How Do I Protect My Legal Rights After an Uber Accident?
Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the transportation industry, offering flexibility and competitive pricing for people who need to go just about anywhere. But rideshare operators get paid by the trip—the more customers they serve, the more they make. That’s an incentive to cut corners (literally) and take unnecessary risks that often lead to accidents. What are your options when you’re hurt by the carelessness or negligence of a rideshare operator or another motorist while traveling via Uber, Lyft, or similar service?
Responding to Any Motor Vehicle Accident
You should treat a collision involving a rideshare vehicle the same way you would any other car wreck:
- Your first priority should be your health and safety. If at all possible, stay right where you are until emergency medical professionals arrive. They’ll examine you and determine whether you should go to the hospital by ambulance. If you leave the scene on your own, immediately seek treatment at a hospital, urgent care facility, or physician’s office. The longer you wait, the greater the risk that your injuries will become more serious and that any potential personal injury claim will be negatively affected.
- Call the police or 911. It’s essential that police come to the scene and document the situation in a report.
- Get contact information from the driver, anyone else involved in the accident, and all potential witnesses. This will help your attorney gather evidence in the event you file a legal claim.
- Take screenshots of your receipts for the rideshare.
- Open the camera on your cellphone and take pictures of everything, including the damage to vehicles, your injuries, roadway conditions, the weather, skid marks, and any traffic issues.
- As soon as possible, hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. Your attorney will take immediate steps to gather and preserve physical evidence and take witness statements while memories are still fresh.
- Notify the rideshare company of the accident as quickly as you can.
Recovering Compensation for a Rideshare Crash
Typically, the first place you turn for reimbursement or payment of losses suffered in any motor vehicle accident, including an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare wreck, is an insurance company. In states with “no-fault” motor vehicle insurance laws, you’ll file your claim with your own carrier. In states like Texas, which does not have a no-fault system, you must seek compensation from the at-fault party’s insurer.
However, whether you’re injured in a no-fault or at-fault state, it’s essential that you hire a lawyer to protect your interests. Don’t think that, because you’re dealing with your own insurance company and agents you know, that you’ll get the benefits you should. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses that maximize their earnings by minimizing payouts. Don’t be surprised if you face delays, denials, or attempts to offer far less than you need to cover your losses.
Rideshare companies all advertise that they provide drivers with liability insurance—Uber and Lyft have $1 million insurance policies for their drivers. However, detailed rules govern when Uber and Lyft coverage is available:
- If the rideshare driver is not logged into his or her app at the time of the accident, there’s no coverage.
- If the driver is logged in but has not accepted a request for a fare, the coverage is limited to $50,000 per person and a total of $100,000 per accident, with an additional $25,000 for property damage.
- If the driver is logged in and either on the way to pick up the fare or the passenger is already in the car, the full $1,000,000 is available.
You may also be able to pursue compensation from your own insurer, even if you are in an at-fault state, if your policy has a provision providing coverage for uninsured or underinsured motorists.
Contact the Proven Motor-Vehicle-Accident Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we know that the injuries suffered in a car wreck can change everything. We offer a free initial consultation to anyone who hurt in a motor vehicle accident. For an appointment with an experienced personal injury attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at 844-402-2992. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.