Rideshare apps revolutionized the travel industry and made it easier to get around major cities. However, traveling by car remains a safety issue whether you’re driving or relying on a rideshare company like Uber or Lyft.
What do you do if you end up in a ridesharing accident?
If it’s straightforward or there’s minimal damage, you could let things work themselves out and allow the insurance companies to take care of things. That may not be in your best interest, and you may want to hire a knowledgeable Uber accident lawyer to help you navigate the process.
The Cost of Rideshare Accidents
Did you know that more than three-quarters of drivers have been involved in at least one accident?
Ridesharing apps sought to reduce this trend by eliminating some causes of vehicle collisions, like impaired driving. Further, encouraging people to use rideshares, it could cut down on traffic congestion.
While ridesharing introduced a new level of convenience for many people and created alternative transportation options, it isn’t all good news. Unfortunately, app-based driving services like Lyft and Uber also led to an increase in traffic-related fatalities. Though the numbers include pedestrians, it’s an important statistic given the overall reduction in vehicle-related fatalities over the past thirty years.
Handling the fallout from a car accident can be exhausting under the best of circumstances, but with a rideshare company, it can be even more complex due to company policies and guidelines for accidents and liability coverage.
Hiring a rideshare accident attorney may seem extreme, but it could save you a lot of time, stress, and money.
Who is Liable in an Uber Accident?
Like any car accident, rideshare collisions can result from several causes, including weather, distracted driving, or other external circumstances.
In fact, distracted driving is a significant concern for rideshare drivers because they must remain logged into the app on their phones to track the trips.
Ultimately, liability is a tricky determination in most cases because it isn’t always cut and dry. Determining who is at fault in a car accident depends on several things, including the police report and witness statements.
No matter what your role or position is in a car accident, it’s important to gather as much evidence as possible at the scene, including pictures and names. When it comes to proving who is liable in any car accident, there’s no such thing as too much evidence if it helps your case.
- Take photographs of the scene, the vehicles, and any injuries.
- Try to get witness statements and contact information
- Gather insurance information from everybody involved in the accident
Keeping a file of everything that you gather will help, but you may want to contact an attorney to help. It’s a complicated process, and you may miss things due to the stress and confusion surrounding the accident.
Uber and Lyft accident lawyers know the finer points of the process and what information they need to make your case and get the best possible outcome.
What Happens if Your Uber Driver Gets into an Accident?
If you’re a passenger in an Uber or Lyft you will receive compensation for any injuries you sustain regardless of which party is found liable.
That said, Uber, Lyft, and most other rideshare companies have unique insurance policy systems that depend on the driver’s in-app status at the time of the accident.
Uber describes three insurance levels for their drivers, and most rideshare companies follow similar arrangements.
- If the driver is offline or off-app their personal insurance must cover everything.
- Drivers marked as available or waiting for requests have third-party liability insurance if their personal coverage doesn’t apply.
- For drivers en route or during trips, Uber provides coverage because personal insurance doesn’t apply.
It’s important to note that the en route and in-trip coverage is significantly higher and could make a substantial difference for drivers and passengers. That means that rideshare passengers should capture photos of their app status at the accident site.
What Happens if You Get Hit by an Uber Driver?
Whether you’re driving a car, biking, or a pedestrian walking across the street, getting hit by an Uber or Lyft driver is one way to ruin your day. Make sure you seek medical attention for any injuries but treat it like you would any accident, call the police to file a report, and gather necessary information.
Ask for the driver’s personal insurance information and Uber’s coverage.
Make sure you ask the driver what their app status was at the time of the accident because it matters. Remember that rideshare insurance coverage is complex, so it may be in your best interest to contact an Uber accident lawyer to help you navigate the process.
Can You Sue Uber if You Get in an Accident?
Car accidents represent a significant portion of personal injury claims, but they get slightly more complicated with rideshare involved. As noted above, Uber only covers their drivers under specific circumstances, and it all depends on their status in the app.
The situation gets muddier when you consider the brief history of claims against rideshare companies.
Companies like Uber work hard to shift the blame to their drivers and label them as independent contractors. While this approach has worked in some cases, it may not be a long-term option for companies like Uber and Lyft.
You may want to hire somebody with experience as an Uber car accident attorney. The right attorney can help you get the best possible outcome whether you pursue a claim against the rideshare company or the driver.
How Much Does Uber Pay for Accidents?
The good news is that you may not have to sue Uber to get a settlement from their insurance. Depending on the driver’s app status, Uber sets limits for coverage and promotes its support on the company website.
- Driver set to “available” or “waiting for ride request” means Uber covers up to $50,000 per person for bodily injury with a maximum of $100,000 per accident. Additionally, the company covers up to $25,000 in property damage per accident.
- For drivers marked “en route to pick up riders” or “in trip,” Uber covers substantially more. Expect up to $1,000,000 in third-party liability plus bodily injury coverage for underinsured and uninsured motorists. Of note, there are additional caveats and deductibles involved.
As you can see, it’s crucial that you know the driver’s app status at the time of the accident. The difference in coverage could mean a substantial difference for you. Even if the driver seems forthcoming and the case seems open and shut, you may want to contact an Uber car accident attorney to ensure you didn’t miss something and lose out on the compensation you deserve.
Tips for Choosing an Uber or Lyft Accident Attorney
Auto accidents are overwhelming for everyone involved. The stress and red tape can hinder your recovery and lead to less than satisfactory settlements. If a rideshare driver caused your accident, whether you were a passenger, pedestrian, cyclist, or another driver, you are entitled to appropriate compensation, and that may mean hiring an uber accident lawyer.
It’s probably not the best idea to choose the first personal injury attorney you come across in the phonebook. While they may know how to handle a personal injury case, if they don’t have experience with rideshare accidents, you may miss out. It’s a good idea to ask around, research reviews, and call a few attorneys to find the one you feel most comfortable with.
- Ask about their experience handling rideshare accident cases.
- Ask them to assess your case and give you an idea of how much you could expect to get for your claim.
- Request a breakdown of fees and any up-front costs you would be expected to pay.
Your Rights and Responsibilities After a Rideshare Accident
Navigating post-accident paperwork and claims can make anybody want to take the quickest route to settlement, but that could be a huge mistake. Some people may worry about dealing with a large corporation or missing important filing deadlines.
Your Rights as a Rideshare Passenger
Most ridesharing companies, including Uber and Lyft, have established rights for passengers. Their drivers must abide by certain guidelines within these rights.
- Safe and new vehicles, means you can refuse a ride if the driver arrives in a vehicle that’s more than 10 years old or doesn’t appear to work properly.
- Seat belts for every passenger.
- Sober drivers, meaning if you suspect they are under the influence of any substances, you can refuse the ride.
- Personal space and harassment-free transport for all passengers.
- Safe transport includes no speeding or reckless driving, including road rage. If you experience unsafe driving, report the driver to the company immediately.j
Your Responsibility for Reporting the Accident
Though you technically have two years from the date of an accident to file a claim, you should contact the police immediately and notify the rideshare company. Unless you’re injured and taken away by emergency personnel, do not leave the scene of the accident until the police release you.
Knowing your rights and hiring a reputable rideshare accident lawyer could be the best thing you do after an accident. Many attorneys take on the lion’s share of the work so that you can focus on healing and getting back to normal.