Rapid City Rideshare Accident Attorneys
Understanding Liability and Your Rights
At Beardsley, Jensen & Lee, we understand the complexities that arise when individuals are involved in rideshare accidents in South Dakota. Our experienced attorneys are here to represent those who have been injured in such accidents and help them secure the compensation they deserve.
Who is Liable in a Rideshare Accident in South Dakota?
Determining liability in a rideshare accident can be intricate, as it often involves multiple parties. The following parties may be held liable:
- The Rideshare Driver: In most instances, the negligence of an Uber or Lyft driver is covered by the insurance held by the rideshare company. However, in some rare instances, the rideshare driver or their personal insurance may be held responsible for the victim's injuries and damages.
- The Rideshare Company: Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have a duty to ensure the safety of their passengers. They carry an insurance policy that covers its passengers, however, this insurance only applies at certain points in the ride. This insurance can get even more complicated if you are not a rideshare passenger and you are injured by a driver for Uber or Lyft.
- Other Motorists: If another driver's actions contributed to the accident, they may be liable for their share of responsibility.
- Manufacturers or Maintenance Providers: If a defective vehicle part or improper maintenance played a role in the accident, the manufacturer or maintenance provider may be held responsible.
- Local Government: In some cases, inadequate road maintenance or signage could contribute to an accident. In such instances, the local government may share liability.
Tactics Rideshare Companies May Use to Reduce Liability
Rideshare companies have been known to employ various tactics to limit their liability and payouts in accidents:
- Independent Contractor Status: Rideshare companies often classify their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. This distinction can affect liability, as it may be used to argue that the company is not responsible for the driver's actions.
- Insurance Issues: Rideshare companies have complex insurance policies that may not fully cover all damages. They may attempt to shift responsibility onto the driver's personal insurance or argue that the driver was not actively engaged in a ride at the time of the accident.
- Settlement Offers: Rideshare companies may contact victims directly with settlement offers that may not adequately compensate them for their injuries. These offers are often designed to minimize the company's financial responsibility.
What to Do After an Uber or Lyft Accident
If you are involved in an Uber or Lyft accident in South Dakota, here are the essential steps to take:
- Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the top priority. Get medical treatment for any injuries, even if they seem minor initially.
- Report the Accident: Notify law enforcement and report the accident to the rideshare company through their app or website.
- Gather Evidence: If you can do so safely, collect evidence at the scene, including photos of the accident, driver information, and witness contact details.
- Contact an Attorney: Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with rideshare accidents. They can help protect your rights and navigate the complex legal process.
- Document Everything: Keep records of all medical expenses, property damage, and communications with the rideshare company or insurance companies.
- Avoid Giving Statements: Do not provide statements to the rideshare company or their insurance without consulting your attorney first.
- Do Not Accept a Settlement: Refrain from accepting any settlement offers until you've discussed them with your attorney. It's crucial to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
If you've been injured in a rideshare accident in South Dakota, our team at Beardsley, Jensen & Lee is here to provide you with the legal representation you need. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and protect your rights.
Don't let an unfortunate event like a rideshare accident deprive you of peace of mind. Call (605) 777-7466 to schedule a free consultation!