Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are accessible, affordable, incredibly convenient, and usually safe. However, the risk of getting into an Uber or Lyft accident still exists. In 2020, Uber reported 42 Uber-related fatalities, down from 59 the previous year. While many people rely on Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services to get where they need to go every day, cleaning up the mess after an accident occurs in one of these vehicles can be a challenging and overwhelming ordeal.
You might be entitled to compensation if you were a pedestrian struck by an Uber or Lyft or a passenger in a rideshare accident. While Uber and Lyft cover their passengers with accident insurance, getting a lawyer ensures you get the maximum amount you’re entitled to.
Steps to Take After an Uber/Lyft Accident
Although Uber and Lyft are ultimately concerned with their passengers’ safety, neither are particularly clear about instructions for passengers involved in an accident. Their websites instruct everyone involved to call 911, ensure the passengers are okay, and reach out to them in case of an accident, but what happens after that is unclear. While Lyft has a “Trust and Safety Team” that contacts passengers with insurance information and attempts to handle the crisis following an accident, taking your case to a lawyer can give you peace of mind.
Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare accidents are like other motor vehicle accidents in many ways, so many of the steps involved in handling a typical car accident apply. In addition, you should take some specific steps if you’re interested in a rideshare accident. Read on to learn what you should do in this scenario.
Report the Accident to Uber/Lyft and the Police
The first thing you should do if you’re involved in an Uber or Lyft accident is to call the police and report it to the company immediately so that their insurance policy benefits will apply to you. Both their websites have instructions for contacting them and encourage riders to do so if they’re involved in an accident.
While a police report isn’t admissible in court, you can use a favorable one to bargain with insurance companies.
After an accident, it’s good practice to take photographic evidence of the scene. In addition, it would help if you wrote your story down as soon as possible while it’s fresh in your mind. Finally, if medical attention is required following the accident, keep the medical records. In an accident claim, evidence always dictates the liable party.
Gather Contact Information
Gather the contact information of everyone involved in the accident: other passengers, injured victims, drivers, and witnesses at the minimum. Don’t forget to get the other driver’s insurance information. Try gathering as much information as possible from as many parties as possible. Basic information should include the following:
· Your driver’s name
· Other passenger names
· Insurance information
· License plate numbers
· Witness contact information
· Makes and models of every vehicle involved
· Accident location (street names)
Seek Medical Assistance if Necessary
Even if you don’t feel like you sustained any immediate injuries, getting a medical exam immediately after the accident is essential. Then, get a second exam if any delayed symptoms develop. If you skip this step, the insurance companies can easily claim that your injuries occurred after the accident from an unrelated incident, not because of it.
Speak to a Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer should be able to negotiate a generous settlement with Uber or Lyft. They know all the steps and laws involved in filing a complicated rideshare accident lawsuit.
Uber/Lyft Accident Insurance Coverage
Several factors determine the liability status of an Uber or Lyft accident claim. Compensation also depends on your insurance coverage. Read on to learn more about Uber and Lyft’s insurance policies, what kind of losses are covered, whether to file a claim and how to receive the maximum compensation you’re owed.
What is Uber’s/Lyft Insurance Policy, and What Kind of Losses are Covered?
Your insurance policy likely won’t apply in a motor vehicle accident if you aren’t driving. So, how does insurance work when you’re involved in an Uber accident? Uber has insurance coverage, which applies to passengers riding in a vehicle operated by an Uber driver. Their policy covers $1 million in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and another $1 million in liability coverage.
As you can imagine, with such a generous policy, Uber’s insurance coverage can be complex and depends on a case basis. While you should be covered if you’re in an Uber accident, and the policy is generally enough to cover all damages, their coverage limits vary by state. Whether your Uber driver was at fault or not, the policy will reimburse you for damages if the accident happened during your ride.
Some of the covered losses in their policy include:
· Property damage
· Accident-related medical expenses
· Lost wages (if you missed work or other obligations due to the accident)
· Wrongful death (if the accident was fatal)
Should You File a Claim?
It would help if you spoke with a lawyer to file a claim after an Uber or Lyft accident. There is always a time limit to file one, otherwise known as the statute of limitations, which varies by state. In many states, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. If you fail, you will not receive compensation for damages incurred from the accident.
Typically, liability insurance addresses an accident claim made by the other driver involved in the incident. But the coverage also applies to you because the Uber driver could be partially at fault for your injuries. Generally, you must share the $1 million coverage payout with the driver and (potentially) other passengers.
How to Get Compensation
Don’t settle an accident claim with Uber or Lyft until you’ve spoken to a lawyer. Getting compensation for an Uber accident can quickly become complicated, so the company’s insurance company may contact you to settle it immediately. However, deciding fast isn’t always the best idea. Be sure to speak with an Uber accident attorney before agreeing to anything or signing any paperwork.
Contact a Reputable Law Firm
Uber accidents can be very complicated from a legal perspective, and it can be intimidating to battle a company like Uber on your own. It’s best to talk to an attorney as soon as possible after this type of accident. Get in touch with a reputable law firm to help you determine whether your rights are being fully considered in the settlement. A reputable lawyer can help you make the right moves and get the maximum amount out of your claim.