The latest research shows that the number of Americans using ride-sharing services, like Uber or Lyft, has increased dramatically over the last three years. Around 36% of the population says they have used a ride-sharing service in 2018, and Uber alone has 91 million monthly riders.
But while these services can be convenient and cost-effective, they can also be dangerous. If your Uber or Lyft driver is involved in an accident, you probably have a lot of questions about your legal options. Every car accident will have its own unique circumstances that will determine what legal remedies are available, but in this post, we will look at some of the common questions that come up when an Uber or Lyft is involved in an accident.
What to Do After an Accident in an Uber
The first steps you will need to take after your Uber or Lyft is involved in a crash are similar to what you should do after any accident. Seeking medical care for anyone who was injured should of course be the top priority.
After seeking medical attention, your next steps should be:
- Call the police: While filing a police report after a car accident is always a good idea, it is extra important to file one after an accident in a ride-sharing service. Make sure the driver of your car also stays to talk with the police, so that they are included in the report
- Get contact information from the parties involved: Make sure both drivers exchange contact information as well as insurance information, and that you have copies of these records as well. If you were in a pool or shared ride, make sure to exchange information with the other passengers as well
- Get statements and contact information from witnesses: Witness statements can be crucial in car accident lawsuits, and you will want to make sure you can get in touch with any potential witnesses later on during the process if needed
- Get photos of the scene: Photographic evidence can help you with your case, and it’s best to get it immediately after the crash if at all possible.
If you cannot get information from the other driver at the scene, make sure to write down the license plate number of their car as this can be used to locate them later.
Reporting the Incident
You will want to report the incident to several key parties, including:
- Your insurance company
- The ride-sharing service (Uber/Lyft)
- The insurance company for the other driver
It is important to make sure and file these reports immediately so that the insurance company can get started on processing your claim.
How Are Uber/Lyft Drivers Insured?
Uber and Lyft are known as “Transportation Network Companies” (TNC). Most TNC’s have coverage in place for their drivers, but it is recommended that the driver also have a personal auto policy. These personal policies usually do not cover passengers who are paying for a ride, though it is possible your driver may have added that coverage for a higher premium.
Uber and Lyft drivers are covered under their companies insurance policy as long as their driver app is on. This coverage applies from the moment the driver accepts the ride to the moment the ride has ended in the app. Both companies offer $1 million in liability coverage, as well as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage which varies based on state laws. The $1 million in liability coverage will be shared between the driver and any passengers that are in the vehicle, which can complicate the claims process.
When to Talk to a Lawyer About an Uber or Lyft Accident
The insurance company for the ride-sharing service may attempt to settle your claim quickly to avoid going through a lengthy process, but this may not be the best option for you as the injured passenger. Talking to an experienced lawyer before settling with the company is always a good idea, to help determine if the settlement offer they have provided is fair and sufficient.
Uber and Lyft are both massive corporations that are growing larger every year, and they can and should provide adequate coverage for anyone who is injured using their services. If you have questions about your Uber or Lyft accident, contact the experienced lawyers at Thistle Law for a free consultation by calling 215-525-6824 or by filling out our form.