Ridesharing services are on the rise. These days, more and more people are relying on Uber or Lyft as their means of transportation while out and about. This is largely due to their affordability in comparison with regular taxi services. Uber and Lyft, while similar to taxicabs, differ as the drivers use their own vehicle to transport passengers from one place to their ultimate destination. It’s also impossible to simply hail down a Lyft or Uber driver as it requires an app to order a car.
Ridesharing Accidents Increasing
Unfortunately, due to the large volume of ridesharing cars on the road at this point in time, there is a much greater likelihood of being involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver. If you are riding in one of those vehicles as a passenger and get injured after a crash, or if you are in your own car and get into an accident with a ridesharing vehicle, you might wonder what to do. Unfortunately, unlike with other accidents, the situation can become complex. A ridesharing accident lawyer is a must if you have gotten into an accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle no matter what the circumstance.
The Basics of a Car Accident
There are certain steps you must always take after any road accident. These are crucial and can help you if you plan on speaking with an Uber accident lawyer or a Lyft accident lawyer about starting a personal injury claim. They include the following:
• Check on everyone to ensure that they are okay. Also, check yourself for injuries as well.
• Call 911 for emergency services. Even if you don’t believe anyone has sustained injuries, it’s important to do this so that everyone can get medical attention. Adrenaline runs high immediately after an accident and people may not initially realize they are injured. The police should also be called to the scene so they can make a police report and investigation can be done if necessary.
• Take pictures of the scene of the accident, including the vehicles involved, the road, skid marks, road signs and anything else that is important and directly related to the accident.
• Get the Uber or Lyft driver’s information, including their name, license plate number, phone number and insurance information.
• Get the names and contact information for any witnesses to the accident. You may also want to get statements from witnesses detailing what they saw when the accident took place.
• Contact your insurance company and explain that you were in an accident. If you were in your vehicle and it was damaged, or if you suffered an injury, inform the insurance company.
• Take notes about the accident as soon as possible. It can help you to remember crucial details you might otherwise forget later on.
What to Do if You Are the Passenger in an Uber or Lyft Vehicle
If you are a passenger in a ridesharing accident, of course, it is not your fault. If you were injured in the accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. Uber and Lyft both require their drivers to have personal car insurance that meets or even exceeds the limits for liability coverage in their state. In most cases, this coverage won’t cover injured passengers through the driver’s personal policy. However, both companies carry liability insurance for their drivers that comes to $1 million.
There are two exceptions to this rule. They include the following:
• The driver is not logged into the ridesharing company’s app.
• The driver is logged into the ridesharing company’s app but has not yet accepted a ride request. Uber and Lyft provide liability coverage for accidents that are the driver’s fault, amounting to up to $50,000 per person injured in an accident, $100,000 for total injury liability per accident and $25,000 for property damage.
If the driver is not logged into the ridesharing app during the accident, you would have to file a claim against the driver’s own insurance policy. If it is insufficient in covering the amount you are seeking in your claim, you would have to rely on your own underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage to make up the remainder. Speaking with an experienced Uber accident lawyer or Lyft accident lawyer to determine your best options may be a good idea.
If you have been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, you should immediately get in touch with a ridesharing accident lawyer. An attorney who is experienced in this area can give you vital information on your rights and how to proceed with recovering the compensation you deserve.