Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft have increased in popularity in recent years. These services are now available in every major city, offering riders a quick, easy, and efficient way to travel to destinations near and far.
When using a rideshare service, riders typically feel safe and don’t often think of the possibility of car accidents. Some rideshare collisions can result in serious injuries to those involved, including passengers.
If you’re in a rideshare accident, you may feel overwhelmed and stressed, not knowing what to do. Along with reporting your accident to the police and seeking medical attention, consult a Lyft or Uber accident attorney in Tampa. A lawyer can address your questions and concerns and give you peace of mind during a trying time.
Rideshare Company Requirements Aim to Prevent Accidents
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft implement certain requirements for their drivers and vehicles in an effort to prevent potential accidents and other unfortunate incidents.
To work for Uber or Lyft, drivers must meet certain conditions, like meeting the minimum age in their city, having a valid license and driving experience, and an eligible vehicle. Potential drivers must also pass a screening, which includes driving and criminal record.
To help ensure safety on the road, vehicles must meet specific standards. Some of these requirements vary by city, but drivers need newer vehicles with four doors and five seatbelts that can pass an inspection.
By implementing these prerequisites, rideshare companies hope to weed out dangerous drivers and vehicles.
Still, Uber and Lyft Accidents Happen
Unfortunately, even with their rules, rideshare companies can’t completely eliminate the possibility of accidents. Many collisions are not preventable.
You may have options if you’ve been in an Uber or Lyft accident. Depending on the details of your situation, you can file a claim for compensation to cover your injuries and other related expenses. You’re not at fault for a rideshare accident, so you shouldn’t have to shoulder the burdens alone.
Steps to Take After a Rideshare Accident
When you’re using a rideshare service, the last thing you expect is to be involved in a collision. For this reason, you may feel confused and unsure of what to do.
What you do following a rideshare accident can have an impact on your claim. Therefore, it’s important to take certain steps to protect your rights.
Call the Police
After a car accident, you should call the police, even if you weren’t the one driving. Law enforcement officers can play a critical role in collision claims, including rideshare accident cases.
When the police arrive, they’ll survey the scene to determine what occurred. They’ll speak to parties involved and witnesses and take down important information.
Law enforcement officers later take the information they gather and turn it into a police report. Police reports include plenty of crucial accident information, including the names and information of everyone involved, details concerning the collision, and what the officers believe occurred.
Police reports can serve as strong evidence for your claim. These reports can answer certain questions, including what caused your accident and who’s at fault.
Get Treatment for Injuries
After an accident, you should seek medical attention. If your injuries are serious and require immediate care, request emergency medical services when you call 911.
Regardless of whether you believe you sustained injuries in your accident, you should seek medical care. Visit an emergency room, urgent care, or your primary physician as soon as possible following your collision. A thorough physical examination can provide much-needed answers regarding your health and what injuries, if any, you sustained.
When you suffer injuries, it’s essential to follow through with your provider’s treatment plan. Not only will this aid in your recovery, but it can also reflect positively on your medical records, which your lawyer can use to pursue compensation in collision claims.
Report the Collision to Uber or Lyft
After a rideshare accident, report it to the appropriate company. Uber and Lyft allow riders to report their accident straight from the app. This makes the rideshare company aware of what’s happened so you can begin the claims process.
Seek Legal Assistance from an Experienced Accident Attorney
Rideshare accident claims can be confusing to handle alone. For this reason, it’s particularly helpful to get assistance from a knowledgeable accident attorney for the best results.
Time is limited to take action. The sooner you speak to a lawyer, the quicker you can get started on your case.
Understanding Uber and Lyft Insurance
Insurance for Uber and Lyft accidents is much different than insurance for other types of collisions. Consequently, it helps to understand how insurance works for rideshare drivers to give you a better idea of what you can expect.
Almost every state has car insurance requirements for drivers. Additionally, Uber and Lyft require drivers to carry their own car insurance. Rideshare drivers cannot just rely on protection from a rideshare company’s insurance.
Protection for drivers in a rideshare accident depends on the circumstances. Three general situations dictate the protection rideshare drivers can expect to receive in a collision.
When a Driver’s App is Offline, and They’re Not Working
As mentioned, drivers must have car insurance that meets their state’s minimum requirements. If a driver is not online and their app is off, the rideshare company’s insurance does not provide any protection.
If the driver has an accident during this time, they will need to rely on their insurance alone.
When a Driver’s App is On and Waiting for a Ride Request
When a rideshare driver is working, their app is on, and they’re waiting for a ride request, Uber or Lyft’s insurance will kick in in case of an accident.
- $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident
- $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident
Uber and Lyft insurance are third-party liability insurance.
When a Driver Is En Route to Pick Up Their Passenger or is Driving a Passenger to Their Destination
If a driver is in a collision while on the way to pick up a passenger or has a passenger in their vehicle, insurance protection includes:
- $1,000,000 third-party liability coverage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
- Contingent comprehension and collision coverage
- Up to the cash value of the car with a $2,500 deductible
Filing a Claim for Compensation After an Uber or Lyft Collision
After an Uber or Lyft accident, you may file a claim for compensation to cover your related losses. A qualified attorney can handle your case on your behalf.
Filing a collision claim entails several critical parts. The following are some of the most important tasks to complete to increase your chances of a successful claim.
Figuring Out the Cause of Your Accident
To begin, you must determine the cause of your collision. This can be particularly challenging for rideshare accidents, as you weren’t an active driver and may not have been paying attention when the impact occurred.
Car accidents can happen for many reasons. A rideshare accident can be the fault of the other driver or your rideshare driver.
Common wrongful driver behavior that commonly results in collisions includes, but is not limited to:
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving/road rage
- Driving under the influence
- Violation of road rules
Other factors can contribute to your accident, including inclement weather and dangerous road conditions.
Determining what caused your collision is necessary to figure out who’s at fault for your collision.
Establishing Liability for the Collision
Once you know what caused your accident, you’ll have a better idea of who can be held responsible. Several parties can be at fault for your collision, depending on the circumstances, including another driver or your rideshare driver.
Car accidents can be the result of intentional actions, but in many cases, negligence is at the center of a collision case.
To establish the responsible party’s negligence, you must establish:
Successfully showing the other party’s negligence can substantially help you obtain a favorable case result.
Calculating Your Damages
To ensure you receive fair compensation, you must calculate your damages.
Several factors impact the value of your case, including:
- The type of injuries you sustain and how serious they are
- Whether the crash damaged any of your property
- How your injuries have and will affect your life, including your work
- Whether your accident and injuries have influenced your mental health
- Any monetary or non-monetary damages you suffer as a result of your accident
Depending on the specifics of your collision, you can pursue certain damages to cover your injuries and losses, including:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Loss of earnings
- Diminished earning capacity
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
Your accident attorney can review the details of your accident and assign a monetary value to your case. Once you understand how much your case is worth, you can feel certain your lawyer won’t settle until they reach the most favorable settlement to cover your losses.
Evidence can significantly help strengthen your claim.
The following evidence and documentation can assist with your accident case:
- Photos and videos
- Surveillance footage
- Witness statements
- Medical bills and records
- Police reports
With strong evidence, it’s harder for the insurance company to refute your claims and allegations. You can rely on your accident lawyer to request and obtain the right type of evidence for your claim.
Do I Need to Hire a Rideshare Accident Attorney?
You are not legally required to have a lawyer handle your collision claim. However, when you hire an attorney to represent you throughout the process, you can feel confident knowing you have the best ally working diligently on your behalf.
An accident attorney has the skills, experience, and resources to handle your rideshare collision claim. Because these cases are different from other types of accident cases and insurance can be more challenging to navigate, it’s especially beneficial to have a knowledgeable lawyer on your side.
When you don’t have legal representation, it can be easier for the insurance company to take advantage of you. Insurance companies employ several tactics to minimize your injuries and losses and avoid paying you what your claim is worth. Still, insurers know they cannot get away with much when a lawyer represents an accident victim.
Compared to cases with unrepresented victims, claims that involve a victim with legal representation usually fare better. Hiring an accident attorney gives you a better opportunity to obtain the beneficial recovery you need after your collision.
Time is Limited – After an Uber or Lyft Accident, Consult with a Lawyer Right Away
After a car accident, you don’t have unlimited time to take action. Depending on your state’s laws, you only have one to six years to file accident claims.
Sometimes, people think they are unable to afford a lawyer. Thankfully, personal injury attorneys typically work under a financial arrangement we call contingency.
This means the law firm a client hires will collect their fee as a portion of whatever financial award their client receives. So, for clients looking to hire a personal injury lawyer, there are typically no out-of-pocket costs.
When you hire an accident attorney, you can rest assured your lawyer will handle your claim promptly to avoid any potential complications. For this reason, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible after your collision to get the process started and avoid wasting any precious time.
One of the most important things you can do is meet with a rideshare accident attorney for quality support, guidance, and representation. Hiring a lawyer after an Uber or Lyft accident will protect your rights to fair compensation.