sort of insurance gray area because most do not carry commercial insurance since most insurance policies exclude commercial usage.
Because of these wrinkles in rideshare accidents, handling them competently requires a high level of legal expertise and experience.
To operate as a rideshare driver in Colorado, drivers must meet certain vehicle requirements.
- The vehicle must be a model year of 15 years or newer, have 4 doors, and be in good condition with no cosmetic damage.
- The vehicle must be registered and insured in Colorado.
Drivers for rideshare services in Colorado also must meet certain requirements.
- They generally must be at least 21 years old, have a valid driver's license, and pass a background screening, which examines the driver's driving record and criminal history.
- Colorado law requires rideshare companies to provide insurance coverage for their drivers while they are logged into the app and available to accept rides.
- In car accidents where the Uber or Lyft driver is at fault and injures someone, the injured party will be covered by Uber or Lyft's own liability insurance policy.
- Uber and Lyft's bodily injury liability coverage is usually $1,000,000 per person/per accident.
In 2022, Colorado passed new legislation (House Bill 22-1089) requiring rideshare companies, like Uber and Lyft, to provide underinsured/uninsured (UIM/UM) insurance coverage of at least $200,000 per person and $400,000 per accident. This means that if you are a rideshare passenger in a crash caused by another driver, and the at-fault driver has no insurance or insufficient insurance, you can make a claim up to $200,000 per person against Uber or Lyft's UM/UIM insurance coverage for injuries and losses suffered.
Additionally, if you have your own personal UIM/UM coverage, that will also apply, even though you were a passenger in another vehicle. In Colorado, UM/UIM coverage follows individuals wherever they go. This is a great reminder of how important it is to make sure you select UM/UIM coverage on your own auto policy. Claims involving Uber or Lyft can be very complex and oftentimes entail multiple different insurance policies “stacking” on one another.
Our attorneys are experts in analyzing and interpreting auto insurance policies. If you have been hurt in a car accident while riding as an Uber of Lyft passenger, our experienced rideshare attorneys can help.
Liability for a Rideshare Accident in Colorado
Liability in any car crash is determined by negligence. Proving negligence generally requires proving four elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. It must be established that the other party owed a duty of care, that they breached that duty, that the breach caused the damages, and that the accident victim did actually suffer damages.
In a rideshare accident, the two main sources of liability will be the driver and the rideshare company itself. A driver may be held liable in an accident for any number of reasons, whether it be driving while under the influence of alcohol, driving while distracted, or simply failing to obey the rules of the road.
Uber and Lyft may also be held liable if they acted negligently. One of the main ways that this might happen is if they negligently hired a driver. For example, if they failed to uncover a history of DUIs for a potential driver, they could face liability for any accidents that the driver causes.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer in Colorado Help?
Hiring the right personal injury lawyer is probably the single most important decision that a rideshare accident victim will make after their accident. A personal injury lawyer can make
Ridesharing is very common today. In fact, it is a major form of transportation, especially for younger populations where it is a preferred form of transportation. But accidents still happen. Whether it is an Uber driver, Lyft driver, or taxi driver, you may be owed compensation for any injury you suffer. The rules, however, may be a little more complex because it could involve the ridesharing company––it all depends on the facts and circumstances, and those can be debatable. That's why you need a personal injury attorney with experience in rideshare accidents. These cases can get complex, and the auto insurance adjusters will be firm and unpersuaded by unsupported demand letters.
Contact a Rideshare Accident Lawyer in Colorado Today
Rideshare accidents pose unique challenges. At Hagen Nares PLLC, our auto accident attorneys will work to make sure you get smart representation so that you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us at 720-772-8513 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a Free Consultation.