What Should I Do If I’m In an Uber Accident?
Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies have become common in St. Louis and the Metro East. Like any vehicle on the road, there is always a chance of an accident that results in someone getting hurt. What do you do if you are in a Lyft or Uber accident? Are the rules different if you are a passenger or the other driver? What about if you are a pedestrian?
Dealing with these companies and the independent contractors that work for them can be more complicated than an ordinary collision with another individual. It is important to know the steps to take in the case of an Uber accident, Lyft accident, or any rideshare accident.
Rideshares and Insurance Coverage
Rideshare company rules may vary slightly, but most of them have similar insurance guidelines for their drivers. First and foremost, drivers must carry whatever personal auto insurance is required by law in their state. They may be required or at least strongly encouraged to purchase additional rideshare coverage too. This can either come from their own insurance provider or through the rideshare company. Uber, for example, has its own supplemental coverage which is mandatory for all drivers.
Lyft accidents and Uber accidents are covered differently, depending on a driver’s activity at the time of the crash. Because drivers use an app for their assignments, everything relies on their login status. The companies distinguish between three different categories when determining if someone is on or off the clock. Liability and coverage amounts vary accordingly:
- Not logged in and not working: The driver’s own insurance company is liable for claims due to any accidents. The rideshare company and their insurance company have no involvement.
- Logged in and waiting for an assignment: Even without a passenger, an Uber or Lyft driver is considered to be working as long as their app is engaged. The rideshare’s insurance policy offers liability coverage up to $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 property damage. There may be a deductible for repairing or replacing the vehicle.
- Logged in and en route to pick up a passenger, or driving a passenger: Liability coverage increases to $1,000,000.
An at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for compensating the victims of an accident. If another driver causes a crash with an Uber, that driver’s insurance company should pay for the injuries of both the driver and passengers in the rideshare vehicle. If the Uber driver is the one who is negligent, payment will come from their personal insurance policy and Uber’s insurance.
It is also worth noting that Uber’s insurance includes provisions for uninsured or underinsured motorists. So, if the at-fault driver’s coverage is not sufficient, the injured parties can still be fully compensated.
Uber and Lyft accident insurance is considered generous in terms of paying injured parties in rideshare accidents. Nonetheless, dealing with any insurance company can be tricky. It is always helpful to get legal advice to ensure that any settlement covers all expenses and losses.
Rideshare Accident Procedures for Drivers
After an accident, rideshare drivers must worry not only about their own well-being, but also about that of their passengers. Uber spells out three basic steps for their drivers after an Uber accident on their Help page:
- Make sure that all parties involved are safe.
- Contact the police and paramedics, if necessary.
- Report the crash to Uber using the appropriate claims form.
Although not part of Uber’s official procedures, drivers should treat a rideshare accident like any other crash. This means gathering contact information from witnesses and everyone involved, gathering evidence, and documenting the incident with photos. All of this will help to make a case should there be a dispute about who was at fault.
Reporting the accident to the company is done through the Uber app. Uber handles the claim from there, reaching out to all parties involved and even submitting the appropriate documents to the Uber driver’s personal insurance company. It is also a good idea for the driver to contact their insurance provider on their own. They may also wish to discuss the incident with an attorney. This can help ensure that the claim proceeds smoothly.
The Lyft accident process is very similar. The app also provides a direct link to 911 for both drivers and passengers.
Steps to Take as a Passenger
Just like the rideshare driver, passengers in a Lyft accident or Uber accident should document the incident by gathering as much information as possible. While the rideshare driver might insist that their company is handling everything, as a victim, the passenger will still need to have documentation of their own, especially of their injuries.
If no one else has done so, contact the police. If EMTs offer medical attention at the scene, do not turn it down, even if injuries do not seem serious. Some serious conditions can have delayed symptoms.
Contact the rideshare company through their app. Uber and Lyft both have a section of their app to report an accident. Answer the questions and fill in the information as required.
Finally, get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney like Hipskind & McAninch. There could be three different insurance companies to deal with—one for the Uber or Lyft driver, one for their company, and another for the other driver. A lawyer can help make sure that all claims are filed correctly and on time, then negotiate a settlement for full and fair compensation.
When an Uber Hits Your Car, Bike, or You
For drivers of the other car in an Uber accident, or for those hit while walking or riding a bike, procedures are similar to that of the passenger. If the Uber driver is at fault, these victims deserve compensation for their personal injuries.
Evidence and information should be collected at the scene. The victim should seek immediate medical attention and get a copy of the police report. They too should contact the rideshare company to report the incident. The Uber driver’s and the company’s insurance coverage should pay for the victim’s expenses if the Uber driver was at fault.
Again, we strongly suggest contacting an attorney to review the case. Having their help to navigate the complicated insurance system can increase the chances of a successful outcome.
An Attorney to Help With Your Uber Accident Claim
Dealing with the bureaucracy of not just individuals but the companies they work for plus multiple insurance companies can be complex. After an accident, a victim’s time and energy should be spent focusing on recovering from their personal injuries, rather than on filling out forms and making numerous phone calls. Hipskind & McAninch can assist in filing the claims and pursuing compensation that covers all of a victim’s expenses.
If you have been hurt in an Uber accident, Lyft accident, or any crash involving a rideshare driver, contact us. We will review your case and make sure you get the settlement you deserve.