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Why are Uber/Lyft and Ride Sharing Cases Different?

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June 7, 2023 Personal Injury

As a Denver personal injury attorney, I often get asked what makes a case involving an Uber driver different than a regular car crash case. It’s an intriguing topic, and there are some interesting differences to explore, especially when it comes to insurance coverage and traditional biases that can sometimes impact verdicts in other cases. Let’s take a look and shed some light onto these unique aspects that make ride sharing cases so different.

First things first: insurance coverage. Unlike regular car crash cases, rideshare accident cases are governed by unique insurance policies. In Colorado, both Uber and Lyft are required to provide substantial insurance coverage for their drivers – typically $1,000,000 in liability coverage and $500,000 in uninsured/underinsured coverage. This means that in cases where your rideshare driver was not at fault, there is usually enough insurance coverage to fairly compensate you and your family for your damages.

Why are Uber/Lyft and Ride Sharing Cases Different? Now, let’s tackle the interesting absence of those traditional biases that can sometimes sway jury decisions. When a driver who is not affiliated with a rideshare service causes an accident, jurors often sympathize with them, imagining themselves in a similar situation. Picture this: your mother is driving and happens to look down for a moment to change the radio station and rear-ends a car in front of her. No matter what the judge says, the jury will often feel sympathetic and put themselves in your mothers’ shoes. Unfortunately, this empathy tends to result in much lower verdicts because the jurors tend to gravitate towards the defenses’ argument, no matter how strong or weak that argument may be.

With Uber/Lyft and rideshare cases, jurors quickly grasp the fact that it involves a rideshare service. Although some judges may exclude evidence related to ridesharing during trial, jurors often piece it together when presented with evidence showing the plaintiff was a passenger in the back seat without a personal connection to the driver.

Written by: Attorney, Keith Fuicell

And guess what happens then? The defense lawyers representing the rideshare companies start feeling the heat. They’d rather prevent these cases from ever reaching trial. Why? Because they know that once jurors understand it’s a rideshare situation, the sympathy tends to shift towards the victim. And that often leads to move favorable settlements. Because defense lawyers want to avoid trial, a good personal injury attorney can often get these rideshare cases resolved for a fair amount without the need to go to court.

If all this legal talk has got you scratching your head, or wondering if you have a claim, don’t hesitate to give us a call or reach out to a Uber/Lyft lawyer. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Give us a call at 303-355-7202.