Lawyers for an Uber Accident Lawsuit in Colorado

Victims of Uber accidents are entitled to financial compensation for the injuries they suffered as the result of the accident.

How to go after these companies when an accident happens with one of their drivers depends on the driver's status at the time of the accident.

Driver Status

In Colorado, there 3 different levels of liability limits depending on whether:

  • the driver was not logged into the app and was driving on his or her own time;
  • the driver was logged in and was waiting for a passenger to request a ride; or
  • the driver had a passenger in the vehicle or was on his or her way to pick up an accepted ride.

Going After Driver's Insurance

Uber drivers are required to have motor vehicle insurance on their vehicles, whether they are currently working or not.

Depending on the status of the driver at the time of the accident will change who's insurance is best to work with, and possibly file a personal injury lawsuit against.

Filing a Rideshare Personal Injury Lawsuit

When a person is injured after an accident with an Uber driver, he or she is entitled:

  • to recover financial compensation;
  • for damages incurred;
  • as the result of a Lyft or Uber worker's negligence.

An Uber accident lawsuit can get you the monetary compensation you need and deserve.

Below, our Colorado personal injury attorneys address frequently asked questions about ride sharing accidents in personal injury lawsuits and the injuries you may have suffered:

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Victims of ride sharing (Lyft & Uber) accidents are entitled to financial compensation for the injuries they suffered as the result of the accident.

1. Who is responsible for a ride sharing accident in Colorado?

Determining responsibility for most Colorado Uber accidents is based on the state's negligence laws.

In order to recover under a negligence standard, the injured victim must prove:

  • that the person being sued (the defendant) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff;
  • that the defendant breached the duty of care;
  • that the defendant's breach was the cause of the injury; and
  • that the plaintiff sustained monetary damages from the injuries.1

All Colorado drivers are expected to exercise reasonable care when on the road, and failure to do so can result in a personal injury lawsuit.

1.1 What must a person do to exercise reasonable care on the road?

The exercise of reasonable care when it comes to operating a motor vehicle includes, but is not limited to:

  • keeping an eye out for pedestrians;
  • watching for road obstacles;
  • being aware of other vehicles;
  • maintaining an appropriate distance behind other cars;
  • traveling at an appropriate speed under the conditions and by law;
  • not causing an accident;
  • following traffic rules;
  • not texting or using a phone in a negligent way while on the road; and
  • not driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI).

A breach of the duty of care can result in injury, and if a person is injured he or she deserves to be compensated for those injuries.

2. What if I was injured while riding in an Uber or Lyft?

Under Colorado law, ride sharing companies, like Uber, are expected to carry certain levels of commercial liability coverage.

Uber is considered a "transportation network company" under Colorado law.2 This means that certain regulations apply that require insurance coverage in case of accidents.

Passengers who were injured while in a ride sharing service car will be covered by Uber or Lyft's commercial liability coverage. When this is the case your damages will be covered:

  • up to "at least" $1 million per accident in coverage for Uber; or
  • $1 million "per accident limit" for Lyft.

If for some reason the injured person's damages exceed this amount, he or she may have to turn to his own underinsured motorist coverage.

2.1 What if I was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident?

Some people treat a ride in an Uber like a taxi, and choose not to wear a seat belt. This is not recommended, both for safety reasons and for the effect it can have on the personal injury lawsuit.

Failure to wear a seat belt can be an affirmative defense the ride sharing company can raise as part of the accident lawsuit. In Colorado:

Modified comparative negligence in Colorado is a:

  • system of figuring out
  • each parties' degree of fault
  • and the amount of damages the plaintiff may receive.3

Depending on the degree of fault the jury decides not wearing a seat belt contributed to the injuries, the injured person's damage award could be adjusted down, or be lost altogether.

3. What if the Uber driver was at fault for the accident?

When a ride sharing vehicle operator is at fault for the accident and a person's injuries, the type of liability coverage available depends on the driver's status at the time of the accident.

3.1 What happens when the driver was not logged in to the app when my injuries occurred?

When an Uber driver is not logged in to the app, they are not working for the company. This means that he or she is driving for purely personal reasons.

When this is the case:

  • the injured person must file a claim
  • through the driver's personal auto insurance liability policy.

Under Colorado law, drivers are required to carry the following minimum amounts of liability insurance:

  • Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
  • Property Damage: $15,000 per incident.2

If the driver does not have personal insurance, the injured person may have to:

  • go after his or her personal assets; or
  • rely on the victim's own underinsured liability coverage.

3.2 What happens when the operator of the vehicle is logged in but waiting for a passenger to request a ride?

When an Uber driver is ready to start the day, he or she logs into the app and sets off driving or waits in a location.

A crash could occur while a person is driving around a city, but does not yet have an accepted ride. When this is the case, injured people are covered in the following amounts:

  • $50,000 for bodily injury per person;
  • $100,000 for bodily injury per accident (for all persons injured);
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident.

Lyft has a unique "contingent" liability coverage for the same amounts, which means:

  • that when the Lyft driver has no liability insurance; or
  • when the insurance does not fully cover the injuries and damages;
  • the Lyft coverage steps in to cover the difference.

Understanding this distinction is important, but can be left up to your experienced personal injury attorney to make sure that all parties are properly served in the lawsuit.

3.3 What happens when the ride share driver has a passenger or is on the way to pick up a passenger?

When an Uber driver is carrying a passenger, or is on the way to pick up an accepted ride, the full liability coverage limits apply.

This means that the company's insurance will be primarily liable for any injuries that result in the amounts of:

  • up to "at least" $1 million per accident in coverage for Uber; or
  • $1 million "per accident limit" for Lyft.

This can mean coverage for:

  • a current passenger who was injured;
  • a driver that was hit by an Uber driver while he or she had a passenger (or was on the way to pick the passenger up); or
  • a pedestrian struck during this time.

4. How is the employer responsible if the driver is the one who was negligent?

Employers are responsible for the acts of their employees through the legal doctrine of respondeat superior.

Respondeat Superior is a legal term which means that a person is responsible for the acts of his or her "agents" or employees. If a certain legal relationship exists between two or more parties:

  • one party (person or entity) may be responsible for the actions or inactions of the other party
  • that led to an injury to another person
  • even when that person or business is not directly responsible.

There must be a legal reason why it is appropriate to hold a third party responsible for injuries caused by another.5

4.1 Are Uber drivers considered independent contractors instead?

There remains significant debate in the legal world about whether Uber drivers are:

  • employees; or
  • independent contractors.

Long story short, independent contracts are held to different standards when it comes to responsibility for their negligence.

Handling this issue is best left to an experienced attorney, and reliance on insurance coverage where possible.

5. What damages can I recover after a ride sharing accident in Colorado?

An injured person could recover both economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages include:

These damages are more easily identifiable through documentary evidence and usually have a defined value.

Non-economic damages are those which are not typical "out-of-pocket" expenses. These losses are more subjective and include:

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Call us for help...

For questions about Uber accident lawsuits in Colorado or to confidentially discuss your case with one of our skilled Colorado ride share accident attorneys, do not hesitate to contact us. For Lyft accidents, please see our page on Lyft accident lawsuits in Colorado.

We represent clients in and around Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora, Fort Collins, Lakewood, and several nearby cities.

Legal References:

  1. Lopez v. Trujillo, 399 P.3d 750 (Ct. App. Div. 1 2016). (To prove a prima facie negligence claim, the plaintiff must prove: (1) the defendant owed a legal duty of care; (2) the defendant breached that duty; (3) the plaintiff was injured; and (4) the defendant's breach caused that injury. citing Vigil v. Franklin, 103 P.3d 322, 325 (Colo.2004). Of these elements, duty is the threshold element.)
  2. CRS 40-10.1-602(3) (Definitions).
  3. CRS 13-21-111 (Negligence cases--comparative negligence as measure of damages).
  4. CRS 10-4-620 (Required Coverage). But see CRS 10-4-624 (Self-insurers).
  5. West's Colorado Practice Series, 7 COPRAC 14:3 (Employees, servants, and agents--Existence of master servant relationship).
  6. 17 COPRAC 5.13 (Payment of Medical Bills).
  7. COPRAC 38:8 (Pain and Suffering--when compensable).

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The attorneys at Shouse Law Group bring more than 100 years collective experience fighting for individuals. We're ready to fight for you. Call us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 855-LAW-FIRM for a free case evaluation.

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