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Can You Sue Your Rideshare Driver for Negligent Driving in Chicago?

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Walner Law®

December 13, 2023


In the bustling streets of Chicago, ridesharing has become a popular mode of transportation, but what happens when your journey is marred by a negligent rideshare driver? This guide is crafted for those who have unfortunately found themselves in such a predicament and are seeking justice. Navigating the complexities of legal claims in rideshare accidents can be daunting, but we’re here to shed light on the path forward.

Whether you’re grappling with the aftermath of an accident or simply seeking knowledge, we provide clarity on your rights and the actionable steps to hold negligent drivers accountable for personal injury rideshare accidents. Our commitment at Walner Law, a leading Chicago rideshare accident lawyer firm, is to empower you with the information and support needed to confidently pursue your claim in Chicago.

Understanding Rideshare Liability in Chicago: A Legal Overview

In Chicago, rideshare companies operate under unique legal rules. This affects how liability, or legal responsibility, is decided after an accident. Rideshare drivers, like those for Uber and Lyft, are not employees but independent contractors. This difference impacts how the rideshare company is held accountable.

Illinois law requires rideshare companies to have insurance. This insurance kicks in from the time a ride is accepted until the passenger leaves the car. In accidents where the driver is at fault, both the driver’s personal insurance and the company’s insurance might be involved. Even though drivers are independent, rideshare companies have a duty to ensure their drivers meet safety standards.

Negligent Driving: What Counts in the Eyes of Chicago Law

Street view of traffic in downtown Chicago, Illinois, a hotspot for rideshare drivers

Negligent driving in Chicago means driving carelessly, without regard for others’ safety. This can include speeding, using a phone while driving, ignoring traffic signals, or driving under the influence. Illinois law looks at several factors, like weather, traffic, and the driver’s condition.

If a rideshare driver’s actions like these lead to an accident, they can be legally responsible for negligence. Passengers should know that any unsafe behavior by the driver that breaks traffic laws might count as negligent driving. A rideshare injury lawyer in Chicago can provide additional information on what qualifies as negligent driving in Chicago.

Passenger Rights in Rideshare Accidents: Know Your Claims

If you’re a passenger in a Chicago rideshare accident, you have rights. You can seek compensation for injuries or losses. This might cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You can file a claim against the driver’s or the rideshare company’s insurance, or both, depending on the accident.

It’s important to report the accident to both the police and the rideshare company quickly. Document your injuries, get medical help right away, and think about talking to a Chicago rideshare accident lawyer. This will help you understand your rights and options for compensation. Remember, as a passenger, the law protects your safety, and you can hold negligent parties responsible.

Navigating the Legal Process: Steps To Sue a Rideshare Driver in Chicago

Suing a rideshare driver in Chicago involves several steps. First, gather all relevant information about the accident. This includes the driver’s details, the rideshare company, and any witness information. Next, document your injuries and any medical treatment you receive.

Then, you need to report the accident to the police and the rideshare company. This official record can support your case. The next step is to consult Chicago Lyft accident lawyers, who can guide you through the legal process. They will help file a lawsuit, which typically starts with sending a legal notice to the driver and the rideshare company.

Throughout this process, keep detailed records of everything related to the accident. This includes medical reports, expenses, and any communication with the rideshare company or insurance providers.

The Role of Evidence in Proving Rideshare Negligence

An auto accident lawyer overviewing legal documentation to file a personal injury claim due to a rideshare accident with a client

Proving negligence in a rideshare accident case requires solid evidence. Start with the accident report from the police. This report often contains significant details about the incident. Photos or videos of the accident scene can also be helpful.

Witness statements are valuable. If anyone saw the accident, their account could support your claim. Keep a record of your medical treatments and diagnoses, as these show the impact of the accident on your health.

Communication records, such as emails or messages with the rideshare company, can also be crucial. They can provide insights into how the company and driver responded after the accident. It’s best to consult a Chicago rideshare accident lawyer during this time to advise you on how to communicate effectively to build your case.

Insurance Coverage in Rideshare Accidents: What You Need To Know

In Chicago, rideshare companies are required to have insurance coverage for their drivers. This insurance is active from the moment a passenger enters the vehicle until they exit. In an accident, this insurance can cover damages and injuries.

However, the coverage depends on the driver’s status at the time of the accident. If the driver was waiting for a ride request, a different level of coverage applies compared to when a passenger is in the car.

As a passenger, you can file a claim against this insurance. It’s important to know that this process can be complex, and the insurance company may try to minimize payouts. Working with one of the top-ranked Chicago Uber accident lawyers can help navigate these challenges and ensure you receive fair compensation.

Comparative Fault in Rideshare Accidents: Understanding Your Compensation

Comparative fault, a critical legal concept, plays a significant role in determining compensation following a rideshare accident. This principle acknowledges that in many accidents, responsibility might be shared among multiple parties. In Chicago, if you, as a passenger, are found to bear a portion of the fault in a rideshare accident, the compensation you’re eligible to receive will be adjusted accordingly. For instance, if you’re deemed to be 20% responsible for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by that same percentage.

In rideshare cases, various scenarios can lead to a passenger being partially at fault. For example, if a passenger suddenly requests a change in destination in a manner that distracts the driver, contributing to an accident, they may bear some fault. Similarly, if a passenger is under the influence and behaves erratically, causing the driver to divert attention from the road and get into an accident, this could also be considered as contributing to the fault. If you’re concerned that you may be partially at fault, it’s best to consult a Chicago rideshare accident lawyer for further insight and guidance.

This concept is important in rideshare cases. If both the driver and another party, like another driver, are at fault, this can affect your claim. Understanding comparative fault helps set realistic expectations about the compensation you might receive.

Seeking Legal Help: When To Consult a Chicago Rideshare Accident Lawyer

It’s wise to consult a personal injury attorney after a rideshare accident, especially if you’re injured or there’s a dispute over who’s at fault. An attorney can help navigate the complex legal and insurance issues. They can also help if the rideshare company or insurance denies your claim.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the legal process or if the accident has significant financial or health impacts, it’s time to seek legal help. The best accident lawyer in Chicago can provide valuable guidance and increase your chances of a fair settlement.

Your Path to Justice in Rideshare Accident Cases

Navigating a rideshare accident case in Chicago can be complex, but understanding your rights and the legal process is the first step toward justice. From identifying negligence to understanding insurance coverages and the concept of comparative fault, each aspect plays a crucial role in shaping your claim. Seeking legal assistance early can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.

CTA: Schedule a Free Consultation With a Chicago Rideshare Accident Lawyer Today

At Walner Law, we’re dedicated to guiding and supporting you through this challenging time, ensuring your rights are protected and your voice is heard. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey; we’re here to help you every step of the way toward a fair and just resolution.

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