In just a few short years, ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft have transformed the way we think about personal transportation. They have added hundreds of thousands of jobs to the gig economy and brought new forms of competition and convenience to the age-old business of moving people from point A to point B. But they’ve also added to the complexity of the legal landscape.
What happens if you are in an accident while riding as a customer in an Uber vehicle? Here are a few steps you should take to protect yourself if the ride you hired got rudely interrupted.
I’M A PASSENGER IN AN UBER ACCIDENT. NOW WHAT?
The first thing to do is remain calm. Go through the same checklist of immediate actions you would take in any car accident:
1. Check for injuries. Symptoms may not surface right away; if the impact was significant or you feel woozy, it makes sense to get checked out by paramedics. If there are other passengers, take a moment and check whether everyone else is safe.
2. Call 911. Depending on the situation and the injuries, it is critical to get emergency services right away.
3. Collect information from those involved and any witnesses — names, licenses, insurance contacts, and so on. Preserve the data on your phone regarding your driver and ride details.
4. Take photos of the damages and the surrounding scene; also take notes of whatever details you consider significant regarding possible injuries or circumstances surrounding the accident.
5. File an accident police report. You may also want to advise your insurance company of the situation.
WHO PAYS FOR DAMAGES IN AN UBER CAR ACCIDENT?
If the Uber Driver is NOT at fault… What is the other driver is uninsured or under-insured?
If the driver of the other car is at fault, that driver may be liable for any injuries. However, if that driver is uninsured or under-insured, the injured Uber passenger can bring a claim against the $1 Million Uber accident policy that covers the active Uber driver and the Uber passengers.
If the Uber Driver is at fault…
If your Uber driver is at fault, that doesn’t mean you automatically have a claim against the rideshare company.
Uber drivers are independent contractors, and the automobiles they operate are typically their personal vehicles. Uber requires all Uber drivers carry liability car insurance, and also provide supplement insurance to cover incidents that happen during the course of work – when the Uber app is on.
If an accident occurs during the course of their work: whether the drivers are waiting to accept a request, on their way to pick up a passenger, or when they are actually transporting passengers, both Uber and Lyft drivers and their passengers are covered under million-dollar liability policies that the companies provide. Uber and Lyft differ in the way their drivers and passengers are covered, so it is critical to consult an accident lawyer before you bring a claim to either company.
If the driver is off-duty when the accident happens, the policy may not apply. You may need to make a claim against the driver’s personal insurance; the applicable laws vary from state to state.
DO I NEED A LAWYER?
Because of all the variables involved, an Uber accident can become quite complicated, especially when there are multiple drivers/passengers making personal injury claims with multiple insurance companies. In situations like that, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer early in the process after a ride-sharing accident. If you incurred medical bills or other costs as a result of the accident, you should be talking to one anyway. An attorney in your corner can make sure that the ride-sharing company preserves all the relevant data regarding your ride, fully document your injuries, and make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
THE DENVER CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS AT FDAZAR
For more than thirty years the attorneys at Franklin D. Azar & Associates have helped thousands of injured people obtain complete and timely compensation for their losses. Our proven track record and expertise have allowed us to grow into the largest personal-injury law firm in Colorado, with offices in Denver, Aurora, Thornton, Fort Collins, Greeley, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo. If you’ve been injured in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call the car accident attorneys at FDAzar day or night at (800) 716-9032 or contact us here for a free consultation and no-obligation evaluation of your case.