Lyft and Uber Accidents
As Lyft and Uber have increased in popularity in the USA, there are new legal implications involving whether or not you can sue the ride-sharing company if you are involved in an accident involving one of their drivers. Here are some of the basics that you need to know regarding these rideshare companies and your legal rights if you are involved in an accident involving one of them.
Rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber have really taken off in the last few years as users can schedule pick-ups using apps on their smartphones. However, these rideshare drivers still owe a duty of care to not only their passengers in the vehicle but also to those who are on the road with them or simply walking down the road. For instance:
- If the rideshare driver is at fault—If the driver of the rideshare vehicle is currently “on the clock” then his individual insurance policy does not have to cover the accident. Instead, the insurance policy of the rideshare company itself has to pay out the expenses associated with the accident. Depending on the state where the accident occurs, some of these policies may be worth as much as one million dollars. Whether or not the driver is working at the time is easy to determine by showing that the rideshare app was on at the time of the accident. This affects not only the rideshare passengers who may be injured but also the individuals in any other cars involved in the accident as well as bystanders who may have been injured by the rideshare driver.
- If the rideshare driver is not at fault—If you are a rideshare passenger and your driver is involved in an accident that is not his fault, then you will have to file a claim against the other driver who is at fault. If the offending driver does not have enough insurance to cover the damages, then you may have to file an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim against the rideshare company’s insurance. (Again, the rideshare driver’s personal auto insurance does not come into play here.)
How Do I Report an Accident to Uber?
You can report an accident to Uber online or from the Uber app if you are a driver or requested the ride through your account. However, riders, passengers, and drivers of other cars involved in an accident may not want to file a report immediately.
We recommend waiting to see if you have any injuries and discussing your accident with a Uber accident attorney before filing an accident report with the rideshare company. This may be especially important if you believe the rideshare driver caused the accident.
Uber Makes It Easy to Report Accidents Involving One of Their Drivers
Uber offers easy ways for anyone involved in an accident with an Uber or in an Uber to file an accident report. The process may vary slightly depending on your role.
Reporting an Accident When You Requested the Uber
Riders who requested Uber can report an accident through the Uber app or by logging in online.
To report in the app, you will need to click on “Account.” This is on the bottom right of your screen. You will then need to select “Help” and “Trip Issues and Refunds.” A list of your recent trips with Uber will appear on the screen. Check the date and choose the correct trip. Select “Help,” then “I was in an accident,” and follow the onscreen instructions.
Reporting an Accident as a Co-Rider, Someone in Another Car, or Eyewitness
Anyone else involved in an Uber accident—or if you witness one—must report the accident through the company’s online reporting form. This is because you cannot choose the trip from your Uber app.
Reporting an Accident as an Uber Driver
Uber drivers can report accidents through the Uber app in the same way riders can. You will need to click “Account,” then “Help,” and “Trip Issues and Refunds.” Once you have a list of trips to choose from, select the right trip, click “Help,” and select “I was in an accident.”
After you report the accident, Uber will email an Incident Report Form to you. This form will give Uber the information they need to determine what type of insurance coverage was in effect at the time of your accident and contact the correct insurance company.
What compensation can you expect?
With any type of car accident, the type of compensation can vary greatly, largely based on your injuries. However, it can include medical expenses (including future projected medical needs), loss of income including loss of earning potential, damages to personal property, and emotional and mental anguish and suffering.
If you are involved in any way in an auto accident involving an Uber or Lyft rideshare vehicle, you should be sure to contact your local law enforcement, seek medical attention, and get as many pictures of the accident scene as possible. You should also be sure to get information such as insurance and driver’s license numbers from the driver(s) involved as well as the names and numbers of any witnesses. But the next step should be to contact an experienced rideshare auto accident law firm.
You are eligible to file an Uber accident lawsuit if you sustained bodily injury and/or property damage as a(n):
- Uber passenger
- Uber driver
- Another motorist
- Cyclist or moped operator
In some cases, there may be more than one liable party. An Uber accident lawyer can help you by explaining your legal options.
How Liability With an Uber Driver Works?
Ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft must carry liability insurance in case passengers, pedestrians, drivers, cyclists, or another party is injured during certain stages of the ride-share process.
Uber has a $1 million liability insurance policy that is activated when the Uber driver is on the app and carrying passengers.
If you were injured in an Uber accident and the Uber driver is on the app but does not have any passengers, you could be entitled to coverage from Uber and/or the driver’s personal auto insurance. If you were involved in an accident with an Uber driver who is neither on the app nor carrying passengers, only the driver’s personal insurance would apply.
Why You Should Contact an Uber Accident Lawyer?
Uber accidents can result in extensive injuries, including broken bones, internal bleeding, and traumatic brain injury. Depending on your injuries, you might be faced with medical bills and expenses that you may not be able to pay.
An Uber accident lawyer will find out who is responsible and seek compensation for your injuries and expenses.
You may be entitled to compensation that may include:
- Emergency room and ambulance
- Other medical expenses
- Lifecare costs
- Lost Pay
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
How an Uber Lawyer Protects Your Rights?
An Uber accident lawyer can seek recovery first from an insurance claim and then through a lawsuit if necessary. Under Florida statutes, you have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Most people do not have the training or experience to fully exercise their legal rights. An Uber accident lawyer will build a persuasive case with:
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Review of the Uber driver’s safety, training, and driving records
- Evaluation of your injuries and damages for a correct valuation of your losses
- Photos, videos, and other evidence from the accident
If you were injured in an Uber accident, you are likely eligible to seek recovery from the liable party before the statute of limitations under FL § 95.11 runs out. A member of our team is happy to meet with you at the hospital, your home, or our office.
How Does an Accident Lawyer Handle Reporting Your Accident to Uber?
If you were a rider or co-rider, or an occupant of another vehicle during an accident with an Uber driver, you may not want to rush to report the accident. We recommend discussing your accident and injuries with an Uber accident lawyer who is familiar with rideshare accidents before you report it.
When an insurance claim gets filed based on the coverage provided by Uber, they will pull the information you provided in your accident report as well as the Incident Report Form the driver submitted. This will become evident that the insurance company could try to use against you to reduce or deny your insurance claim.
If you call our team before reporting the accident, we can handle this process for you. This protects your right to pursue compensation and prevents you from saying or doing anything that might jeopardize your case.
Uber Provides Auto Insurance Coverage When Matched With a Rider
From the moment an Uber driver matches with a rider, there is a $1 million auto liability policy that could provide coverage for your injuries, property losses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. If you suffered Uber accident injuries as a rider or co-rider, we can help you file a claim based on this policy.
If you were in another vehicle, the insurance coverage that applies relies, in part, on what the Uber driver was doing at the time of the accident. If they matched with a rider, were on the way to pick up the rider, or had a rider in the car, the $1 million liability policy would apply if that driver caused your accident.
If they were waiting on a driver, Uber provides auto liability insurance that is contingent on the driver’s own auto insurance policy.
You Can Help Support Your Insurance Claim by Taking the Right Steps at the Accident Scene
Sometimes, the difference between reaching a just out-of-court settlement and ending up in arbitration or court is having the right photograph or phone number. If possible, remain on the scene of the accident and gather the evidence you can use later to support your claim. While the police work on the accident scene, take photos of any damage to the vehicles as well as the scene of the accident.
Write down the name and contact information of everyone on the scene, as well as which car they were in. Get the insurance information of the other driver, even if you believe your Uber driver caused the accident.
Once you get home, write down or record as much about the accident and the scene as possible. Stick to the facts and ensure you use as much detail as you remember.
Make Your Health a Priority
It is also important that you see a doctor as soon as possible. If you believe you have injuries, ask the police to call for an ambulance and go to the nearest emergency room. Even if you do not believe you have any major injuries, you should see your doctor or go to a walk-in clinic as soon as possible after the accident. This will help us connect your injuries to the accident and ensure you receive prompt treatment for any serious uber or car accident injuries in the USA they discover.
Talk to an Uber Accident Lawyer from the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato
If you suffered injuries in a rideshare accident, you may want to talk to an Uber accident lawyer before you notify the company of the accident and your injuries. At the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato, we can report the accident, file your claim, and handle all communication with Uber about your case.
We offer services in other locations related to Uber Accident Cases: