Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are a great way to get around if you can’t or don’t want to drive. While rideshare services are generally very safe, accidents can still happen. If your Uber or Lyft driver gets into an accident, you might find yourself wondering what to do next.
Here’s what to do after an Uber or Lyft accident, as well as the unique insurance coverage that these rideshare companies provide.
What to Do After an Uber or Lyft Accident
The moments immediately after an Uber accident can feel very overwhelming. Start by checking to see if you are injured, and then check to see if anyone else in the car is injured.
The next step is to call 911. If you cannot call yourself, have someone else call for you. Even in a minor accident, you will still need to let the local police know. It’s also important to get checked by a medical professional, even if you don’t think you are injured. Many people don’t realize they are hurt until later.
If you can do so safely, get contact and insurance information from all parties involved. This includes your rideshare driver as well as other parties involved in the accident. You may also want to get contact information from any witnesses nearby. Take photos of the car accident scene and of your injuries, and make sure to save information about your Uber or Lyft ride on your phone so you can find it later.
Once you are safe and have received the medical treatment you need, be sure to report the accident to Uber or Lyft. Their staff will reach out to you about the accident shortly. Make sure to get a copy of the police report, medical reports, and any other documents relating to the accident.
Finally, you will want to contact a rideshare accident lawyer in Anaheim shortly after the car accident. Having a personal injury lawyer on your side will make it easier to navigate complex rideshare insurance coverage and even file a personal injury lawsuit if necessary.
Rideshare Insurance Policies
If you are a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle that gets in an accident, Uber and Lyft do have some car insurance policy in place to protect you. Lyft and Uber both provide drivers with up to:
- $1 million in coverage for 3rd-party auto liability claims uninsured/underinsured motorist liability and minimal comprehensive
- collision coverage
However, all Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors and are required to have their own insurance policies as well. Filing insurance claims through Uber and Lyft can be complicated. They will typically want you to file a claim with the at-fault party’s personal insurance company first. This could be your rideshare driver’s insurance company or another driver’s insurance company, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
Note, most insurance companies do not provide coverage for commercial activities like rideshare driving, which means that they are likely to deny your claim. However, the laws in California regarding what qualifies as an “employee” versus a “contracted driver” may change in the future.
Staying Safe in Rideshares
Both Uber and Lyft conduct background checks on their drivers, and rideshare services are generally very safe. However, there are still precautions you can take to keep yourself safe during your ride.
The first step is to always confirm the driver’s license plate before getting into the car. You’ll also want to ask who they are there to pick up. While you are in the car, make sure to keep your seatbelt on at all times. This provides you with extra protection and security if you do get into an accident. Sit in the backseat of the car and make sure that every rider has their own seat. If you’re traveling in a group, be sure to order a car with enough seats for everyone, rather than trying to cram too many people into the backseat.
You also may want to share your location with family and friends, especially if you are riding alone at night. Monitor your route on the app to ensure that the driver is going in the right direction. If your driver displays any unsafe behavior on the road, be sure to report it to Uber or Lyft. Reporting unsafe drivers helps keep them off the road and can prevent things like accidents from happening.
Don’t hesitate to contact a car accident lawyer after an Uber or Lyft accident, especially if you are injured or experienced serious property damage. Accidents like these can have a serious negative effect on your life, and you may be owed damages as a result. Contact Katella Injury Lawyers today to schedule your free consultation and see how our personal injury lawyers can help.