Rideshare Accidents in CT
Rideshare services across the United States and Connecticut have become increasingly popular. Arguably, rideshare services allow for more convenient, safe, and reliable transportation. Since their increase in popularity, studies have shown a decline in DUI arrests and traffic fatalities in recent years.
Accidents involving rideshare services are inevitable. Filing a claim involving services such as Uber and Lyft can be complicated by the legal status of the driver. Our attorneys at Buckley Wynne & Parese are fully dedicated to you and will answer any questions you may have. We offer all prospective clients a free initial consultation. We encourage you to call today, at no charge, to discuss your options.
BWP’s Tips for Staying Safe When Using a Rideshare Service
- Use an established, well-known service
- Remain inside until your driver has arrived
- Be sure to confirm that the name of your driver and that his/her vehicle match the information on your App
- Ask the driver for the name of the person he/she is picking up
- Choose a rideshare driver with higher ratings
- Sit in the backseat and be sure to buckle up
- Follow along on your App to ensure the driver isn’t traveling an odd route
- If possible, do not ride alone
- Give feedback for future riders
- Keep your personal information confidential
- Share your trip details and plans with a friend
- Trust your gut and intuition
Accident Scenarios Involving Rideshare Vehicles
Below are possible scenarios you may find yourself in. As accidents involving rideshare vehicles can become increasingly complicated, we encourage you to call us at 203-776-2278 to discuss your individual situation and your available options.
The Rideshare Driver was Found At-fault and I was…
It's Passenger/Customer: First, we would usually file a claim with the operator’s private car insurance. If that policy is inadequate to fully compensate you for your injuries and damages, rideshare companies carry third-party insurance coverage as well.
If your accident results in catastrophic injuries in which the above-mentioned coverage is not fully able to compensate you, we may have the option to seek additional recoveries through the company itself. Additional coverage would be evaluated on a case by case basis.
In Another Vehicle and the Driver was…
On Duty: A driver is likely considered on duty when he or she has the rideshare’s App on and is either in route to pick up a customer or has the customer in the vehicle. We will then file a claim accordingly. Many factors should/must be considered in this analysis.
Off Duty: A driver is considered off duty when he or she has the rideshare’s App off. We would file a claim with the operator’s private car insurance. Therefore, the coverage available is dependent on the individual’s policy limits.
A rideshare driver is required to inform their car insurance carrier that he or she is a ridesharing driver. Their insurance rates are often higher due to the increased risk. There may be exclusions if the driver has not advised his/her carrier and coverage. Therefore it is important to speak with knowledgeable counsel immediately.
A Pedestrian: Regardless of whether the rideshare driver is on or off duty, we would first file a claim with the driver’s private insurance carrier. If those limits are inadequate, we can seek further compensation through the rideshare company if the driver was on duty or through your private insurance policy if the driver was off duty.
Another Vehicle was Found At- fault and I was…
The Rideshare’s Passenger/Customer: As we would if you were operating your own vehicle and you were in an accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, we would file a third-party claim with the at-fault party’s car insurance and any other third parties.
The Rideshare’s Passenger/Customer and the At-fault Party did not have Enough or any Insurance: Rideshare company’s carry uninsured and underinsured coverage. Click here for more information on uninsured and underinsured motor vehicle accidents.
The Rideshare’s Passenger/Customer and the At-fault Party is Unknown: A claim would be filed similarly to that of an underinsured at-fault party. Click here for more information on uninsured and underinsured motor vehicle accidents.
Seeking Compensation & Reimbursement
The losses from injuries and damages sustained in a motor vehicle accident involving a rideshare service can be complex. It is essential that you contact us as soon as possible. Below are some areas in which we can help you recover and to ultimately get you back to your normal day today.
- Medical and Financial Costs and Burdens
- Lost Wages and Impaired Earnings
- Non-Economic Damages which includes pain and anguish and mental suffering
- Recovery and Replacement of Property Damage
- Out of Pocket or Miscellaneous Expenses
Contact Buckley Wynne & Parese Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a rideshare service in, call us today. For over 140 years, the attorneys at Buckley Wynne & Parese have been fully dedicated to assisting families who were injured as a result of someone else’s wrongdoing and negligence.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Your legal fees are paid on a contingency fee basis unless otherwise specified. That means that we are not paid unless we recover compensation for you.
Once it is safe to do so, you should attempt to document the entire situation by taking photographs and careful notes. Having notes to remind you of all the details of what happened, and what you went through, is far easier and far more accurate than relying on your memory.
Write things down as soon as you can: begin with what you were doing and where you were going, the people you were with, the time and the weather. Include every detail of what you saw, heard and felt. Be sure to add anything you remember hearing anyone — a person involved in the accident or a witness — say about the accident.
Finally, make daily notes of the effects of your injuries. You may suffer pain, discomfort, anxiety, loss of sleep or other problems you are experiencing. These notes can be very useful two or six or ten months later, when you put together all the important facts into a final demand for compensation.
*For more information on your rights and responsibilities after an accident, see: Motor Vehicle Rights and Responsibilities.
Figuring out who is at fault in a traffic accident is a matter of deciding who was careless. For vehicle accidents, there is a set of official written rules telling people how they are supposed to drive and providing guidelines by which liability may be measured. These rules of the road are the traffic laws everyone must follow.
Sometimes a violation of one of these traffic rules is obvious and was clearly the cause of an accident — for example, when one driver runs a stop sign and crashes into another. In other situations, whether or not there was a violation will be less obvious. A common example is a crash that occurs when drivers merge into a single lane of traffic.
Sometimes, the ultimate determination of who should be responsible is left up to the fact finder or jury.
The law in Connecticut requires that you initially pay for your medical treatment. It is a common misconception that the at-fault driver will pay for your medical treatment. This often leads to frustration. We will do everything we can to help you manage your options, but please note: we are not allowed by law to pay your medical bills. If you had medical treatment (e.g. ambulance, hospital evaluation) and have no insurance or ability to pay for that treatment, the provider may send the bill to collection. While we may send letters to medical providers offering to protect their bills, many providers will not agree to such an arrangement (see discussion below). Unfortunately, we cannot stop a collection action or pay your bills. If you are receiving collection letters or outstanding bills, please contact us to discuss your options in more detail.
There are essentially five ways for your medical bills to be paid and there often is priority under the law. Therefore, be sure we are aware of any and all of the following:
If you were on the job at the time of the incident.
Medical payments (“Med Pay”) coverage on your auto policy
If you have Med Pay coverage on your auto policy, or you were a passenger in a car that had Med Pay coverage, you should use this coverage to pay your bills, even if you have health insurance. Med Pay will pay up to its limits, after which point your bills should be paid through one of the three remaining sources.
Health Insurance & Medicare/Medicaid
Generally, your health insurance will not cover your accident related bills unless and until you can prove that you do not have Med Pay. We will help you secure a “No Med Pay Letter” when appropriate.
Letter of Protection
Under certain circumstances, when someone else caused an accident, and you do not have Med Pay or health insurance, some doctors will accept a Letter of Protection from our office. This obligates our office to reimburse your doctor from the proceeds of your lawsuit settlement or judgment. Because payment is not guaranteed and will be delayed until the resolution of the case, many doctors will not agree to do this.
The final way to pay your medical bills is out-of-pocket. Please be sure to keep track of everything you have paid. All reasonable and necessary out-of-pocket losses should be recorded and provided to us.
Ideally, the at-fault party’s insurance company will pay for repairing your vehicle. Sometimes, liability is not accepted, however, and it is easier and quicker to pursue a damage claim under your own insurance coverage.
Yes. In Connecticut, you are entitled to Loss of Use, which includes either a rental vehicle or the value of a comparable rental vehicle. For more on your rights, see Motor Vehicle Rights and Responsibilities.
You can pursue an uninsured or underinsured motorist (“UM” or “UIM”) claim under your own auto insurance policy. This insurance coverage applies if you have been hit by an uninsured driver or where the coverage of the at-fault driver is insufficient to pay for your damages. “UM” and “UIM” coverage is mandated by law. You should consult with an attorney before filing a claim.
The accident was my fault-
When you caused the accident, you are responsible for repairing your own vehicle and the other vehicle that you damaged. Assuming you are insured, your company will pay for the damages to the other vehicle up to your policy limits. If you have “collision coverage” under your policy, you will also be covered for repairs to your vehicle up to the amount of your coverage. You will likely have a deductible of $500 or $1,000. You should not have to pay more than your deductible if you have full collision coverage. When you caused the accident, your right to a rental car is subject to the terms of your insurance policy. If you purchased rental reimbursement coverage, you will be covered for a rental car. Most insurers can set up direct billing with the rental car company. Check with your insurance company or insurance agent regarding your coverage.
The accident was not my fault-
If someone else caused the accident, that person’s insurance company (if the other person is insured) should pay for the cost of repairs. You should not have to pay for anything. You are entitled to take the vehicle to a repair shop of your choice for repairs. If you were injured, you should consult with an attorney before communicating with the at-fault driver’s insurance company about repairs. If the other person was not insured but was at fault, you should use your own insurance. Your company will later undertake efforts to get its money back through a process known as subrogation.
After your insurance company pays for your repairs, it will likely seek reimbursement through a process known as “subrogation”. In a subrogation claim, the insurance company essentially steps into your shoes and brings a claim against the other driver in an effort to get its money back. If successful, your insurance company will be reimbursed and you should also be reimbursed for your deductible. In some accidents, fault is uncertain. In other words, both parties may share in the responsibility. Thus, it may be found that one party is 80% responsible and the other is 20% responsible. If this happens, damages will be apportioned accordingly. If you paid for your own damages and rental car because you had no collision coverage, you may wish to bring a claim against the at fault party for reimbursement. For more information on this process, consult with an attorney.
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This is not the first time our Insurance Department has sought to insulate the insurance industry from legal accountability. I presume the cost benefit analysis is one premised on giving insurance companies greater latitude with regulatory compliance in order to keep jobs here in Connecticut. Whether letting insurers break our laws in order to keep jobs here makes any sense is a political calculation above my paygrade. But seeing it over and over from this side of the table is certainly frustrating.
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This year's inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2024 particularly commendable, as Best Lawyers conducted a comprehensive peer-review survey with over 13.7 million confidential evaluations. Out of nearly 25,000 voters, Attorney Buckley emerged as a clear leader in his domain. Such an accolade is indicative of the respect and admiration he holds among his peers and underscores his stellar reputation in the industry.