Hurt on Uber, Lyft? Advice from a rideshare accident lawyer
With the growing popularity of ridesharing apps and rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft, many people are looking to supplement their income by driving for these companies. It also goes without saying that there are many people have turned to Uber and Lyft in their everyday lives for both business and pleasure.
Unfortunately, as with any motor vehicle, there is the possibility that you may be involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft or while you are a passenger with either ridesharing service. This is also the case for many of the gig economy positions (such as Instacart, Shipt, Grubhub, etc).
Do rideshare companies have insurance?
What many people do not know is that both rideshare companies have insurance while the app is being used by the rideshare driver. Simply put, if you are involved in an accident caused by a rideshare or gig economy driver, there should be insurance to cover your personal injuries and damages. Even if the drivers are considered independent contractors.
Would insurance coverage apply to a rideshare accident?
Generally speaking, there are three scenarios when the insurance coverage would apply: 1) when a rideshare driver causes the accident (I.E. rear-ends your vehicle when you are stopped at a stoplight); 2) when you are a driver and are struck by another vehicle (I.E. when a vehicle pulls out in front of you and causes an accident); and 3) when you a passenger of an Uber driver or a Lyft driver regardless of what vehicle caused the accident.
As with any car accident, you should call the police and have a report generated for any Lyft or Uber accidents. Further, you should also get the other driver’s information separate from the accident report. If you suspect that the other driver was driving for a rideshare company at the time of the accident, take photos of anything that you can to show that the driver was driving for a rideshare company at the time of the collision. Many of the rideshare vehicles now have a fluorescent logo mounted on the front windshield to identify themselves as a rideshare vehicle. It is also worth noting that rideshare drivers are required to carry some sort of identification that validates them as a driver for a ridesharing service.
When a rideshare vehicle causes an accident, there may be a substantial insurance policy, outside of the driver’s personal insurance, that will cover the rideshare driver’s actions. This means that you may be able to make a claim against the rideshare company for the driver’s negligence and the rideshare driver’s insurance carrier may be liable for the medical bills and lost wages that you incurred due to the accident.
This is also true if you are a passenger in a rideshare vehicle that caused an accident. This means that if you are a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, and the rideshare driver hits another vehicle, you can make an accident claim against the driver of the rideshare vehicle’s insurance.
Alternatively, if you are a passenger or a driver in a rideshare vehicle that is struck by another car, you can make a claim under the rideshare’s underinsured motorist coverage if the other vehicle does not have adequate insurance. Many of the rideshare companies offer up to $1,000,000 in underinsured motorist coverage for the drivers and passengers of the rideshare vehicle. This money can be used to pay for things like medical expenses and lost wages.
What to do if you’ve been in a rideshare accident.
The most important thing to do after being involved in an accident is to contact the police and fire department and seek medical attention immediately to get checked out. There are many times that you may not feel an injury right away after an accident, so it is important to get checked out immediately after the accident to initiate medical treatment so that you can tap into the full benefits offered by the auto insurance companies.
After you have called the police and gotten medical treatment, it is always in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney at a reputable law firm to discuss your options and to protect your rights. The Orlando Law Group offers free consultations and many times you will be able to speak with a personal injury attorney over the phone immediately when you call. There is no cost or obligation to learn about your rights after an accident.