Posts in Car Accidents

Hurt in a Lyft or Uber?

May 22nd, 2017 Posted by Car Accidents, Legal Issues, Personal Injury No Comment yet

Car accidents are inevitable with negligent drivers and increasing distractions in cars (see our post about texting and driving!). With ride-sharing apps becoming more and more popular, it is also inevitable that car accidents will happen between these drivers as well. Fortunately, Uber and Lyft have policies to protect drivers and passengers involved in automobile accidents.

What should you do if you are in a car accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft? Who is responsible?

With Uber, here are three different stages of liability coverage. If a driver is simply driving and does not have a fare or anyone they are picking up, their personal car insurance company is responsible for any damages. Once they have accepted a customer and are on the way to pick up the customer, the Uber driver is covered by their own car insurance policy AND additional contingent liability coverage provided by Uber.  The moment the Uber driver picks the customer up, Uber provides insurance coverage with limits of $1,000,000 per occurrence.

Lyft provides four coverages in their insurance policies: contingent liability, primary automobile liability, contingent comprehensive & collision, and uninsured/underinsured motorist. Like Uber, Lyft only provides coverage to its drivers once a customer has been picked up and the driver mode is on.

Passengers
Fortunately, Uber and Lyft have policy limits of $1,000,000 per occurrence. They also cover uninsured or underinsured motorists, meaning that passengers are protected when the car they are riding in is hit by another negligent driver who does not have insurance, or has too little insurance to pay your medical bills and make you whole.  Following the accident, you will need to send a report on your app, then immediately call a personal injury or auto accident attorney, since an Uber of Lyft representative will call you to discuss the details of your claim as soon as you send the accident report.  If for some reason you have not been able to talk to a personal injury or auto accident attorney before they call you, be careful NOT to give a recorded statement as they will try to use it against you later on in the claims process (see our post about giving the insurance company a recorded statement!).

Drivers
If you are involved in an accident while driving an Uber, report it on your app.  Briefly tell Uber what happened, and a representative will reach out to you and provide an Incident Report Form that you will fill out to submit a coverage claim.

Before an insurance carrier contacts you, you will need to locate your personal insurance declarations page. This page lists the specific coverages for your vehicle that you will need to tell the insurance representative about.  If physical damage coverage is available, you’ll be responsible for a $1,000 deductible.  If you’ve been injured, be sure to call a personal injury or auto accident attorney BEFORE speaking with the insurance representative.

If you are in an accident while driving a Lyft, call a representative on Lyft.com, file a claim with your personal auto insurance provider, and provide proof of personal insurance to relevant parties at the scene of an accident.  The contingent coverage plans have a $2,500 deductible and a $50,000 maximum for physical damage to your vehicle.

If you’re injured in an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft, feel free to call us for a free case evaluation or email info@peperlawfirm.com

SC Driving Point System Explained

April 20th, 2017 Posted by Car Accidents No Comment yet
In South Carolina, you can start driving at age 16 (age 15 with a driver’s’ permit). Be careful out there, though! Driving that puts you or other drivers in danger will result in penalties counted as “points” on your South Carolina Driver’s License. If you accrue 6 points on your driving record, you will receive a warning from the DMV. If you accrue 12 points, your driver’s license will be suspended, or even criminally prosecuted as a Habitual Traffic Offender, which carries up to 5 years in prison!

Taking a defensive driving course allows you to “get back” 4 points on your license, but you need to enroll and complete the class before you’re in jeopardy of being suspended. Once your license is suspended, however, you will need to follow the DMV’s guide to reinstate your license.

It can be confusing and even overwhelming to understand. For your convenience, here is a comprehensive list of the points associated with the respective traffic violations of our state.

SECTION 56-1-720
Offense
Penalty
Reckless driving 6
Passing stopped school bus 6
Hit-and-run, property damages only 6
Driving too fast for conditions, or speeding: No more than 10 m.p.h. above the posted limits 2
Driving too fast for conditions, more than 10 m.p.h., but less than 25 m.p.h. above the posted limits 4
25 m.p.h. above the posted speed limits 6
Disobedience of any official traffic control device 4
Disobedience to officer directing traffic 4
Driving on wrong side of road 4
Passing unlawfully 4
Turning unlawfully 4
Driving through or within safety zone 4
Failing to give signal / giving improper signal / suddenly decreased speed 4
Shifting lanes without safety precaution 2
Improper dangerous parking 2
Following too closely 2
Operating with improper lights 2
Operating with improper brakes 2
Operating a vehicle in unsafe condition 2
Driving in improper lane 2
Improper backing 2

How to know if you need an attorney after a car accident.

April 4th, 2017 Posted by Car Accidents No Comment yet
So you’ve been in a car accident, and you wake up the next morning with a beat up car and a beat up body, and wondering what steps to take next.  Can you handle the insurance claim on your own, or do you need a lawyer to help out?  Or maybe it’s a combination of both.

Here’s how to know when you need a lawyer:

There are going to be medical bills
If you went to a doctor or the hospital following an accident, the bills are going to be your responsibility even though the wreck wasn’t your fault.  A lawyer can help you convince the other insurance company to pay the medical bills, and often, an attorney can get those medical bills reduced, thus putting more money directly in your pocket.

The other insurance company is taking too long to repair your vehicle.
At the Peper Law Firm, we typically stay out of the property damage claim, for a couple of reasons.  1) you’re capable of handling it yourself, on your timeline, at a body shop that you choose.  2) we don’t think it’s fair to get paid for something you can do on your own.  Instead, we’d prefer to walk you through the process, so you can be informed enough to deal directly with the other insurance company and get your car repaired as soon as possible.

The other insurance company is offering a quick settlement.
I don’t know how else to say this other than, DO NOT ACCEPT THEIR OFFER, especially if you’re not done treating!  Insurance companies are not your friends, folks. Their objective is to save money, not help you. When they offer you a quick settlement, that means they know they’re at fault, they know that you’re hurt, and the quicker they can get you to sign the back of a check, the more money they save.  Don’t leave money on the table.  Hire an attorney so you can get all the treatment you need for your injuries, and maximize the compensation your entitled to.

At the Peper Law Firm, we take great pride in helping clients who have been injured in a car accident. I sincerely hope you never need our services, but if you do – don’t hesitate to reach out to us today. Call me directly at (843) 225-2520 or email info@peperlawfirm.com for a free consultation.

The Dos and Don’ts After Being in a Car Accident

March 30th, 2017 Posted by Car Accidents No Comment yet
Charleston Personal Injury Attorney

An accident has intensified an existing injury. What should you do?

March 22nd, 2017 Posted by Car Accidents No Comment yet
If you’ve been injured through no fault of your own and the accident has intensified an existing injury, there are several things you should keep in mind.

First, don’t think you have less of a case just because the injury existed before the accident.  In fact, you may have more of one.

Second, you should treat this intensified injury the same way you would a new injury. Legally speaking, re-injuring yourself through the fault of someone else could be even more expensive than the first injury.

Third, after seeking necessary medical treatment, you should immediately consult with an attorney.  They will be able to tell you whether or not you pursue legal action. Many times, the attorney will refer you to a specialist who will give you the best possible medical advice on how to recoup from this incident. The specialist will work directly with the attorney to determine the cost of any treatment so the attorney can file an insurance claim against the at-fault party. The attorney will then work with you to determine whether any other claims are necessary.

Has this injury kept you out of work?  Kept you from taking that vacation you had planned?  Prevented you from exercising?  Prevented you from enjoying your daily life?  Prevented you from playing with the kids and/or grandkids?  Made you irritable and frustrated?  You should be compensated for that.

If you’ve been injured through no fault of your own, our job is to put you in a position to make a full comeback and come out stronger on the other side.  That’s what we do for our clients. Call us at 843-225-2520 or email us at info@peperlawfirm.com for a free consultation.

 

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