Ridesharing applications like Uber, Lyft, and Cabify have greatly revolutionized the market. Not only is calling for an Uber more convenient than calling or hailing a cab, but it’s often cheaper too. Simply type where you need to go on your phone and wait for an Uber to pick you up. The entire process may take five minutes or less, depending on your location. However, Uber or Lyft cars, just like other vehicles, are susceptible to accidents.
Getting into an Uber accident can leave you shocked and trigger a wide range of injuries. So knowing what to do following a ridesharing accident is crucial.
What Steps Should I Take?
While ridesharing accidents come with unique complications, many first steps are the same as any car accident. You’ll still want to seek medical attention and call the police. Like with any car accident, you’ll also want to gather evidence. Of course, recovery is always your priority, so don’t attempt to move if you feel unable to. However, if you can, take pictures of the scene, including any damage dealt to the vehicle or other vehicles within the area. You’ll also want to write your testimony and gather reports from anyone present. Be sure to take pictures of the vehicle’s license plate and collect info from the driver.
Is the Driver Liable or the Ridesharing Company?
For many, this is where things get complicated and when people consider talking to an attorney such as an rideshare accident lawyer. The most commonly asked question is: “Who’s responsible: the driver or the ridesharing company?” In the past, companies like Uber and Lyft have tried to avoid liability wholly by arguing that their drivers aren’t employees but independent contractors.
Today, however, these services now have a $1 million dollar insurance policy covering medical costs, injuries, and deaths for drivers and passengers. Additionally, many insurance companies offer ridesharing-specific insurance policies in some states.
However, even with these measures in place, often, the driver is liable when an accident occurs, meaning their auto insurance company must provide compensation. Unfortunately, an Uber driver’s insurance company is often unable or unwilling to provide the necessary settlement for the victim. Following a car accident, you might be eligible for the following compensation costs:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages—including job rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress, including the development of PTSD
- Overall reduction in quality of life
- In some situations, punitive damages
Since a driver’s insurance company may not always provide a necessary settlement, an attorney may need to take the fight to the ridesharing company itself. However, navigating when and how a company like Uber or Lyft is liable can be complicated, and they’ll have their own attorneys ready to argue. The right attorney can help determine if Uber is liable to compensate you or if the responsibility falls onto the individual driver. Our friends at Presser Law, P.A. can attest to how complicated this process can be, which is why they suggest that it’s best to contact an attorney near you immediately.