I Was Injured While Riding in an Uber® or Lyft® Vehicle--What’s Next?
Rideshare vehicles like Uber® and Lyft® are incredibly convenient. Whether you don’t have a personal vehicle, don’t want to deal with parking, experience a vehicle breakdown, or have one too many to drink and want to get home safely, a rideshare can help to get you to your destination. But taking a rideshare isn’t foolproof--these vehicles are sometimes involved in accidents that leave passengers with serious injuries. If you’ve been injured while riding in an Uber® or Lyft® vehicle and have questions about filing an insurance claim after an Uber®/Lyft® accident, our Uber®/Lyft® accident lawyers at the office of Cutter Law P.C. can help. Turn to our lawyers for the support you need, as well as the information that you can count on about claims after a rideshare accident. We are here to support you.
Steps to Take After a Rideshare Accident
Before diving into the basics of claims after a rideshare accident, it’s best that you understand the critical steps that you need to take after being involved in a rideshare accident. By doing the following, you may be protecting your right to pursue damages through an Uber®/Lyft® injury lawsuit or claim--
1. File a police report. No matter what the driver of your rideshare vehicle tries to tell you, it is essential that a police report is filed. If a police report is not filed, then a critical source of evidence will be missing and it is highly likely that the insurance company will deny your claim. You should file a police report while you are still at the scene of the accident if possible; the only time that this may not be possible is if you have been severely injured and are therefore transported to the hospital. After you file the police report, be sure to keep a copy for your records.
2. Gather evidence as you wait for the police to arrive. If your injuries do not preclude you from doing so, and if you can safely do so, you should gather evidence while you are still at the scene of the accident and are waiting for the police to arrive. Important evidence to collect includes the name and information (driver’s license, vehicle information, insurance information, rideshare company) of your rideshare driver, the name and information of the other driver involved in the accident, pictures of the accident and surrounding area, pictures of damages and other types of evidence (like skid marks), and the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses. Your safety is paramount, so only document what you can safely.
3. Get medical care. You should always get medical care after a car accident, even if your injuries seem minor. Some injuries, such as a concussion, may not be immediately apparent. Getting medical care is important because it ensures that you are getting the treatment that you need, but also because it creates a direct connection between the car accident and your injuries--this is something that an insurance company will want to see before paying out damages in an insurance claim after an Uber®/Lyft® accident.
4. Report the accident to the rideshare company. While your rideshare driver should report the accident to the rideshare company to initiate the claims process, they may fail to do so. As such, it is your responsibility to ensure that the company receives notice of the crash. Both Uber® and Lyft® have a number listed on their websites that you can call to report an accident.
5. Report the accident to your own insurance provider. Even though you were acting as a passenger in the rideshare accident and not a driver, you should still report the crash to your own motor vehicle insurance company. Not only may your insurance company be able to represent help you throughout the claims process and request damages on your behalf, but your own policy may pay for a portion of your injuries depending on your coverage type.
6. Seek help from an experienced Uber®/Lyft® accident lawyer. In the vast majority of cases, working with Uber®/Lyft® accident lawyers is beneficial. An attorney will represent your best interests throughout the process and can guide you through all of the steps during the process of pursuing a claim after a rideshare accident.
The Basics of an Insurance Claim After an Uber®/Lyft® Accident
One thing that can be confusing about an insurance claim after an Uber®/Lyft® accident is determining who’s liable for the crash and therefore which insurance company should pay for a passenger’s injuries. In California, liability is based on fault. Both Uber® and Lyft® maintain liability insurance for drivers. If the rideshare driver is found to be at fault and is transporting a passenger with the Uber®/Lyft® app turned on, then the Uber®/Lyft® bodily injury liability insurance will pay for the passenger’s injuries. However, if the driver of the other vehicle was to blame for the accident, not the rideshare driver,then the injured passenger will need to bring a claim against that driver’s bodily injury insurance policy. That being said, rideshare services like Uber® do carry uninsured/underinsured bodily injury coverage, which means that if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have sufficient insurance to pay for injuries to the rideshare passenger, the uninsured/underinsured policy will cover damages up to the policy limit.
Other than the above, claims after a rideshare accident are very similar to other motor vehicle injury claims. An injured party (the claimant) will need to prove the fault of the responsible party in order to recover compensation, as well as prove the extent of their injuries. This is why collecting the evidence types discussed above, as well as hiring an attorney, are both so important.
During an injury claim (or a lawsuit), the injured party can seek compensation for the full extent of their damages, including compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, future medical expenses or lost wages, pain, suffering, emotional anguish and distress, and any other economic or noneconomic damages suffered.
The first step in recovering for your losses will be to negotiate with the insurance company to see if a settlement can be reached., Depending on the facts of the accident and the injuries involved, an insurance claim after an Uber®/Lyft® accident cannot be settled during the negotiations process, and the claimant needs to pursue an Uber®/Lyft® injury lawsuit if they want to recoup monetary damages. If this is the case for you, remember that Uber® and Lyft® are big companies that are represented by highly skilled attorneys; you want an attorney on your side who can provide you with representation and help to even the playing field. Also be sure to file your Uber®/Lyft® injury lawsuit within the statute of limitations in California, which is two years from the date of the accident. Otherwise, you will be permanently barred from recovery.
Call Our Uber®/Lyft® Accident Lawyers Today
If you have been injured while riding in an Uber® or Lyft® vehicle and are wondering what’s next, we can help. The most important things for you to do are to report the accident and seek medical care--from there, our lawyers can represent you in gathering evidence, determining liability, filing a claim after a rideshare accident, calculating your damages, negotiating your settlement, and pursuing an Uber®/Lyft® injury lawsuit. For a free consultation with our experienced and passionate Uber®/Lyft® accident lawyers at the office of Cutter Law P.C. call us directly or send us a message online. We are here for you.