What to Do If You’ve Been Injured in a Rideshare Accident
Cities around the world are starting to take the direction that Seattle is taking, where more than three times as many riders choose Uber and Lyft over taxis. That means that not only are more people than ever getting in the backseat of a stranger’s car, but that the chances of getting in a Lyft accident are high. If you’ve been in an accident in a ridesharing vehicle, you need to know what to do next.
Here’s everything you need to know.
How Ridesharing Differs
While taxis and ridesharing services operate in a similar manner to how taxi services run, there are some big differences. Aside from the way that you order them or how you pay, there are lots of tracking elements that create a strong framework for any legal case. Everything is timestamped, which allows you to have documentation every step of the way.
While they are faster and more convenient in some cases, they’re not always safer than taxis while on the road. Some drivers are inexperienced and don’t have the kind of knowledge that can keep a cab driver out of danger. The coverage when riding with a ridesharing driver is also different than when you’re in a taxicab.
Many riders wonder whether or not they can sue their Lyft driver. Your legal options aren’t quite as clear as they are when you’re in a traditional cab or driving on your own.
Since Uber and Lyft don’t hold domain over the cars, the drivers operate independently. They’re considered independent contractors driving personal vehicles. This leaves the concept of insurance coverage around accidents to be hard to understand.
Find Out Who Is Liable
Liability is hard to pin down in a ridesharing accident. Thankfully there are a few key ways to tell.
If you fall under the liability of Uber or Lyft, you’ll be covered by a one million dollar liability policy that covers all of their drivers. This covers both the driver and any passengers.
If you suffered any kind of injury, it might be applicable to this claim. If you missed work because of your injuries or endured pain and suffering as a result, then you can claim losses. This can include everything from the initial medical bills to any therapy or recuperative costs that you had.
However, if the driver struck you but wasn’t driving for the service at the time, you can’t make the claim. Drivers need to contact their personal car insurance in the case that they end up in an accident with a ridesharing driver not logged in and accepting rides.
Contact the Witnesses
One major flaw in the Uber and Lyft liability coverage is whether or not there was a passenger in the car. If you are struck by a driver who had a passenger in the car, you need to get their name and information. They’re a valuable witness in the accident who the insurance company will surely want to speak with.
However, if there was no passenger in the car at the time, even if the driver was logged in, you might not be able to get coverage.
There’s contingent liability coverage when the driver’s own insurance plan isn’t going to offer coverage or enough coverage. This coverage allows for $50,000 in fees per person who was injured with a maximum cap of $100,000. This might be too little depending on the kind of accident you had.
If there were witnesses but no passenger, they could help to win the right amount of damages from the driver’s personal insurance. If you suffered serious losses or damages following your accident, this might be just a small fraction of what you lost.
Passengers Can Contact the Company
As a passenger, you can contact the company itself. Their ridesharing liability insurance covers you at the time of a ride. They cover both $1 million in liability as well as another million for uninsured and underinsured passengers.
Even if another driver caused the accident, ridesharing companies step in to pick up the slack. They’re willing to cover the injuries and losses that should be covered by the other insurance company.
Be aware that every insurance company is going to try to pay out as little as possible. That means that you need to have strong documentation to prove that you’re owed what you’re looking for.
File a Lawsuit
When an accident happens with a ridesharing driver, you should end up dealing with multiple insurance companies. This a frustrating and stressful situation to be in as someone who has been injured. Even dealing with your own insurance company can be a pain in the neck.
Juggling the companies can be confusing and not all companies are going to be focused on giving you fair compensation. If you’re injured in an auto accident, attorneys can help you to file the kind of suit you need to file in order to get fair payment.
Standing up to an insurance company is no small feat and unless you’ve got a lawyer on your side, you could end up being stressed out. Hire a lawyer who you can trust so that you get the compensation that you deserve.
A Lyft Accident Can Happen To Anyone
If you’re in a Lyft accident, you might feel like you’re up the creek without a paddle. It’s challenging just to know who is at fault and who you can sue without having to end up in court forever. You might feel bad pursuing a lawsuit, but it is often the best way to get the full compensation you need after a rideshare accident.
If you need help filing your lawsuit, contact us today.