Ridesharing services such as Uber, Lyft, and others have become extremely popular in recent days. These companies allow anyone with a smartphone to summon a nearby driver relatively quickly and cheaply when compared to a traditional taxi service. The drivers are typically not professionals; they use their own personal vehicles to make extra money.
The big question is what happens when one of these amateur drivers causes an accident? Whether you’re a customer in the rideshare vehicle with the driver at the time of the crash, in another vehicle that’s been hit by a rideshare car, or are a pedestrian who has been struck by a rideshare driver, serious questions about liability can result.
Here’s what you should do if you’re involved in an accident with a rideshare driver, and how you can get legal help when you’ve been hurt.
What to Do After a Rideshare Accident
No matter what kind of car accident you’re involved in, your first priority should be health and safety. Check to make sure that you’re okay, and if you or anyone else is hurt, call 9-1-1 immediately. Even if nobody is hurt, contacting the police is a never a bad idea, especially when there’s significant property damage, and a police report can make your legal case easier later.
After you’ve taken care of any immediate medical and safety needs, you’ll need to get some information from the driver of the rideshare. Not only should the driver have personal automobile insurance, but the ridesharing company may also a policy for drivers, as well, especially when the driver is “on duty” and is either carrying a passenger or is on the way to retrieve one.
If you’re the passenger in the rideshare and you used a company’s app to call for the ride, the app itself may be able to display coverage information directly on your phone; otherwise, you’ll have to ask the driver for that information. You’ll also want to record the driver’s full name, driver’s license number, address, and phone number, as well as the make, model, and license plate of every vehicle involved in the accident. Be sure to ask for contact information of any witnesses, as well, and take pictures or notes related to the accident, including information about injuries, damage, weather conditions, and any traffic lights or stop signs that may have been run.
Seeking compensations from an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare driver can be legally complex. Most ridesharing services maintain a stance that all drivers are “independent contractors,” not employees, to protect themselves from liability in the event of an accident. You’ll most likely need to pursue claims against the driver’s personal auto insurance policy, but other policies may apply, too. Both Uber and Lyft famously offer policies worth $1 million dollars that cover drivers when a passenger is in the car; however, this only applies in certain circumstances, such as when the driver is on the way to pick someone up or already has a passenger being transported.
Uber and Lyft also offer supplemental policies, but in some situations these could only apply if the driver’s personal policy isn’t enough to cover damages. In this case, it may be necessary to file a claim against the insurance companies from both the ridesharing company’s insurer and the driver’s insurer.
Get Legal Help Today
Sorting out the insurance policies involved in an accident with a ridesharing company can be complex. A personal injury attorney who understands this rapidly-evolving field will be able to help you make the right legal choices so that you can seek the full and fair compensation that you may be owed when a ridesharing driver hurts you in an accident.
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a ridesharing company, Wayne Wright LLP would like to hear from you. We believe that seeking justice for those who have been injured is the right thing to, and we’re here to help you and your family recover after a bad accident. To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced legal professionals, call us by phone, use our contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.