Injured While Riding in Uber or Lyft? Here Are 6 Things You Need to Know
Hopefully, most of the time everything goes smoothly and you arrive safely at your destination without any hassle, but what happens if the vehicle you are travelling in is involved in an accident.
If you are the driver of a car that is involved in a collision you might need to make an accident compensation compensation claim but if you are an Uber or Lyft passenger in that scenario, do you know what options are open to you?
If you have been injured in a rideshare accident here are some key points that you need to know about what your rights are and what action you can take if you suffer an injury.
Answering the big question
The number one question that you will want answers when you are involved in a ridesharing accident is who is liable?
The answer to this question can depend on which state you are in when you have the accident and what sort of insurance cover the driver has.
The main issue is that rideshare drivers are classed as independent contractors and that means that they might not have the same amount of liability insurance coverage that a typical taxi cab driver is required to hold.
The problem is that companies like Uber have tried to keep their costs low by not stipulating that their drivers purchase a high level of insurance coverage.
The consequences of this action are that if you are a passenger in a ridesharing vehicle you could find that the company avoids any involvement in the claim and you are then left to rely on the driver's insurance policy to provide any compensation.
The regulations are tightening to deal with this potential problem and new legislation in some states requires ridesharing drivers to have coverage of up to $1 million if they are accepting passengers.
When the accident happens
Another potential issue that could see the rideshare company avoid a compensation claim is when your ride officially comes to an end and the driver closes out the ride.
If they do that and then drive you a bit further without being on the clock, if you have an accident during that brief period you could find that the company will say they are not liable because the collision occurred after the ride was deemed to have ended.
Although these are definite complications that you need to be aware of when you are involved in an accident you need to know that nothing changes in terms of what you need to do when you are caught up in a collision as a passenger.
It is important to note that you should act in just the same way as you would in any other accident situation, which is to contact the police as soon as possible after the incident.
Make sure you collect as much information about the incident as you can at the scene of the accident, provided you are able to do so.
This means collecting the rideshare drivers contact details as well as the details of the driver of the other car involved in the accident.
It is strongly suggested that you wait for the police to arrive so that you can provide them with your information, even though you are not the driver and, therefore, not directly involved from that point of view.
Always get yourself checked out
It is not unusual to experience a delayed reaction to an accident and even when you think you are unhurt you might subsequently discover that you have suffered an injury.
If you are obviously injured as a result of the collision then it is clearly necessary that you get yourself to a medical facility so that you can receive treatment for your injuries.
Even if you don't think you have been injured it is always best to seek out a medical professional so that they can assess whether you are ok and document any injuries that come to light.
Taking this action can make a substantial difference if you make a compensation claim at a later date, plus it is a good idea to get yourself checked over anyway just for peace of mind.
Give the rideshare company a call
Next on your list of things to do after an accident is the task of giving the ridesharing company a call to provide them with all the relevant details of the incident.
Stick to the facts when talking to a company like Uber or Lyft and don't get involved in any further dialogue with them other than providing the basic details and lodging record of the accident with them.
If the company provides you with anything to sign regarding the accident it is strongly suggested that you speak to a legal professional about it and get them to check the details.
The documentation may be straightforward and standard procedure but you don't want to sign away the chance to make a compensation claim, which is why it is wise to hold back until you have sought out a professional opinion.
Determining who is liable
The fundamental issue that you need to determine is who is liable when a rideshare driver for someone like Uber or Lyft has an accident while you are in the car.
If the negligent party was an Uber or Lyft driver the most straightforward approach would be to claim against that person rather than the company, provided they have the right insurance coverage in place.
It can be such a complicated issue that it often pays to get a lawyer to help sort the situation out on your behalf, especially someone who already has previous knowledge of how to approach the situation.