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Hamilton Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyers

HURT IN AN UBER ACCIDENT? WE SERVE ALL OF HAMILTON, ONTARIO.

Ridesharing programs such as Uber and Lyft have made transportation easier and more reliable, which is especially true in areas such as Hamilton, Burlington, St. Catharines, Ancaster Dundas, Stoney Creek, where the distances between any two points can be significant, public transportation is not always easily accessible and where few can afford to take taxis on a regular basis.

Uber and Lyft gained prominence because of their cost-effective service model, which allows independent drivers to operate their vehicles for commercial purposes. In short, it’s gig work. Even non-lawyers can already tell that this creates potential legal complications when accidents inevitably occur.

Unfortunately, despite the convenience that ridesharing programs offer, there are many, many problems and accidents that follow. With Uber alone, there are 49 recorded deaths related to alleged Uber driver negligence –  and thousands more have been injured, the extent of which is totally and completely unknown.

However, Uber and Lyft only provide the rideshare platform – the smartphone application – connecting available drivers to riders. They do not employ drivers, as drivers operate vehicles as independent contractors. This means injured riders and third parties, such as drivers stuck by speeding Ubers, might not have the standing to recover financial damages against Uber or Lyft. This system is intentionally designed to limit corporate liability for driver negligence resulting in injuries to users and innocent third parties.

The experienced rideshare accident lawyers at Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers know how to maximize eligible clients’ compensation after Uber and Lyft accidents. This may include a detailed investigation into vehicle safety and driver qualifications. If you suffered injuries in or by a rideshare vehicle, connect with our Hamilton Uber accident lawyers for free today by calling (905) 333-8888 or connecting with us online.

Are You a Concerned Parent? You Should Be if Your Teen Rides With Uber.

Both Uber and Lyft’s onboarding process is questionable. No one really knows who is driving your child around. If the applicant does not have a searchable criminal or traffic record, then he’s generally approved to use the platform without any required defensive driving training. The concerns that critics have written about are that, although Uber’s corporate employees now personally meet their drivers to verify them in person at one of their Greenhubs, the criminal and driver checks that Uber employees do on the drivers are territorial. This means the driving record check is Ontario-based.

Criminal checks can’t always confirm whether a person has a violent history or is a dangerous offender in another Country or Providence, and traffic records do not include tickets eventually removed from older driving records. Further, these background checks don’t typically show arrest and investigation records, only eventual convictions.

Many Uber drivers faced allegations of causing major accidents, speeding, wrongful deaths, assaults, robbery, sexual assaults, kidnappings, and driving while impaired. This doesn’t include the dangerous Uber driver impersonators – who pretend to be Uber drivers using false marketing materials – to rob and sexually assault confused passengers.

Our Hamilton Uber and Lyft accident lawyers are leading lawyers when it comes to handling ridesharing accidents caused by the negligence of companies like Uber and Lyft. We know and understand the insurance issues involved with Uber and Lyft cars and SUVs. We also know how to distinguish between claims involving direct driver liability, such as failing to obey stop signs, and corporate liability for negligent user authorization. Discuss your right to recover damages on behalf of teens and children injured in rideshare accidents with us today.

Uber and Lyft rideshare accidents leading to wrongful death are on the rise.

There is no doubt that Uber and Lyft Accidents are on the rise. Over the last two years, there have been several widely reported rideshare program deaths.

For example:

  • A wrongful death accident took the life of a woman
  • An Uber driver caused a wrongful death pedestrian accident
  • A motorcyclist died in an Uber accident
  • An Uber driver struck and killed a pedestrian
  • Another passenger died due to a Lyft driver

These are among the many, many reported lists of accidents involving Uber and Lyft across North America. Tragically, just last year, an autonomous self-driving SUV struck and killed a pedestrian walking her bicycle across the street. Although Uber suspended its program and fleet of self-driving vehicles after the crash, incidents of wrongful deaths due to negligent rideshare drivers in Hamilton continue to happen.

In Ontario, immediate family members might pursue wrongful death cases against liable rideshare drivers and possibly the rideshare platform itself. Claimants have two years from the date of death to bring wrongful death litigation in Ontario, which experienced injury lawyers might prepare and file on your behalf. This date often coincides with the date of the accident, though some seriously injured claimants survive for months or years before eventually succumbing to their injuries. You might still bring litigation if your loved one died from injuries—such as brain trauma or spinal cord damage directly caused by Uber or Lyft driver negligence.

Spouses, including common-law spouses, have litigation priority followed by children, grandchildren, and parents. Damages generally include the lost value of life to loved ones, especially spouses and dependents.

Families might demand wrongful death compensation in Hamilton for:

  • Funeral and estate expenses
  • Cost of emotional support for family members, such as counseling expenses
  • Lifetime lost financial support from the deceased, including lost wages and benefits
  • Lost care and companionship
  • Lost parental guidance
  • Lost household assistance
  • Any damages incurred by the deceased before death
  • Punitive damages

The damages account for both direct financial losses, like a $10,000 funeral bill and the incalculable emotional losses associated with fatal Uber and Lyft accidents. Ontario currently limits care and companionship compensation to $125,000, but claimants might demand the value of past and future financial losses.

At Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers, we often retain family economic experts to calculate the value of lifetime lost wages, benefits, and household support. These calculations frequently result in multi-million dollar insurance demands exceeding most rideshare companies’ umbrella liability policies.

In such cases, our dedicated lawyers might fight to recover financial damages directly from the rideshare platform provider Uber or Lyft the negligent driver, and any other available insurance policies. We might also demand additional compensation if another driver caused or contributed to a deadly Hamilton Uber crash.

Have you been hurt in a rideshare program or by an Uber or Lyft vehicle?

Most Hamilton rideshare accidents result in personal injuries, including whiplash, concussions, back pain, and fractures. Many soft tissue injuries, including neck strains and chest contusions, heal within a few weeks. Auto insurance companies generally settle these claims within policy limits by compensating injured passengers for their lost wages, uncovered medical expenses, and associated pain and inconvenience.

However, many Uber and Lyft accidents result in serious and lasting injuries necessitating legal assistance. You may deserve compensation if you were in a rideshare program accident, even if you weren’t a passenger.

Examples include:

  • An Uber driver or Uber car hits you
  • A Lyft driver or Lyft car hits you
  • Being a passenger in an Uber or Lyft car or truck
  • Being a bicyclist who an Uber or Lyft car or truck hits
  • Being a pedestrian who an Uber or Lyft car or truck hits
  • If a loved one died in an Uber or Lyft car or truck
  • Being in any type of motor vehicle accident, car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident involving active Uber or Lyft vehicles

Don’t trust your case to a regular personal injury lawyer who will treat your case like a run-of-the-mill car accident. Hire Uber or Lyft Hamilton accident injury lawyers that know how to get proper accident investigation reports, employment law files from Uber or Lyft, better research the history of a rideshare driver, obtain and investigate a driver’s cell phone records, find the loopholes, and litigate against any ridesharing company.

Understanding the Legal Problems Associated With Lyft and Uber Accident Claims

Independent Contractors v. Employees

Uber markets itself as a technology company, not a commercial transportation provider. It simply provides the technology, the Uber App, connecting available independent drivers and local riders. It also provides a payment platform, but these factors alone do not make Uber and Lyft drivers corporate employees. From London to L.A., drivers and injured passengers alike have hotly litigated this issue. That’s because, under common law principles, employers are vicariously (automatically) liable for the negligent acts of their working employees.

U.K. Uber drivers are now considered Uber employees, which triggers automatic corporate liability for on-the-job accidents. In North America, however, drivers remain independent contractors – a legal status that insulates the rideshare company from direct liability for the negligent acts of the contractor. Even passengers who utilize the Uber App cannot generally sue Uber for setting them up with dangerous drivers unless Uber knew (or should have known) of prior dangerous behaviors.

Our dedicated Uber accident lawyers often look for evidence of prior complaints and missed criminal history checks in the driver’s service record. This might include reading through previous customer reviews and determining whether the driver received a ticket after registering with the rideshare platform.

Vehicle Ownership

Traditional taxi, limo, and party bus companies sometimes own the vehicles used. They generally register these vehicles in the company’s (or holding company’s) name. Even if these for-hire drivers take work as independent contractors, the vehicle owner is automatically liable for most roadway accidents. With Uber and Lyft, the drivers themselves own the vehicles. Their cars generally serve as personal vehicles that transform into rideshare cars with a simple windshield display. This means injured passengers and third parties cannot sue the rideshare company as the registered vehicle owner.

However, rideshare companies and certain cities have vehicle safety standards in place. This includes requiring vehicles to undergo safety inspections and use appropriate tires in the winter months. Experienced rideshare liability lawyers in Hamilton can demand vehicle inspections to ensure compliance. If Uber or Lyft allowed dangerous vehicles on the road and this contributed to your injuries, we might hold the rideshare company directly liable.

Private v. Commercial Insurance Coverage

Ontario requires passenger vehicle owners to carry at least $200,000 in liability insurance per accident. Mandatory insurance minimums increase for trucks, buses, and other commercial vehicles due to the increased risks associated with commercial vehicle accidents. Because Uber drivers use their cars for work, they must carry Ontario mandatory minimum insurance.

However, these private insurance policies contain clauses disclaiming coverage when drivers use their vehicle for commercial transportation purposes like Uber or Lyft. Rideshare drivers must obtain specialized commercial auto insurance policies, which Lyft and Uber provide on their behalf.

These commercial umbrella policies cover these accident injuries and associated losses:

  • Up to $2 million in personal injury insurance for Uber passengers and injured third parties
  • Up to $2 million in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which protects Uber passengers and drivers injured by another negligent driver without sufficient insurance coverage (this policy also covers Hamilton hit-and-run accidents)
  • Coverage for vehicle and associated property damage, such as broken iPhones or destroyed passenger luggage
  • Up to $1 million in liability coverage for on-duty accidents (discussed below)

Lyft maintains similar policies, and this comprehensive coverage overrides the rideshare driver’s personal insurance coverage. However, this coverage is narrower than it appears.

Uber’s liability carrier will not accept fault unless you show that the Uber driver was negligent, meaning they caused the crash and resulting injuries. Accidents caused by another negligent driver, such as rear-end collisions with your Uber, require claimants to first demand damages from the liable third party. If you suffered from medical, financial, and emotional damages beyond the negligent driver’s policy limits, then a lawyer might demand additional damages from Uber’s uninsured/underinsured motorist policy.

Accident Timing

Uber’s unique rideshare platform forced a rare change to how lawyers handle insurance claims. Because rideshare drivers do not have mandatory hours, they typically sign into the application during their free time. However, the available driver must wait for local ride requests and subsequently accept the rideshare assignment.

This means, in an hour, an Uber driver may:

  1. Drive for personal purposes
  2. Accept rides with Lyft/Uber without an associated request
  3. Pick up and transport passengers.

Third-party drivers, pedestrians, and local cyclists do not know a driver’s status when an accident occurs. However, it’s essential to identify the liable insurance company and applicable coverage.

Drivers not logged into the associated application are just like any other driver on the road. General car accident lawyers in Hamilton can handle these claims. It also means you cannot obtain damages from Uber’s commercial liability policies.

Uber’s $1 million personal injury policy covers drivers available to accept rides but without an associated ride request. For example, when a driver circling Hamilton International Airport waiting for requests rear-ends another vehicle. Uber’s extensive commercial liability coverage only kicks in after the driver has accepted a ride request and ends with passenger drop-off. It also automatically ends if the passenger cancels the ride before the driver arrives.

Each of these policies legally wakes and sleeps throughout the driver’s day. Drivers might also face personal liability, cancelling out available commercial coverage, if they’re simultaneously logged into the Uber and Lyft applications when the accident occurs. Unfortunately, many drivers do this to increase their profits.

At Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers, we might demand the police report and associated account data to verify the driver’s status when the accident occurred. Only rideshare accident lawyers experienced in handling Uber and Lyft claims should file the initial insurance demands. Making the wrong claim may cause the statute of limitations to expire before you determine the correct insurer. This essentially destroys your claim for damages.

Experienced Hamilton Ridesharing Lawyers Ready To Fight For You

Ontario rideshare accidents can cause some of the most devastating injuries to passengers or bystanders. This often occurs because phones constantly distract rideshare drivers, especially when they’re looking for passengers, receiving requests, or navigating unfamiliar roads. They may also speed to their destinations based on passenger demands or to increase daily profits.

As with other types of automobile accidents passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, or motorcyclists are especially susceptible to injuries, such as:

Importantly, rideshare drivers also frequently travel in higher-risk conditions. Many passengers summon Ubers and Lyfts at night, in bad weather, during heavy traffic, or in other conditions no one wants to drive in. Rideshare drivers may also disproportionately suffer from fatigue because many valuable ride requests occur during late-night hours. These factors increase the likelihood of serious car accidents and associated injuries in Hamilton.

Lawyers Who Handle Uber Accident Claims

If you suffered injuries in an Uber accident, Our Hamilton personal injury lawyers have the legal skill and experience to pursue these companies for the compensation that you deserve. If you have suffered serious, life-changing, permanent injuries, Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers can obtain significant compensation for Uber and Lyft accident victims.

Whether you are a driver who suffered injuries in an accident where an Uber or Lyft driver was at fault, a passenger in a car or truck where a ridesharing driver was at fault, a motorcyclist or bicyclist who an Uber driver hit, or anyone else who suffered harm in this type of situation, you might deserve compensation.

Compensation should cover:

  • Pain and suffering;
  • Loss of past wages;
  • Loss of future wages;
  • Loss of the capacity to properly take care of your home;
  • Out of pocket expenses;
  • Rehabilitation costs that you are out of pocket for;
  • The requirement of full time care to assist with managing your life;
  • The accommodation or renovation of your home or transportation;
  • Loss of care, guidance of companionship from loved ones;
  • Wrongful death dependency losses
  • Wrongful Death Shared Income
  • Funeral costs, and;
  • much more if reasonable, necessary and approved for claim.

Most claims realistically settle within Uber’s high commercial insurance limits. However, this coverage exists per accident, not per person. This means Uber drivers responsible for causing chain-reaction crashes only have $1 million to $2 million in coverage for all injured individuals. One person suffering from life-altering injuries, such as paralysis or severe brain trauma, might easily incur $2 million in damage within 12 months.

Further, families of innocent bystanders or passengers who wrongfully died by negligent rideshare drivers frequently lose millions in lifetime financial support. You must obtain immediate representation following Uber or Lyft accidents near Hamilton from a lawyer who understands these policies. In some cases, our dedicated Ontario rideshare injury and assault lawyers might hold negligent corporations directly liable for your injuries.

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Contact a Hamilton Uber or Lyft Accident Lawyer Today – We serve all of Ontario.

Matt Lalande
Hamilton Uber & Lyft Accidents Lawyer, Matt Lalande

Our Hamilton personal injury lawyers serve clients all over Ontario. Over the past 15 years, Matt Lalande has recovered millions of dollars for accident victims who suffered injuries due to the fault, reckless driving, or negligence of others. We understand the unique legal issues involved in Uber or Lyft accidents and know how to gather essential evidence of driver status and available insurance coverage.

Do not go up against Uber and Lyft’s corporate lawyers alone. You need dedicated counsel on your side to maximize the value of your rideshare accident claims and hold these platforms liable for connecting you with dangerous drivers. We provide these services without charging any upfront fees to eligible clients, and you might recover needed compensation without any out-of-pocket costs.

We have handled cases involving cars, trucks, wheelchairs, motorcycles, ATV’s, dirt bikes, transport trucks, courier vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrian accident cases – including cases against taxi, vans, buses and rideshare operators. Contact us today by calling 905-333-8888, by filling out a contact form or by chatting with our live operator 24/7, who will assist in setting up a free no obligation consultation.

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