Fargo Rideshare Accident Attorneys
Uber & Lyft Accidents in North Dakota
As more and more people come to rely on Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services, the likelihood of being involved in an accident with one of these vehicles has also increased. According to some studies, the emergence of rideshare apps has been correlated with a two to three percent increase in traffic accident fatalities in the U.S. since 2011. Unfortunately for victims, seeking compensation for injuries and other damages after a rideshare accident is far more complicated than it is in most standard car accident claims.
If you were injured or if someone you love died in an Uber or Lyft crash, our Fargo rideshare accident attorneys at Maring Williams Law Office are here to help. We understand the immense physical, emotional, and financial challenges you are facing—and we know how to help. Our attorneys have successfully helped injured individuals and the surviving family members of those wrongfully killed go up against major rideshare companies and powerful insurance agencies to secure the fair financial compensation and justice they were owed. We are available to answer your questions and provide the legal support and guidance you need to get back on your feet.
Common Causes of Rideshare Accidents
Rideshare drivers are just like any other motorist on the road. Unlike mass transit operators, taxi drivers, and other commercial transportation professionals, rideshare drivers do not receive any special training, nor are they required to have any certain amount of driving experience. As a result, rideshare drivers are just as susceptible to mistakes, as well as careless and reckless driving behaviors, as any other motorist. It is not surprising, therefore, that most rideshare accidents are caused by negligence.
Some examples of rideshare driver negligence include:
- Driving while distracted, including looking for passengers or at a cell phone/device
- Becoming lost, confused, or disoriented while driving in unfamiliar areas
- Speeding and other forms of aggressive/reckless driving, such as road rage
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving unsafely in high-traffic areas, including areas with numerous pedestrians
- Making sudden turns or stops
- Tailgating/following too closely
- Violating traffic laws, such as running red lights or passing illegally
In some cases, the Uber or Lyft driver may not be entirely at fault for an accident. This could be the case if another motorist acted negligently, or if defective road conditions or vehicles contributed to the accident.
How to Report an Accident to Uber/Lyft
If you are involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft, whether as the passenger of the rideshare vehicle or as another third party, one of the most important things you should do aside from seeking medical attention for your injuries is to report the accident to the appropriate authorities.
In North Dakota, you are required by law to report any motor vehicle accident to the police if it resulted in:
- Bodily injury
- Property damage of $1,000 or more
You can report the accident to local law enforcement by calling 911 and having police come to the scene of the crash. You can also obtain a crash report from the North Dakota Highway Patrol online by clicking here.
You should also report the accident to the appropriate rideshare company. You can do this in the following ways:
- Uber: You can report the accident directly through the Uber app or online here
- Lyft: You can report a Lyft accident through the app or online here
It is important that you report the accident to the appropriate rideshare company and provide as many factual details as possible about what happened. However, you should avoid admitting fault or assigning blame when reporting the incident. Remember, only a thorough investigation in the crash can determine exactly how the accident occurred and who was to blame.
Lastly, you should report the accident to your own insurance company. Because North Dakota follows a no-fault system for motor vehicle accidents, you could be entitled to financial compensation for your medical expenses and other out-of-pocket costs associated with the accident through your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Again, when reporting the accident to your insurance provider, be honest and detailed in sharing what happened, but avoid discussing fault with the insurance adjuster. We strongly recommend that you contact an experienced attorney, like the Fargo rideshare accident lawyers at Maring Williams Law Office, prior to speaking to the insurance company.
Can You Sue If Your Uber or Lyft Crashes?
It is possible to sue both Uber and Lyft after being involved in a collision with one of their drivers; however, both companies have certain protections in place that may shield them from liability. Namely, these rideshare giants classify their drivers as “independent contractors” rather than employees. Because of this, they may have grounds to argue that they are not liable for the conduct of their drivers as they would be if their drivers were “employees.”
Additionally, under the North Dakota no-fault car accident system, you can only file a personal injury lawsuit following a motor vehicle accident if you can prove at least one of the following:
- The total cost of your medical expenses related to the accident exceed $2,500
- You suffered a “serious injury,” as defined by state law
To be considered “serious,” an injury must result in “permanent disfigurement or disability” for a period of no less than 60 days. If you can prove one or both of these things, and if you can prove that the rideshare driver was 50% or more at fault for the crash, you may be able to sue Uber or Lyft for damages following an accident.
To receive compensation, you will also need to prove that the crash occurred during a “covered driving period.”
Uber and Lyft only provide coverage in the following “periods:”
- Period 1: When the driver has the app turned on but has not accepted a ride
- Period 2: When the driver has accepted a ride but doesn’t have the passenger in the vehicle
- Period 3: When the driver is actively transporting a passenger to a destination
If the crash occurred outside of one of these driving periods, meaning the rideshare driver was not actively working on behalf of the rideshare company at the time, you will not be covered by either Uber or Lyft’s insurance. Instead, you may seek compensation through your own insurance provider and/or by filing a claim directly against the at-fault driver.
How Maring Williams Law Office Can Help
Rideshare accident claims are very complex, but our attorneys at Maring Williams Law Office have the experience and resources needed to effectively handle your case. We understand the unique challenges involved and are prepared to leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of maximum compensation on your behalf.
Our rideshare accident attorneys in Fargo offer personalized legal support tailored to each client’s individual needs, concerns, and goals. We know that no two cases are exactly alike, which is why we tailor our legal strategies to the unique facts of each case. Throughout the process, our team will be here to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have.
If you or someone you love was injured in an accident with an Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare vehicle, call Maring Williams Law Office today at (701) 402-6644 for a free consultation.
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