If you’re one of the 43% of individuals who use ridesharing apps, then you likely don’t anticipate being hurt during your trip. But, the reality is that rideshare car accident cases are quite common. Unfortunately, you likely don’t know what to do if you are in an Uber accident or a Lyft car accident.
Whether you were hurt during a ride or hit by a driver, you deserve proper compensation. Unfortunately, the legal process is especially murky about insurance liability when it comes to these types of cases.
That’s why you deserve an attorney who will walk you through what to do if you are in a Lyft accident or Uber car accident. In this article, we’ll provide you with some helpful legal advice to navigate these types of insurance cases in the state of California. Let’s get started!
What to Do if You Are in an Uber Accident or Lyft Accident: You’re Hurt
If you were hurt after being in an accident with a rideshare driver, then your priority should be medical attention. Even if you think you’re injuries are minor, you should still go to the hospital. More severe, life-threatening injuries can sometimes go unnoticed, especially if they’re internal. Don’t worry about getting the proper documentation.
In many cases, this can hurt your odds of compensation. A delay in treatment can help the insurance company argue that the accident wasn’t the primary cause of your injuries. As such, receive any medical treatment that you require. Once you’ve entered a recovery period, you can go about getting the driver’s insurance information.
Do this by contacting Lyft or Uber. Inform them that you were involved in an accident either as a third-party bystander or a passenger. Then ask for the insurance information of the driver responsible. After this, you should contact a rideshare negligence attorney to help you begin to organize your case details.
What to Do if You Are in a Lyft Accident or Uber Accident: You’re Okay
If you weren’t injured, then you should go about reporting it in the same way that you would a normal car accident. After you call the police, you should begin documenting details from the accident. This will help you build a case later for insurance purposes. Gather evidence including things like:
- When the accident occurred
- Where the accident occurred
- The name and contact information of the rideshare driver (as well as any other parties)
- The license and registration of the rideshare driver (as well as any other parties)
- The insurance information of the rideshare driver (as well as any other parties)
- Notes about any important accident details
- A copy of the accident report provided by the police or DMV
We also recommend taking pictures of the scene of the incident and getting contact information from witnesses. Keep in mind that you also shouldn’t discuss the details with the Uber or Lyft driver involved. You should make sure they’re okay and exchange contact information. However, avoid any conversation that might indicate fault.
How a Rideshare Car Accident Works in California
Traditionally, Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have worked hard to classify their drivers as independent contractors instead of employees. However, recent legislative battles have thrown this issue into the spotlight. Since the passage of the AB-5 bill in California, things have changed slightly for rideshare workers.
The full impact of this legislation is still being debated in court, but it has provided some early changes. The companies now provide liability insurance coverage for their employees while they’re working.
However, to get the compensation you will still need to prove two things. One: the driver’s negligence caused the accident. Two: this negligence caused damages. As such, we still recommend getting a good attorney to help prove this.
The Different Types of Uber and Lyft Car Accident Liability Coverage
The good news is that Lyft and Uber now provide some liability coverage for their drivers. The bad news is that this coverage depends on the period of activity: period 0, period 1, period 2, or period 3.
Some periods of activity, like period 0, provide no liability coverage from companies like Lyft and Uber. These different types of accident cases can be difficult to grasp at first. So to help you understand we’ll go over some example scenarios and the coverage that comes with them.
Third-Party Passenger or Motorist Hit During Period 0
Period 0 refers to when a Uber or Lyft driver isn’t logged on to the app. Because of this, they’re not technically working. As such, the companies provide no coverage for the drivers.
So, in this scenario let’s say an off-duty Lyft driver hits someone with their car. Since the driver wasn’t logged on, they’ll need to provide their insurance to cover costs caused by their negligence. If they don’t have any insurance, then the victim can press charges.
Third-Party Passenger or Motorist Hit During Period 1
Period 1 refers to when a Uber or Lyft driver is logged on to the app but hasn’t accepted a ride. Since they’re logged on, they’re technically working. As such, the companies provide some coverage for any accidents caused by the drivers. In this scenario, let’s pretend a Uber driver is logged on but hasn’t accepted a ride.
They hit both a bystander and a separate car. Uber will provide up to $50,000 for each person injured. However, the company won’t pay more than $100,000 for total injury liability. In addition to injury coverage, they’ll also pay for $25,000 worth of property damage liability.
Third-Party Passenger or Motorist Hit Hit During Period 2
Period 2 refers to when a rideshare driver is on their way to pick up. Since their app is active and they’ve accepted a job, they’re provided with additional coverage. In this example, let’s say a Lyft driver is on their way to a pickup and hits someone riding a bicycle. The liability coverage provided by Lyft’s insurance company would increase to $1 million.
Uber/Lyft Passenger, Third Party Passenger or Motorist Hit Hit During Period 3
Period 3 refers to when a rideshare driver has a passenger in the car. This period provides the maximum amount of coverage by the companies. In this scenario, let’s pretend a Uber driver is delivering a passenger when they accidentally hit a car stopped at a light. The liability coverage provided by Uber’s insurance company would be $1 million.
In addition to this, the company also provides some limited coverage for the driver’s car, as well as uninsured motorist coverage.
Can You Sue After a Lyft or Uber Car Accident?
For the most part, people involved in a rideshare accident file a lawsuit against either the driver or the Uber/Lyft’s insurance company. This is usually the easiest way to get compensation for any injury or property damages that occur against. Unfortunately, if you were hit during a period of 0 coverage, then your driver might not have enough funds to pay for your damage.
Additionally, Lyft or Uber isn’t responsible for providing any liability insurance coverage. So, can you sue the companies directly in this kind of scenario? Unfortunately, as of now, the answer is no. Uber and Lyft’s firm position that they’re drivers are independent contractors makes it next to impossible.
However, there are some scenarios in which you can sue the company directly. For example, the company must perform background checks on their drivers. So, if you’re able to prove that the company didn’t perform a proper background check, then you can sue. Similarly, the company must inspect the vehicles of their drivers.
So, if you can prove that a mechanical failure the inspection missed caused the crash that the accident, then you might have a claim. However, keep in mind that these types of lawsuits are longshots that will require both substantial evidence and dedicated attornies.
Need Help With Your Ride Share Negligence Case? Contact the Heidari Law Group
We hope this article helped you learn what to do if you are in an Uber accident or Lyft car accident. As you can see, these app companies (and the nebulous law surrounding rideshare car accident insurance) make it difficult to receive compensation on your own. However, with the help from the right attorney, you can get the help and money you deserve.
If you live in the California or Nevada area, then look no further than the Heidari Law Group. We’ll walk you through exactly what to do if you are in a Lyft accident or Uber car accident. Best of all, there won’t be any fees until you win.
As such, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Contact us and schedule your free case evaluation so you can get the compensation that you deserve.