Uber Accident Lawyers in Kansas City, MO, Fighting to Help Victims Get Compensation
The development of rideshare programs has had major implications for the safety of America’s roadways. One of the most important outcomes of this service is a decrease in drunk driving accidents and deaths. Intoxicated individuals now have an option for getting home that doesn’t include drinking and driving. In many ways, we have Uber to thank for the growth of rideshare services. Unfortunately, this growth has also come with a few disadvantages. An Uber driver is still just a normal person so they can be involved in a collision just as easily as anyone else. If you’ve been injured in such an incident, an Uber accident lawyer in Kansas City, MO, may be able to help.
At Mohlman Gurney Injury Law, we understand the complexities of rideshare accidents. Following an injury in such a collision, you may wonder whether the driver’s personal insurance coverage or Uber itself is responsible for compensating you. Issues may also arise about the liability of other parties involved—such as other drivers and even government agencies. Getting fair compensation for your injuries may feel like an uphill battle, but the Kansas City Uber accident attorneys at Mohlman Gurney Injury Law can assist. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help ensure liable parties are held responsible.
Does Uber Have an Effect on Accident Rates?
Even as the Missouri Department of Transportation has reported fewer traffic deaths in recent years, this trend has not held up in Kansas City. In fact, there have been several instances where traffic fatalities in the city have doubled in just one year’s time. We cannot blame these car accidents on the increased usage of Uber—at least not with any certainty. After all, statistics have consistently shown that using an Uber or Lyft driver significantly decreases the risk of drunk driving collisions. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that rideshare accidents are uncommon. In fact, one study found that these services actually increase fatal collisions.
While this may sound strange, the two facts are not in conflict with each other. Car accidents involving intoxicated drivers have certainly dropped, but about 20% of Uber drivers are on the road for at least 35 hours every week. More miles driven equates to a higher risk for accidents. It’s important to note that the statistics currently available are preliminary, and there are some disagreements over their validity. Of course, statistics mean nothing to personal injury accident victims. Uber accidents may be relatively rare, but when you’re involved in one, you’ll face lost wages, pain and suffering, medical bills, and a variety of other losses.
Fortunately, settlement negotiations or personal injury lawsuits are both valid strategies to recover compensation. Just because you deserve financial restitution, though, doesn’t mean that the path will be easy. Adjusters will try to pay out as little as possible on insurance claims, and if they refuse to compensate you fairly, litigation may be the only recourse. By speaking with a personal injury lawyer, however, you can get a better understanding of your rights and how to move forward with your claim. And at Mohlman Gurney Injury Law, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means you won’t pay a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.
Who’s at Fault for an Uber or Lyft Accident?
Missouri is a “fault” state in terms of personal injury liability, and this means liability will be assigned to the person responsible for the accident. Uber accidents offer a unique fact pattern for victims of a car accident since liability is often split between the drivers involved in the accident. In the typical auto collision, this means both drivers could theoretically each be 50% at fault. However, Uber drivers might be considered the agent of the larger company. In such cases, liability could shift from the driver to Uber itself. Such personal injury cases can be difficult without legal representation since you’ll be up against an international company.
However, liability in most Uber accidents will fall to the driver. An accident claim will go through their personal insurance company. Of course, Uber and Lyft drivers aren’t the only potential at-fault parties, even when the larger companies can’t be held liable. Other drivers on the road could contribute to your accident, and in such cases, your driver may hold no liability at all. The possibility also exists, however, that you may be viewed as partially liable in your own case. For instance, rideshare drivers frequently claim that their passengers cause distractions due to inappropriate or rowdy behavior in the backseat.
Even when accident victims hold some liability for their own injuries, though, it doesn’t mean they can’t recover damages under Missouri law. That’s because our state practices comparative negligence rules. This means your maximum compensation could be reduced by your level of fault—but you’re still entitled to compensation in such cases. For instance, a jury may believe you’re 10% at fault for your own injuries. If they award $1 million in damages, you will end up receiving $900,000 instead. This 90% of the maximum court award is still substantial, though, and could go a long way in covering your losses and expenses.
What are Possible Damages in an Uber Car Accident Case?
Most vehicle collisions that occur result in no major injuries. This means the biggest concern is typically compensation for property damage. In such a case, a personal injury lawyer may not even be necessary. When your accident results in serious injuries or other losses, however, there are a variety of potential damages you may receive in court. This is particularly true if your personal injury claim involves a rideshare company—since their proximity to the public could make any level of negligence particularly reckless. Regardless of the specific circumstances of your case, however, a law firm may be able to help you recover the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
Which of these damages you may be entitled to will depend entirely upon the circumstances of your case. A personal injury law firm can help you better understand your situation and potential damages. But the last entry on this list—punitive damages—deserves special mention since it’s rare in vehicle collisions. These damages are meant to punish the liable party for extremely reckless or wanton behavior. A Kansas City Uber accident attorney can help you understand whether you may qualify for such damages and how to properly seek them. Contact Mohlman Gurney Injury Law today to learn more.
What to do After Uber and Lyft Accidents
Following a rideshare crash, you will likely feel a bit flustered. This is absolutely understandable. Still, you’ll eventually want to contact an experienced personal injury attorney for guidance. They can help you identify all liable parties, investigate the circumstances of your accident, bring in expert testimony when necessary, and much more. When you’re at the scene of such an accident, however, a law firm is likely the last thing on your mind. Still, there are very specific steps you should take after a rideshare accident. These include:
- Contact authorities: If you’ve suffered injuries in a Kansas City car accident—whether Uber was involved or not—you should immediately contact authorities. When a rideshare accident occurs, though, doing so is important even if serious injuries weren’t sustained. Having a record on file can improve your chance of securing compensation.
- Seek medical attention: Even if you don’t believe you sustained a significant injury, you should still speak with a medical professional. Some injuries have delayed symptoms, and if you aren’t diagnosed properly, your settlement or personal injury lawsuit could result in compensation that doesn’t account for your total losses.
- Take detailed notes: Taking detailed notes on the scene of a rideshare accident is absolutely vital. What was the driver doing? What did they say after the accident? Were other vehicles involved? In addition to answering these questions, you should also get the contact information of your driver and any witnesses.
- Report the accident: Police reports can go a long way in helping your case, but you should also report the accident to Uber. This can be done right from your app. Before doing so, however, speak with an attorney. Once Uber knows about the incident, they’re likely to send in the “calvary” of insurance adjusters to seek the best conclusion for
These steps can prove invaluable when you’re speaking with an insurance company or going through litigation. If you forgot to take any of these steps, though, you have not forfeited your right to fair compensation. A Kansas City Uber accident attorney can help you navigate the difficulties of a personal injury claim. Distracted drivers, unsafe roadways, negligent Uber hiring practices, and a host of other factors can result in a serious accident. If you’re hoping to receive a fair settlement or court award, though, the one thing you should look for is an attorney who’s willing to hold drivers and rideshare companies accountable.
Uber Accident Lawyers in Kansas City, MO, can Help
Rideshare apps have done great things for the world. In addition to giving intoxicated drivers an alternative to potential drunk driving accidents, they have also given low-income citizens the ability to commute. Unfortunately, these benefits are not without potential risks. This is why you should speak with a Kansas City personal injury lawyer if you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident. Uber may put a large focus on providing safe transportation, but the fact is that no human being is perfect. When mistakes or negligence lead to injuries during an Uber ride, you have every right to seek compensation for your losses.
At Mohlman Gurney Injury Law, our team of personal injury lawyers has spent years helping our clients recover compensation. Our law firm is dedicated to ensuring you get justice, and this is why we only take on a certain number of cases at once. This allows us to give all personal injury claims we work on the attention they deserve. Being injured in a car accident is a difficult experience, but it becomes even more disheartening when such a collision is caused by a negligent driver you’ve entrusted with your safety. Contact us today by calling (816) 648-6000 to schedule a free consultation. Our Uber accident lawyers in Kansas City can help you understand your rights and how to move forward.