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I was downtown in Chicago recently after meeting a friend for dinner.  We joked as we waited for an Uber that ten years ago it seemed like every car on the street was a taxi, but on this night, we saw eight card in a row that had Uber and/or Lyft stickers in the window.

While these services are for the most part fantastic – I have terrible memories of trying to get a taxi on cold nights in my 20’s – the reality is that some of the drivers simply should not be on the road.  To drive for these companies you need a license and have to pass a background check, but you don’t have to prove you are a safe driver or that you know where you are going.  I have had drivers who didn’t know how to get to Wrigley Field, Union Station  and which direction Lincoln Park is in.

As a result, many of these drivers rely on their map apps on their phone which causes them to often take their eyes off the road. This has caused thousands of accidents.

If you are wondering who the best attorney is to sue a ride share company, it depends on a few things.  Here are some things to think about.

1. I would recommend a Chicago firm for you if it’s a really serious injury no matter what city the accident was in.  That’s because there are way more Lyft/Uber cars in Chicago so there are more accidents which leads to the most experienced attorneys being in Chicago.

2. Because their drivers are sued so often, Lyft/Uber really fight these cases hard.  If the driver was not on a ride but still on the app, they will say he/she wasn’t working.  If they are successful you are stuck with whatever insurance policy the driver has.  The difference between winning or losing this issue could be seven figures potentially if the injury is catastrophic.  Getting an attorney experienced with taking them on is hugely important.

3. Uber has a $1 million insurance policy they give drivers for accidents with a passenger in the car, but only $100,000 if they are available and don’t have a passenger.  It’s been argued that if they are driving to pick up a customer the $1 million should apply.  You want a lawyer who can do this and also who can fight against the notion that the drivers aren’t employees.

4. Attorney fees in these cases will almost always be the same (they shouldn’t exceed 33% and you should never pay anything out of pocket). Getting the most experienced lawyer makes the most sense for you as it gives you the best chance at a good recovery.

5. You don’t have to be a passenger to sue. Most of the calls that we get are from people walking on the street or in other cars.

If you have any questions about these cases or want our recommendation as to what lawyer is best for you, please get in touch with us at any time.