What to know about rideshare car accidents

There’s no question that scheduling an Uber or Lyft is more popular today than hailing a cab, but what happens when you’re in your rideshare and an accident occurs? It’s not the same as being in a friend’s car, yet it’s also not like being in a corporate car like a taxi.

However, you are in a vehicle that’s being commercially driven so whether or not your driver is at fault, you may still be entitled to compensation from the company employing the driver.

By working with an experienced legal team, you can navigate the complex process of collecting damages from a rideshare company.

Getting into a car accident as a rideshare passenger

The steps you take immediately following a car accident are the same whether you’re the driver or a passenger in an Uber or Lyft. You’ll want to start by making sure everyone is okay. Next, you’ll need to contact the police to come and make a report of the accident. Make sure to get everyone’s contact and insurance information. This includes that of your driver as well as others involved in the accident. Snap pictures if you can as well.

Seek medical attention should you need it and find out how to file a Lyft accident report or reach out to the Uber claims department. You’ll also need to notify your insurance company.

At this point, contacting a lawyer to handle the often complicated details of your case is a smart idea. They will better understand liability and help you figure out the damages you deserve.

Keep meticulous track of all documentation related to the car accident as well. Make sure you have a copy of the police report as well as injury reports from doctors and any receipts for medical treatment. You won’t have to worry about damage to the vehicle itself since you weren’t in your car when the accident occurred.

Who pays damages?

As a passenger in a rideshare, your own auto insurance will most likely not come into play, however companies like Uber and Lyft have their own policies to handle situations exactly like these.

If your driver caused the accident, you might be able to receive compensation from the company insuring the driver. This means for Uber accidents, you would reach out to the Uber claims department. With Lyft, you’d file a Lyft accident report.

For both of these companies, the insurance policy goes into effect the moment a driver accepts a ride request and lasts until your ride is complete. Don’t let the insurance company tell you otherwise.

If your rideshare driver is not at fault, you should bring a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance as well as the rideshare company. This ensures you can get compensation if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.

Typically, compensation awarded in this type of car accident include damages related to: 

  • Physical pain, suffering, mental anguish
  • Medical expenses
  • Economic losses due to the injuries
  • Punitive damages
  • Wrongful death

What happens if you get in a car accident while driving for Uber?

Although you’re considered an independent contractor as an Uber or Lyft driver, both companies carry insurance policies to take the burden off your own personal car insurance should an accident occur. This is important since, when driving commercially, your own insurance policy technically won’t cover you.

Should you find yourself in a car accident as a rideshare driver, make sure to file a claim with your employer, but also consider getting in touch with a lawyer who can help you navigate this non-traditional process for getting compensation for a personal injury and/or damage to your vehicle.

Navigating the complexities of a rideshare car accident

Protecting yourself and getting the compensation you deserve after a car accident is particularly challenging when you’re the passenger in a rideshare vehicle. Not only will you need to file a claim against the company employing the driver, but you’ll most likely go up against an in-house legal team, not to mention an insurance company.

To navigate this process effectively, it’s best to find an advocate who understands the process and is committed to getting you properly compensated for your personal injuries. The team at Watson Injury Law can do just that. Our personalized approach means we treat each case differently, based on need, fighting for you so you can focus on healing. Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.

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We want to connect with you and help you during this challenging time. If it’s more convenient to communicate via email, please reach out to us at info@watsoninjurylaw.com.