When you’ve been in an Uber or a Lyft while it was involved in an accident, you may wonder what to do, and more specifically, who is at fault. Is it the Uber driver or Uber? Or is it even the other driver that crashed into the Uber you were riding in?
Ultimately, your car accident attorney will figure out the exact answer in your situation. And we’ll look at some of the details of how this is determined below. But first, you need to realize you are in an accident situation, and there are several things you and/or your driver need to do.
What To Do When You Are in an Accident While Riding an Uber?
When you are riding an Uber and the car gets into an accident, you have to make sure the necessary steps are taken as they would have to be in any car accident.
First, call 911 or the police and make sure there will be a police report. Next, get medical attention. There will probably be an ambulance at the scene. Also take notes about what happened and the accident scene. If there are witnesses, get their contact information.
It is crucial to get all the information. It will help you later when it comes to getting compensated, and the immediate medical care will ensure your health and safety. You should also hire a car accident attorney to get all the facts and help you file the insurance claims and recoup the compensation for your injuries.
So Who Is Responsible for the Damages?
In any accident involving a rideshare car, there are at least three potential responsible parties. First, there is the driver, then, there is the company for whom the driver is driving, i.e., Uber or Lyft, and then there is the other driver involved in the accident.
Determining who was at fault starts with the police report, where the police have noted whether the Lyft or Uber driver was logged on to complete a ride when the accident occurred. They will also have collected a lot of additional information to document what happened, including the information from the other driver and photos of the scene and the cars involved
They may also have reports of potential witnesses, footage of cameras at the scene, for example red light cameras, CCTV cameras from surrounding stores and other businesses, dash cams, and other evidence.
In terms of who is responsible, it is necessary to start with determining who was at fault for the accident. Did one of the drivers run a red light or crash into the other car for another reason? Exactly what happened that led to the accident?
It could be that the other driver was at fault and the Uber driver was completely innocent. Or the two drivers share the responsibility to some extent. Of course, one or more of the usual causes of accidents could have been involved as well.
One or both of the drivers could have been driving too fast for the conditions or driving while distracted or too tired. Uber and Lyft drivers are known to drive long hours at times. And they might have disobeyed traffic signs or traffic lights.
Uber and Lyft drivers are general contractors and drive their own cars. They also have to meet various Uber or Lyft driver requirements. Many Uber drivers also drive for Lyft and vice versa, often switching back and forth throughout the day, as they move from one passenger to another.
So it can be a challenge to unravel the fault situation in terms of who is responsible. If the Uber or Lyft driver was at fault, even in part, and they were logged on during the accident, then the company they were driving for, Uber or Lyft, may have to pay.
Uber and Lyft both carry liability and uninsured motorists insurance for this very purpose that can pay a minimum of one million dollars if one of their drivers has an accident that results in a passenger, a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or another driver being injured. In order for them to pay, however, the driver must have been logged on to the app and been either on their way to pick up a passenger or drive the passenger.
If the accident happened when the driver was logged on to the app and waiting for the next ride request, the Uber or Lyft insurance policy may be in effect as a backup to the driver’s policy. Meanwhile, if the app was turned off and the driver was not waiting for a passenger request, the driver’s own insurance would be responsible for an accident they caused.
How To Increase Your Chances of Compensation
Much like other insurance companies, Uber’s insurance company will try to pay as little as possible. That’s why you need an experienced attorney to help you with your claim. It’s also why you need solid documentation of everything related to the accident, including your medical expenses.
In fact, getting appropriate medical care is key when it comes to getting compensated. You need to seek out a doctor and any needed specialists right away, and closely follow your doctor’s orders. If you don’t, the insurance may argue that your injuries can’t have been as serious as you claimed and will try to refuse to pay, or pay less than called for. Also, be sure to have all relevant medical documents available for your attorney in support of your claim.
So how do you find an experienced Uber/Lyft accident attorney? Start by calling or emailing us for a free consultation. We’ll be happy to talk with you and explain what we’ll be able to do to help you get compensated. You should also know that we work on a contingency basis and you won’t owe us anything unless you get paid. At that point, our payment comes directly from the compensation we’ve helped you obtain.